Archive for February, 2024

Finland has announced it will open 300 shooting ranges in a bid to encourage citizens to take a greater interest in national defence.

Monday, February 19th, 2024

A member of Finland’s defence committee said the move would help Finns improve their shooting skills in the face of increased threats from Russia.

Under the Finnish constitution, every male aged between 18 and 60 must complete national army service but the government hopes that civilians will keep their weapons skills after the period of conscription with the new range proposals.

Jukka Kopra, the Finnish politician, said: “The present government aims to increase the number of shooting ranges in Finland from roughly 600-700 up to 1,000.

Increase because of Finnish defence model
“This is because of our defence model, which benefits from people having and developing their shooting skills on their own.”

In 2023, Finland’s new Right-wing coalition agreed plans to increase the number of ranges to 1,000 nationwide by the end of the decade, as well as plans to allow diabetics to serve in the army and encourage more women to join up.

There are currently around 600 ranges in Finland, compared with 2,000 at the turn of the 21st century.

A spokesman for Finland’s defence ministry said it was working to “safeguard the activities of Finland’s shooting ranges and promote the establishment of new shooting ranges”.

In a statement to The Guardian, the spokesman added: “The environmental permit processes and legislation concerning shooting ranges will be streamlined.

“The target for the number of outdoor shooting ranges will be about 1,000 by the end of the decade. The focus will be on establishing a sufficient number of rifle and tactical ranges throughout the country.”