It’s tough being a gangster in Sweden. You’re in Europe, so gun control laws are strict. Then again, as most sentient non-MAIG members realize, criminals are rarely concerned with gun laws. But like anywhere else, being a gangster carries with it some inherent risks. You usually live and operate in dodgy areas and you’re probably selling drugs or engaging in other kinds of business that tend to result in violence breaking out more often than is experienced by, say, your average hamburger flipper or store clerk. So you can see why a gangster – any gangster – would want to pack some heat for protection. Increasingly, Swedish judges are understanding that, too…
Prosecutor Jan Pernvi told the Swedish newspaper The Local that in one 2009 case, a minimal sentence was handed down to a gang member who was arrested with a fully automatic pistol in his belt. The judge, he said, ruled that such a criminal ”can be especially vulnerable when living in a dangerous environment, and therefore have personal reasons to be armed.”
Pernvi was baffled. “So the court perceived it as mitigating circumstances that he was a professional criminal, even if it wasn’t written in the sentence,” he said.
Now, if you’re a regular Swedish Sven Q. Citizen taxpayer, you have to jump through plenty of hoops to get yourself a handgun.
Sweden’s gun control laws require citizens to be active participants in competition shooting for six months before they can apply for a license to own a handgun. Minor criminal convictions, including for public drunkenness can result in the cancellation of a license and the confiscation of the offender’s guns.
Then again, Sven Q. probably doesn’t reside in a tough neighborhood and doesn’t live in fear for his life as much as gang members do. So it’s OK to throw the book at him if he runs afoul of the law. But gangsters are getting sentences of just a few months when they’re caught carrying full-auto weapons. Because they need them.
Meanwhile, the crime rate seems to be increasing for some reason, And like night follows day, Sweden’s legislators are looking to further tighten gun control laws.
“We’ve never experienced anything like this before,” Malmö police spokesman Lars-Hakan Lindholm told the Associated Press. ”It’s exceptional that there have been so many murders in such a short period of time.”
Of course, that will only keep guns out of Sven’s hands, not gang members’. Sven’s pretty much screwed, left unarmed to duck behind the smörgåsbord if gunfire erupts. Maybe Sven should move to the ghetto so that, if he does carry illegally and is caught, he can hope to find a sympathetic judge and get out of the hoosegow a little sooner.