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The Wall Street Journal reports that two people were killed and about a dozen were injured after men with automatic weapons attacked the Var Krog och Bar (“our tavern and bar”) restaurant in suburban Göteborg, Sweden on Wednesday. Police reportedly suspected that the attack was due to conflict between rival criminal gangs . . .

“Our assessment is that this incident has to do with ongoing gang conflicts in Göteborg,” regional police chief Klas Friberg said. Police had earlier the estimated the total number of injured as 10-15, but Mr. Friberg said the estimates were uncertain.

Police said the victims were two men in their 20s, but didn’t identify them. Eight wounded people were taken to the hospital, one of them with life-threatening injuries, Mr. Friberg said, adding that other people had sought hospital treatment on their own for cuts and other injuries….

Witnesses told Swedish media that the gunmen were wearing masks when they entered the restaurant in the Biskopsgarden suburb late Wednesday. One unidentified restaurant worker told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet that they shot people in the head.

Sweden’s homicide rate has been steady in the past decade but police say there have been more shooting incidents in the major cities as part of turf wars between rival gangs.

In 2013, there were 87 homicides reported in Sweden, about one-quarter of them in the greater Göteborg area, according to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention.

“We have a serious situation in Göteborg where many people have been murdered,” Mr. Friberg said. “We have different types of criminal gangs who…are ready to use aggravated violence in retribution attacks or to win market share.”

On Jan. 30 a man was wounded in a shooting on the square outside the restaurant. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the shootings were linked.

Wikipedia tells us that in Sweden, a license obtained from the police is apparently required to own or possess any type of firearm. Further, concealed carry of a firearm is generally illegal for non-law enforcement civilians, being limited to civilian law enforcement and “specially trained security officers”.

It seems that against all odds, these laws failed to stop the perpetrators in this particular case. Clearly more laws are needed to prevent this kind of senseless gun violence in the future.

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  1. A Swedish gang war? What were they fighting about — used Saab parts? Who makes the best lutfisk? ABBA vs. Ace of Base? The mind boggles.

  2. But, but, but, it is Sweden.

    How could it be?

    Sweden is every anti-gunners wet dream of a European country so perfect in every way with free healthcare and every other thing they hate about conservatism and America how can this event happen with how diverse and tolerant Sweden is?


    • Definitely /Sarc. I can remember showing my cousin and her husband (another Philadelphia lawyer) around Stockholm one evening. We went to some clubs. He couldn’t believe the bouncers at the door simply excluded any dark skinned male. That simple.

      As for ‘free’ healthcare: The maximum tax rate on income is approx. 57%, but then there is 17% (and non-deductible) for ‘social taxes,’ i.e. healthcare and welfare support. Nothing is free.

      I don’t think I know a man in Sweden who doesn’t have a hunting license and three or more long guns.

      There’s plenty of crime in Sweden, particularly rape and simple assault. They don’t have much pistol-based crime, relatively, but lot of folks get stabbed and punched.

      Remember “The Girl Wiith the Dragon Tattoo”? There was a good bit of reality in that, though plenty of exaggeration as well.

  3. In fairness, for all we know it was a DGU. Depends on whether the dead guy was the original target…

  4. Trouble in socialist paradise. Yeah I think there might be names like Akbar and MU-hammed involved…

    • “Swedish Swedes” would have you think that. And if the crime occurred in the second largest city, Malmö, especially in its Rosengård neighborhood, you’d probably be right. In Gothenburg (Göteborg) it is more likely something like the Hells Angels or Warlocks settling a drug score.

      Full-auto weapons are more likely in the hands of neo-fascist right-wing groups. They knocked off a number of military armouries over the last thirty years, and they’ve made such a hobby of jacking armored cars that the government has limited by law the amount of money such businesses can transport at one time.

      Sweden isn’t all ABBA and lutefisk.

      • Don’t tell the lefties here that let them continue to think Sweden like FFW said as their socialist paradise so they are more willing to move there leaving us the hell alone.

      • What are the rules on private security in Sweden? I understand that CC for citizens is a big no-no, but what about private security companies?

        For example, in the Czech Republic, it is much easier to get a full-auto if you are private security professional than if you want it only for fun (or collection). High profile bank transports here usually have own private security with full autos, sometimes also with police escort.

        And since CC is obligatory also for private security (i.e. no open carry), the bad guys never know whether they are hitting unarmed or armed van.

        • All licenses state purpose of use. Legally those can be only of each per firearm: Hunting, sports shooting, collection, temporary for an inherited gun waiting for your own license and self defense. That last one is only theoretical though and I haven’t heard about ANYONE get a firearms license for self defense ever. It just doesn’t happen. In practice you are never allowed to use a gun against another human being at all unless you are in law enforcement. Some security companies are allowed to issue firearms to certain trained personnel in a specific time of crisis and there are some armed security guards at some airports, but that’s very special cases. The only people carrying guns with authority to use them against other people legally are law enforcement officers and to some extent military personnel around specific areas like military installations and the royal castle.

        • Thank you for the comprehensive answer.

          Are there any public calls for shall issue CC in connection with the rising crime lately? High crime rates was one of the main reasons Czech Republic adopted shall issue CC 20 years ago (apart from the general “getting rid of communist restrictions”).

        • At the moment I’d say it’s politically totally impossible to even suggestion something remotely like this. It’s illegal to carry a knife, baton, proper pepper spray, etc. Firearms for self defense isn’t even a blip on the radar. There are some of use arguing for it in closed rooms so to speak and I know of quite a few leftists who want more liberal firearms laws and CC, but we are a very small minority. I assume it’s the same within the right.

          Well crime isn’t really going up that much, it’s mostly that it’s changing in nature and illegal use of firearms in a specific region is going up. This in combination with an extremely alarming rise of right wing extremism has made the media landscape pretty crazy. We have a neo-fascist party in parliament with 13% of the votes, militant neo-nazis stand for 1% of all deadly violence in Sweden and the racist rhetoric is pretty bad in media and common spaces. My view is that there is a crisis going on in a certain area and not a larger shift in society.

          All in all I’m for more liberal firearms laws and CC for self defense. I know of others who feel the same all over the political spectrum. Swedish politics are VERY different from US and quite separate from other European countries so it’s hard to compare, but suffice to say we are a very small minority. 🙂

  5. Greetings from Sweden. Atm basically anything not fudd-gun related is banned in Sweden. Handguns are very very hard to buy legally. Buying Illegal guns is pretty much as simple as walking up to random criminal and ask until you get an offer. They are everywhere. Every corner of a building basically all over Sweden has a homeless person from Romania begging outside of it. Every suburb is ruled with an iron fist by a criminal gang. Luckily the people getting shot is usually criminals. But as seen now innocent bystanders get shot as well. Also let us not forget that hundreds of our Muslim youth has gone to Syria to join ISIS. Official numbers are about 300 people but that is only the confirmed number. If you ask anyone in the suburbs you can get that number in each suburb.
    Isn’t socialist utopia great?

  6. I’m a Swedish gun owner and actually also a left winger. Let’s skip the politics for now because I think it would take quite some time to explain the Swedish specifics and peculiarities.

    I can however clarify and answer any questions when it comes to gun ownership. Some quick notes:
    – We have a lot of legal guns and gun owners in Sweden. These weapons are never used in crime and extremely seldomly stolen as you are required by law to store all your firearms in a safe that’s bolted to your house or weighs at least 150 kg (330 lb) empty.
    – There’s no practical way for anyone to get a license for a fully automatic weapon. There used to be some collectors getting it and some doing sports shooting with our old M/45B but that’s not possible in practice anymore.
    – To get a license you either need to get a hunting certificate (theoretical course with written exam and shooting trials) or be active in a sports shooting club (at least 6 months, usually more). For handguns it’s more tricky and it requires a very high level of skill. You also need to pass a police screening, so no crime convictions, no ties to known criminals, no file at the security police as a danger to society, etc. Criminals can’t get guns legally.
    – We have pretty much completely dismantled our customs and border control of goods. It’s trivial to smuggle guns in to Sweden.
    – Most common guns here among criminals are eastern European and smuggled in. Crudely converted starter and gas guns are on the rise though, even though they’re pretty much worthless at anything but point blank range due to smooth bore barrels and shoddy workmanship.

    • I’d also like to add that this is a very tragic event. I have several close friends who live in the area and that place is a popular hang out for many of them. Luckily none of my friends were there, but it’s really shaken up the community. 🙁

    • So apart from no CC, there is also no possibility to own a firearm for self-defense (at home)?

      I was told by a German gun owner that they get at least once a year house check, when authorities come to see that they have all guns in safe.

      Just having rounds in a magazine (not inserted into gun) inside a locked safe is a reason for loss of license and gun confiscation in Germany. Is that similar in Sweden?

    • Johannes, less than 100 gun deaths for an entire country is pretty impressive, regardless of gun availability. Sounds like it is very hard to legally own a handgun, and hence not many are stolen. I have a high school friend who has lived outside of Stockholm for 25 years now (she was a top x-c ski racer back in the day), and she says as of the last 10 years or so, there are now areas of the city where it is common for Muslims assault women for walking down a street in a skirt for being too “exposed”…is this really true? If so, it is sad that women cannot be free to protect themselves and their freedom with a handgun. Dig the Volvo X-C cop car btw.

      • That’s complete bullshit. We do have a huge problem with islamophobia and racism, but white dudes with traditional Swedish names still make up a vast majority of all criminals.

        I’m much more worried about being jumped by drugged up neo-nazis than muslims. I’ve spent many years in immigrant rich areas and so has many women I know. No reason to be scared here, more than of the neo-fascists spreading that kind of bullshit who have 13% of the parliament. 🙁

        • Neo Nazis are an issue. But they are literally a handfull of people. Compare that to the thousands of left wing extremists. In any case extremists are not good for a society whichever side they are on. Polarizes debate and hardens everyones positions. In Sweden it is a criminal offense to spout nazi propaganda (I have no problem with this). But it is socially acceptable to be a die hard communist. Says all anyone really needs to know about that imo.

  7. I have been saying this aloud like many of you for a long time; there’s not much else to add.
    In countries like Sweden, Italy, France (and many more) where owning firearms for the law abiding citizen is made difficult, the illegal firearm ownership blossoms undisturbed. Thousands of military weapons – even full auto – circulate with no issues in the EU. I know this for a fact from when I used to live there. Suffice to know the right people and a full auto AR15 can be had for €2000 in Italy, to make you an example.

    The willingness to make it harder (and the application of foolish laws) for law abiding citizens to own firearms is just a futile and vile attempt by those who can’t (and probably, don’t even want to) crush illegal firearm activity.

  8. I have to question the accuracy of reporting, here. If these guys used “machine guns” to shoot people “in the head” and only kill two of a dozen or more, I suspect they may be some of the finest shots in the world, that sounds impossible. Or misreported.

  9. Two shot in a bar is so common in the USA that it wouldn’t even be newsworthy. Two shot in Sweden is so unusual that it becomes international ammosexual news.

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