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Finland Promotes National Security By Building Ranges and Encouraging Armed Citizens

By Cam Edwards

The right of the people to keep and bear arms isn’t just about our individual ability to act in self-defense or defense of others. As the Founders knew, the body of the people capable of bearing arms (otherwise known as the unorganized militia) is necessary to the security of a free state as well. Second Amendment attorneys Chuck Michel and Kostas Moros have done an excellent job of laying out the arguments of the Founding Generation in their recent law review article entitled Restrictions “Our Ancestors Would Never Have Accepted”: The Historical Case Against Assault Weapon Bans, but the government of Finland has also given us a very important reminder that, even today, individual gun ownership serves as a check on tyranny and as a means of ensuring that a free people stay that way.

Finland plans to open more than 300 new shooting ranges to encourage more citizens to take up the hobby in the interest of national defence.

It is hoped that shooting in the Nordic country – which last year became Nato’s newest member and which shares a 830-mile (1,330km) border with Russia – could become as popular as football or ice hockey.

There are about 670 shooting ranges in Finland, down from about 2,000 at the turn of the century. By 2030, the government plans to increase the number to about 1,000.

Jukka Kopra, a National Coalition party MP and the chair of Finland’s defence committee, told the Guardian: “The present government aims to increase the amount of shooting ranges in Finland from roughly 600-700 up to 1,000. This is because of our defence model, which benefits from people having and developing their shooting skills on their own.”

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