As the European Commission readies legislation that would make certain types of semi-automatic firearms illegal for private use, Finland says that its national security hinges on the ability of citizens to be proficient with such guns. With a long border with Russia and mandatory military service for men, the county expects potential fighters to practice on their own time.
“We have tens of thousands of reservists who practice national defense training voluntarily. … That is part of our whole national defense and it must be protected,” said interior minister Petteri Orpo. The Finnish parliament’s grand committee will take up the issue with the European Commission.