Saturday 19 October 2019

The Dutch own fewer guns since laws were tightened up

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The number of legal weapons in the Netherlands fell to 197,357 last year – the lowest total in 12 years – according to police figures.

This means there are 114 legal weapons for every 10,000 people in the Netherlands, the figures, obtained by television current affairs programme Pointer, show.

In 88% of cases, the gun is licenced for sport or hunting. Other reasons include protection against piracy, historical enactments and private collections.

Gun laws were tightened up in the Netherlands in the wake of the Alphen aan den Rijn supermarket shooting in 2011 in which six people were killed.

The shooter, Tristan van der Vlis, had several licenced guns despite having known psychological problems. Since then people applying to own a gun must undergo psychological testing and provide three references.

Most guns per head of the population can be found on the Wadden Sea islands of Schiermonnikoog and Ameland, at 683 and 552 per 10,000 people.

Gun ownership is least likely in the big cities of Amsterdam (38 per 10,000) Eindhoven (37) and Utrecht (35).

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