COUNTRIES with a hunting tradition have the highest rates of gun ownership in Europe, but this does not necessarily lead to higher crime rates, Leicester University research has found. An analysis of gun ownership shows that Finns and Swedes, for example, own more guns per person yet the crime rates are not proportionally higher, says Kate Broadhurst of Leicester University's Scarman Centre. However, guns are used more than other weapons in crimes and suicides.
In Finland 22 per cent of suicides use guns compared with 4 per cent in the United Kingdom. In Sweden 23 per cent of homicides use guns compared with 9 per cent in the UK.