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Swedish Gun Club Sees Surge in Client Numbers
The Local ^ | 25 Apr 2014

Posted on 04/30/2014 6:32:38 PM PDT by nickcarraway

You might not associate target practice with Swedish past-times, but a Stockholm shooting range has seen a four-fold increase in clients since 2007. The Local's Deepti Vashisht talks stag parties, gun licences, and stress-busting CEOs with the club's manager.

In a Stockholm suburb, The Target lays claim to a dark basement, the gloom broken only by door stoppers in the shape of giant rats with glowing red eyes. Gun shots and the stand-clear beep sound every 30 seconds.

"People often ask whether the guns are real? Are these airguns or BB guns?" says Thomas Amnebring, manager of The Target, of the 44 Magnums, SIG Sauers, and Glocks that are on offer alongside Walther PPKs and Colt M1911s.

The answer is yes, this is all for real, claims Amnebring. Police and military officers work as The Target's instructors, ensuring the safety of an ever-increasing number of clients here at Stockholm's only commercial and indoor shooting range.

"Ninety-five percent of the people who visit Target have never fired or held a gun before," says Amnebring.

IN PICTURES: Gun enthusiasts take aim at the south Stockholm shooting range

"I didn't even know that they had pistol ranges in Sweden," says Oscar, a recent customer who like many other finds it hard to connect the image of Sweden with shooting ranges.

"The place resembled how I would imagine a Deep South US gun club to look like," he adds. "Tacky furniture, plenty of taxidermy and old rifles hanging on all the walls."

Since The Target was set up in 2007, it has seen an almost four-fold increase in customers. They welcomed 3,000 visitors in their first year of business, a number that reached 15,000 in 2013.

Amnebring says part of the increase is due to security companies signing their staff up for training, but the consumer base is quite diverse. More and more tourists, for example, visit The Target, and Swedish companies bring their clients. There are also employers who offer their staff a trip to The Target as part of team-building exercises.

And there are bachelor parties, also known as stag nights, or svensexa in Swedish.

Some people, however, show up to stress bust.

"Many members have stressful jobs like that of CEOs. They come here to relax, focus on their aim, and clear their head," explains Amnebring.

The number of women who come by to empty a clip has also increased. Last year, 45 percent of the customers were women, up ten percentage points in four years from 35 percent in 2009.

And age appears not to be a barrier. The oldest club member is an 81-year-old man.

Joining a shooting club is a prerequisite to owning a gun in Sweden. Before a person can file a gun ownership licence application with the police, he or she needs to have been a member for at least six months. In Stockholm County alone, the number of applications climbed from 12,051 to 15,974 in just three years.

"It is very strict and hard to get a weapon license in Sweden," points out Amnebring, who says the club has so far helped 90 members get a licence.

For clients like Oscar, however, the shooting range is just about fun.

"There is definitely a bit of an adrenaline rush," he says. "And I dare say many of the people there feel like James Bond when pulling the trigger."

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: banglist; crime; guns; sweden

1 posted on 04/30/2014 6:32:38 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

I wonder what it costs for 1/2 hour and 50 rounds. Darn sight more than here I’m betting.

2 posted on 04/30/2014 6:44:32 PM PDT by ChildOfThe60s ((If you can remember the weren't really there)
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To: nickcarraway
She's right handed and left eyed ...
3 posted on 04/30/2014 7:50:23 PM PDT by shove_it (long ago Orwell and Rand warned us of Obama's America)
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To: shove_it

So am I, but I doubt you’d look so carefully at me to notice.

By the way, it’ took me quite a long time to break that habit. I’d grown up with rifles, but looking down the slide of a pistol is a lot different from sighting a rifle.

4 posted on 04/30/2014 8:42:15 PM PDT by VanShuyten ("a shadow...draped nobly in the folds of a gorgeous eloquence.")
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To: shove_it
She's right handed and left eyed ...

So is my wife. It's more prevalent than you might think. Back in my Natl. Guard shooting team days we would occasionally coach (problem) qualifiers. In other words people who chronically could not qualify with the M-16. 3 of them I identified having the eye dominance issue. Of those 3 every one of them easily qualified shooting left handed. One got "sharpshooter".
5 posted on 04/30/2014 8:43:47 PM PDT by Tailback
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To: shove_it

She’s also gorgeous beyond belief!

By the way, the Swedish m/4 (Lahti) 9mm is also a nice item, if you ever get a chance to fire one - highly recommended.

6 posted on 05/01/2014 1:15:50 AM PDT by Jack Hammer
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To: Tailback

My daughter is legally blind in her right eye she shoots pistols the same way.

She a very good shot better then most men.

7 posted on 05/01/2014 4:46:35 AM PDT by riverrunner
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To: VanShuyten

I noticed right away and was going to post something but saw that it was well covered.


8 posted on 05/01/2014 6:17:41 AM PDT by School of Rational Thought
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To: Jack Hammer

Excuse me, Swedish m/40

9 posted on 05/01/2014 9:20:50 AM PDT by Jack Hammer
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