NATO’s Newest Member Will Build 300 More Shooting Ranges to Enhance and Improve National Defense

US Army Finland
Courtesy US Army

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.”

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the popularity of voluntary training courses aimed at teaching reservists and civilians how to defend Finland has doubled. There has also been a big increase in the number of Finns applying for gun licences.

— Miranda Bryant in Football, ice hockey … shooting? Finland hopes hobby will boost national defence

2 Responses

  1. Russia will love that. Imagine a nation with 1/4 million guys like Simo Häyhä. Imagine that all those Simos are mad at YOU!

    “Häyhä estimated in his private war memoir that he shot around 500 Soviet soldiers.[5][6] The memoir, titled Sotamuistoja (War memoirs), was written in 1940, a few months after he was wounded, and described his experiences in the Winter War from 30 November 1939 to 13 March 1940. Hidden for decades, the memoir was discovered in 2017.[5]”

  2. Imagine how formidable we would be if our own .gov prompted firearms ownership and skills instead of…..

    Oh, never mind.

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