Deadly AR-15 Weapon Used In Recent Brussels Terror Attack Are Legal For Hunters In Sweden

Image of an AR-15 semi-automatic weapon.

Image of an AR-15 semi-automatic weapon. Credit: M62/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

AN AR-15 type of semi-automatic weapon was used to kill two Swedes and injure a third person in the Belgian city of Brussels on Monday, October 16.

These guns have been legal as hunting weapons in Sweden since the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency changed the rules this summer.

However, Johan Gustafsson, a police weapons expert said: ‘Most other countries, for example Norway and Canada, completely ban this type of weapon, while we go the other way. In the situation we are in today, we think it is wrong and hope that the Environmental Protection Agency will change it back so that it will be as it was before’.

As Emil Ekström, a lawyer at the Environmental Protection Agency, pointed out: ‘In the past, semi-automatic weapons had to imitate conventional manually reloaded ball guns, but that rule has now been removed’.

‘There are different models of the AR-15. Not all are permitted for hunting, but those that meet the requirements of our regulations on barrel length, magazine capacity and the like are now permitted’, he continued. Ekström pointed out that it is the police who independently examine permits to possess weapons.

There is a fear these weapons could fall into the hands of criminals

Although there has been no evidence yet of these weapons being used by criminals in Sweden, the Norwegian Police Agency, the Swedish Customs Agency and the Public Prosecutor’s Office were against the Environmental Protection Agency changing the old requirements.

They believed that it increased the risks of more and more dangerous weapons getting out into society. Weapons that are attractive to terrorists and criminals. AR-15 semi-automatic weapons have been used many times in fatal shootings in the United States.

According to the police, the AR-15 is already allowed for target shooting in Sweden, but the number of sports shooters in the country is few compared to the number of hunters.

AR-15’s can be bought on Swedish websites

Different types of AR-15 weapons can be bought on Swedish sites online, but anyone who wants to buy a hunting weapon must have a hunter’s degree and a weapons license.

There are around 2 million firearms registered in Sweden. They are owned by 566,000 people, most of them hunters, and their weapons must be stored in gun safes when not in use, reported

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at


    • John

      22 October 2023 • 16:34

      When criminals can super easy get hold of pistols and fully automatic rifles. Both which are illegal in nearly all of Europe. Because this is just populistic postering

    • Jessica

      23 October 2023 • 17:14

      This is a non issue. Criminals get hold of whatever weapons they want..illegally – they arent going out there taking hunting license exams

    • James Billington

      23 October 2023 • 17:27

      Hunters in Sweden are not part of government operated terrorist groups?

    Comments are closed.