INTERVIEW. Tobias Lindberg recently won a landmark case in the Supreme Administrative Court of Sweden, which resulted in the police returning his confiscated firearms. Here follows an extended interview with the Resistance man, permanent host on Radio Nordfront and gun owner.
Hi, Tobias. Can you tell us a bit about your background and awakening for those who might not know about you?
I’ve studied quite a bit, including criminology, three semesters of jurisprudence at the University of Stockholm, and four years of biomedicine at the Karolinska Institute. I was also a leftist before I became a nationalist. I was a member of the Trotskyist party Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (the Socialist Justice Party) for a few years, and acted as a deputy in the municipality council of Haninge. During that time, I was a father to young children, which gradually made me realise how bad leftist politics are for families and children.
We later purchased a farm and moved away from Stockholm. For a few years, I became more and more libertarian, before people like Alex Jones and then the refugee wave of 2015 made me become more critical of mass immigration. When I finally discovered the Nordic Resistance Movement, I became a nationalist. In conclusion, you might say that the road I’ve travelled has not been entirely straightforward.
Could you describe your background as a hunter and gun owner?
Unfortunately, I haven’t been involved in hunting since I was a boy, as it didn’t become a practical necessity until we purchased our own farm, so I’ve had to learn everything as an adult. Since we own a farm with private hunting grounds, in addition to cattle and chickens, I need hunting rifles to provide my family with a food source of wild game, and to protect our livestock (especially our chickens) from predators.
What kind of weapons do you own?
Hunting rifles and guns for marksmanship.
Swedish gun legislation usually takes the view that gun ownership is a privilege instead of a right. What are your views on gun ownership, gun rights and the restriction of those rights?
I think that a state ought to have the completely opposite view; namely, that gun ownership for the purposes of hunting, marksmanship and self-defence is a fundamental right granted to everyone – and that gun ownership should only be banned for those who are obviously unfit. When I say obviously unfit, I’m not referring to those who commit minor crimes or who might be somewhat eccentric. I’m talking about people who have committed genuinely serious crimes or who are very mentally ill.
However, my personal opinion is that people should be granted even more gun rights. I even think there should be a duty for everyone to own and carry guns. People who carry guns actually constitute a safety factor for others. There are some individual counties in the USA with laws decreeing that people who either refuse to own and carry guns, or are banned from owning them, have to pay a special tax that gun owners do not have to pay.
When the proportion of good people in a society greatly outweighs the proportion of bad people, that society becomes safer when more people own weapons. Therefore, people who own and carry guns take on an important social responsibility.
When, as in most Western countries, there are extensive restrictions on gun ownership, these restrictions chiefly impact good, morally upstanding and law-abiding folk. Crazy people, criminals and the power-hungry generally don’t care about gun laws anyway (or most other laws, for that matter), so they’re not limited in the same way by these legal restrictions. And when a criminal or crazy person suddenly decides to use a gun against innocent people, these people can have a very hard time defending themselves, especially as the police often take too long to arrive at a crime scene. If every person or every other person carried a gun, several good people would be able to immediately defend themselves and others against the shooter.
I believe that everyone should own guns and be trained in their use for the purpose of self-defence, and that this duty should also include men being trained specifically in the use of military small arms. In the same way that every gun owner and carrier is a social safety factor, every man in possession of military small arms is a national safety factor. An armed populace ensures protection against various kinds of foreign and domestic threats; for example, groups attempting to seize power against the will of the people, or a state apparatus that regards its own people as an enemy. Real leaders do not fear their own people.
The police tried using my opinion on this matter against me and tried to portray me as some sort of gun freak who thought people should use their weapons like this at the present time. But it’s perfectly clear, based on everything I’ve said and written, that I think this is the way our gun laws should be formulated. The fact that I want to change these laws was used against me.
An armed populace ensures protection against various kinds of foreign and domestic threats; for example, groups attempting to seize power against the will of the people, or a state apparatus that regards its own people as an enemy. Real leaders do not fear their own people.
Tell us a bit about what happened to you in August 2019.
Two uniformed police officers showed up at my farm with a warrant to seize my guns.
How did you react? Did you expect that to happen, and were you prepared for it?
I had realised for quite some time that there was a significant risk that the police would take my guns one day since I’m a member of the Nordic Resistance Movement. The fact is that I was a bit surprised it took so long. In the beginning I was prepared for them to come, but once it actually happened I was taken aback because of how long it took. I guess I had started to fool myself into believing they wouldn’t actually come.
How did the police justify their view that you were “unfit to own guns”?
They had nothing concrete to point to in relation to me as an individual. Their only justification was that I was in the Nordic Resistance Movement, and that this membership in and of itself constituted a risk that I would lose control of my guns.
Is it true that you first appealed the case to the Police Authority and then to the Administrative Court of Sweden, but no further? If so, why?
No, it was the matter specifically concerning the gun confiscation that I appealed that way. First, the police confiscate your guns; then it’s possible to appeal against the confiscation, first to the police and then, if they reject your appeal, to the various courts in turn: the Administrative Court, the Administrative Court of Appeal and the Supreme Administrative Court. I did choose to cancel my appeal after taking it to the Administrative Court; this was because I realised that the Police Authority would raise the issue of revoking my licences, along with their false belief that their standard of evidence was good enough to confiscate my guns. I thought it was unnecessary to spend time and energy on a part of the process that had a very small chance of success; the next phase of it would come soon anyway, and if I won back my permits, I would automatically win and have my guns returned.
The Police Authority doesn’t necessarily have to justify their decisions to confiscate guns and revoke permits, nor their decisions to reject appeals. What is it like with the Administrative Court?
I think that both the police authorities and the courts have to provide some kind of justification for their decisions. They can’t just do what they feel like, but of course this doesn’t mean that their justifications actually have to be sound and in line with stipulated laws and rules. Their reasons are mostly for show.
Unfortunately, the police and court systems in today’s society act mostly on their whims, as this gives them a great opportunity to simply avoid questions put forward by the defendant and to accept allegations by the secret police as if they were facts.
The lower courts are supposed to control the Police Authority; and the higher courts, such as the Administrative Courts of Appeal, are supposed to control the Administrative Court. But when these different authorities are staffed by people with the exact same view on what’s right and wrong, regardless of what the laws and rules actually are, everything falls apart.
Tell us a bit about the issue of your gun permits. How did this matter start, how many times did you appeal against it, and which authorities dealt with it?
First I tried appealing the decision to the Police Authority. When they rejected my appeal, I went to the Administrative Court. When they rejected it, I decided not to continue with this chain of appeals, as I realised that the burden of proof demanded by them was much higher during this part of the process, and thus it was better for me to put my efforts into regaining my permits. When that particular matter arose, I chose to appeal, first to the Administrative Court, then to the Administrative Court of Appeal, and finally to the Supreme Administrative Court.
Which of the courts would you say actually provided a thorough justification for their decision?
The Administrative Court did actually try to provide a thorough justification for its decision; however, it was completely erroneous and ridiculous. Anybody taking their time to investigate this issue in an objective manner would realise this, but they still tried to depict it as a serious justification. A politically appointed juryman in the Administrative Court, a member of the Moderate Party, disagreed. He was of the opinion that I should get my guns back.
You have spent considerable time and work on these appeals; for example, by immersing yourself in the relative legislation. Where did you get all this energy and inspiration?
All this has taken quite a lot of time. My energy and inspiration partly derived from being mistreated and wanting things to be fair, and partly from the solidarity that exists within the Resistance Movement. If you’re on your own, you can start having doubts from time to time as to whether you’re actually right or not. It’s easy to get the impression that everyone is against you, especially when all forms of the system’s media are against you. But that’s not the case; it’s simply the fake impression created by the power of the system’s media. If you have a fellowship around you, it acts as a form of support for you in times of insecurity. That’s why being organised is always a good thing. The fact that I have studied jurisprudence and am quite interested in the subject probably also helped me quite a bit during the legal process.
What tips would you give others in the same situation?
To not give up. To believe in yourself, to realise that you’re right and that you have to appeal such decisions, even though it might be tough. Now that others have gone through these processes, their appeals can also be rewritten according to your own circumstances and submitted as your own appeal, if you so choose. Additionally, you can hire legal help from a law firm. It might cost you a bit, but it’s worth it.
Does the defendant in a civil case have the right to a lawyer?
No, not as far as I know. You have to pay the lawyer yourself. You might be granted legal damages, but in order for that to happen, you must state that in your appeal. I was lucky because I got help from a law firm at the end of my case who did their job pro bono, so I didn’t have to pay anything. Cases like these, which go to the highest courts, can be a great advertisement for a law firm.
In what part of the process regarding your gun permits were you supported by the lawyer Kevin Theander?
Kevin Theander works as a legal assistant and is himself very interested in the matter of gun rights. He stepped into the process before the appeal went to the Supreme Administrative Court.
Theander went through everything I had written in the previous instances, as well as the courts’ responses, and used this as the basis for the appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court. I had a few minor viewpoints, but the appeal he wrote was very good. A large proportion of the arguments presented in the appeal were things I had already argued for in the lower instances in different ways.
Tell us a bit about Theander’s reference to article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights in the case’s proceedings in the Supreme Administrative Court.
This particular part of the appeal Kevin Theander put together was very interesting. My understanding is that article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights concerns the respect for the privacy of the individual, which government agencies and states must abide by, while article 8.2 deals with the requirements for legal certainty that must prevail in court proceedings.
He drew parallels between how these paragraphs had been used in different cases in Europe; namely, cases concerning crimes against national security, and those in which the Foreigners’ Act has been applicable. The European Court of Human Rights has decreed that courts cannot base their decisions on classified allegations originating from security services and the secret police; rather, they must view and judge the actual evidence. In my case, the courts had not looked at any facts or research concerning the alleged risk that my guns would end up in the wrong hands. The only basis they had was an allegation by the secret police.
Kevin Theander told me that he believed this part of the appeal might have been the one that made the Supreme Administrative Court decide to return my guns – even though they didn’t write a word about article 8 in their decision. Had they not ruled in my favour, we would have appealed their decision to the European Court of Human Rights. This would have exposed the failings of the Swedish authorities and courts vis-à-vis legal certainty of the individual’s private life in front of all of Europe. This was most likely something the members of the Supreme Administrative Court wished to avoid.
I believe Kevin Theander may be right in his suspicions about article 8, and I think this way of arguing might be appropriate for us nationalists – even in cases not concerning gun confiscation, as this system frequently uses allegations and classified information against us. It’s probably wise for us to study article 8, its preparatory work and existing case law.
Could you explain the justification the Supreme Administrative Court gave for your acquittal?
They simply stated that everyone has the right to express their opinions, participate in demonstrations and be members of organisations without interventions or repressions, and that a gun permit cannot be revoked simply on the basis of a person’s opinions, membership of a political organisation or participation in meetings and manifestations held by that organisation. Furthermore, they stated that the police authorities had not presented any arguments or evidence demonstrating that I would be unfit to own guns as an individual.
What’s your interpretation of the verdict and the court’s justification?
I think that both the decision and justification were very good and self-evident. This is how the laws and rules concerning gun rights are in our country. I have argued in line with the decision passed by the Supreme Administrative Court since my first appeal against the Police Authority’s decision. But despite this fact, every instance up until the highest national court has simply run roughshod over me and completely ignored existing laws and rules. When this happens over and over again, you become pessimistic, and I actually thought the Supreme Administrative Court would ignore the laws and rules too. Once the verdict was passed and we were victorious, I was surprised, even though I knew we were right and had the law on our side. As I said, I believe that article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as the requirements for legal certainty, might have had a role to play in this.
How many voted to uphold your appeal in the Supreme Administrative Court and how many voted against it?
A narrow majority – two women and one man – voted for me to keep my guns. Two members disagreed and wanted to take my guns away – one woman and one man. The man who wanted to take them was a racial foreigner.
Has this verdict already had consequences for other gun owners in the Resistance Movement?
Yes, it has. I’ve already gotten my guns back, and I heard about another member who received a letter from the Police Authority stating they would close the case and return his guns just a week after my verdict was passed. The police’s explanation was that they no longer had any basis for continuing the case.
I’ve already gotten my guns back, and I heard about another member who received a letter from the Police Authority stating they would close the case and return his guns just a week after my verdict was passed. The police’s explanation was that they no longer had any basis for continuing the case.
What possible consequences do you think this verdict could have regarding future police behaviour towards gun owners in the Resistance Movement?
Until the laws and/or rules are changed, the police probably won’t be able to do anything against us gun owners. They might try to stop us from applying for new guns, but if that’s the case, we simply have to begin another appeals process, which we should be able to win under the existing laws and rules.
Do you think this verdict could have consequences for the police’s behaviour towards Resistance men in other contexts (not involving guns)?
Yes, I think so. This verdict clearly states that a person has the right to express his opinions, participate in demonstrations and be a member of organisations without interventions or repressions. These same rules are supposed to apply to the various forms of harassment practised by the system against dissidents. Seizing our guns is a form of harassment.
The principle behind this decision ought to be applicable to other issues, such as our members being banned from certain professions, being deemed unfit for military duty and so forth. So it might be worth trying to use this verdict in relation to other matters as well.
What do you have to say about Sveriges Vapenägares Förbund (the Swedish Gun Owners’ Association)? Do you feel they have supported you in your case?
Yes, they have been very helpful in this process. They wrote a statement before the appeal was taken to the Supreme Administrative Court, in which they stated it was important for this case to be brought to the highest courts. The SVF, unlike other gun owners’ associations, are very objective and non-judgemental. I recommend every gun owner apply for membership in the SVF.
How have you celebrated your victory in the Supreme Administrative Court?
Ha ha. I didn’t do anything other than have a barbecue with my family the same day my guns were returned. There’s so much work to do on the farm at this time of year that it’s difficult to do anything more than that.
In the last few months, the Resistance Movement and Nordfront have won three legal victories: Victory against the Swedish Academy in the Patent and Market Court concerning the right to reproduce quotes from classic literary works, victory against the Chancellor of Justice in the Supreme Court of Sweden concerning the right for alternative media platforms to depict images of violent acts for journalistic purposes, and now this victory in the Supreme Administrative Court. Do you have any comments?
Well, all I can say is that things have been going extremely well for the Resistance Movement lately and that taking our struggle to the heart of the justice system is well worth it. The government and state are trying to fight our organisation in every way they can, but many of the methods they are trying to use are still illegal according to existing laws and rules.
When, where and what are you going to hunt next?
I will hopefully be hunting deer in the autumn on my own hunting grounds. But it depends if I have the time for it.
Thank you for your time and answers, Tobias… and good hunting in the future!
Thank you for a very pleasant interview!