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Swedish court rules Resistance members have the same right to own firearms as all other citizens


RESISTANCE MOVEMENT. In a historical and groundbreaking verdict, the Supreme Administrative Court of Sweden has declared that members of the Nordic Resistance Movement have the same right to own firearms as every other Swedish citizen.

Tobias Lindberg
Tobias Lindberg

In the autumn of 2019, Tobias Lindberg had his hunting weapons confiscated by the Swedish police. Tobias is a member of the Nordic Resistance Movement and is best known for being one of the permanent hosts of Radio Nordfront.

Because of Tobias’s membership in the Nordic Resistance Movement, the police claimed he was part of a violent extremist movement in which the weapons could be “misused”. The police have used this line of reasoning against many law-abiding gun owners in the Nordic Resistance Movement who have had their weapons confiscated over the last few years. However, Tobias did not accept the police’s decision, and successfully took the case to Sweden’s highest court.

After having lost in all previous instances, the Supreme Administrative Court (Högsta förvaltningsdomstolen, or HFD), which has the final say on such matters, ruled in Tobias’s favour. In their verdict, the HFD wrote that Tobias’s appeal had focused on the fact that the police had been completely unable to specify how he was personally unfit to own firearms. Furthermore, the HFD wrote the following concerning the legal basis of the case:

The reason for revocation of the “reasonable cause” primarily concerns circumstances attributable to the character of the defendant and his ability to take care of his weapon (Proposition 1990/91:130 p. 64).

The HFD subsequently wrote that Sweden has a fundamental law that guarantees freedom of speech, freedom of demonstration and freedom of assembly to its citizens. It wrote the following about these freedoms:

The freedoms give a person the right to express opinions, participate in demonstrations and be a member of organisations without interference or reprisals. Permission to own a firearm can therefore not be revoked merely on the basis of a person’s views, membership of a political organisation or participation in meetings and manifestations arranged by the organisation.

The Court later established that the Nordic Resistance Movement is a registered political party and that Tobias Lindberg has only been involved in legal activities, such as participating in radio broadcasts, demonstrations and distributing leaflets. The argument from the police that the Nordic Resistance Movement is a “violent movement”, in which nobody should be allowed to own firearms, was stated by the Court but later dismissed with the following words:

In order for Tobias Lindberg to be ineligible to own firearms, it has to be proven that he does not meet the requirements for law-abidance, judgement and dependability that should be applied to every owner of firearms. It has not been asserted that Lindberg is guilty of committing any crime, nor that there is any risk that he will personally misuse his firearms. Neither has any concrete evidence been presented suggesting that his involvement in the white power milieu constitutes a risk that he would lose control of his firearms and that they would be misused by anybody else. As such, there is no basis for revoking Tobias Lindberg’s right to own firearms. The appeal will therefore be upheld.

As mentioned previously, in many such cases when weapons were seized, the police have been unable to establish that the owner of the firearms himself is personally unfit to own them; rather, they have claimed that the owner might lose control of the firearms and that they could be used to commit crime. It can be noted in this context that the actual number of times this has happened with weapons owned by members of the Nordic Resistance Movement is exactly zero. Due to this fact, and the outcome of Tobias’s case, the police will find it difficult to continue confiscating firearms under this justification.

When Nordfront contacted Tobias Lindberg, he was pleasantly surprised by the outcome of the case.

“It’s fantastic!,” he said. “I actually didn’t think they would rule in our favour. I thought they would still come up with a way to steal my guns, despite the fact that all the laws and rules are on our side in this case. But sometimes you can still be surprised.”

The court justices responsible for the verdict were Helena Jäderblom, Margit Knutsson and Leif Gäverth. Two other court justices – Mahmut Baran and Marie Jönsson – disagreed and thought that the police should have the right to confiscate firearms from members of a legal, but strongly oppositional, political party.

Third legal victory this year

This is the third legal victory in less than six months for Nordfront. In April Nordfront and the Nordic Resistance Movement defeated the Swedish Academy after the Academy tried to sue both parties for using quotes from classic works of literature on Nordfront.se.

The second victory occurred in June, when the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Nordfront’s former responsible publisher, after he was prosecuted by the Chancellor of Justice for republishing the video of Brenton Tarrant’s mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand. The Supreme Court verdict means that alternative media now has the same right as “traditional media” to publish images of graphic violence – e.g., photographs or videos of terrorist attacks.