Merchants are seriously concerned about their businesses.
"The requirement for a health certificate in itself has become a economic barrier to legal firearm sales," says Association chairman Pasi Säynäjoki.
The Association estimates that there are tens of millions of euros worth of arms in merchants' stocks that are not being sold at the rate shops had hoped for.
Firearm merchants consider the instructions issued to police on the permit process as chaotic. Their association argues that requiring a health certificate from a physician puts applicants in unequal positions. Additionally, opportunities of obtaining a health certificate locally vary from place to place.
There are also variations in procedure in different municipalities and even among healthcare centres. Applicants for a firearm permit are required to present a certificate from a physician stating that the applicant is not a danger to himself or to others.
"It is up to private healthcare services or individual doctors to decide if they want to get involved in this issue at all," points out Pasi Säynäjoki.
Also, the federation representing hunting organizations is concerned about the possible impact of tougher gun laws.
In some localities physician certificates are unavailable or local police are not accepting new permit applications.
A proposal on new legislation is being finalised at the Ministry of the Interior and is expected to go before Parliament in early June.
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