The slaughter that occurred on the island of Utoya was probably preventable.
Firearms in Norway are regulated by the Firearm Weapons Act, with a new secondary law in effect 1 July 2009 providing more detailed regulation. The act covers all firearms, air pressure weapons, and some "exotic arms" as the act defines. All weapons that would be regulated must have two things in common: they must eject a projectile mechanically and use some form of propellant to perform the ejection. The act includes military type weapons, flare guns and easily manufactured replicas that can be converted to working firearms. Guns owned and operated under the responsibility of the armed forces and the police are excepted from the civilian weapons act.
To own a gun in Norway, one must document a use for the gun. By far, the most common grounds for civilian ownership are hunting and sports shooting, in that order. Other needs can include special guard duties or self defense, but the first is rare and the second is practically never accepted as a reason for gun ownership.
To own a gun in Norway, one must document a use for the gun. By far, the most common grounds for civilian ownership are hunting and sports shooting, in that order. Other needs can include special guard duties or self defense, but the first is rare and the second is practically never accepted as a reason for gun ownership. There are special rules for collectors of guns. They are exempt from many parts of the regulation, but, in turn, they must meet even more narrow qualifications. Collectors may purchase, but not fire without permission, all kinds of guns in their respective areas of interest, which they have defined in advance.
Ownership is regulated in paragraph 7, and responsibility for issuing a gun ownership license is given to the police authority in the applicant's district.
Rifle and shotgun ownership permission can be given to "sober and responsible" persons 18 years or older. The applicant for the permission must document a need for the weapon. Two exceptions exist to this age qualification. Persons under the age of 18, but over 16 may apply for rifle or shotgun ownership license with the consent of parents or guardian. For handguns, the lowest ownership age is 21 with no exceptions allowed. For inherited weapons, it is up to the local police chief to make a decision based on the individual facts of the case.
An applicant must have a clean police record in order to obtain an ownership license.
Obtaining a licenseThere are two ways of obtaining an ownership license in Norway. The most common is through the process of obtaining a hunting license, the other is through a sports shooting license.
For huntingTo obtain a hunting license, the applicant must complete a 30 hour, 9 session course and pass a written multiple choice exam. The course includes firearm theory, firearm training, wildlife theory, and environmental protection training.
Once the exam is passed, the applicant may enroll in the hunter registry and receive a hunting license. The membership must be renewed each year, through license payment. The hunting license is brought to the police station, where the applicant fills out an application for obtaining the proper firearm for his or her hunt. After evaluation, part of the application is sent back to the applicant if it was approved. Upon approval, the applicant can take the returned form to the store and purchase the firearm listed in the application.
For sports shootersThe qualification process for sporting is theoretically easier, but requires more time and practice. The applicant must enroll in a firearm safety course, lasting at least 9 hours. The course includes a written test, but is shorter than the hunting exam, as it only deals with firearm safety. Two thirds of the course is completed on the shooting range as practice. The passing of the test results in acceptance to the approved gun club, and a license for competition. However, while the hunters can obtain their firearm almost at once, sports shooters must prove their intentions to compete by actively training or competing in the gun club. This means regular attendance (at least 15 times) at gun club training over the course of six months. The applicant must use firearms owned by the club or borrowed at the range for this period. After six months, the applicant may apply for weapon ownership. The start license and a written recommendation from the gun club president are brought to the police station, and the competition class is filled out on the application. If approved, it will be returned to the applicant as with the hunter license.
In both cases, if the application is rejected, the applicant is allowed an explanation of the reason, and an appeal.
There is no 2nd Amendment rights in Norway, no concealed carry permits, and many police officers do not carry firearms.
If Norway allowed citizens and police to own firearms in the same way that the US does, this entire incident may have been entirely prevented. First of all, if there had been armed security at an event like this, this guy would not have been able to stand around and shoot at people for 90 minutes, secondly if some of the victims had a firearm they might have been able to defend themselves in this situation.
I am a firm believer in Americans 2nd amendment rights and I am firmly convinced that if the Norwegian Police and their citizens were as prepared as most American citizens this would not have been a 90 minute killing spree. I know there are detractors, but concealed carry works.