While many may not associate Icelanders with gun culture, Iceland ranks high on lists for international per capita gun ownership, with around 32 guns per 100 citizens. This places Iceland at number 12 in the world for overall gun ownership, with a total of around 106,000 guns in the whole country.
Hunting is an important tradition in Iceland, and many also practice marksmanship as a hobby. But even though guns are relatively plentiful here, there are strict regulations on them.
As we stated in our Ask Iceland Review on guns last year, to own a gun in Iceland, you must be at least 20 years old with no criminal record. You must pass a mental and physical health check and get character references from two people, in addition to attending a course on guns, gun safety, and gun and hunting laws. After passing a written test, you’re issued a permit for shotguns and rifles. For larger rifles and semi-automatic shotguns, you must wait an additional year.
It is legal to import some guns, mostly hunting rifles. Iceland, for example, serves as a stop-over for many headed to the Norwegian territory of Svalbard, where guns are actually required because of polar bears. These guns must also go through Icelandic controls.
Notably, it is illegal to import all guns of the following types:
- automatic and semi-automatic pistols of all calibres
- automatic and semi-automatic rifles of all calibres
- automatic shotguns
- semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns capable of carrying more than two cartridges.
Additionally, you may want to read over the website for the capital area police, or contact them directly at their email: [email protected]