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60.000 Guns in Iceland

By Iceland Review

Icelanders own more than 60 thousand registered weapons, in addition to many unreported weapons in society. A police commissioner says that people should be allowed to turn in their illegal weapons without punishment.

After the Norway massacre people in Iceland realize that such an event could happen anywhere as long as people have access to guns. In an interview with Station 2, commissioner, Geir Jón Thórisson, said that about 30 thousand registered gun owners own a total of 60 thousand guns.

Some collectors in Iceland own tens or even hundreds of guns. Police visit those who own more than one gun regularly to see that the weapons are stored in accordance with regulations.

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Thórisson said it was difficult to say how many illegal weapons there were, but clearly there were too many. Every year police confiscates a number of guns and rifles, often in connection with drug investigations. This gives an indication of many more firearms in Iceland than the official number.

Nobody is allowed to own a rifle unless he has a license. Thórisson says it would be good to give people a chance to turn in their illegal weapons without punishment. This was done in 1967-8 after a taxi driver was shot.

Secretary of the Interior, Ögmundur Jónasson, said that he was considering a proposal for new legislation that would possibly be ready this fall. A proposal built on European law and regulations will most likely be put forward before the end of the year according to sources of Station 2.

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