Commissioner’s Father Unable to Account for Dozens of Firearms Skip to content

Commissioner’s Father Unable to Account for Dozens of Firearms

By Ragnar Tómas

Sigríður Björk Guðjónsdóttir - Police Commissioner in Iceland
Photo: Police Commissioner Sigríður Björk (Screenshot from RÚV).

The father of Police Commissioner Sigríður Björk Guðjónsdóttir was unable to account for dozens of firearms discovered at his home during an investigation of a domestic-terror plot. No investigation was opened into his actions, despite his admission that he had sold illegally modified weapons in exchange for cash payment, RÚV reports.

Conflict of interest leads to recusal

As reported in late September, National Police Commissioner Sigríður Björk Guðjónsdóttir recused herself from an investigation into a domestic-terror plot after the home of her father, Guðjón Valdimarsson – a well-known weapons collector and vendor – was searched during the investigation.

According to RÚV, a search of Guðjón’s home revealed nearly forty unlicensed firearms, for which Guðjón was unable to adequately account. Guðjón was not arrested, however, and the police have not divulged his legal status in relation to the investigation.

This is not the first time that Sigríður Björk has been forced to recuse herself from an investigation. In 2018, Sigríður’s father was also entangled in an investigation involving the alleged offence of an individual in possession of a DPMS rifle that had been modified to function as semi-automatic.

“In that case, the sole aim of the investigation was whether the buyer – who did not have the knowledge, the tools, nor the access to spare parts – had modified the weapon himself. The individual who sold the rifle, however, was only interrogated as a witness,” Einar Gautur Steingrímsson, attorney for the man who was charged with the weapons offence, told RÚV.

No investigation opened despite modification

As noted by RÚV, the accused was acquitted before the Court of Appeal (Landsréttur) as the prosecution failed to prove that he had modified the weapon. The case was thereby closed, without any investigation being opened into whether Guðjón Valdimarsson, or someone else, had modified the weapon.

“It’s completely mind-boggling that someone who sells a firearm, which has been modified, is not the subject of the investigation alongside the buyer; the person who modified the weapon is not investigated but rather the person who couldn’t,” Einar Gautur added.

Guðjón was, however, interrogated, although the interrogation was conducted at his home in Hafnarfjörður and not at the police station. Police reports do not indicate why the interrogation took place at his home.

RÚV also notes that it possesses documents proving that the defendant in the aforementioned case had paid Guðjón ISK 1.5 million ($10,00 / €10,000) for the weapon, in cash. No receipt or invoice changed hands during the time of the transaction (i.e. no tax was paid). During his interrogation, Guðjón partially confirmed that the transaction had been conducted with cash for ISK 700,000 ($5,000 / €5,00).

“Nothing to suggest” misconduct

In an interview with Vísir published this morning, Minister of Justice Jón Gunnarsson maintained that the police had not protected the Police Commissioner’s father.

“I’ve no information to indicate that such a thing happened,” Jón remarked. “As far as that older case (from 2018) is concerned, during a time when the Police Commissioner was employed as the Chief of the Capital Area Police, she declared her conflict of interest and recused herself. The investigation was subsequently transferred to someone else.”

Jón went on to suggest that he wasn’t adequately familiar with the details of the current investigation to comment but that the Police Commissioner appeared to have comported herself ethically.

When asked whether it wasn’t clear that the legislation on firearms needed to be amended – to prevent individuals from hoarding firearms, among them semi-automatic weapons – Jón stated that he hoped such amendments would be concluded before the end of the year.

“When I arrived at the Ministry, I realised that this legislation would need to be reviewed. We’re in the process of doing so now, as I’ve previously announced.”

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