Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson is considering implementing stricter punishment for the illegal possession of weapons, increased funding for police authorities and further collaboration with foreign police authorities in reaction to a new risk assessment pointing out the increased armament of crime gangs in Iceland.
The minister discussed the risk assessment at a cabinet meeting yesterday, Fréttablaðið reports.
“I raised awareness of the fact that we were given special funding last year to put increased emphasis on preventive work and fight organized crime. We believe that the funding was successfully utilized and we have further proposals on this matter into which we are looking now,” Ögmundur said.
“We are looking into legal amendments in regard to weapons given that it has turned out that it is becoming increasingly common for people to carry guns. In approximately two weeks I will submit a bill to the cabinet which includes, among other items, a ban on owning and storing semi-automatic firearms,” the minister elaborated.
He added that he does not favor suggestions that police officers be armed, which is also not an option regarded highly within the police force in general.
Next week representatives from Europol will attend a meeting at the invitation of the Ministry of the Interior and discussions have begun on further strengthening the collaboration between the ministry and the Alþingi parliament on police affairs.
Click here to read more about the risk assessment.