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Summary

The purchase, possession, and use of firearms are tightly controlled in Norway, whose laws and regulations were made more stringent with amendments to the Firearms Act in 2009 and the adoption of new Firearms Regulations in that year.  Permission to acquire a firearm must be obtained from the local police chief and is limited to persons of “sober habits” who have reasonable grounds for having a weapon.  Fully automatic weapons, some semiautomatic weapons, and firearms disguised as other objects are banned under the law. Certain types of weapons not covered by the Firearms Act’s definition of firearms, such as stun guns, are also generally banned.  In addition, the National Police Directorate may issue regulations prohibiting the acquisition, ownership, or possession of firearms deemed through their design or operation to be especially dangerous or inappropriate for use.

There are also legal provisions, among others, on the licensing of firearms dealers and exporter/importers, the maintenance of a central firearms register, and the mandatory safe storage of firearms.  The police have the authority to conduct inspections of privately stored firearms, after notifying the owner.

Nearly 10% of Norway’s populace own firearms, which are used chiefly for hunting purposes.  The gun laws were apparently not extensively amended in the aftermath of the 2011 massacre in Oslo and on a nearby island in which seventy-seven people were killed, chiefly through the use of firearms; however, the country’s Mental Health Act has been revised to include a new chapter on enhanced security in institutions that accommodate the severely mentally ill or persons at risk for serious violent behavior. 

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Background

On Friday, July 22, 2011, twin attacks were carried out in the government district of Oslo, Norway, and at a Labour Party youth camp on nearby Utøya Island.  As a result of the bombing in Oslo and the mass shootings on Utøya, seventy-seven Norwegians died and 242 were wounded, most of them young people.  It was the worst massacre of its kind in the country’s history.  The suspected assassin, Anders Behring Breivik, confessed to the bombing and the killings and claimed he acted alone.[1] In August 2012, a five-judge panel of the Oslo District Court declared Breivik was sane when he carried out the attacks and sentenced him, after two months of deliberation, to the maximum term of twenty-one years in prison, overriding the findings of a report by court-appointed psychiatrists that Breivik suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.[2] Breivik legally acquired his weapons and ammunition in 2010, having successfully applied for a firearms license for a 9 mm Glock 17 pistol and a self-loading carbine, a semiautomatic Ruger Mini-14 rifle.  He stated on the application form for the permit that he would use the weapons for hunting deer.[3]

Some questioned the police response to the attacks, but the internal affairs unit of the police issued a statement on January 10, 2013, to the effect that “while there were serious shortcomings in the police’s response, it had dropped its investigation into complaints filed by the families of two victims because there was no evidence police had broken the law.”[4] There were also proposals that the gun laws, which had been tightened in 2009, be made even stricter.[5] While that has apparently not yet happened, the Mental Health Act was amended in 2012 to include a new fourteen-provision chapter on safety in regional security departments and especially high-security units for the mentally ill.[6]

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Relevant Legislation

The Act Relating to Firearms and Ammunition (Firearms Act)[7] governs the use of firearms in Norway.  The firearms law was tightened in 2009, with the enactment of Regulation No. 904 of June 25, 2009, on Firearms and Ammunition (Firearms Regulations).[8] In late 2012 Norway imposed addition restrictions on its weapons exports, in the aftermath of a report that firearms produced in the country were responsible for over 200 civilian deaths in the war against Iraq.[9]

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Definitions

Firearms (skytevåpen) under the Firearms Act are weapons (våpen) that can fire bullets, shot, and other projectiles by means of gunpowder or other propellant or by means of a mechanical device; weapons or devices for launching or dispersing explosives, gas, flares, rockets, etc. (including flame throwers); and imitation weapons that can relatively easily be converted to fire live ammunition.[10] If rendered permanently unusable, however, a weapon is not a firearm under the Act’s definition.[11] Weapons parts (våpendeler) include cartridges consisting of a projectile, case, propellant, and detonator; projectiles of any kind intended for launch or dispersal by a firearm; sleeves (hylser) fitted with a charge or igniter; hand grenades (håndgranater), bombs, rockets, mines, etc.; illumination- (lys-), incendiary- (brann-), poison- and teargas grenades (bokser); and poison and teargas for use in a firearm or in the other types of ammunition (except the sleeves).[12]

The Firearms Act does not apply to firearms, firearms parts, or ammunition intended for use by or belonging to the military or the police, or to ammunition destined for or belonging to Norway’s Explosives Inspectorate.[13] It also does not generally apply to slaughter equipment, signal pistols and other signaling devices, or rescue and harpoon guns; to their parts; or to the ammunition used in them.  The Ministry of Justice and Public Security may determine the extent to which the law should apply to air and spring guns and pistols.[14] The King may determine that it shall be illegal to import, sell, or own certain types of firearms or ammunition.[15]

The Firearms Regulations distinguish between weapons not considered firearms, and therefore not subject to control, and firearms of various types that are subject to control.  The former include, for example, muzzle-loading firearms manufactured before 1890; 1885 model-year rifles or shotguns or pre-1871 model-year pistols or revolvers in a person’s possession before the Regulations entered into force; and weapons that have been rendered permanently unusable by virtue of all their essential parts having been made permanently unusable and it being impossible for them to be removed, replaced, or modified in such a way that it would be possible to reactivate the weapon.[16] The Regulations provide details on the features of the two types of firearms, two-handed firearms (shotguns, rifles, and combination guns) and one-handed firearms (pistols and revolvers).[17] They further distinguish the firearms based on the way they function, i.e., single-shot, single shot repeater, single shot semiautomatic, or automatic action weapons[18] and sets forth definitions of measurement of a firearm and its parts.[19]

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Purchase, Ownership, Possession, and Use

           Purchase and Acquisition

The Firearms Act stipulates that anyone intending to buy or otherwise acquire a firearm or firearm parts must have permission from the police commissioner[20] of the place of residence of the applicant or, if the applicant does not have residency in Norway, from the chief of police of their whereabouts.[21] According to the Act, “[p]ermission may only be given to reliable persons of sober habits who need or have other reasonable grounds for possessing firearms, and who can not be deemed unfit to do so for any special reason.”[22] The applicant must also provide a written statement stating why he or she wants a firearm.[23]

Permission to acquire a firearm or firearm parts will generally not be granted to anyone under eighteen years of age; in exceptional cases, weapons may be stored by a guardian or another person who meets the permit requirements for anyone under eighteen but over sixteen years of age.  The permit age for acquisition of revolvers or pistols or their parts is twenty-one.[24] An application submitted by a minor must be ratified by the guardian.[25] No one may assign or transfer firearms, firearm parts, or ammunition to a person under eighteen years of age without the prior consent of the competent police commissioner; such consent may not be granted, however, when the person is under sixteen years of age.[26]

Similarly, those who intend to buy or otherwise acquire ammunition must also have a police permit.[27] The permit will only cover a certain quantity of ammunition and may not be made valid for a period longer than three months.[28] The qualifications and age limit on the basis of which the permit will be granted are the same as those for firearms; the permits are granted by the police of the place of residence or the whereabouts (for nonresident claimants).[29]

The application for a permit to acquire and possess firearms or firearms parts is to be sent to the police of the locality where the natural or legal person applicant is located, in the prescribed form and signed and dated by the applicant (or by the guardian, if the applicant is under eighteen).[30] Applications from a legal person must also indicate the full name and address of the person authorized to submit the application and the weapons for which the legal person is responsible.[31] The acquisitions permit (ervervstillatelsen) is valid for twelve months, extendable by six months.  The extension of the period of validity is given by signing the permit to that effect.[32]

A weapons dealer, including a manufacturer and a gunsmith, will only hand over weapons or weapons parts that are covered by the acquisitions permit and upon presentation of approved credentials.[33] Weapons dealers provide on the acquisitions permit complete information about the weapons issued.  The dealer retains a copy of the permit along with an endorsement attached to the record he or she keeps on the purchase and sale of firearms, and immediately sends the permit to the police commissioner of the district of the place of the business.  He or she returns the copy of the permit to the buyer.[34] The copy of the permit that the buyer receives back from the dealer constitutes permission to possess weapons or weapons parts until the regular firearms license is received.[35] Anyone who sells or otherwise transfers a weapon privately is to proceed in the same manner as a weapons dealer, with certain further specifications.[36]

           Ownership and Possession

Anyone who wants to own or possess firearms must have permission granted by the police commissioner, in the form of a firearms permit (våpenkort).  It can be set as a condition for the granting of the license that the right to hand over the weapon to another party for up to four weeks (under section 11 of the Act) shall not apply.[37] In special circumstances, permission to own or possess a weapon can be issued to cover a specified period of time.[38] Permission from the police commissioner is necessary in order to make a significant change in the character or nature of the firearm or to substantially modify its ownership or possession.[39] Except for eligible recipients specified in the Act’s section 11, firearms or firearms parts may not be left with someone not authorized to possess them.[40]

The firearms permit or the loan declaration must be shown upon the request of the police; weapon holders must always have with them the firearms permit or loan declaration when carrying or transporting the firearm, firearm parts, or ammunition, or else those items may be taken into police custody until the applicable document is presented.[41]

The Firearms Regulations contain a lengthy chapter on the conditions for authorized acquisition and possession of firearms.  It covers the requirements for natural persons, legal persons, law enforcement officials and officers, and third parties as well as for purposes of collection, animal slaughter, pest eradication and seal hunting, protection, heritage and sentimental value, a museum collection, shooting and gun collection organizations, and so on.[42]

The police commissioner will revoke the firearms permit if the holder is not “sober and reliable” or if there are special circumstances that cause the holder to be deemed unfit to have a firearm.  The permit can also be revoked if the holder no longer needs to have the firearm or on other reasonable grounds.[43] Upon revocation of the permit under such circumstances, the firearm is to be immediately submitted to the police commissioner.[44] A license issued pursuant to the Firearms Act’s provisions on the sale of firearms, firearm parts, and ammunition or on their production may be revoked by the issuing authority if the license holder no longer meets the conditions for obtaining a license or if he contravenes the rules governing the exercise of the license.[45]

           Prohibited Weapons and Ammunition

The Firearms Regulations make it illegal to acquire, hold, or possess firearms normally used as (a) weapons of war, (b) fully automatic weapons, and (c) firearms disguised as other objects.[46] The National Police Directorate (Politidirektoratet) (NPD) may issue regulations that prohibit the acquisition, ownership, or possession of firearms or types of firearms that through their design or operation are perceived to be especially dangerous or inappropriate for use.[47]

The acquisition, ownership, or possession of certain semiautomatic weapons is also banned by the Firearms Regulations.  Semiautomatic weapons that can be easily converted to produce fully automatic fire are banned.  Would-be owners of a semiautomatic weapon must obtain police approval for the weapon.[48] As a general rule, semiautomatic weapons approved pursuant to corresponding rules in another European Economic Area country (the twenty-seven European Union Member States plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway) will be approved by the NPD.[49]

In addition, there is a ban on certain weapons or similar equipment not covered by the definition of firearms in the Firearms Act.  These include stun guns, pepper spray, and other products for self defense that have an equivalent effect; as well as flick knives, batanga knives, stilettos, brass knuckles, billy clubs, karate sticks, throwing stars, blow guns for firing arrows or other objects, slingshots, and other similar, especially dangerous items.[50] The police commissioner has the authority to waive this prohibition, however, in special circumstances.[51] Acquiring, owning, or possessing a crossbow is also prohibited, unless a permit has been obtained from the police commissioner and the applicant meets the personal qualifications required.[52]

Reportedly, many categories of weapons, including some powerful handguns, have also been banned from sale.[53]

Forbidden ammunition includes armor-piercing ammunition, incendiary and explosive munitions, and ammunition and projectiles with the power to expand for use in pistols and revolvers with central fire ignition (except when used for practice and competition shooting).[54] Even though these domestic controls are in place, there remains the possibility of acquiring materiel from abroad.  While the sale of clips for hunting rifles that hold more than three bullets is reportedly banned in Norway, Anders Breivik wrote in his manifesto that he bought ammunition clips for his rifle from a small, undisclosed US supplier that had acquired the clips from other suppliers.[55]

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Sale and Manufacture of Firearms

Anyone who wants to trade in firearms, firearm parts, or ammunition must have a license (bevilling) from the competent ministry.  The license application is to be submitted to the police commissioner of the district where the applicant intends to conduct business.[56] The license may be limited to specific types of firearms and ammunition and may also be made subject to other conditions determined by the competent ministry.[57] The license is required to contain details of the holder’s name and place of business, the scope of the license, and the conditions applicable to its use.[58] The license can only be granted to persons considered fit to trade in firearms and ammunition who have business and warehouse facilities that meet the rules in force on the storage of such goods.[59] The Act’s provisions authorizing the purchase, acquisition, or lending of firearms, firearm parts, or ammunition do not apply to a trade licensee’s purchase of such materiel for resale.[60]

The trade license must be dated and signed by the police commissioner or his attorney and state the scope of the license, the name and place of the business, the name and address of the store manager responsible, the name and address of the person who may become general manager of sales of firearms, etc., and the terms and conditions that apply to exercising the license.[61] Police districts maintain an ongoing record (fortegnelse) of all trade licenses, and a record of new and revoked licenses will immediately be entered in the central weapons register (sentralt våpenregister).[62]

Authorized firearms dealers may only make deliveries of their goods to persons who can present a valid and comprehensive permit (tillatelse), if such a permit is required for acquisition of the goods.  The dealer must ensure that delivery is made to the right person.[63] Delivery to another dealer may only take place when that dealer can prove that he or she has a license to trade in those goods to which the order applies.  Upon delivery, the supplier is required to give notification of that fact to the police commissioner of the district where the supplier has his or her place of business.  The notification will also state the date of delivery, the name and address of the consignee, and the number, type or nature, trademark, model designation, caliber, mechanism type, and number of weapons or weapons parts or the quantity and type of ammunition supplied.[64] The police may direct the dealer to provide the notification in electronic form.[65]

Authorized dealers have an obligation to maintain a continuous record of all purchases, sales, loans, etc. of firearms and firearms parts that are subject to control.  The record must state the date of receipt or delivery; the name of the seller or buyer; and the quantity, type or nature, trademark, model designation, caliber, mechanism type, and the numbering of weapons or weapons parts received or delivered.[66] Upon the sale, etc., of these goods the dealer is required to attach a copy to the record of the person’s acquisition permit (or sales notice, if the sale is to another dealer).  Upon a purchase, etc., from an individual, the dealer is required to attach a purchase notice.  Upon importation, a copy of the vendor invoice and shipping slip must be attached.[67] Upon the import of firearms and firearms parts, the dealer is required to set up a list (oppgave) of such goods.  Within ten days after the imported items arrived in stock, the dealer is required to send the list to the police commissioner of the district where the dealer has his place of business.[68] At the end of each quarter, the dealer is required to update the list of his inventory of firearms or firearms parts subject to control.  The list must state the firearms’ or parts’ quantity, type or nature, trademark, model designation, caliber, mechanism type, and number and must be sent to the police commissioner.[69]

A dealer must immediately notify the police if he comes into possession of banned firearms or unregistered firearms that are subject to registration.[70]

Manufacturers of firearms or firearm parts for sale must be licensed by the competent ministry; this also generally applies to ammunition manufacturers.[71] Those who make firearms or firearm parts for their own use, or their own ammunition, must be at least eighteen years of age and have permission from the police commissioner of the district where they reside.  The licensing provisions in the Act are also applicable to weapons manufactured in this manner.[72]

Those who supply firearms are to mark the firearms and firearms parts with a unique brand as well as the manufacturer’s name, the country of origin or manufacturing location, the serial number, and the year (if not part of the serial number).[73] Importers of firearms that are subject to registration must mark the firearms and firearms parts with a unique brand that indicates the country of import and the importer.[74] The Police Directorate has the authority to provide additional guidelines with reference to these provisions.[75]

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Import and Export

Anyone who imports or exports firearms, firearm parts, or ammunition must have a permit from the competent ministry.  The permit will specify the nature and amount of the goods and the permit’s period of validity, which is extendable.[76]

In general, an import permit may be granted only to those who have a license to trade in firearms, firearm parts, or ammunition.  An import permit may also be granted to those who can manufacture such goods.  For importation of the goods for private use only, a permit can still be given if it is one that meets the terms of the Act on purchase and acquisition of firearms and ammunition,[77] but the Act stipulates that the provisions on firearms licenses also apply to goods so imported.[78] The King may issue specific rules on the import and export of firearms, firearm parts, or ammunition that (1) a Norwegian citizen brings upon exit and entry of the country in connection with a temporary stay abroad, (2) a Norwegian hunting expedition brings to and from hunting areas outside Norway’s territorial waters, and (3) a foreign citizen brings upon entering and exiting Norway in connection with temporary residence in the country.[79]

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Offenses and Penalties

Anyone who willfully or negligently violates the provisions in, or made pursuant to, the Firearms Act will be subject to a fine or to a term of imprisonment of up to three months, unless the offense entails a stiffer penal provision.[80] For violation of the Act’s provision on securing firearms for purposes of transport and not displaying them in a public place without reasons for doing so[81] or for the illegal import, sale, acquisition, or possession of firearms or ammunition, the offender will be subject to a fine or up to two years of imprisonment.[82] If the offense is more serious, fines or imprisonment for a term of up to four years may be imposed.  In determining whether the offense is serious, particular emphasis is placed on the kind and number of weapons involved, or whether the action is for other reasons of a particularly dangerous or socially damaging nature.[83] The same punishments are applicable to complicity in these offenses.[84] The King may decide that a violation of the provisions on obtaining certain permits or licenses should not be prosecuted if the offender informs the police of the violation within a certain specified period of time.[85]

Under the General Civil Penal Code of 1902, as amended, anyone who, with the intent to commit a felony, procures, manufactures, or stores firearms, firearm parts, ammunition, or explosives, or special equipment to manufacture or use such objects, will be punished upon conviction with a term of imprisonment of up to six years.  Under especially aggravated circumstances, a term of up to ten years’ imprisonment may be imposed.  The same penalty will apply to aiding and abetting such an offense.[86] One factor in determining whether the offense of aggravated robbery is punishable by a term of twelve years of imprisonment as opposed to five years is whether or not a gun or other particularly dangerous implement was used; if death or serious bodily harm or damage result, the offender is liable to a punishment of up to twenty-one years in prison.[87] Anyone who is guilty of careless conduct likely to endanger the life or health of others in the manufacture, use, storage, or handling of explosives or firearms may be subject to a prison term of up to one year; the same applies to aiding and abetting such conduct.[88]

Under its Penal Code of 2005, which differs from the General Civil Penal Code, Norway has a number of criminal law provisions that have not yet entered into force.  Under one such provision, a fine or imprisonment for up to two years will be available to be imposed on those who intentionally or through gross negligence repeatedly or seriously contravene provisions on the illegal import, transfer, acquisition, or possession of weapons under the Firearms Act.[89] Another provision that has not yet been implemented stipulates that serious illegal involvement with firearms, ammunition, explosives, or other explosive substances is punishable by a fine or imprisonment for up to six years.[90] In addition, the careless handling of such materiel that is likely to endanger the life or health of another person will be punishable with a fine or a prison term of up to one year.[91]

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Miscellaneous Provisions

The Firearms Act stipulates that firearms and ammunition must be kept securely locked down,[92] and gun safes have become mandatory. [93] The police may inspect such stored weapons, with the inspection to be conducted in private after prior notification.[94] Authorized dealers also have the obligation to securely store firearms, firearm parts, and ammunition.[95] According to Norwegian news reports, before storage a gun’s end cap must be removed; persons who do not have a gun safe must remove the weapon’s components before storing it, basically disabling it; and the vital components of the weapon should be locked up separately.[96]

Firearms being transported must be emptied of ammunition, be secured against going astray, and normally be covered.[97] Firearms must not without reasonable grounds be in a public place.[98] These two provisions also apply to air and spring guns and imitation weapons easily confusable with firearms as well as to firearms that have been rendered permanently unusable.[99]

The Firearms Act gives the King the authority to issue regulations to implement and supplement the Act’s provisions.[100] He also has the power to prescribe fees for trade licenses and for import and export licenses for firearms, firearm parts, or ammunition;[101] to provide that the owner or holder pay the expenses for destroying or rendering unusable firearms, firearm parts, or ammunition;[102] and to determine that there should be a central arms register and to establish rules for its implementation, including that the register be kept by electronic means.  All the information in such a computerized register may be exempt from public disclosure.[103]

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Statistical Information

A news report that cited police figures current in 2011 indicated that there were 1,229,436 registered guns in Norway, owned by 484,298 persons (about 9.7% of the population), with many of the weapons obtained for hunting purposes or held by Norwegians registered for civil defense duty or in the military reserves.[104] The Norwegian Rifle Association reportedly has 32,000 members in 520 clubs, according to the Norwegian Broadcasting Co. (NRK).  The NRK has estimated that in addition to the legally held firearms, another half a million have been smuggled into Norway illegally.[105]

According to the Los Angeles Times, “[h]omicide—whether gun-related or otherwise—is rare in Norway, which reports one of the lowest per-capita homicide rates in Europe.”[106] In 2010, there reportedly were eighty-seven gun-related deaths in Norway, with two being gun-related homicides (one of them a handgun homicide, the other a long-gun homicide).  The annual rate of all gun-related deaths per 100,000 population was 1.78 in 2010, with the rate of homicides from firearms per that amount of population being 0.04 and the handgun homicide rate 0.02.[107]

A report released in 2010 by the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services, which covered homicide in Norway during the period 2004–2009, assessed the role of mental illness in the actions of known perpetrators of homicide in the country.  Among other findings, it pointed out that the victims were known to the assailant in more than 80% of the killings.[108]

Prepared by Wendy Zeldin
Senior Legal Research Analyst
February 2013

 

*At present there are no Law Library of Congress research staff members versed in Norwegian.  This report has been prepared by the author’s reliance on practiced legal research methods and on the basis of relevant legal resources, chiefly in English, currently available in the Law Library and online. [Back to Text]

  1.  Norway Massacre, FT.com, http://www.ft.com/intl/indepth/norway-massacre (last visited Jan. 22, 2013) (a collection of news items on the massacre). [Back to Text]
  2. Mark Townsend, Breivik Verdict: Norwegian Extremist Declared Sane and Sentenced to 21 Years, Guardian (Aug. 24, 2012), http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/24/breivik-verdict-sane-21-years; Mark Lews & Sarah Lyall, Norway Mass Killer Gets the Maximum: 21 Years, N.Y. Times (Aug. 24, 2012), http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/25/world/europe/anders-behring-breivik-murder-trial.html?pagewanted= all&_r=0; Mark Lewis, Why Norway Is Satisfied with Breivik’s Sentence, TIME (Aug. 27, 2012), http://world.time.com/2012/08/27/why-norway-is-satisfied-with-breiviks-sentence/. [Back to Text]
  3. Norwegian Terror Suspect Admits Guilt, RT (July 24, 2011), http://rt.com/news/breivik-utoya-shooting-arrest/; see also Norway Shooting: Quotes From Anders Behring Breivik’s Online Manifesto, Telegraph (Aug. 19, 2011), http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/norway/8657727/Norway-shooting-quotes-from-Anders-Behring-Breiviks-online-manifesto.html; Skaffet seg våpen på lovlig vis [Obtain Guns Legally], Bergens Tidende (July 24, 2011), http://www.bt.no/nyheter/innenriks/Skaffet-seg-vpen-p-lovlig-vis-2542413.html; “Breivik Manifesto” Details Chilling Attack Preparation, BBC News (July 24, 2011), http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14267007. [Back to Text]
  4. Anger as Police Drop Breivik Response Probe, The Local (Jan. 11, 2013), http://www.thelocal.no/page/ view/anger-as-norway-police-drop-breivik-response-probe. [Back to Text]
  5. Panel Proposes Tighter Gun Laws After Massacre, The Local (Dec. 6, 2011),  http://www.thelocal.no/page/view/norway-panel-proposes-tighter-gun-laws-after-massacre#.UNSF0-SdN2A. [Back to Text]
  6. Lov om etablering og gjennomføring av psykisk helsevern (psykisk helsevernloven) (July 2, 1999, as last amended effective July 1, 2012), Lovdata, http://www.lovdata.no/all/nl-19990702-062.html. [Back to Text]
  7. Lov om skytevåpen og ammunisjon mv. [våpenloven] [Act on Firearms and Ammunition, etc.] (Act No. 1 of June 9, 1961, as last amended June 19, 2009, in force Dec. 28, 2009), http://www.lovdata.no/all/hl-19610609-001.html; Act No. 1 of 9 June 1961 Relating to Firearms and Ammunition [English translation based on the Act as amended in 1990], Lovdata, http://www.ub.uio.no/ujur/ulovdata/lov-19610609-001-eng.html. [Back to Text]
  8. FOR 2009-06-25 nr 904: Forskrift om skytevåpen, våpendeler og ammunisjon mv. (våpenforskriften) [FOR 2009-06-25 No. 904: Regulation Relating to Firearms, Firearm Parts, and Ammunition, etc. (Firearms Regulations)] (June 25, 2009, in force July 1, 2009, as last amended Apr. 25, 2012, in force from May 1, 2012), Lovdata, http://www.lovdata.no/for/sf/jd/xd-20090625-0904.html. [Back to Text]
  9. See Constance Johnson, Norway: New Restrictions on Weapons Exports, Global Legal Monitor (Dec. 7, 2012), http://www.loc.gov/lawweb/servlet/lloc_news?disp3_l205403425_text. [Back to Text]
  10. Firearms Act, § 1, ¶ 1(a)–(c). [Back to Text]
  11. Id. § 1, ¶ 2.  Nor is a weapon a firearm if, because of its age or construction, it cannot be used as a firearm or if it cannot be easily repaired or adapted to use for shooting.  Id. [Back to Text]
  12. Id. § 3. [Back to Text]
  13. Id. § 4. [Back to Text]
  14. Id. § 5.  The King may fully or partially except from the law or from some of its rules firearms, firearm parts, or ammunition other than those mentioned in section 5.  Id. § 6. [Back to Text]
  15. Id. § 6a.  This includes weapons and the like not set forth under the definition of firearms in section 1.  Id. [Back to Text]
  16. Firearms Regulations, § 1, ¶¶ 1–3. [Back to Text]
  17. Id. § 2. [Back to Text]
  18. Id. § 3. [Back to Text]
  19. Id. §§ 4 & 4a. [Back to Text]
  20. Firearms Act, § 7, ¶ 1. [Back to Text]
  21. Id. ¶ 2. [Back to Text]
  22. Id. ¶ 3. [Back to Text]
  23. Simon Tisdall, Norway’s Gun Laws Prove Easy to Ignore, The Guardian (July 24, 2011), http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/24/norway-strict-gun-laws-circumvented. [Back to Text]
  24. Firearms Act, § 7, ¶ 4.  The King may set a higher age limit (than eighteen) for other types of firearms and firearm parts, but it cannot be higher than twenty-one.  Id. ¶ 6. [Back to Text]
  25. Id. ¶ 5. [Back to Text]
  26. Id. § 29, ¶ 1.   However, this provision does not preclude, without the specific consent of the police commissioner,  the entrusting of the objects  to persons under eighteen for short-term use under proper supervision, as long as the parents or guardian of the person consent to it.  Nor does the provision preclude a person under eighteen from dealing with the objects in capacity of an employee, when reasonable precautions are observed.  Id. ¶ 2. [Back to Text]
  27. Id. § 13, ¶ 1. [Back to Text]
  28. Id. ¶ 2. [Back to Text]
  29. Id. ¶ 1. [Back to Text]
  30. Firearms Regulations, § 26, ¶¶ 1 & 3. [Back to Text]
  31. Id. ¶ 2. [Back to Text]
  32. Id. § 27. [Back to Text]
  33. Id. § 28, ¶ 1. [Back to Text]
  34. Id. ¶¶ 2 & 3. [Back to Text]
  35. Id. ¶ 4. [Back to Text]
  36. Id. § 29. [Back to Text]
  37. Id. § 8, ¶ 1.  Under § 11, a firearms license holder may entrust the firearm to another person for up to four weeks, with the exception of revolvers or pistols, which can never be left in the hands of others unless the King  determines otherwise.  Id. § 11, ¶ 1. [Back to Text]
  38. Id. § 8, ¶ 2. [Back to Text]
  39. Id. ¶ 3. [Back to Text]
  40. Id. § 12. [Back to Text]
  41. Id. § 9. [Back to Text]
  42. Firearms Regulations, ch. 3, §§ 10–25. [Back to Text]
  43. Id. § 10, ¶¶ 1 & 2. [Back to Text]
  44. Id. ¶ 4. [Back to Text]
  45. Firearms Act § 35. [Back to Text]
  46. Firearms Regulation, § 5, ¶ 1.  Types of weapons designed purely for military or police purposes fall under category (a). [Back to Text]
  47. Id. § 6. [Back to Text]
  48. Id. § 7, ¶¶ 1 & 2. [Back to Text]
  49. Id. ¶ 3. [Back to Text]
  50. Id. § 9, ¶ 1.  This provision is not applicable to weapons specific to or belonging to the police or the military.  Id. ¶ 2. [Back to Text]
  51. Id. ¶ 4. [Back to Text]
  52. Id. ¶ 3.  This provision does not apply to crossbows acquired before January 1, 1993.  The personal qualifications are set forth under section 10 of the Firearms Regulations, which makes reference to the Firearms Act requirements of sobriety, reliability, suitability, age, and reasonable grounds. [Back to Text]
  53. Tisdall, supra note 23. [Back to Text]
  54. Firearms Act, § 8, ¶ 1. [Back to Text]
  55. Reid J. Epstein, Norway Shooter: Ammo Clips Were from U.S., POLITICO (July 28, 2011), http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0711/60154.html. [Back to Text]
  56. Firearms Act, § 16, ¶ 1.  The provision also applies to weapons used for slaughter, signaling devices, etc., described in section 5 of the Act, unless otherwise determined by the King.  Id. [Back to Text]
  57. Id. ¶ 2. [Back to Text]
  58. Id. ¶ 3.  Additional details are set forth in section 36 of the Firearms Regulations. [Back to Text]
  59. Firearms Act § 17, ¶ 1. [Back to Text]
  60. Id. § 19, ¶ 2. [Back to Text]
  61. Firearms Regulations, § 37. [Back to Text]
  62. Id. § 38.  Section 98 of the Regulations addresses the central weapons register. [Back to Text]
  63. Id. § 39, ¶ 1. [Back to Text]
  64. Id. ¶ 2. [Back to Text]
  65. Id. ¶ 3. [Back to Text]
  66. Id. § 40, ¶ 1. [Back to Text]
  67. Id. ¶ 2. [Back to Text]
  68. Id. ¶ 3. [Back to Text]
  69. Id. ¶ 4. [Back to Text]
  70. Id. ¶ 5. [Back to Text]
  71. Firearms Act, § 20. [Back to Text]
  72. Id. § 21, ¶¶ 1 & 2. [Back to Text]
  73. Id. § 93, ¶ 1. [Back to Text]
  74. Id. ¶ 2. [Back to Text]
  75. Id. ¶ 3. [Back to Text]
  76. Id. § 23, ¶¶ 1 & 2. [Back to Text]
  77. Id. § 24, ¶¶ 1 & 2.  The terms are those found under sections 7 and 13 of the Act. [Back to Text]
  78. Id. § 24, ¶ 3. [Back to Text]
  79. Id. § 25. [Back to Text]
  80. Id. § 33 ¶ 1. [Back to Text]
  81. Reasons set forth under id. § 27b, ¶¶ 1 & 2. [Back to Text]
  82. Id. § 33 ¶ 1. [Back to Text]
  83. Id. ¶ 2. [Back to Text]
  84. Id. ¶ 3. [Back to Text]
  85. Id. § 34. [Back to Text]
  86. The General Civil Penal Code, Act No. 10 of May 22, 1902 (as last amended by Act No. 131 of Dec. 21, 2005), § 161, available at http://www.ub.uio.no/ujur/ulovdata/lov-19020522-010-eng.pdf; Almindelig borgerlig Straffelov (Straffeloven) [The General Civil Penal Code] (Penal Code)], Act No. 10 of May 22, 1902 (as last amended June 22, 2012), Lovdata, http://www.lovdata.no/all/hl-19020522-010.html. [Back to Text]
  87. Id. § 268. [Back to Text]
  88. Id. § 352, ¶ 1. [Back to Text]
  89. Lov om straff (straffeloven) [Act on Punishment (Penal Code)], Act No. 28 of May 20, 2005 (as last amended byAct No. 44 of June 20, 2008), § 190, ¶ 1, Lovdata, http://www.lovdata.no/all/nl-20050520-028.html. [Back to Text]
  90. Id. § 191, ¶ 1. [Back to Text]
  91. Id. § 188. [Back to Text]
  92. Firearms Act, § 27a, ¶ 1.  Detailed rules for storage, according to this provision, are stipulated by the King.  These rules may also apply to firearms, firearm parts, and ammunition referred to in section 5 of the Act, which covers such instruments as signal pistols, slaughter equipment, and rescue and harpoon guns.  Id. [Back to Text]
  93. Ann Simmons, In Norway Gun Ownership Is Common; Violence and Homicide Are Not, Los Angeles Times (July 23, 2011), http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jul/23/nation/la-naw-norway-gun-policy-20110724. [Back to Text]
  94. Firearms Act, § 27a, ¶ 2. [Back to Text]
  95. Firearms Regulations, § 42.  The provision also sets forth the types of locks and alarms required for such storage. [Back to Text]
  96. Simmons, supra note 93. [Back to Text]
  97. Firearms Act, § 27b, ¶ 1. [Back to Text]
  98. Id. ¶ 2. [Back to Text]
  99. Id. ¶ 3. [Back to Text]
  100. Id. § 31, ¶ 1. [Back to Text]
  101. Id. ¶ 2. [Back to Text]
  102. Id. ¶ 3. [Back to Text]
  103. Id. ¶ 4. [Back to Text]
  104. Aled Dilwyn-Fisher, Police Want Stricter Gun Control, Views and News from Norway (Aug. 2, 2011), http://www.newsinenglish.no/2011/08/02/police-will-have-stricter-gun-control/. [Back to Text]
  105. Simmons, supra note 93. [Back to Text]
  106. Id. [Back to Text]
  107. Norway — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law, Gunpolicy.org, http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/ region/norway (last visited Jan. 22, 2013), citing various sources, most notably World Health Organization, Inter-Country Comparison of Mortality for Selected Cause of Death – Gun Homicide in Norway, European Detailed Mortality Database (Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe, Aug. 8, 2011). [Back to Text]
  108. Simmons, supra note 93.  See also Ministry of Health and Care Services, Homicide in Norway in the Period 2004–2009, [Summary in English: NOU 2010:3] (May 3, 2010), http://www.regjeringen.no/pages/ 13400193/PDFS/NOU201020100003000EN_PDFS.pdf.  For statistics on crime in general in Norway, see Crime and the Justice [sic]. Tables, Statistics Norway, http://www.ssb.no/english/subjects/03/05/a_krim_tab_en/ (last visited Aug. 1, 2011). [Back to Text]

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Last Updated: 02/28/2014