THE POLICE FORCE of Norway is set to disarm after the force’s directorate ruled that there is no longer a reason for its officers to carry guns.
The disarmament is set to happen as soon as possible.
“The overall academic assessment is that there are no grounds to continue the temporary armament,” the directorate said in a statement.
The force was first armed in November 2014 in reaction to a raised terror threat level. That measure was described at the time as being temporary.
While the country’s police have traditionally been trained in the use of firearms, it was not usual for officers to actually carry guns before November 2014, with all arms stored in patrol vehicles.
The disarmament of the force after one year was first announced on 13 November last, only for it to be placed on hiatus in the wake of the terror attacks in Paris happening that evening.
In a statement on its website, the directorate’s chief Odd Reidar Humlegård says that the temporary armament should come to an end no later than Wednesday, 3 February.
Guns in Norway are readily available for civilians and are popular for hunting and sport. All purchases are regulated by the state.
In July 2011 Norwegian Anders Breivik killed 77 people both in Oslo and on an island retreat outside the city in the country’s worst ever incident of mass-murder, using guns and bombs he had obtained via legal channels domestically.