Icelandic police received MP5 machine guns as gift from Norwegian authorities

The Icelandic police force has acquired 150 MP5 machine guns. This was first disclosed in newspaper DV yesterday and has caused a stir of controversy in Iceland as Icelandic police are in most cases not armed except for a special Viking squad. 

Chief of Police Jón F.Bjartmars said in an interview on Rúv national news last night that the 150 machine guns were a gift from Norwegian Authorities. He added that no decision had been made on whether guns should be placed in all police vehicles and that decision rests with the chief of police in each town or district. He also added in an interview with mbl.is that the Icelandic police force owning guns is certainly no news. He corrected that no state funds to the policeforce had been used to buy weapons "Not a single krona," he stated. 

Icelandic police have owned machine guns for 80 years

Bjartmars explained that the guns were a gift from Norway as they were currently changing the types of machine guns they were using. "In this case they offered them to us as they were not using them anymore. They are however very new guns in very good condition," he said. 

Icelandic police force have owned machine guns for 80 years

Asked about the use of machine guns by the standard policeforce, Bjartmars said that machine guns have been in use by Icelandic police since 1932. Since the second world war and until the year 2000 the police owned around 70 machine guns and were kept in Reykjavík only. "They were old and discarded so these weapons replace them in a way." 

Bjartmars stressed that Icelandic police can only carrry arms in very special cases and that police are not changing those rules at all. 

"Police want to remain unarmed in their line of duty. However it is clear that we cannot send unarmed policemen to face weaponed individuals. We cannot advocate this for policemen or civilians. "

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