Proposal for change in gun laws this fall

Jón Gunnarsson Minister of Justice.

Jón Gunnarsson Minister of Justice. mbl.is/Hallur Hallsson

Now it is on the table to reconsider the legal framework for ownership of firearms in Iceland, in particular the process where someone loses their license to bear arms. This is confirmed by Jón Gunnarsson the Minister of Justice. A proposal of changes to the law will be submitted this fall.

It has been reported that the attacker, who shot at a couple in their home in Blönduós early Sunday morning, was meant to lose his license to bear arms this week. The attack resulted in the wife losing her life and her husband is seriously injured.

Not aware of concerns

The police had confiscated all weapons that were registered in the attacker's name earlier this summer and it was in the works to tell him about the decision to recall his license this week. The next step was to get a medical evaluation to see if the man was fit to have a license for firearms. Birgir Jónasson, the Chief of Police in the North West said these steps were legally mandated, and there is no legal way to recall a fire arm license without due process.

"This is not about being late in acting on this. The legal framework demands this process and we have to follow the law," he says.

The laws on gunownership is strict in Iceland

The Minister of Justice, Gunnarsson, says that the laws on gunownership is quite strict in Iceland compared to the neighbour countries, but even so there are plans to change a few thigns.

"Like I have repeatedly said this year, we are reconsidering the whole legal framework for getting a gun license. On the whole, the law is quite strict and it is not an easy process getting a gun license compared to the countries around us. But we are going over these things and this is on my agenda as a proposal for the fall, to change the legal framework."

The nation is in shock over the tragedy that took …

The nation is in shock over the tragedy that took place in Blönduós early Sunday morning. mbl.is/Hákon

The shooting club reported the man in November

Whether the idea is to put  an emergency clause into the law where the police can recall gun licences fast, the minister does not want to confirm nor deny.

"The police has an authority to take weapons from people if they deem it necessary and we have used that authority in the past. Then there is the question of recalling a gun license either short or long term. That is one of the things we are looking at while we are reconsidering the laws."

Need to strengthen the safety of the police

Regarding the issue of police officers being armed and whether it is in the charts to arm regular police officers, he says:

"We are seeing more firearms and more danger due to organized crime, which is a real threat in our society. If it continues then it will lead to a community we do not want to live in, a community we do not want to raise our children and our grandchildren in. We have an opportunity to tackle this if we act decisively. It is vitally important to make sure our police officers are safe so they can be the guards of the safety of the residents. We are looking at this in my ministry and I will make a firm decision on the matter."

- Do you think regular police officers should be armed on duty?

"I am not going to answer that question right now, but it is obvious in my mind that we need to strengthen the safety of our police force and strengthen the police force overall."

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