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Old February 14, 2009, 08:04 AM   #1
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Norwegian Gun Laws


The control of firearms are regulated in a separate law, the Firearm Weapons act . This includes all firearms, air pressure weapons, some exotic arms as stated in the first paragraph of the weapons act. All regulated weapons have two things in common: they must be able to eject a projectile mechanically and use some form of propellant to perform the ejection. The second litra of the first paragraph makes room for inclusion of military type weapons, flare guns while the third includes easily manufactured replicas that can be converted.

The guns owned and operated under the responsibility of the armed forces is excepted from the civilian weapons act .

Types of civilian owned guns

Norway has a large population of hunters. Shotguns and semi-automatic and bolt action rifles make up the better part of the guns in civilian homes.

There is a total ban on automatic weapons for civilians. Modification of semi-automatic guns into fully automatic is a felony crime.

The maximum legal caliber for a handgun in Norway is .460 S&W Magnum. Norway has long traditions of high-end sports shooting competitions, specially with rifle shooting. Each caliber must be used in a type of competition to be allowed.

For professional and semi-professional shooters, a spare gun is allowed.

To obtain more, documentation on extensive sports shooting activities is needed.


To own a weapon in Norway, one must document a use for the weapon. By far, the most common grounds for letting a civilian purchase and own a weapon is hunting and sports shooting, in that order. Other needs can include special guard duties or self defense, but the first is rare and the second reason is practically never accepted as a reason for gun ownership.

There are special rules for collectors of weapons, they are exempt from many parts of the regulation. In turn, they must fit an even more narrow qualification to be accepted as a gun collector.

Ownership is regulated , and responsibility for issuing a gun ownership license is given to the police authority in the applicant's district.

Rifle- and shotgun ownership permission can be given to Ā«sober and responsibleĀ» persons 18 years or older. The applicant for the permission must document a need for the weapon. Two exemptions exist for the age qualification: persons under the age of 18, but over 16 may apply for rifle or shotgun ownership license with the consent of parents or guardian. For handguns the lowest ownership age is 21, no exceptions are allowed. For inherited weapons, it is up to the local police chief to make a decision based on the individual case facts.

Obtaining a firearm

There are two ways of obtaining an ownership license in Norway. The most common is through the process of obtaining a hunting license, the other is through sports shooting.

For hunting

To obtain a hunting license, the applicant must complete a 30 hour, 9 session course and pass a written multiple choice exam with 80% fail rate. The course includes firearm theory, firearm training, wildlife theory and environment protection training.

Once the exam is passed, the applicant may enroll in the hunter registry and gets a hunting license.
You will always be listed as a hunter but you pay an annual hunting license if you are going to hunt that year.

The hunter needs to send a an application for obtaining the proper firearm for his or her hunt. After evaluation, part of the application is sent back to the applicant if it was approved. Upon approval, the applicant can take the returned form to the store and purchase the proper firearm stated in the application. The store keeps part of the application and sends it to the police with the serial number and make of the weapon, and a receipt is kept by the customer. The receipt is the actual weapons license, to be kept with the weapon under transportation and away from the weapon during storage. After some time, a laminated license arrives and replaces the paper license which can be archived. The same rules apply for the laminated license.

For sports shooters

A regular attendance and membership to a approved gun club over the course of six months. The applicant must use the firearms owned by the club or borrow at the range for this. After six months, the applicant may apply for a weapon for competition and training. The start license and a written recommendation from the gun club president is brought to the police station, and the competition class is filled out on the application. If approved, it will be returned to the applicant as with the hunter example.

In both cases, if the application is rejected, the applicant is allowed an explanation of the reason and an appeal.

Guns in civilian ownership

The ownership of a firearm is considered an enormous responsibility in Norway. Thus, the norms for storage of firearms are strict.

Semi auto rifles ,rifles and shotguns, and pump-shotguns all requires to bes stored in a gun safe, the qualification given in the weapons act is to have the firearm, or a vital part of the firearm, securely locked away in a approved gun safe..
For handguns, this means an approved gun safe, securely bolted to a non-removable part of the house.
A vital part is considered to be the bolt group(the bolt head will suffice)for rifles. And the slide for pistols, the barrel for revolvers, and in the case of break barrel shotguns the handle/trigger group.

The police are allowed to make a home inspection of the safe, since the ownership is a privilege, not a right. An inspection must be announced more than 48 hours in advance and the police are only allowed to see the safe and make sure it is legally installed.

Ammunition is sold to persons able to show a valid firearm license or a Hunting license. Ammunition must be locked away but can be stored with the firearms.

Older rules stated that the ammunition must be locked away separately, but these rules are abandoned in the latest revision of the weapons act.


The owner must have a good reason to bring the weapon to a public place. Such reasons include transportation to the range or hunting, transportation to repairs or perhaps another gun enthusiast for maintenance and discussion.

During transportation, the weapon must be empty, stored in a concealer, not worn on the body and under constant supervision of the owner.
This equally applies to replicas, air guns and decommissioned firearms.

General gun politics

Gun ownership is a non-controversial subject in Norwegian politics, even when gun crime is at an all time high. This is due to the fact that most illegally used guns are stolen from larger, storage facilities. Break-ins in private homes seldom leads to the theft of weapons, unless the owner does not follow the regulations. Thus, the private ownership is not under scrutiny. By far, the most crimes are committed with stolen weapons, not legally obtained ones.
There is no publicly shown wish to introduce a concealed carry permit at this point in time, and there is no such license to hand out for civilians.

The Norwegian Police does not carry guns in the open, they have them locked away in their cars.

Any comments?
Summa pia gratia nostra conservando corpora et cutodita, de gente fera Normannica nos libera, quae nostra vastat, Deus, regna.
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Old February 14, 2009, 08:08 AM   #2
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collecting guns in norway

Norway had rather restrictive gun laws in the 60's and 70's compared to other countries. These days the restrictive laws Norway then enforced actually seem rather liberal compared to most European countries. Nevertheless, with some items collecting in Norway tends to be very difficult. The details might be somewhat inaccurate, but the following provides a general picture of gun collecting in Norway today:

Rifles and other long-guns older than 1884 are completely unregulated. You may have as many as you like. The same goes for pistols and revolvers older than 1871. Shotguns were not licensed in Norway until some ten years ago and I must admit to not knowing if you now should get a license for your older shotgun.

For guns newer than the above mentioned, one needs a license from the police unless "due to design or condition should not be regarded as a firearm".

As non-collector one has to "prove" a need for the gun - as a target shooter, hunter or whatever - just about anything except self defence! You'd never get a legal gun for self defence in Norway - no way - only the bad guys should have guns for firing at people! As a non-collector you can have only one gun of each kind and you will have to "prove" a continous need for every one.

As a collector things are a lot easier, except that you probably never will be allowed to fire your guns... Within your approved field of collection, you can have more or less as many licensed guns as you'd like - when you are approved as a collector, that is. There are no really fixed rules in regards to who will be approved, but you should have a minimum of five guns within your field before applying. If you are planning to collect WW2 vintage, that can be fairly tricky. You cannot buy the five guns needed for being approved before you have been approved.....

Fully automatic guns are (almost) a great big "NO" in Norway to day - even for serious collectors with specialised collections within the field. There are some possible exceprions, but they are just about purely theoretical in practice.

Storage is getting to be an important issue here in Norway and regulations are being enforced on the public.

We, the public, should have all licensed pistols and revolvers locked away in an approved secure arms cabinet. We may have as many as four rifles in wall hangers if securely locked to a rack, - from then on it is the arms cabinet for the long-guns as well. If you have more than 25 licensed guns, you need an approved secure gun room. And, depending on what you have there, you might also have a secure arms cabinet in the gun room as a double safety.

I'm making a bit of fun of the regulations here, although really I find them to be rather sensible.
Summa pia gratia nostra conservando corpora et cutodita, de gente fera Normannica nos libera, quae nostra vastat, Deus, regna.
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Old February 14, 2009, 11:13 AM   #3
Al Norris
Join Date: June 29, 2000
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Merging threads, as they are essentially about Norwegian Gun Laws.
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Old February 14, 2009, 07:00 PM   #4
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Nor Gun Laws

From reading your posts on the gun laws of Norway I would say that the Canadian gun laws are identical in every way, right down to the hunters exam and transportation laws. In Canada we are also required to take a P.A.L. exam (Possession and Acquisition) license to buy or own a firearm. This is a seperate exam from our hunting (C.O.R.E.) exam to get your hunters number and license.
It is a big pain in the ass and many hoops to jump through. In some aspects it is good but it still does not stop the occasional ass hole from scoping you with a loaded rifle instead of using his field glasses which he does not have.

Cheers&Tighter Groups: Eaglesnester
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