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Norway — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law

StockpilesGun Numbers

Civilian Guns

Number of Privately Owned Firearms

The estimated total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in Norway is 1,320,0001

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in Norway is 31.31 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Rifles

In Norway, the number of rifles in civilian possession is reported to be 720,0002

Number of Privately Owned Shotguns

In Norway, the number of shotguns in civilian possession is reported to be 600,0002

Number of Privately Owned Handguns

There are reportedly 720,0002 handguns in civilian possession in Norway

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Norway ranked at No. 443

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Norway ranked at No. 111

Number of Licensed Firearm Owners

The number of licensed gun owners in Norway is reported to be 484,2984

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

The rate of licensed firearm owners per 100 people in Norway is 10.35

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in Norway is reported to be 1,229,4364 6

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in Norway is 26.25

Estimated Number of Illicit Firearms

Unlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Norway there are estimated to be 500,0007 8

Estimated Rate of Illicit Firearms per 100 Population

Unlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Norway there are estimated to be 10.935 illicit firearms per 100 people

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Norway are reported to have 80,0008 9 firearms

Routine Arming of Police

In Norway, police officers on routine patrol do not carry a firearm10

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Norway are reported to have 10,50011 12 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

In Norway, annual deaths resulting from firearms total 2010: 8713

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

In Norway, the annual rate of all gun deaths per 100,000 population is 2010: 1.7813

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Norway, annual homicides by any means total

2011: 11114
2010: 3115 16 14
2009: 2914
2008: 2717 14
2007: 33
2006: 45
2005: 29
2004: 39
2003: 48
2002: 39
2001: 33
2000: 53
1999: 38
1998: 43
1997: 41
1996: 47
1995: 45
1994: 3417
1993: 42
1992: 47
1991: 66

Rate of Homicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn Norway, the annual rate of homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2011: 2.314
2010: 0.665 16 14
2009: 0.614
2008: 0.585 14
2007: 0.71
2006: 0.98
2005: 0.63
2004: 0.85
2003: 1.05
2002: 0.86
2001: 0.73
2000: 1.185 18 14
1999: 0.85
1998: 0.97
1997: 0.93
1996: 1.07
1995: 1.03
1994: 0.785 18
1993: 0.97
1992: 1.1
1991: 1.55

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Norway, annual firearm homicides total

2010: 219
2009: 9
2008: 3
2007: 219 14
2006: 1019
2005: 5
2004: 12
2003: 12
2002: 16
2001: 6
2000: 17
1999: 14
1998: 12
1997: 10
1996: 12

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Norway, the annual rate of firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2010: 0.0419
2009: 0.19
2008: 0.06
2007: 0.0419 14
2006: 0.2119
2005: 0.11
2004: 0.26
2003: 0.26
2002: 0.35
2001: 0.13
2000: 0.38
1999: 0.31
1998: 0.27
1997: 0.23
1996: 0.27
1993: 0.3020

Handgun Homicides

ChartIn Norway, annual handgun homicides total

2010: 119
2009: 4
2005: 2
2004: 2
2003: 3
2002: 3
2001: 2
2000: 3
1999: 1
1998: 3
1997: 4
1996: 5

Rate of Handgun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Norway, the annual rate of handgun homicide per 100,000 population is

2010: 0.0219
2009: 0.08
2005: 0.04
2004: 0.04
2003: 0.07
2002: 0.07
2001: 0.04
2000: 0.07
1999: 0.02
1998: 0.07
1997: 0.09
1996: 0.11

Long Gun Homicides

ChartIn Norway, annual long gun homicides total

2009: 119
2008: 1
2006: 2
2004: 1
2003: 2
2002: 7
2001: 1
2000: 9
1999: 7
1998: 5
1997: 3
1996: 3

Rate of Long Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Norway, the annual rate of long gun homicide per 100,000 population is

2009: 0.0219
2008: 0.02
2006: 0.04
2004: 0.02
2003: 0.04
2002: 0.15
2001: 0.02
2000: 0.20
1999: 0.16
1998: 0.11
1997: 0.07
1996: 0.07

Gun Homicides (Other)

ChartIn Norway, annual gun homicides (other) total

2010: 119
2009: 4
2008: 2
2007: 2
2006: 8
2005: 3
2004: 9
2003: 7
2002: 6
2001: 3
2000: 5
1999: 6
1998: 4
1997: 3
1996: 4

Rate of Gun Homicide (Other) per 100,000 People

ChartIn Norway, the annual rate of gun homicide (other) per 100,000 population is

2010: 0.0219
2009: 0.08
2008: 0.04
2007: 0.04
2006: 0.17
2005: 0.06
2004: 0.20
2003: 0.15
2002: 0.13
2001: 0.07
2000: 0.11
1999: 0.13
1998: 0.09
1997: 0.07
1996: 0.09

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Norway, annual suicides by any means total

2008: 50521
2007: 485
2006: 532
2005: 533
2004: 529
2003: 502
2002: 494
2001: 549
2000: 541
1999: 583
1998: 548
1997: 533
1996: 517

Rate of Suicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn Norway, the annual rate of suicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2008: 10.875
2007: 10.48
2006: 11.54
2005: 11.60
2004: 11.56
2003: 11.02
2002: 10.89
2001: 12.16
2000: 12.022
1999: 13.1
1998: 12.4
1997: 12.1
1996: 11.8
1995: 12.6
1994: 12.2
1993: 13.7
1992: 14.4
1991: 15.8

Gun Suicides

ChartIn Norway, annual firearm suicides total

2010: 8423
2009: 97
2008: 85
2007: 62
2006: 87
2005: 80
2004: 89
2003: 101
2002: 89
2001: 103
2000: 108
1999: 114
1998: 98
1997: 127
1996: 125

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Norway, the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

2010: 1.7223
2009: 2.01
2008: 1.78
2007: 1.32
2006: 1.87
2005: 1.73
2004: 1.94
2003: 2.21
2002: 1.96
2001: 2.28
2000: 2.42
1999: 2.55
1998: 2.21
1997: 2.88
1996: 2.85
1993: 3.9524

Handgun Suicides

ChartIn Norway, annual handgun suicides total

2010: 723
2009: 4
2008: 10
2007: 4
2006: 6
2005: 6
2004: 6
2003: 5
2002: 12
2001: 12
2000: 20
1999: 19
1998: 15
1997: 17
1996: 22

Rate of Handgun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Norway, the annual rate of handgun suicide per 100,000 population is

2010: 0.1423
2009: 0.08
2008: 0.21
2007: 0.08
2006: 0.13
2005: 0.13
2004: 0.13
2003: 0.11
2002: 0.26
2001: 0.27
2000: 0.45
1999: 0.43
1998: 0.34
1997: 0.39
1996: 0.50

Long Gun Suicides

ChartIn Norway, the number of long gun suicides is

2010: 1123
2009: 15
2008: 20
2007: 21
2006: 19
2005: 29
2004: 38
2003: 46
2002: 46
2001: 54
2000: 58
1999: 62
1998: 54
1997: 67
1996: 63

Rate of Long Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Norway, the annual rate of long gun suicide per 100,000 population is

2010: 0.2323
2009: 0.31
2008: 0.42
2007: 0.45
2006: 0.41
2005: 0.63
2004: 0.83
2003: 1.01
2002: 1.01
2001: 1.20
2000: 1.30
1999: 1.39
1998: 1.22
1997: 1.52
1996: 1.44

Gun Suicides (Other)

ChartIn Norway, annual gun suicides (other) total

2010: 6623
2009: 78
2008: 55
2007: 37
2006: 62
2005: 45
2004: 45
2003: 50
2002: 31
2001: 37
2000: 30
1999: 33
1998: 29
1997: 43
1996: 40

Rate of Gun Suicide (Other) per 100,000 People

ChartIn Norway, the annual rate of gun suicide (other) per 100,000 population is

2010: 1.3523
2009: 1.62
2008: 1.15
2007: 0.79
2006: 1.33
2005: 0.97
2004: 0.98
2003: 1.10
2002: 0.68
2001: 0.82
2000: 0.67
1999: 0.74
1998: 0.65
1997: 0.98
1996: 0.91

Unintentional Gun Deaths

ChartIn Norway, annual unintentional shooting deaths total

2010: 125
2009: 1
2007: 3
2006: 1
2005: 2
1999: 2
1998: 2
1997: 2
1996: 4

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Norway, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death per 100,000 population is

2010: 0.0225
2009: 0.02
2007: 0.06
2006: 0.02
2005: 0.04
1999: 0.04
1998: 0.05
1997: 0.05
1996: 0.09
1993: 0.1226

Unintentional Handgun Deaths

ChartIn Norway, annual unintentional shooting deaths by handgun total

2005: 125
1999: 1
1998: 1

Rate of Unintentional Handgun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Norway, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death by handgun per 100,000 population is

2005: 0.0225
1999: 0.02
1998: 0.02

Unintentional Long Gun Deaths

ChartIn Norway, annual unintentional shooting deaths by long gun total

2009: 125
2007: 2
2006: 1
1999: 1
1997: 2
1996: 1

Rate of Unintentional Long Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Norway, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death by long gun per 100,000 population is

2009: 0.0225
2007: 0.04
2006: 0.02
1999: 0.02
1997: 0.05
1996: 0.02

Unintentional Gun Deaths (Other)

ChartIn Norway, annual unintentional shooting deaths by firearm (other) total

2010: 125
2007: 1
2005: 1
1998: 1
1996: 3

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death (Other) per 100,000 People

ChartIn Norway, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death by firearm (other) per 100,000 population is

2010: 0.0225
2007: 0.02
2005: 0.02
1998: 0.02
1996: 0.07

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Norway, annual shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2008: 027
2007: 3
2006: 1
2005: 2
2004: 027 28
2003: 0
2002: 0
2001: 027
2000: 027 28
1999: 227
1998: 227 28
1997: 227
1996: 4
1995: 6
1994: 6
1993: 9
1992: 9
1991: 11

Rate of Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn Norway, the annual rate of unknown-cause shooting deaths per 100,000 population is

2008: 0.005
2007: 0.06
2006: 0.02
2005: 0.04
2004: 0.005 28
2003: 0.00
2002: 0.00
2001: 0.005
2000: 0.005 28
1999: 0.045
1998: 0.055 28
1997: 0.055
1996: 0.09
1995: 0.14
1994: 0.14
1993: 0.21
1992: 0.21
1991: 0.26

Handgun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Norway, annual deaths by handgun in which the cause remains undecided total

2003: 128
2000: 1

Rate of Handgun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn Norway, the annual rate of unknown-cause handgun deaths per 100,000 population is

2003: 0.0228
2000: 0.02

Long Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

In Norway, annual deaths by long gun in which the cause remains undecided total 2004: 128

Rate of Long Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

In Norway, the annual rate of unknown-cause long gun deaths per 100,000 population is 2004: 0.0228

Gun Deaths (Other) from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Norway, annual deaths by firearm (other) in which the cause remains undecided total

2004: 128
2003: 1
2002: 1
1998: 1

Rate of Gun Death (Other) from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn Norway, the annual rate of unknown-cause gun deaths (other) per 100,000 population is

2004: 0.0228
2003: 0.02
2002: 0.02
1998: 0.02

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Norway, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence29 30 31

Small Arms Manufacture - World Ranking

In a classification of the world's small, medium and major firearm manufacturers, Norway is ranked 'small'32

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In Norway, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law33 34 35 36

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Norway is reported by Customs to be US$72,557,91237 (2011)38 39

Small Arms Exports - World Ranking

In a comparison of the world's major/mid-level/minor/unknown small arms exporters, Norway is categorized as 'minor'40 39

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In Norway, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law33

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Norway is reported by Customs to be US$124,745,86537 (2011)

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Norway is low2

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Norway, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law41 42 43

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Norway include44 36 certification of the intended end user of any small arms or ammunition transfer, and/or a written declaration of its intended end use

Transparency of Small Arms Transfers

In the most recent survey of state transparency in declaring firearm and ammunition exports among major small arms exporting nations, Norway was ranked at No. 1345

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Norway is categorised as restrictive46

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Norway includes the Firearms and Ammunition Act 196147 and the Våpenforskriften (Weapon Regulations) of July 200848

Right to Possess Firearms

In Norway, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law49

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Norway, private possession of fully automatic weapons is permitted under licence49

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Norway, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is permitted under licence49

Regulation of Handguns

In Norway, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence50 51

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Norway, only licensed gun owners52 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Norway are required to prove genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example, hunting, target shooting, collection, personal protection, security52 2

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Norway is 16 years with special consent, 18 or 21 years for particular firearms53

Gun Licence Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Norway must pass a background check which considers criminal and mental52 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Norway, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required2

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Norway does not stipulate49 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Norway, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is required2 for a firearm licence

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Norway are permitted to possess any number of firearms49

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Norway are permitted to possess any quantity of ammunition49

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Norway, the law requires54 that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register

Gun Dealer Record Keeping

In Norway, licensed firearm dealers are not required49 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Norway, State agencies are required54 to maintain records of the storage and movement of all firearms and ammunition under their control

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Private Gun Sales

In Norway, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited55

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Norway, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful55

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In Norway, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined49

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Norway, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated49 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Norway include56 48 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of private firearms and ammunition by licensed gun owners

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Dealer

Firearm regulations in Norway do not include49 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Norway include57 48 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Norway include58 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Norway, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law59 60 61

Firearm Tracing

In Norway, state authorities carry out60 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Marking of Firearms and Ammunition

In Norway, state authorities do not employ49 ballistic fingerprinting technology to trace guns and ammunition

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Norway, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is prohibited58

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Norway, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is prohibited58

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Norway, the maximum penalty for illicit firearm possession is up to 3 months prison62

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Norway are known to have63 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Surrendered in Gun Amnesty

In Norway, the number of firearms and/or rounds of ammunition voluntarily surrendered for destruction in recent arms amnesty and collection programmes is reported to be 35,00063 (2003-04)

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Norway, it is state policy64 65 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development

The Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development, a diplomatic initiative aimed at addressing the interrelations between armed violence and development, was signed in 200666 by Norway.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified67 by Norway

United Nations Firearms Protocol

The United Nations Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition has been signed and ratified68 by Norway

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Norway committed to a consensus decision of the United Nations to adopt, support and implement the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects69

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Norway has submitted one or more national reports70 42 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Norway, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated71 42

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Norway, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated71

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Norway submitted to the UN, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities is apparent42 72

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been donated42 by Norway to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Norway has declared73 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Norway has been a Member State of the United Nations since 194574

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies lists75 Norway as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Global Peace Index

To see where Norway ranks, select the Link icon to open an external web page at the Global Peace Index


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