Chief Superintendent Jónas F. Bjartmarz said in an interview with news magazine Kastljós on national broadcaster RÚV last night that he was responsible for ordering the 210 Heckler & Koch MP5 machine guns from the Norwegian army.
According to Jónas, 60 of the guns were delivered to Iceland in the summer of 2013, bought at market price, and 150, which are on their way from Norway now, are a gift from the Norwegian police. Iceland will however pay delivery costs.
As reported yesterday, the plan is for the guns to be placed in every police car in Iceland. General police officers in Iceland have until now been unarmed.
Assistant to Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, Jóhannes Þór Skúlason, stated on his Facebook page yesterday that the guns were a gift from Norway.
Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson later joked on his Facebook page yesterday that, “Some should get used to shooting first and asking later... especially when it comes to machine guns.”
Parliamentarians voiced their shock over the issue in Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament, yesterday. They had not been made aware that there were plans for the Icelandic police to carry such weapons and had not been given the opportunity to debate the issue.
Over 5,000 people have ‘liked’ a Facebook page ‘Return the Guns’ set up in protest over the issue.
Reykjavík has long had a close relationship with the Norwegian capital.