The Icelandic Coast Guard plans to use 100 of the 250 submachine guns sent from Norway over the last year on board its ships and in spare parts. According to Georg Lárusson, director of the Coast Guard, the guns are smaller than the ones it used previously, weapons which have now become obsolete. “It is a basic requirement that we can have something on board the ships to protect us,” he told visir.is.
Georg said he does not expect to have to pay for the guns as the Norwegian military has not charged for similar shipments to Iceland in the past. Now that the Coast Guard’s weapons have been renewed, Georg says he does not expect that it will need more weapons for decades to come.
The Icelandic Police will get the remaining 150 guns, visir.is reports.
The revelation that Iceland received submachine guns from Norway has caused widespread debate in Iceland over the past week. Officials in Iceland have claimed that the guns, or most of the guns, were presented to Iceland as a gift.
However, Colonel Dag Aamoth, press spokesman for the Norwegian Armed Forces, released a statement saying that the Norwegian Armed Forced had sold the Icelandic Coast Guard 250 MP5 submachine guns for NOK 625,000 (ISK 11.5 million, USD 94,000, EUR 75,000). The contract was signed December 17, 2013.
On Tuesday, DV reported that Icelandic police cars would start carrying guns.
As reported, Snorri Magnússon, chair of the Police Federation of Iceland, stated that the police force in Iceland has had machine guns for many years but needed to renew its stock of weapons. He has stressed that there has been no fundamental change in the police’s policy on carrying weapons.
Around 200 people gathered outside the police station on Hverfisgata, downtown Reykjavík, on Friday afternoon to protest any changes to the policy on police in Iceland carrying weapons.