Norway took another step to tighten its already tough gun control laws. The Norwegian government voted on a plan to ban semi-automatic weapons by 2021. Since the proposal was introduced by the country’s minority right-wing government, “it has become clear that there is a parliamentary majority in favor” of it.
“Semi-automatic weapons will, therefore, be banned in Norway.” Peter Frolich, a member of parliament and the judicial affairs committee, said in an interview with AFP.
The year 2021 will also mark the tenth anniversary of the country’s 2011 mass shooting that took place on Utoya Island where 69 people were shot to death by Anders Behring Breivik, a far-right extremist, who bombed a government building in Oslo killing eight people “before going on a shooting rampage at the youth summer camp,” according to Huffington Post.
The country, which registers a high rate of gun ownership, has a very low rate of gun deaths – 1.22 per 100,000 people recorded in 2014 compared to 10.54 per 100,000 American gun deaths.
Soon after Norway’s 2011 mass shooting, the country’s legislators enacted “robust background checks,” placed mandates on “secure storage of guns and ammunition,” and placed strict laws on owners of semi-automatic weapons, according to Huffington Post. And Norway has yet to encounter another mass shooting since the 2011 attack.
Norway’s strong stance against gun violence already outlaws many categories of guns including specific handguns and automatic weapons. The new plan to ban semi-automatic weapons tightens the country’s laws even further.