New rules for lending and rental of firearms
The Norwegian Act and Regulations relating to Firearms will be amended with effect from 1 June 2021. Here you will find an explanation of the old and new rules for lending and rental of firearms.
1. Current practice – lending between private individuals:
See Section 85 of the old Firearms Regulations. A declaration for lending of firearms is only required for firearms intended for protection from polar bears (rifle/shotgun). It is sufficient for the lender to complete a declaration that is limited for a four-week period.
From 1 June 2021 – lending between private individuals
New Firearms Act Section 18.
If you have a firearms permit for a hunting weapon or a firearm in a higher category, you can borrow a rifle and shotgun from another private individual with a lending declaration. The lender is obliged to ensure that the borrower has a permit for a similar firearm or a firearm in a higher category. The four-week time limit is removed. In principle, the declaration shall apply to a specific firearm, cf. requirements set out in Section 6-9 (3) of the Firearms Regulations.
If you do not already have a firearms permit (or a European firearms passport), you must apply to the Governor of Svalbard to borrow firearms for use as polar bear protection. The application is assessed in accordance with the same conditions as for occupation cf. Section 5-7 of the new Regulations (suitability, personal characteristics and proficiency in the use of firearms).
2. Current practice - lending from companies:
See Section 89 of the old Firearms Regulations. Firearms may be supplied to persons who need firearms for work reasons subject to completion of a control form, cf. Section 90.
From 1 June 2021 - Lending of firearms for protection against polar bears from companies/ legal entities
Anyone who has permission to own firearms and firearm components subject to mandatory permits pursuant to Sections 5 or 6 may borrow similar firearms. The lender must ensure that the borrower has a permit before lending the weapon, and shall provide a written declaration to the person who is to borrow the firearm It will be possible to borrow firearms from the pool owned by companies and organisations (subject to a firearms permit for a hunting weapon or a firearms permit for a higher category).
Anyone who does not have a permit must obtain a permit from the Governor of Svalbard to borrow firearms or firearm components. Chapter 4 and 5 (suitability, personal characteristicsand proficiency in the use of firearms) of this Act apply correspondingly for the permit to borrow firearms or firearm components cf. Section 18, first and second subsections of the new Firearms Act.
Companies/organisations may apply to acquire firearms for polar bear protection cf. Sections 14 and 17 of the Firearms Act. A named responsible party in the company must be stated on the acquisition application. This person must meet the requirements to conduct, personal characteristics and proficiency in the use of firearms.
The responsible party shall ensure that the requirements for the storage of firearms and ammunition cf. Section 6-4 of the Firearms Regulations are met, as well as ensure that the requirements for lending firearms, firearm components and ammunition are complied with cf. Sections 6-9 and 6-10.
3. Current practice rental:
Rental follows the Governor of Svalbard's guidelines for the rental of firearms. The lender must have a permit. The lender can only rent out rifles for polar bear protection. Rental for other purposes is not permitted. The lender must present a Norwegian firearms permit or European firearms passport, or apply for a rental permit from the Governor of Svalbard.
The only processing required for these applications is a certificate of good conduct for Norwegians in accordance with the Police Register Act.
From 1 June 2021 – rental
In practice, the lender will function as before, with the change that the applications for rental for polar bear protection are assessed in accordance with the terms of Section 5-7 of the new firearms regulations (suitability, personal characteristics and proficiency in the use of firearms).
4. Period of residence
The rule relating to period of residence is included in Section 7-7 of the new Firearms Regulations. This must be viewed in connection with Section 1-8 on the field of application of the Firearms Act on Svalbard. The provisions relating to period of residence pursuant to Section 7-7 do not apply to foreign nationals who live permanently on Svalbard, and who apply for a firearms permit pursuant to Section 5-7 (acquisition) or Section 6-11 (loan) for polar bear protection.
Foreign nationals who apply for the acquisition of firearms for other reasons than polar bear protection must meet the requirement for period of residence.
5. Proficiency in the use of firearms
The Governor of Svalbard may provide further guidelines on lending of firearms to protect against polar bear attacks cf. Section 6-11 of the Firearms Regulations. Proficiency in the use of firearms is a general requirement for acquiring, renting or borrowing firearms.
Examples of approved proficiency in the use of firearms may be documented sports shooting, completed national service, registration in the hunter register and documented completed approved safety course in the handling of firearms, (e.g. under the auspices of UNIS). In addition, the Governor of Svalbard may approve other documented long-term use of the firearm. The applicant must document that the conditions have been met.
6. Previous permit from the police for polar bear protection
The provisions do not have retroactive effect. If you have received a permit from the Governor of Svalbard, your permit will remain valid as long as you are a permanent resident of Svalbard.
Processing of applications for permits for the rental/loan of firearms is subject to a fee according to rates set out in the firearms regulations.
8. Links to new legislation
See link on the right. Norwegian language only.
9. Additional questions that you could not find answers to
Contact person at the Governor of Svalbard: Maria Floberg Tel: +47 79024352