A new public opinion poll shows a majority of Norwegians supporting the decision earlier this week that extended an order allowing police to continue carrying weapons, at least until December 1. Around 40 percent believe police should be armed permanently.
The poll, conducted by research firm InFact for newspaper VG, “confirms first and foremost that folks have confidence in the decision that was taken,” wrote Justice Minister Anders Anundsen in a text message to VG.
Norwegian police authorities have sent out mixed signals in recent days, with the state police director announcing Friday morning that police would no longer be allowed to carry arms and must keep them locked in patrol cars by Tuesday. The order came just a day after local Islamic cleric Mullah Krekar was re-arrested and charged with leading a terrorist network that planned attacks on officials both in Norway and elsewhere. Hours later, Islamic extremists tied to another organization, IS, carried out deadly attacks around Paris.
On Monday police officials reversed their decision and announced police would be allowed to continue carrying arms after all. Anundsen has said he thinks Parliament also needs to reconsider its position on weapons and allow police to be permanently armed.