Justice Minister Anders Anundsen has once again extended his allowance for police to bear arms, citing what he called a “major” lack of clarity in the current threat level against Norway. He insisted the weapons allowance, however, was still temporary.
Police in Norway have traditionally been armed, but started carrying pistols in November of last year because of higher threat levels set by the police intelligence unit PST (Politiets sikkerhetstjeneste). The arming has always been characterized as temporary, with many politial parties in Parliament still firmly opposed to having a regularly armed police in Norway.
The arms allowance has been extended several times, with Anundsen now announcing that police can carry pistols for another eight weeks. PST had lowered the terror threat in October, but uncertainty rose after the terrorist attacks in Paris.
“The police directorate has asked for an extension of the temporary arming, base on PST’s threat evaluation,” Anundsen told state broadcaster NRK on Wednesday. “We are in a bit of a special situation, because the threat level hasn’t directly been changed since October, but there’s a great lack of clarity around it.”