Guns

Guns Common in Norway, But Gun Violence Rare

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

As Norway still reels from last week’s attacks that left 76 people dead, a published report points out how common gun ownership is in that country, while gun violence is rare.

The Los Angeles Times cites a report called “Small Arms Survey 2007: Guns and the City” which pegged private gun ownership in Norway at 31.32 firearms per 100 people. That places Norway 11th in the world in gun ownership. The United States tops the list at 88.82 per 100.

However, people using those guns against each other in Norway rarely happens. There were only five gun murders in Norway in 2005, the last year statistics were available. In contrast, there were 10,158 gun-related murders in the U.S. that same year.

Norway has very strict rules about how people can handle their guns. For example, gun safes are now mandatory for home storage, and guns must be disabled before being stored.

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Target shooting is among the most popular sports in Norway – but turning those weapons on fellow Norwegians, however, is not part of the culture.