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article imageNorway disarms police after finding 'no grounds' for being armed

By Megan Hamilton     Feb 2, 2016 in World
Oslo - Norway has once again announced that police officers in the country will be disarmed because it has deemed that doing so is no longer necessary.
The Police Directorate had originally announced plans to end the armament on Nov. 13, 2015, but the Paris terror attacks occurred that very same night, so those plans were put on hold, The Independent reports.
The country armed its' police in 2014 due to raised terror levels and officers were ordered to bear firearms at all times, but this was described as a temporary measure.
Police here are trained on how to use their weapons in emergency situations, but firearms were traditionally locked in patrol vehicles rather than being carried.
On Thursday, the Directorate announced that the order, which expires Feb. 3, won't be renewed, New Europe reports.
Police director Odd Reidar HumlegÄrd said the Directorate had determined there were no grounds to continue the temporary armament. This means that Norway's 6,000 uniformed police officers will have to keep their weapons locked in their vehicles just as they did in the past.
In December, the Norwegian Police Federation asked the government to end its' no-firearms policy, but the current situation doesn't justify police carrying arms, HumlegÄrd said.
He added he understood that many employees consider firearms a necessary tool.
"But at the same time, we are subject to the pertinent regulations on weapons," he said.
Like Norway, Britain, Ireland, Iceland and New Zealand also follow a no-firearms policy and police forces are only equipped with guns under special circumstances.
In 2014, Norway's intelligence service PST raised the threat level because of the potential risk of Islamist attacks.
Last year, following arrests in Jihadist circles, accompanied with the departure of radical militants to the Middle East, the PST determined the likelihood of an attack was significantly reduced, so it lowered the threat level at the end of October, AFP reports.
Norway is generally regarded as a peaceful country, but the bloody rampage by right-wing Christian extremist Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people, deeply shook the country.
The Journal.ie notes that guns are readily available to civilians and are used for hunting and sport, and each purchase is regulated by the state.
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