Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble says Iceland is proof that it is possible to keep violent crime down, even with a large amount of guns in civilian hands.
Vísir reports that Noble is reaching the end of his post, and came to Iceland as the last stop on his tour of all 190 Interpol-participating countries.
At a press conference today, Noble told attendees that Iceland demonstrates that it is possible to prevent violent crime and keep it considerably low, despite there being a considerable amount of guns in the country.
According to 2007’s Small Arms Survey, conducting by the Geneva Graduate Institute of International Studies, Iceland is in 15th place in terms of gun ownership. By the survey’s findings, there are 30.3 guns for every 100 Icelanders.
However, it should be had in mind that the most common varieties of guns owned by Icelanders are shotguns and hunting rifles. Automatic weapons are strictly prohibited, and semi-automatic firearms and handguns are very restricted. All gun owners are registered with government offices and their gun use is supervised. Furthermore, there is no legally guaranteed right to own a firearm, and even self-defence is not a valid legal reason for shooting someone.
All of these factors may also contribute to the low incidence of violent crime in Iceland.