The introductions of new regulation regarding firearms in Norway (Norwegian Act and Regulations relating to Firearms) will affect activity on Svalbard including Ny-Ålesund. With the new regulations anyone who does not already own a firearm in Norway will have to apply for permission in order to rent or borrow a firearm.
For Ny-Ålesund, this implies that most scientists will have to apply for permission in order to rent a rifle for polar bear protection by Kings Bay.
Application for residents on Svalbard and foreign nationals (not residing in Norway) should be sent to the Governor of Svalbard. Residents on the Norwegian mainland have to send the application to their local police district.
The application must include:
- the specific serial number for the weapon to be used
- documentation of proficiency in use of firearms
In general, the permit is only valid for the specific weapon number. For those renting weapons by Kings Bay, it will for a transitional period until 1 September 2021, be sufficient to include only the caliber number and rifle owner (Kings Bay) in the application.
The Kings Bay safety course or other similar courses are examples of valid documentation.