You need a weapon to get from Longyearbyen to other settlements in Svalbard, but don’t try firing it when you get there – it’s now illegal to do so within 500 meters of buildings and facilities as a shooting ban zone in Longyearbyen now applies to those other areas.
The expanded ban applies to Barentsburg, Vannposten and Pyramiden as of July 13, according to a statement from Norway’s Ministry of Justice and Emergency Preparedness. The existing ban also applies to structures in Adventdalen.
The change is a significant alteration from an initial proposal expanding the zone around Longyearbyen and enacting tougher restrictions for all parts of Svalbard where buildings exist.
“We have taken into account the input from Longyearbyen Community Council and other consulting bodies on rules for where to use firearms in Svalbard,” said Monica Mæland, head of the ministry that has administrative oversight of the archipelago. “In other words, we are putting aside the changes we (originally) sent for consultation on an expansion around Longyearbyen.”
The original proposal from the ministry in May of 2020 was opposed by a majority of local parties responding with comments, according to the ministry’s statement.
“No consultative bodies were against the new zones coming (now),” it notes. Also, some minor linguistic and regulatory modernisations have also been made in the regulations.