World News

Norway set to ban semi-automatic weapons

Norwegian flag flutters on the boat at Aker Brygge in Oslo, Norway May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway is set to ban semi-automatic weapons almost seven years after a far right-wing extremist killed 77 people in a bomb and shooting rampage, the deputy leader of parliament’s justice committee said on Thursday.

The July 22 massacre in 2011 “was committed using that type of weapon. We need to get rid of them,” Peter Froelich told broadcaster TV2.

He said a majority of parliamentarians now backed the measure, in line with a proposal by the center-right government, and a vote was scheduled for next week.

Anders Behring Breivik gunned down 69 people at a Labour Party youth camp on Uteoya Island using a semi-automatic gun after killing eight people with a car bomb in central Oslo.

Froelich said the ban would require owners of existing semi-automatic weapons to give them up, as well as prohibiting future sales. He estimated it would affect about 2,000 owners in the country of 5.3 million inhabitants.

In the United States, a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida, last month, igniting a wave of national student activism in support of firearms restrictions.

Reporting by Gwladys Fouche; Editing by Peter Graff