Due to the polar bear danger in Svalbard, any person travelling outside the settlements shall be equipped with appropriate means of frightening and chasing off polar bears. We also recommend to carry firearms outside the settlements.

Carrying loaded firearms within settlement areas in Longyearbyen is prohibited. The firearm must be visibly empty of ammunition.

It is also prohibited to carry firearms in public buildings or shops. Several of the shops in Longyearbyen have special security cabinets in which the weapon can be stored.

The firing of rifles or other firearms in Longyearbyen and nearby area is prohibited. You can find a map of the "no shooting zone" here.

The Governor has decided guidelines for firearms and scare devices for protection against polar bears. You find the guidelines here:


The firearm or a vital part of the firearm must be stored in an approved security cabinet. Ammunition must be kept in separate locked storage or with the firearm in an approved security cabinet.

Transport of firearms and ammunition

If the firearm/ammunition is to be transported to or from Svalbard, the airline company must be contacted for updated information regarding security procedures.

During transport, firearms must be emptied of ammunition and secured. A vital part of the firearm must be removed and transported separately.

Control and confiscation of firearms permit

Firearms permits, control certificates or hire declarations must be presented on request.

The Governor must confiscate the firearms permit if the holder is not sober or reliable or for any other reason incompetent to be in the possession of a firearm.

The firearms permit can be confiscated if the holder does not require, or has no reasonable grounds to keep a firearm.

Punishment for unlawful possession of firearms

The punishment for possession of unlawful firearms is two years imprisonment; in serious cases, four years imprisonment.