Estonian authorities will ban Russians living in the country from owning weapons

08:38 03 November Kyiv, Ukraine

The government of the republic on Wednesday, November 2, approved a ban on possession of weapons for citizens of third countries living there. Now they are to be considered by Parliament.

According to the Estonian authorities, the proposed norm will affect 1,325 people who own 3,080 weapons. Most of those who are subject to the restriction are citizens of Russia and Belarus living in the republic.
 
"Today, we cannot risk the fact that citizens of another, hostile, state have a permit to carry weapons and owned them," said Estonian Interior Minister Lauri Läänemets..
 
In his opinion, they may "feel that they must take up arms" for reasons of "ideology or civic loyalty" in defending the interests of their country.
 
"With this law, we eliminate such risks," Läänemets explained.

Citizens of third countries will be given a year to hand over their weapons

According to the bill, weapons permits issued to citizens of states that are not members of the European Union and NATO will expire in a year. After that, the owners must surrender their weapons within one year.. Otherwise, law enforcement agencies will expropriate it at the average market price.

The issuance of new weapons permits after the entry into force of the law will be discontinued. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the republic, this will happen in early 2023. By adopting the document, the new government of Estonia, which has been in force since July, headed by Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, fulfills one of the conditions of the coalition agreement. It provides that weapons permits issued to citizens of the Russian Federation and Belarus must be declared invalid, and their further issuance is terminated.