Some Russian citizens in Estonia voluntarily turning in firearms

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Police officials in Estonia said that some Russian citizens living in Estonia have begun voluntarily relinquishing their firearms as the country prepares for the implementation of planned changes to weapons permits and firearm ownership, according to the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA).

Police Lt. Riita Proosa told ERR that while they can’t specify an exact timeline, should the new legislation be implemented as planned, some 1,300 individuals’ weapons permits will be revoked, approximately half of whom are Russian citizens.

“After a weapons permit has been revoked, the owner of a firearm is required to turn it in to police and divest of it within one year,” Proosa said.

He explained that under standard practice, an inspection of a firearm owner’s home will be conducted by district police officers, who will also intervene should a firearm owner not surrender their own firearm to police upon the revocation of their weapons permit.

Minister of the Interior Lauri Läänemets (SDE) told ERR this week that the so-called bill for collecting weapons from Russian citizens is slated to reach the government sometime within the next couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas in a televised address to the nation on Thursday night, hours after the government called a snap annual military exercise, insisted Estonia is and will remain protected. She spoke to reassure the public, saying “it is necessary to speak frankly about these issues” in times of crisis.

Photo courtesy Estonian Police Force

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