The Estonian Interior Ministry is working on a legislative amendment that would limit to one the number of firearms that a person can possess for the purpose of self-defense.
"There are not many rational explanations for why one should be having an unlimited number of firearms for the purpose of protection of one's life or property. We admit that there may be special cases where possession of more than one firearm for the protection of one's property or person is justified," Veiko Kommusaar, head of the ministry's department for law enforcement and criminal policy, told Eesti Paevaleht.
Kommusaar said the amendment was not aimed at taking lawfully obtained weapons away from their owners.
"The weapons obtained must be used for the purpose they were obtained for," Kommusaar said.
The legislative amendment was initiated by the ministry in December. The changes being sought are partially connected with the changes in the international security situation – the migration crisis that has hit Europe, terrorist attacks and the sanctions imposed on Russia have given rise to a need to analyze the Estonian firearms policy and make it more effective, the ministry said.
Considering that firearms are a source of danger, their ownership and possession should be restricted and possession allowed only on a need basis, the explanatory letter accompanying the bill says.
According to the bill, a person at least 18 years old may obtain a gas pistol and a person at least 21 years old also one firearm suited for ensuring one's safety, such as a pistol or a revolver.
The bill would not restrict the possession of sporting firearms and hunting firearms.
Editor: Priit Luts