Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian interior ministers on Wednesday at a meeting in Riga recognized that the European Commission's Firearms Directive bill has some good proposals, but added that they cannot agree with an initiative which might weaken the defense preparedness of the Baltic countries.
Estonian Interior Minister Hanno Pevkur has made a proposal to the government to not support the directive's article which would ban ownership of semiautomatic firearms. Members of the Estonian Defense League are allowed to keep automatic and semiautomatic firearms at home.
Pevkur said after the meeting that the positions of the three Baltic states regarding the firearms directive as well as other discussed issues are very similar. "None of us are ready to support the proposal of the European Commission which would weaken the defensive ability of countries. True, a state should have control over the weapons its residents possess, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't trust law-abiding citizens. States themselves should keep the right to decide which and how many weapons people are permitted to use," he added.
Baltic countries' interior ministers meet at least once a year and the next meeting is to take place in Estonia.