Bailiffs granted right to label individuals banned from gun ownership in state registry (1)
On Thursday the Estonian government approved an amendment to a statute concerning service and civilian weapons which would grant bailiffs access to the state registry of service and civilian weapons, a move which will save both bailiffs and the police time, as registry access would allow bailiffs themselves to label individuals banned from possessing firearms.
According to Minister of the Interior Hanno Pevkur, such prohibitive labels are necessary in order to ensure enforcement proceedings.
"Bailiffs fulfill their duties according to the law and judgments," said Pevkur. "The police essentially do not need to make any further decisions on their own part if the bailiff has the right to label [individuals] prohibiting them from gun ownership, which is why it is reasonable that bailiffs can add these labels directly to the firearms registry themselves without additional checks from the police."
The minister added that the amendment will save time for police and bailiffs alike. "Currently the bailiff must submit a separate application to the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA); in the future they can do it on their own with just a few pushes of a button," he explained, adding that this will allow bailiffs to have a better overview of what prohibitive labels have been set, as well as remove the labels upon the completion of an individual's enforcement proceedings.'
According to the PPA, more than 330 work hours per year are spent adding prohibitive labels to the appropriate individuals in the state registry of service and civilian weapons. During the past year, 523 applications have been submitted for the addition of firearm possession prohibition labels to individuals in the state firearms registry.