Weapons amnesty launches after 10-year hiatus ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

A weapons amnesty is taking place in October for the first time in a decade.
A weapons amnesty is taking place in October for the first time in a decade. Source: ERR

After a 10-year hiatus, a campaign is underway throughout October which allows illegal weapons and ammunition to be handed in without fear of punishment.

During this year's amnesty, 23 firearms have been handed in throughout Estonia. Ten of the firearms, the majority for one area, have been passed to the Eastern Prefecture.

Police have confirmed they will not hand-out punishments this month. They are trying to target people who have illegal weapons or illegal ammunition at home and who must voluntarily surrender it.

ETV's Aktuaalne kaamera revealed even owning a single gun cartridge without permission is illegal.

"If a person finds such a cartridge, he or she is required to report it to the authorities immediately by calling 112. It is also illegal and punishable by law to keep a firearm or part of a firearm in disorder," said Meelis Juhandi, a senior officer at Kuressaare Police Station in Saaremaa. "If such a cartridge is found [by an unauthorized person], then this is a minor violation of the Weapons Act, or a misdemeanor. If there are over 200 of these cartridges, this is already a crime."

Under the Penal Code, misdemeanors are punishable by a fine or detention of up to 300 fine units. For crimes, there is the possibility of up to three years imprisonment.

In October, one weapon was handed over to the police in Saaremaa.

"And this is now the place to get people in this campaign to think, yes, I have this gun or ammunition and it should be given away. It would be safer, it would be legal, and then I can be pleased that I am not a criminal," said Juhandi.

During the 2009 arms amnesty campaign, more than 55 weapons were handed over to the police. 

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Editor: Helen Wright

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