russia equates the restriction of weapons to non-Estonian citizens to the discriminatory laws of the Third Reich
“The Estonian regime has recently passed another discriminatory law targeting its NON-citizen population, specifically those who hold ‘grey passports’ and are commonly referred to as ‘second-class citizens’ within Estonia. These individuals are predominantly russians by ethnic origin and are residents of the Baltic republic. The new law revokes their right to bear arms. What are the Estonian authorities afraid of? The motives behind this decision are best explained by the Estonian authorities themselves. However, it’s worth noting that historically, the last time a ban on weapons for specific ethnic groups was imposed was by Adolf Hitler.” This statement is taken from zakharova’s post.
The website of the Estonian Ministry of Internal Affairs provides an explanation regarding the amendments made to the Weapons Act. Effective from March 15, 2023, permits granted to individuals from non-EU and non-NATO countries will be rendered invalid. It’s important to note that this change will not only impact ethnic russians residing in Estonia but will also result in the discontinuation of issuing new permits to these categories. The Ministry of Internal Affairs underlines that approximately 1,300 residents of the country will be affected by this innovation.
The ministry promptly responded to the question posed by zakharova, and we quote, “What are they afraid of?”
“The recent amendments to the Weapons Law are a result of the current security situation in Europe, demanding cautious measures. Among the discussed amendments, the most noteworthy change is that weapons permits will now be exclusively granted to citizens of EU and NATO member states. Additionally, the list of crimes that disqualify individuals from obtaining a gun permit has been expanded, irrespective of citizenship or other factors,” explained Vice Chancellor of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for Internal Security, Veiko Kommusaar.
Estonian Minister of the Internal Affairs, Lauri Läänemets, openly acknowledges that these restrictions are a direct response to russia’s aggression in Ukraine and the overall policy that russia is pursuing towards countries that do not align with its fairy-tale stories about a “special operation”.
“The implementation of this measure is deemed necessary in the present security situation in order to proactively mitigate potential risks to our internal security and public order. Individuals from countries hostile to Estonia should not retain the privilege of holding a weapons permit and possessing firearms within the country.” the minister clarified.
However, it’s worth noting that the ministry’s statement acknowledges the presence of a significant number of russian and belarusian citizens among the aforementioned 1,300 individuals. It should be emphasized that dual citizenship is not permitted in Estonia; citizens of these countries are required to renounce their previous citizenship in order to obtain Estonian citizenship.
It’s important to clarify that the restrictions imposed are not based on individuals’ russian or belarusian nationality, but rather on the aggressive policies pursued by the leadership of their respective countries towards another state. It should be noted that zakharova herself is directly involved in these matters.
Meanwhile, in Estonia, individuals holding “grey passports” are categorized as “persons of undetermined citizenship”, and their residency in the country is regulated by the Law on Foreigners. However, any of them have the opportunity to apply for Estonian citizenship if they meet specific conditions. These conditions include having knowledge of the Constitution of the Republic and the Citizenship Act, attaining a sufficient level of Estonian language proficiency (typically B1), and demonstrating loyalty to the country