Latvian government lets troops and national guards use firearms during peace time

On Tuesday, 28 September, Latvia’s government passed amendments to the law, letting troops and national guards use firearms during special operations and to prevent military situations that put at risk the state.
Latvia’s Ministry of Defence explained in the annotation to Military Service Law amendments draft that the national armed forces perform special operations in accordance to active regulations.
Amendments passed by the Saeima to the National Security Law in 2017 state that in order to overcome a secret military threat during peace time, the Cabinet of Ministers has the right to order the Ministry of Defence perform the necessary measures to lead preventive measures and overcome the crisis. This means that if a secret military threat is observed during peace time, Latvian national armed forces are to perform special operations to prevent this threat.
In 2021 the Saeima passed other amendments to the National Security Law, which defines threats to the state that surface as a result of military activities and lists measures to prevent them. According to this definition, a threat to the state caused by military activities include illegal military activities against Latvia performed by foreign military forces.
It is also possible for threats to the state to appear during peace time.
For a trooper or national guard have the right to use firearms and special equipment during special operations, including activities aimed at preventing threats to the state, it needs to be outlined in the law.
According to NATO-related regulations, special operations are military activities performed by specially equipped and trained forces staffed with specially selected military personnel and that use special tactics, equipment and methods. During such operations military personnel may use secret or discrete methods and take on political and military risks not typical for operations involving conventional forces.
Special operations may include direct contact with the enemy.
In a situation of an active hybrid war a timely military operation can help de-escalate hidden military threat in the country and prevent its development to a full state of emergency.
Additionally, it is necessary to add amendments to the Military Service Law, providing troops and national guards the rights to use their service firearms during special operations if it is justified with the concept of a military or special operation.