Gun Laws in Switzerland

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Gun Laws in Switzerland

  • Elijah Henry

    I see memes about the gun culture of Switzerland, but I’ve heard that they don’t actually have us much firearms Freedom as we do in the United States. What’s the reality?

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  • Klaus Falke

    After you was in the army you get a gun for taking it at home. So the mobilization of the army is very fast and can go in undergroud if required.

    BR, Klaus

    http://www.passende-leute.de/index-1.html

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    Eric Naville

    Hi Elijah,

    I sometimes watch American gun owners providing updates on products and regulation on Youtube, and from time to time they talk about Switzerland. I prefer channels that leave politics out when they review products, like TFB, but there are many others who openly talk about it, which is fine I guess. What the latter say about Switzerland is often quite positive, how many guns there are per capita (a lot), how the crime rates are etc. However, I find those statements at times somewhat overexaggerated, overly positive, and not really reflective of what is going on here, especially when it concerns regulation.

    When we talk about gun ownership in Switzerland, it is useful to distinguish between privately accumulated guns and rifles, and those provided by the army during the mandatory military service.

    The way it works in the army is as follows: all male citizens receive an order to visit a conscription, once you pass the physical and cognitive tests during this two to three day process, you get signed into a batallion, like infantry, air force, artillery etc. And then you would receive a contingent to go one of the casernes of your batallion, where you’d spend 21 weeks in recruitment. The rifle you get there, you get to keep as long as you go to shoot once a year, and prove your aim.

    If you didn’t pass the conscription test, or are not a Swiss citizen, or chose to do an alternative, civil service for 1.5 times the length, getting a firearm is a administrative process. Airsoft, paintball, CO2 and guns of the likes are subject to mandatory registration (link in German/French/Italian see here at “Meldepflichtige Waffen”). Pistols, rifles etc are subject to mandatory licensing.

    The European Union, the pain that it usually is, is pushing for more strict regulation (in every field really, not just guns), and since Switzerland has signed the Schengen Agreement to be part of the Schengen Area (an agreement that is like a very soft membership to the European Union, mainly about travel and commerce), the EU does seem to now have some influence as to how the laws in Switzerland are formed or at least as to how they are to look at the end. Automatic weapons are already forbidden (except the ordonance rifle Stgw 90), so are most attributes to increase aim, like night aiming devices, laser aimers, silencers etc. Now the EU is pushing against original semi-automatic weapons (rifels originally designed to be semi-automatic, as opposed to converted from auto to semi-auto). It seems that our legislators have until January 5th (again only in German/French/Italian), to provide for a paper according to the EU directive from Sept 29, when it was reported that rifles are supposed to only have a maximum of 10 bullets per magazine, guns one of 20 at some point in the future.

    In short, things aren’t so rosy. the trend is quite clearly going against the interests of gun owners, and therefore against the freedom of people to take their own safety in their own hands.

     

    Greetings, Eric

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