Switzerland to tighten gun laws?


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Preacherman
January 12, 2006, 10:25 PM
From NZZ Online (http://www.nzz.ch/2006/01/12/eng/article6375568.html):

12. January 2006, Swissinfo

Government seeks to tighten gun laws

The Swiss government on Wednesday recommended to parliament that all gun owners must obtain a permit.

Bowing to resistance from lobby groups, the cabinet decided against a plan to create a central national weapons register.

The cabinet said it was opposed to the database on the grounds that the time and effort it would require would greatly outweigh the benefit.

If accepted by parliament, the amended law will bring Switzerland into line with the European Union's Schengen accord on cross-border crime, which Swiss voters agreed to sign up to last June.

The agreement, which removes border controls between signatory states, lays down minimum requirements for acquiring and possessing firearms.

The main change is that the previous distinction between retail and private purchases will no longer apply.

Both types of acquisition, as well as weapons obtained by inheritance, would have to be reported to a cantonal office.

Tagged before sale

Also part of the Schengen requirements, firearms must be tagged before sale, to aid police in criminal investigations involving weapons.

A reason must be given when applying for the permit but the buyer does not have to prove a need.

Hunters, sports shooters and collectors are exempt from giving a reason for purchase.

As soon as the accord comes into effect, unauthorised possession will be considered an infringement of the law.

The guidelines have a limited area of application and give the Swiss legislature a degree of flexibility.

Militia exempt

This means that the Schengen accord will have no effect on the Swiss militia, young people's shooting clubs, the right of soldiers to store their military rifles at home or the requirement that they return them when they leave the army.

Finally, Schengen will not affect hunting and shooting in Switzerland ? national laws regarding such things as hunting permits, the hunting season and shooting events will still stand.

Switzerland has a strong gun lobby ? the Swiss Shooting Association has 200,000 members ? but its recent history of gun-ownership has been chequered.

In 2001 a gunman entered the cantonal parliament in Zug, killing 14 people before turning the gun on himself. All his firearms, including an army-issue assault rifle, were legally acquired.

The killings shocked a country with a higher per capita rate of gun ownership than the United States but comparatively little gun crime.

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gc70
January 12, 2006, 10:45 PM
Another excellent example of why countries should avoid signing too many international treaties. The idea of easy border crossing probably sounded good, but the fine print puts the Swiss in a bind.

Standing Wolf
January 12, 2006, 11:14 PM
The cabinet said it was opposed to the database on the grounds that the time and effort it would require would greatly outweigh the benefit.

The "benefit" would be...?

Stiletto Null
January 12, 2006, 11:53 PM
Beats me.

Geno
January 13, 2006, 12:08 AM
They have per capita more guns than WE? And they're willing to give them up? That's next. Register, change politicos and hand them in.

Stupid is as stupid does!

Doc2005

LAK
January 13, 2006, 06:07 AM
I do not have the date to hand (I do recall it was within months of Swissair flight 111 nosediving into the ocean off our northeast coast), but the Swiss parliament was persuaded a few years back to completely rewrite the Swiss Constitution.

Not only did it make provision to take Switzerland off the gold standard; it also eliminated or changed some fundemental charactaristics of the relationship between Switzerland and other nations, "the United Nations", the status of Swiss citizens, and the Swiss Militia.

If you can find a transcript of the original, and the new, Swiss Constitution and compare them side by side, the change is astounding.

The Swiss have been politically railroaded into joining the international commune, multiculture, and the wonderful world of a private central bank controlled currency. And all that inevitably follows with them.
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shecky
January 13, 2006, 06:57 AM
I'm trying to care about what happens in Switzerland, but, not being Swiss, I just can't.

fourays2
January 13, 2006, 10:51 AM
The killings shocked a country with a higher per capita rate of gun ownership than the United States but comparatively little gun crime.

hmm, I think we need to do something about that.

whm1974
January 14, 2006, 06:26 AM
Hunters, sports shooters and collectors are exempt from giving a reason for purchase.

What is stoping the swiss citizen from claiming that they are hunters, sports shooter, or collectors?

As soon as the accord comes into effect, unauthorised possession will be considered an infringement of the law.

What were the gun laws like before? Did they have any resqistion? If not then how is thier govenment going to enforce the new laws?

-Bill

SAG0282
January 14, 2006, 06:47 AM
Hopefully in all of their zeal for international compliance they won't turn to Canada's model of gun registry.

Either way though, it'll have the same uselessness as my neighbor to the north's gun registration scheme.

LAK
January 14, 2006, 09:05 AM
What is stoping the swiss citizen from claiming that they are hunters, sports shooter, or collectors?
The people working on homogenizing Switzerland with Europa will close these details with incremental regulation.

In the U.K. for example - even in the 1970s - one had to be a paid member of a shooting club for a firearm certificate. To obtain one on the grounds of "hunting" (with a rifle), the police had to "inspect" the land intended to be hunted on for "safety", and other details.

This is the beginning of the end for traditional firearms ownership in Switzerland. I hope those people can put a stop to what is being perpetrated on their nation, but it is already looking pretty grim.
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Burt Blade
January 14, 2006, 10:11 AM
The lights are going out, one by one, in Europe. The Dark Ages are returning.

One more reason to keep the torch lit here.

AZRickD
January 15, 2006, 05:38 PM
the amended law will bring Switzerland into line with the European Union's Schengen accord on cross-border crime,
Does the "accord" require that Switzerland raise its crime rate to match the rest of Europe as well?

Rick

Stickjockey
January 15, 2006, 08:20 PM
This means that the Schengen accord will have no effect on the Swiss militia, young people's shooting clubs, the right of soldiers to store their military rifles at home or the requirement that they return them when they leave the army.

Finally, Schengen will not affect hunting and shooting in Switzerland ? national laws regarding such things as hunting permits, the hunting season and shooting events will still stand.

Not immediately, anyway.:scrutiny:

CaesarI
January 16, 2006, 04:07 AM
I'm trying to care about what happens in Switzerland, but, not being Swiss, I just can't.

Switzerland is considered by many interested in the idea of preserving liberty around the world to be one of the better models. The American system, as originally conceived is quite similar to the Swiss model. One of the critical differences is that the Swiss practice Federalism much better than we do, and a secondary difference being that the Swiss military really does rely on its Militia. The effect of both of these major differences is that the Swiss generally are more knowledgeable about the political process, and more importantly, care.

There was quite a bit of rumbling going on in Swiss shooting circles about this matter, and this seems to be the compromise reached. Many Swiss shooters are not (or were not) concerned with an erosion of their right to bear arms as that right has seemed more secure in Switzerland than it has in the United States. One of the negative consequences of this apathy is that the Swiss lack and organization like the NRA. An organization that man Swiss gun rights advocates would tell you is something they wish they had in Switzerland (for those who would surrender NRA memberships because it is not perfect, this fact should be considered). As it stands, the Swiss have created a gun rights group using the name of Swiss Folk Hero William Tell (http://www.protell.ch), a group which opposed the restrictions we've just read about, and likely had a hand in ensuring that the database was not created.

As for what ended up happening in Switzerland, it's certainly not as bad as it could have been. First, let us remember, the law has yet to pass (though there is every indication that it will). Assuming the law passes, the Swiss seem to have done rather well, given the circumstances. As some of you have observed the Swiss appear to have left some loopholes to make the system as non-restrictive as possible. The fact that the database idea was turned down as ineffecient seems to suggest a good deal of pragmatic thought on the part of the Swiss politicans responsible. This pragmatism suggests more that the Swiss parliament felt it needed to get in line with Europe, but that they were going to do so while placing as little restriction on the rights of their citizens as possible. A very different motivation than our own native hoplophobes.

In the end we might hope that this event will catalyze Swiss gun rights organizations into getting themselves better organized, and better versed in the rhetoric of the gun debate, so that on the next occasion, any suggestion that gun rights be watered down will be strangled in the cradle, and better yet the current restrictions might be reversed. The only outcome others have seen is that Switzerland is falling into Despotism. It seems overly pessimistic on our part to make that assumption, especially given the limited knowledge some people appear to have on Switzerland.

Only time will tell.

-Morgan

mbt2001
January 16, 2006, 12:17 PM
I would see this is a being a commonsensical stance for the Swiss to take. I mean... this is Europe. This is most likely trying to protect the natives gun rights, but keep some crazy muslim immagrants in France from going their and purchasing some weapons.

If they didn't do anything, then if there were any guns crimes the swiss would get blamed for it the way the South gets blamed for all the Yankee gun crimes.

LAK
January 17, 2006, 06:56 AM
(etc) ... In the end we might hope that this event will catalyze Swiss gun rights organizations into getting themselves better organized, and better versed in the rhetoric of the gun debate, so that on the next occasion, any suggestion that gun rights be watered down will be strangled in the cradle, and better yet the current restrictions might be reversed. The only outcome others have seen is that Switzerland is falling into Despotism. It seems overly pessimistic on our part to make that assumption, especially given the limited knowledge some people appear to have on Switzerland.

Only time will tell.

-Morgan
Well; time has told. Every single nation that has had this kind of "little snowball" started rolling - including our own - have only seen it get bigger, and bigger ... and bigger. Incrementally.
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CaesarI
January 17, 2006, 12:51 PM
Sure about that eh?

I recall just a few days before the ban expired going to the range and talking to the employees about it. They were universally pessimistic about the situation, and fully expected the ban to be renewed at the last minute. Specifically they made broad generalizations without a bit of support, something along the lines of "no gun control law has ever been repealed", not terribly different from your own statement.

The United States has disposed of *major* sections of the 1968 Gun Control Act (admittedly at the cost of full auto), as well as the 1994 Assault Weapons ban (completely), and most states have liberalized concealed carry to a level unheard of in most parts of the western world.

Pessimism makes it a lot less painful to lose. Unfortunately it also makes it a lot harder to win.

-Morgan

LAK
January 18, 2006, 06:01 AM
Sure about that eh? .. (etc)
Items like the AWB have been being kicked back and forth, but are actually meaningless except as distractions. Since the content and substance of the AWB was a joke - "magazines","pistolgrips" and "bayonet lugs" etc.

The meat of the issue is the passing and ongoing existance of the 1934 and the 1968 Acts; the recorded sales, permission, databases, regulation and taxation.

It is not a matter of pessimism or optimism; the fact is there has been, and is, an ongoing agenda with a recognizable pattern of progression.
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CaesarI
January 18, 2006, 02:19 PM
No question there is a concerted effort to take away our gun-rights completely. That fact has been demonstrated already at the state and moreso at the city levels. The fact that such an effort exists does not justify statements such as "have only seen it get bigger, and bigger ... and bigger. Incrementally." These statemnts not only recognize the fact that opponents of liberty want to take our liberty incrementally. The specific language used implies that the laws *only* get worse and further, once a gun control law is passed one's only course is to try and slow the process down. This is defeatism.

The fact that this *is* pessimistic and defeatist is only made more obvious by your continued ignoring of our victories at "shrinking the snowball". The AWB *did* matter, and was a significant infringment on our rights. The 1968 GCA was gutted in large part by FOPA, admittedly at the cost of new machine guns being manufactured for non-military ownership. On top of that we have concealed carry. These are 3 very big, and very real examples of our successes that I've already stated and you've blithely ignored. Despite the fact that the aim of our opponents is to steadily increase laws restricting arms, they have failed in that endeavor, and we have not "only seen it get bigger and bigger."

*I* have seen the restrictions heaped on us get bigger *and* smaller.

-Morgan

LAK
January 19, 2006, 05:50 AM
(etc) ... *I* have seen the restrictions heaped on us get bigger *and* smaller.
Smaller?

1934 National Firearms Act
1938 Federal Firearms Act
1968 Gun Control Act
1972 BATF
1986 Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act
1990 Crime Control Act
1994 Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act

In case you have not noticed, everything except the 1990 and argueably the 1994 Acts are now supported by the NRA as an institution. If you try and discuss this subject on many shooting forums, a significant number of people will try and tell you "the 1934 and 1968 Acts are here to stay". Etc.

Things like the AWB are footballs passed back and forth until another series of timely events or circumstances provide enough political momentum for another major - permanent - legislative step.

It only moves one direction.
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fallingblock
January 19, 2006, 10:35 AM
"It only moves one direction."
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Not unless enough folks accept such nonsense it doesn't.;)

Concealled carry legislation has been a major and ongoing victory for the Second Amendment.

The FOPA did indeed gut the GCA '68.

"Assault Weapons Ban"? Where?:)

CaesarI
January 19, 2006, 02:22 PM
I think I've satisfactorily established that you (LAK) are incorrect, and that you are a pessimist (regarding the future of gun rights anyway).

Restrictions have been repealed, as I (and now others) have stated repeatedly.

"It only moves one direction." rather settles the pessimism bit now doesn't it?

I'm done here.

-Morgan

engineer151515
January 19, 2006, 02:56 PM
From NZZ Online (http://www.nzz.ch/2006/01/12/eng/article6375568.html):

12. January 2006, Swissinfo

Government seeks to tighten gun laws

The Swiss government on Wednesday recommended to parliament that all gun owners must obtain a permit....................


This means that the Schengen accord will have no effect on the Swiss militia, young people's shooting clubs, ..................


How old is too old for the young people's shooting club? I would volunteer to coach the female Bikini team in proper handgun grip :)

Oh well.

rick_reno
January 19, 2006, 02:57 PM
Easing Border controls? When I lived there in the 80's, I'd often ride my bike into Germany or France (sometimes both) and back in Switzerland. If I stuck to the various wanderwegs - paths thru woods/farms/etc. - there were no border controls, if I rode on a highway I'd roll up to the border station, yell my "GrŁezi mitenand", wave and ride around their gate. I was never stopped and I did this dozens of times. I didn't look like the typical Swiss bike rider, I had a Cannondale mountain bike (rare in Switzerland) and I always wore a helmet, which my Swiss friends found very weird.

finlander
January 19, 2006, 05:11 PM
Well, here in Finland Gun Control people wants to tighten gun laws to prevent suicides made with firearms. Kind of logical, huh. And it worked in UK and Australia so of course we have to tighten those laws too!

We have to buy a license every time if we want to buy a firearm here. It isn't too bad (allways got buying license) but it's pretty expensive, 32 euros (approx. 40$) each but all that fuss included annoys me: First, applications to police. Wait week and get your license. Buy a gun and show it to the local police (so they can see you haven't bought a pistol if your buying license was for a revolver). Then wait few weeks to get a plastic card that allows you to buy ammo. That plastic card have to be with you when you're at range or hunting. With eight cards my wallet is pretty thick from those cards :)

rick_reno
January 19, 2006, 05:26 PM
With eight cards my wallet is pretty thick from those cards

8 cards! Are you sure you're not an American living abroad? We need a law that if you have six of more of those plastic cards you can trade them for a green card here. You'd fit right in.

LAK
January 20, 2006, 06:36 AM
Restrictions have been repealed, as I (and now others) have stated repeatedly.
I know; like the 1934, 1938 and 1968 Acts ;)
I'm done here.
I think so too :D
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LAK
January 20, 2006, 06:43 AM
Easing Border controls? .. (etc)
Just speculation on my part, but this probably refers to formal immigration and visa issue for work permits etc. I crossed borders between Germany and France, and Switzerland where the little booths were unmanned at night at least in the early 1980s.
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No_Brakes23
January 20, 2006, 07:30 AM
I have considered joining proTell to help out one of the few remaining gun-friendly countries, but they don't have an english website.

Sure would love a proTell sticker for my car, it is a great iconographic representation of Molon Labe.

http://tinypic.com/m94s49.gif

jlbraun
January 20, 2006, 05:52 PM
I will never understand how a group of people devoted to preserving our 2nd amendment liberties can get the word liberal confused with the word leftist. Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson were liberals and patriots; Dianne Feinstein and Ted Kennedy are leftists. Confusing the two is an insult to patriots and servicemembers.

There is no such thing as a gun-grabbing liberal. You can be one or the other, but not both.

I like your sig.

progunner1957
January 20, 2006, 08:02 PM
This is the beginning of the end for traditional firearms ownership in Switzerland. I hope those people can put a stop to what is being perpetrated on their nation, but it is already looking pretty grim.

I sincerely hope our Swiss brothers can keep their gun rights intact - I have often thought that if gun laws here in Amerika get to be too obnoxious, I would seriously consider packing up and moving to Switzerland.
I'm trying to care about what happens in Switzerland, but, not being Swiss, I just can't.
IMHO, we here in the U.S. should care - gun rights are gun rights, regardless of geography.

When people in other nations lose their gun rights, it is a victory for the UN's global gun ban agenda and a loss for gun owners everywhere.

The NRA needs an international division.

No_Brakes23
January 22, 2006, 09:34 PM
When people in other nations lose their gun rights, it is a victory for the UN's global gun ban agenda and a loss for gun owners everywhere.

The NRA needs an international division. +1 Though I wouldn't care if it was a GOA/proTELL collaboration or I(nternationl)RA, (Maybe a bad TLA to choose,) but an organization devoted to preservation of self-defense rights in all remaining countries would appeal to me. I would join it.

What are the remaining gun-friendly countries?

USA
Switzerland
Germany?
New Zealand?

What would a good acronym be?

Firearms Rights Group? (I believe that translates to the same acronym in German.)

I like your sig. Thanks, that's how I feel. Why should we let Blueblood plutocrats who want to enslave us sully words that should be compliments?

LAR-15
January 23, 2006, 02:44 AM
So I take it Switzerlands gun laws are now going to mirror France's?

:(

What about blackpowder arms?

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