The Swiss and Guns


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flashman70
July 30, 2007, 07:57 PM
My wife and I were in line to go to a gun show here in NoVA Friday afternoon and a woman in front of us looks out of place - kind of prissy - more like a librarian than a gun moll (not that my wife is the gun moll type, either.) Anyway this guy joins her and after a while she turns to us and asks if we can tell her companion about what to expect and answer any questions he might have. We said, "Sure" and he informed us he was from Switzerland. I said he must have some really nice guns and he smiled and said "Oh, yes - full auto and with a how do you say it, silencer?"

I laughed and said he probably wouldn't see either in the show, but that they could be had with a federal license. He wanted to know what was involved in buying a gun, so I filled him in about instant background checks, etc. and how the rules varied by state - the only onerous VA rule being one handgun a month.

Around the DC area there are diplomatic types that apparently can buy guns. Hope they don't take them back to DC - at least not until the Supremes uphold the Parker decision. I don't know if this guy was diplomatic, but he seemed ready to enjoy himself, as did his lady friend. I lost track of them once in the show, but it's good to see all types interested in guns.

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mordechaianiliewicz
July 30, 2007, 08:00 PM
Swiss and guns. I love it. Hope he did enjoy himself.

brashboy
July 30, 2007, 08:57 PM
My office manager years ago was Swiss, and she said that most Swiss males take Army training and continue in the militia for a while - they keep their battle weapon in the closet. Note to burglars, in Switzerland, there might be a lot of full autos in Swiss households.

Car Knocker
July 30, 2007, 11:31 PM
Around the DC area there are diplomatic types that apparently can buy guns. Hope they don't take them back to DC - at least not until the Supremes uphold the Parker decision.
Diplomatic immunity - they can't be prosecuted without the express permission of their country.

GlowinPontiac
July 30, 2007, 11:50 PM
Diplomatic immunity - they can't be prosecuted without the express permission of their country.

yep. they can do whatever they want.

CWL
July 31, 2007, 05:42 AM
Try waiting for a bus in Switzerland and noticing that the 19-yr old kid behind you is carrying a LMG!

While performing their military service, all Swiss soldiers must carry their issue-weapon, even while on leave. Even nicer that they get to keep the firearm after mustering out.

swingset
July 31, 2007, 06:12 AM
I also love the Swiss for something else...and it'll probably rub people the wrong way but when shooters here lose their minds here about someone drinking while shooting I always have to chuckle as the Swiss (and in the past when shooting was more common there the Germans) serve alcohol at some of their public ranges. Yes, I said serve.

Shooting accidents there are pretty much unheard of.

Isn't that interesting? Why I find it fascinating is that when the safety-crazed launch into a high-moral tirade against a guy drinking a beer and plinking it points out an odd paradox. If the Swiss can drink and shoot, accident free, but we Americans cannot, then they must be better people than we are.

BTW, the first beer I ever drank in my life was at a shooting range in Switzerland, courtesy of my aunt and uncle (she was Swiss) who took me there to shoot. I didn't kill anyone, or injure myself. :neener:

Ithaca37
July 31, 2007, 07:40 AM
Note to burglars, in Switzerland, there might be a lot of full autos in Swiss households.

At most only 14% of households have a full auto weapon in them.

Actually the whole taking your service rifle home thing sounds like a lot of fun, but you can't shoot it. You are given like 50 rounds of ammo in a sealed container. That container is not to be opened until you report for duty or else you go to jail. They come into your house to check that the gun and ammo is being stored in accordance with the rules of the military.

Also if you buy ammo at a range, it is to be used at the range and may not some home with you. They also have ammo registration laws.

I know wikipedia is not the best source of info, but here is a link to an article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Switzerland

crebralfix
July 31, 2007, 08:28 AM
They don't serve alcohol at ranges here because this culture does NOT handle alcohol well.

Fosbery
July 31, 2007, 10:46 AM
At most only 14% of households have a full auto weapon in them.

Something like that. Only serving soldiers are given full-auto weapons by the government (all able-bodied males aged 18 to 45, plus volunteers and officers). Some Swiss civillians (and militia members) own private full-auto weapons - the transfer of these was banned a few years ago but there was a grandfather clause so you can still keep whatever you owned when the ban went through. When you leave the military you can keep your service rifle provided that it is converted to semi-auto only.

Actually the whole taking your service rifle home thing sounds like a lot of fun, but you can't shoot it. You are given like 50 rounds of ammo in a sealed container. That container is not to be opened until you report for duty or else you go to jail.

You can shoot your weapon whenever you like. The state-issues ammo is not to be used except in emergencies but you can buy your own ammo or whatever.

Also if you buy ammo at a range, it is to be used at the range and may not some home with you. They also have ammo registration laws.

In Switzerland most, but by no means all, ranges are owned by the government. At government ranges you are supposed to only use Swiss weapons and ammo but this is not always enforced - I think it varys from range to range and maybe how busy the range is when you're there. Ammo bought on site is subsidised by the Swiss government so it's nice and cheap. There is an obscure rule that ammo bought at government ranges must be used there but few people have even heard of the rule. I have never heard of it being enforced - people keep boxes of government ammo at home regularly, and sometimes shoot it elsewhere at private ranges. Private ranges, gun shops and individuals can buy and sell ammo with no problems. There is no government registration of ammo or guns. Shop owners are required to keep a receipt of all firearms transactions saying who bought the gun but this is not entered into any government database and is kept in the shop.

Hugo
July 31, 2007, 10:55 AM
The "use only in case of war" sealed ammo case does make sense. Imagine how dumb a few idiots would be if they used up all their ammo practicing and were begging a neighbor to spare a few while being attacked. ;) "I need this to defend my post you dope! Stop being so trigger happy and go beg an officer!"

Have some for practice, save some for war does make a lot of sense.

Ithaca37
July 31, 2007, 12:11 PM
Fosbery,

Thank you for correcting me. I guess I was fed only half truths in the couple of articles I read.

SaMx
July 31, 2007, 12:58 PM
I think pro-gun people tend to exaggerate the swiss gun laws, "everyone has a machine gun in their closet." And anti-gun people tend to exaggerate too, "swiss gun laws are super strict, all guns and ammo are registered." It seems like the reality is in the middle, and swiss laws are similar to U.S. laws.

Dysfunctional Individual
July 31, 2007, 02:51 PM
This topic seems to appear regularly, but the typical initial fervor tends to die down once the issue of handgun concealed carry comes up.

snorko
July 31, 2007, 03:50 PM
We had a safety/training day for kids at the range last month. Over 140 kids got training for rifles, shotguns, pistols and air rifles. A Swiss camera crew came in from D.C. to film a story. The story did air, though in french, and can be viewed here

http://www.tsr.ch/tsr/index.html?siteSect=500071&bcid=508698&format=450&vid=7942784

Fosbery
July 31, 2007, 04:27 PM
Some cantons do allow CCW.

Mr White
July 31, 2007, 04:28 PM
I'm 1/4 Swiss. My guess is that's where my addiction comes from.
Of course I'm also 1/2 Irish. Hmmm. Drinking, fighting and guns. This could be bad. :)

BlindJustice
July 31, 2007, 04:53 PM
Someone mentioned Germans, Guns and Beer... Since I am of
German descent I'd like to mention about 10 years ago, I inherited
a German Stein. It is porcelin with a pewter I think top that shows
a nice patina of age on the outside - the inside of the top it is shiny
silver like. The outside has a baked on design with german words in
a ornate gothic font except for two vertical stacks of names on
either side of the handle - it also has scenes of 19th century men with
sporting arms that must have been baked on after I would guess the
shooting club got them for the members. Oh, on the outside
it also has in a less ornate font '1906-1908'

Heck of an excuse to have a brew with the buddies

vynx
July 31, 2007, 05:02 PM
At 16 I had a job "pulling trap" at Foxes Trap and Tap in WI.

A trap club with a full bar --- of course the area is heavily German imigrants and descendants which is why there was never a problem with drinking and shooting.

I read recently that Switzerland has there own "sheeple" now that want to outlaw the laws that allow the population to store the guns at home - something could happen ya know! (like the end of democracy when no one has a gun).

col_tapiocca
July 31, 2007, 05:47 PM
Since 1999 we have a new federal gun law, before 1999 all 26 Cantons (States) has own gun law. Now our freedom is spiral down:fire:
It's true the little Switzerland has twenty-six "States"

I said he must have some really nice guns and he smiled and said "Oh, yes - full auto and with a how do you say it, silencer?"
It's right, we need a full auto license from our cantonal (State) police department to buy full auto's and silencer. Silencer was license-free until 1999.

Shop owners are required to keep a receipt of all firearms transactions saying who bought the gun but this is not entered into any government
database and is kept in the shop
It's also before 1999. We've to pay 75 CHF (approx 57 US$) to get a license. With this license we are able to buy up to 3 Semiauto guns in the same shop in the same day. This license will fill out with serial# of purchased gun and will
sent to the police departement of purchasers living Canton(Swiss synonym for State)
Before 1999 we was able to buy any rifle without any bumf and any controll:fire:

Some cantons do allow CCW.
Before 1999 some cantons allow CCW without license. CCW was citicens liberty in some Cantons.
Now we need a CCW license. For a normal citicens is's nearly impossible to get it.

Event we are not in the EU(European Union) we get political pressure from the EU. The EU politician (mostly brits and germans) want a more strictly gun law here in Switzerland.

Until now we've maybe the most liberal gun law in Europe, but for how long?

We lost our freedom piece by piece. And our pro gun organisation pro-tell (http://www.protell.ch/) don't care a lot, IMO

kellyj00
July 31, 2007, 05:53 PM
went to college with a swiss fella. Nice guy... very very nice. He smiled a lot like a fool and always had something friendly to say. Looked like a darned bobble-head doll when you talked to him.

I can't see him ever shooting anyone, but he did tell me that he was given a gun by the government.... he didn't speak english well enough for me to ask much more detail.... I asked if it was "full auto" and he replied "no, it's black." I figured I'd better stop right there and get back to studying.

Cannonball888
July 31, 2007, 06:06 PM
Actually the whole taking your service rifle home thing sounds like a lot of fun, but you can't shoot it.
Yes you can. That's how they make Swiss cheese :D

Stevie-Ray
July 31, 2007, 08:23 PM
We lost our freedom piece by piece. And our pro gun organisation pro-tell don't care a lot, IMOThat's a real shame, Col. It seems the USA might be the last bastion of firearms freedom. That is if we can get the majority of gun owners to come forward to fight for it. Problem arises when fully half of us are not bothered by the regulation of a type of firearm we have no interest in. If all American gun owners spoke in one loud voice, we would indeed be a force to be reckoned with and would not have to worry about our freedoms being legislated away, first by our own government and also by the United Nations.

Thanks for the clarification. Best of luck to you.

Cosmoline
July 31, 2007, 08:50 PM
All I know is, I like their rifles

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b52/Gussick/1911-2.jpg

Aaryq
July 31, 2007, 10:19 PM
How do you join the Swiss Army again?

Nomad101bc
August 1, 2007, 12:08 AM
That whole only use swiss rifles at the range is rather odd though. I think most of us on this site would be rather screwed if such a policy were ever implemented in the US. Well dont be too down look at America under Clinton we saw a major reduction in our rights. But when they saw that statisticaly they were wrong and thanks to our vigilance we have been turning things around I am sure its not too late for Switzerland.

BTW I love swiss army knives and pretty much all swiss army products especailly thier luggage. Thier building a corporate head quarters not far from where I live woot lol.

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