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Switzerland to tighten gun laws?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Preacherman, Jan 12, 2006.

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  1. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    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.
     
  2. gc70

    gc70 Member

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    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.
     
  3. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    The "benefit" would be...?
     
  4. Stiletto Null

    Stiletto Null Member

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    Beats me.
     
  5. Geno
    • Contributing Member

    Geno Member

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    This is obviously THE PEOPLE's will!!!

    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
     
  6. LAK

    LAK Member

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    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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  7. shecky

    shecky Member

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    I'm trying to care about what happens in Switzerland, but, not being Swiss, I just can't.
     
  8. fourays2

    fourays2 Member

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    hmm, I think we need to do something about that.
     
  9. whm1974

    whm1974 Member

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

    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
     
  10. SAG0282

    SAG0282 Member

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    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.
     
  11. LAK

    LAK Member

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    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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  12. Burt Blade

    Burt Blade Member

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    The lights are going out, one by one, in Europe. The Dark Ages are returning.

    One more reason to keep the torch lit here.
     
  13. AZRickD

    AZRickD Member

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    Does the "accord" require that Switzerland raise its crime rate to match the rest of Europe as well?

    Rick
     
  14. Stickjockey

    Stickjockey Member

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    Not immediately, anyway.:scrutiny:
     
  15. CaesarI

    CaesarI Member

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    Been following the Swiss for a while...

    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, 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
     
  16. mbt2001

    mbt2001 Member

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    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.
     
  17. LAK

    LAK Member

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    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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  18. CaesarI

    CaesarI Member

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    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
     
  19. LAK

    LAK Member

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    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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  20. CaesarI

    CaesarI Member

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    AWB didn't matter?

    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
     
  21. LAK

    LAK Member

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    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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  22. fallingblock

    fallingblock Member

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    NOPE!

    "It only moves one direction."
    *********************************************************

    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?:)
     
  23. CaesarI

    CaesarI Member

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    Done now

    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
     
  24. engineer151515

    engineer151515 Member

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    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.
     
  25. rick_reno

    rick_reno member

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    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 "Grüezi 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.
     
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