Guns and Gear

Switzerland Votes For Stricter Gun Measures In Referendum, Will Become More Aligned With EU

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Switzerland voted in a referendum Sunday to adopt stricter gun measures more aligned with the European Union, a turn in a country with a long tradition of marksmanship.

The restrictions mean stricter rules for gun labeling, gun registration and regular training for those who buy semi-automatic weapons, according to the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC).

Opponents felt the argument made by the Swiss government and other groups was misleading because it emphasized the resulting inconveniences and security issues of leaving the Schengen visa-free travel zone. (RELATED: Swiss Voters likely Set To Adopt Stricter Gun Measures, Polls Show)

“By approving stricter gun control, Switzerland has given in to pressure by the EU,” People’s Party parliamentarian Lukas Reimann told Swiss Public Radio.

The Swiss negotiated concessions out of the EU, including the ability of Swiss soldiers to store their rifles at home, including reservists, if they adhere to training guidelines.

Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter told reporters adopting the EU measures would help security by improving weapons tracking and information sharing among European countries.

“But most importantly, gun traditions will continue and the use of standard-issue guns for former militia army members will not be affected.”

Articles around Switzerland revealed a mix of reactions. Zurich’s Tages-Anzeiger ran an editorial titled “A Bad Moment For Opponents Of Europe,” the tabloid Blick warned “No Yes To Europe,” and Le Temps in Lausanne summarized the vote with “The Swiss Prefer Schengen To Guns.”

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