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Europe
Gun-loving Swiss asked to toughen laws or risk EU tension
2019-05-18
[BBC] Swiss voters go to the polls on Sunday to decide whether to tighten up their gun laws to conform with European Union regulations.

Switzerland is not a member of the EU, but is part of the Schengen open-border treaty.

After the 2015 Paris attacks in which 130 people died, the EU issued Schengen members with new restrictions on automatic and semi-automatic weapons.

The EU hopes the rules will help police in Schengen countries.

These states now work together and share information on a daily basis, to establish where weapons used in crimes came from.

But the proposals have raised hackles in Switzerland, which has a long, and for many Swiss, proud tradition of gun ownership. After Swiss men complete their obligatory military service, they are permitted to keep their assault rifles.

There are gun clubs in every town and village, and target-shooting is a hugely popular sport.

Swiss law does require gun owners to have a permit, but getting one is relatively easy.
Posted by:Besoeker

#9  Thank you Magpie. You never fail to add richly to the discussion :-)
Posted by: Besoeker   2019-05-18 21:02  

#8  And they have somehow avoided war and global conflict in over 700 years. --Besoeker
??
The Swiss mercenary pikemen ruled the battlefield, they then exported Swiss Guardsmen to France (til 1789) and the Papal States (ongoing if mostly ceremonial at this point). IIUC, the entire Swiss Banking System was the result of returning mercenaries needing someone to bank their money -- having a town full of ex-soldiers handy to stop bank robberies sure helped.
...As far as avoiding foreign wars, one source mentioned that the urban cantons (such as Berne) had wealthy merchants all ready to conquer the neighbors after rebelling against the Austrians. The forest cantons, where the people making up the army of pikemen came from, all voted "Nay!" on this as they could get better pay as mercenaries. Democracy in action, ain't it grand. And it can be seen why they still have a militia mentality to this day.
Posted by: magpie   2019-05-18 18:18  

#7  I am not sure if the gals also participate in military service,

Wikipedia about Swiss military service:

The structure of the Swiss militia system stipulates that the soldiers keep their own personal equipment, including all personally assigned weapons, at home (until 2007 this also included ammunition[5]). Compulsory military service applies to all male Swiss citizens, with women serving voluntarily. Males usually receive initial orders at the age of 18 for military conscription eligibility screening. About two-thirds of young Swiss men are found suitable for service, while alternative service exists for those found unsuitable.[6] Annually, approximately 20,000 persons are trained in basic training for 18 weeks (23 weeks for special forces).

The reform "Army XXI" was adopted by popular vote in 2003. It replaced the previous model "Army 95", reducing manpower from 400,000 to about 200,000 personnel, 120,000 receiving periodic military training and 80,000 reservists who have completed their total military training requirements.[7]
Posted by: trailing wife   2019-05-18 09:23  

#6  The Swiss should tell the EUSSR to go to hell, then cancel the open border treaty.
Posted by: DarthVader   2019-05-18 08:33  

#5  It would be really terrible if all those numbered Swiss bank accounts had names tied to them. I'm sure the Euro tax authorities would understand.
Posted by: Procopius2k   2019-05-18 08:23  

#4  I am sure many things have changed, but 35 years ago we had an exchange student from Winterthur, Switzerland. One the one hand, property is scarce so many Swiss have large, 2-3 generational houses. Next, most are required to complete 2 years of military service between HS and college. Finally, they are encouraged to take their (he called them machine guns) rifles home and maintain them. It's implied they are in the military reserves. So, it would not be uncommon to find a Swiss house with 3 men (son, dad, grandpa) armed and trained with powerful guns. I am not sure if the gals also participate in military service, so maybe double that. It would be like invading Texas, except it's surrounded by mountains.
Posted by: Beau   2019-05-18 08:05  

#3  The Swiss have lots of guns, low crime rate, and haven't been in a war for over a century. How does that compare with the ones criticizing them?

And they have somehow avoided war and global conflict in over 700 years. Yes, much to debate here, but the fact remains.
Posted by: Besoeker   2019-05-18 07:48  

#2  The Swiss have lots of guns, low crime rate, and haven't been in a war for over a century. How does that compare with the ones criticizing them?
Posted by: Glenmore   2019-05-18 07:38  

#1  So, the eurine argument (and the dems in America) is be more like us. The other side of that coin is I could argue be more like me (my guns are locked up, never hurt anybody and have contributed to the economy in many ways)
Posted by: M. Murcek   2019-05-18 07:14  

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