Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Swiss to Debate Restrictive Gun Laws in 2018

Switzerland has long been one of the safest and well governed countries in the world. Switzerland had historical few firearms restrictions and high rates of gun ownership. Until 1996, the firearms laws in Switzerland were entirely an affair of the local cantons. Gun laws in Switzerland were generally less restrictive than in the United States. Most firearms were not registered. It was easy to purchase handguns and automatic rifles. Cannon required an approximate $5 registration which could be obtained at the local police office. Cannon breech blocks were required to be stored separately from the cannon. Before 1998, pistols could be carried most places. Some cantons required an easily obtainable permit.

As the push for European Union gun control intensified, the high Swiss level of freedom to own guns was criticized.  The European Union pushed hard for more restrictions, to bring the Swiss laws in line with the highly restrictive laws in the European Union.

In 1999 the Swiss passed a referendum that imposed severe firearm restrictions by Swiss historical standards. Additional tightening of controls were imposed in 2007. Full auto firearms and cannon are now difficult to obtain. Semi-auto rifles of military caliber and semi-automatic pistols are required to be registered. 

It does not matter how low the crime rate is to those who wish to disarm populations. Even though the Swiss have world class low crime rates, those pushing for ever more restrictive rules use suicides and the rare gun crime to demand more restrictions. From
A new platform composed of left-wing politicians, police officers and psychiatrists is pushing for Switzerland to follow the European Union in tightening controls on guns.

Representatives of the Social Democratic Party (SP), the Swiss police officers association VSPB/FSFP and the Swiss federation of psychiatrists and psychotherapists FMPP joined forces on Thursday ahead of a debate on the issue in parliament, the Tribune de Genève reported.

The EU parliament approved a revised gun law last year designed to close security loopholes and introduce tighter controls on blank-firing and inadequately deactivated weapons like those used in the Paris terror attacks.

On March 2nd the Federal Council issued a message on a “pragmatic implementation” of the EU legislation in Switzerland in response to the terror attacks in Europe.
The use of fraudulent "studies" by the disarmament groups is not limited to the United States. In pushing for more restrictions on the Swiss, the use of militia weapons in a few suicides per year, is often cited as a reason to restrict all the Swiss.  In 2009, there were 241 deaths in Switzerland associated with a firearm.

About 85% of those were suicides. Of suicides committed with guns in Switzerland, about 9% are committed with a military weapon. That puts the number committed with a military weapon in 2009 at about 19.  Assisted suicide in Switzerland is legal. No reason need be given.  There were 300 assisted suicides in Switzerland in 2009.

Apparently, the problem with suicide, for those who wish to disarm the Swiss, is the use of a firearm.

In 2009 there were only 24 homicides with firearms in Switzerland, for a firearms homicide rate of an astonishing low .31 per 100,000. But firearms homicides is a misleading number. The number that should be compared is the overall homicide rate. In 2009 in Switzerland, it was .7 per 100,000.  In England and Wales the homicide rate for 2009 was 1.08.  In France, the homicide rate for 2009 was 1.3.

An obvious reasons for imposing restrictive gun laws on the Swiss is that Switzerland serves as a counterexample of a prosperous country with considerable freedom to have arms, and a very low crime rate. People in England and France might think their gun laws are too restrictive.

Statistics and death rates do not matter to those who want disarmed populations. The fact that people legally have arms *is* considered the problem, not crimes or suicides.

In Switzerland, if the federal government enacts a law, the Swiss people can call for a referendum to prevent it from going into effect. If a restrictive firearms law is passed, it will face a referendum.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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1 comment:

JoeThePimpernel said...

When guns are outlawed, only governments will own guns.