In a move that surprised many people throughout the world, Swiss voters made their voice heard about enacting the stricter gun laws that the European Union has created in recent years.
While the EU has been rife with bombings and shootings in the past decade, these laws were marketed as a way to help reduce the violence throughout the region. Lawmakers in the EU passed these laws — that restrict the circulation of firearms such as handguns and automatic rifles — after the Islamic State attacked multiple Paris locations in 2015.
Switzerland has made the decision to follow the EU laws regarding firearms, even though the nation is not technically part of the European Union. That said, adopting the laws allowed Switzerland to continue taking part in the Schengen trading and travel status.
Switzerland has long been considered to be a neutral country, but the issue of gun reform has been particularly polarizing to the lawmakers and individuals alike. The passport restrictions that the Swiss avoided would have dramatically impacted the trade in the area, which encouraged 64% of Swiss nationals to vote for the increased tightening of gun laws. After approval by the Parliament, gun lobbyists pushed for the issue to be put to the voters — but unfortunately, the restrictions against travel and commerce were too great for the people to ignore.
Switzerland is a country that has an extremely low rate of gun deaths, despite being home to a thriving gun culture. However, the opposite has always been true: Swiss gun laws have historically been some of the most liberal in the world. The semiautomatic weapon is actually considered a sacred part of their culture, and individuals were even allowed to keep their rifles after service in the Swiss military — something that would be unheard of in the United States. This allowed an extremely high number of Swiss families to be fully armed, which is likely what contributed to the low gun death factor in the country.
Over the past few decades, the commitment to a positive gun culture has been fading, and now fewer families find themselves fully armed and in control of semi-automatic weapons or rifles.
Among other things, the new Swiss laws require individuals to obtain waivers before purchasing a semi-automatic weapon, includes mandatory gun training and brings a robust registry of guns and gun owners into the national conversation. Gun collectors will even be required to keep records of their personal collection.
While these regulations that the Swiss government has recommended and the people voted in will not technically restrict the people of the sovereign nation from obtaining weapons, but it will take more aggressive measures to track the weapons that have been purchased as they move throughout their lifecycle.
~ Ready to Fire News