Fairfax, VA – -(Ammoland.com)-
As NRA-ILA reported on April 27, peaceful Switzerland is in the crosshairs of international and domestic gun control advocates who are intent on abolishing the idyllic nation’s tradition of an armed citizenry. Using the 2017 changes to the European Firearms Directive as justification, these foreign and home-grown forces are attempting to burden the tranquil republic with gun controls the Swiss people have continually rejected. However, as was pointed out in a recent Bloomberg article, many Swiss citizens are refusing to take this assault on their inalienable rights and national sovereignty lying down.
In the Swiss tradition of neutrality, Switzerland is not a member of the European Union. However, Switzerland is a member of the Schengen Agreement, which created the Schengen Area. Schengen Area states have abolished the international border checks between them and permit the free movement of people throughout the area.
As members of the Schengen Area, non-EU members Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Lichtenstein are obligated to comply with certain EU laws. In 2017, the EU imposed further firearms restrictions on its Member States when it enacted a new version of the European Firearms Directive. Under the European Firearms Directive, all Member States, and those under the Schengen Agreement, are required to meet a minimum threshold of gun restrictions. The 2017 update enacted more stringent firearms registration and licensing requirements, and re-categorized certain types of semi-automatic firearms and their magazines in a way that nearly prohibits civilian possession.
The Swiss Federal Council has put forward gun control legislation that would bring the country’s gun laws in line with the new Firearms Directive, contending that the onerous new rules would require “little effort” from gun owners.
As NRA-ILA previously noted and the Bloomberg piece reiterates, Swiss gun rights group ProTell and the Swiss People’s Party (SVP) are leading the charge against the new legislation.
Referencing a Firearms Directive provision that would make it harder for Swiss citizens to possess semi-automatic firearms and the Swiss tradition of permitting members of the militia to possess their military rifle after service, Bloomberg quoted ProTell Secretary-General Robin Udry as stating, “It would mean that the day you leave the army, you’re no longer trusted with your SIG 550 and treated like a potential terrorist or criminal.”Udry went on to explain, “In Switzerland, these kind of guns are all very well-controlled, so why should we now accept legislation from the EU when we don’t have this problem?”