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Missing weapons Swiss soldiers ‘misplaced’ 82 guns in one year

An estimated two million guns are in circulation in Switzerland of which only around 750,000 are registered

(Keystone)

In 2015, 82 military weapons were reported missing. In total, 505 guns have gone missing in the past ten years. 

Only five of the 82 unaccounted for weapons have been recovered so far, according to an army spokesperson who confirmed the figures first published on Saturday in the newspaper Blick. 

Between 2009 and 2015, 505 weapons disappeared, of which 381 were stolen. The rest were either sold illegally, misplaced or destroyed in a fire. 

A fair number of arms in the custody of Swiss army soldiers have disappeared over the years. Between 1969 and 2015, around 5,100 weapons were reported missing. The recovery rate for missing arms is around 6%. 

All able-bodied Swiss men must do military service and in most cases must keep their army rifle at home. This has to be kept in a burglar-proof location and any theft must be reported immediately, but missing weapons are usually only reported when the soldier has to go on military exercise or when he leaves the army and can’t find his gun.

In 2011, voters rejected a proposal to restrict access to guns by banning the purchase of automatic weapons and introducing a licensing system for the use of firearms.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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