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Parliament Compromise on EU weapons regulations wins approval

Guns with magazines

The EU has pushed for better gun control and improved traceability of arms components. 

(Keystone)

Parliament has agreed to amend the Swiss gun law in line with regulations by the European Union aimed at preventing terrorist attacks and illegal arms trade.

The Senate on Wednesday approved plans to tighten rules for the acquisition and ownership of magazines for semi-automatic weapons and for measures to improve the tracking of arms components.

However, the amendment foresees exemptions, taking into account the tradition of the Swiss militia army – where members may take home their standard-issue arms after the end of the mandatory military service – and the tradition of shooting competitions.

The House of Representatives had given the green light for the legal amendment earlier this week, despite opposition, notably from the political right.

The government has warned that failure to adopt and implement the regulation by next May could lead to a dispute with the EU.

Switzerland is not a member of the 28-nation bloc but it is part of the single border Schengen area agreementexternal link, covering visa-issues and strengthening the fight against crime.

+ Switzerland and its love for guns

Pending a final vote in parliament next week, opponents have 100 days to challenge the law to a nationwide vote.

The conservative Campaign for an Independent and Neutral Switzerland group as well as the country’s gun lobby have announced they will launch a referendum, likely supported by the Swiss People’s Party.

swissinfo.ch with SDA-ATS; urs

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