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Police survey

A surge in gun permits

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In Switzerland, anyone wanting a gun applies to their cantonal police for a permit. A survey by swissinfo.ch shows permit applications were up almost everywhere in 2015.

The small canton of Obwalden – a mountainous tourist area with around 36,000 residents - reported the biggest spike in gun permits granted, 149 compared with 100 in 2014.

Canton Aargau - one of the most densely populated regions of Switzerland – processed the most: 478 permits more than in 2014.

Jura, a canton reliant on watchmaking and agriculture, was the only canton to issue fewer permits, going from 230 to 221.

Here’s a breakdown.

Obwalden police commented that the rise could largely be attributable to the trend toward using a variety of weapons at shooting ranges, which would require more permits. Police in Aargau cautioned that a rise in gun permits does not automatically equal more weapons in people’s hands. Some permits are requested for guns being sold or already in circulation, for instance.

Switzerland has one of the highest gun ownership rates in the world because of its militia army. The defence ministry estimates that some two million guns are in private hands in a population of 8.3million. 



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