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Registering weapons


Debate over gun ownership rages on


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A government proposal to register all guns in Switzerland is meeting with some stiff opposition.  (SRF/Simon Bradley/Julie Hunt) 

The idea now has to pass through both houses of parliament, where it is likely to be vigorously opposed by the gun lobby. 

At the moment, only guns acquired after 2008 have to be included in cantonal registries. It’s thought many of the undeclared guns sitting in Swiss homes pre-date 2008. Recent shooting incidents have led to calls for tighter restrictions. 

Other measures to combat the abuse of weapons have been adopted unanimously, such as an improved exchange of information between the authorities. The cantonal arms registries are to be opened up to the police and army. The cantons and the army are obliged to flag up potential danger cases.

Some regions have taken things into their own hands and organised local collections of unwanted weapons to reduce the risk of firearms falling into the wrong hands.