Anti-gun move seen as attack on Swiss values

Politicians in Bern speak out against the initiative Keystone

Opponents of an initiative aimed at restricting access to firearms say the proposal goes against Swiss values and makes false promises.

This content was published on January 4, 2011 minutes

Representatives of four centre-right and rightwing parties told a news conference the initiative by a broad alliance of NGOs and centre-left parties was disempowering law-abiding citizens and members of the militia army.

They said existing measures to fight abuses are sufficient.

“The Swiss gun law is very strict; let us not create unnecessary new ones,” said Jakob Büchler of the Christian Democrats.

Opponents also dismissed allegations that Switzerland’s suicide rate was linked to access to firearms.

In a newspaper interview Defence Minister Ueli Maurer argued that women are more likely to approve the initiative because of an inability to handle firearms.

The comment was dismissed both by women who oppose and those in favour of the initiative.

The initiative, which wants to ban army-issue firearms from households and set up a nationwide arms register, will go to a nationwide vote on February 13.

It was launched in the wake of a number of high-profile killings, including an attack by a lone gunman on a cantonal parliament in 2001.

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