Parliament gives arms initiative the thumbs down

The Senate has followed the House of Representatives and the cabinet in taking a stand against a people's initiative to ban military weapons from households.

This content was published on September 13, 2010 - 21:07
swissinfo.ch and agencies

On Monday senators voted 27 to 15 against the initiative. A majority said the current law was sufficient to protect against the abuse of arms.

Back in June, the House of Representatives urged Swiss voters to reject the people’s initiative when it comes to a national vote in 2011.

Launched in 2009 by the centre-left Social Democratic Party and a number of pacifist organisations, the initiative calls for army weapons to remain in barracks and for a national gun register to be created.

It also wants to ban private individuals from buying or owning particularly dangerous guns such as automatic weapons and pump-action shotguns.

According to the initiative's committee, around 2.5 million weapons are in circulation in Switzerland, of which 1.7 million are current or old army-issue rifles and pistols.

They claim army weapons are responsible for around 300 deaths a year and having access to a gun makes fatal incidents easier, especially gun suicides.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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