On Sunday, Swiss voters moved to adopt stricter gun control laws. The measure passed with 64 percent of voters agreeing to the new set of regulations, Reuters reported.
The main reason the Swiss moved to adopt the rules has to do with the visa system. Switzerland is currently part of Europe’s Schengen open-border system, despite not being a member of the European Union.
If Switzerland failed to enact tighter gun control legislation, the Swiss could be forced out of the Schengen zone and the Dublin joint system for handling asylum requests.
The European Union decided to tighten their gun laws following the Paris attacks in 2015. One of the primary measures the countries took: establishing national databases.
According to USA Today, the new gun control regulations include:
• Regular firearms training.
• Special permits to own semi-automatic firearms.
• Serial number tracking system for key parts of guns.
• Register all firearms within three years.
• Keep a log of every firearm in their collection
Compared to the rest of Europe, Switzerland is a lot more gun friendly. After serving in the military, veterans are allowed to keep their firearms and a large number of Swiss take part in the shooting sports.
The country allows the free purchase of semi-automatic rifles but special permits are required for automatic weapons, suppressors and target lasers. Hollow-point ammunition is also legal in Switzerland but limited to hunting.
To purchase guns, the buyer must obtain a weapon acquisition permit with a valid ID, residence address and criminal record copy not older than three months.
Swiss citizens and foreigners with a C permit over the age of 18 — who are not identified as a threat to themselves or others — can request the permit. However, foreigners with citizenship to Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Algeria and Albania are excluded from the right to possess weapons in Switzerland.
Gun rights advocates are concerned about the move, citing the country's long-standing tradition of firearms ownership and heritage linked to guns. They share similar to concerns as Americans.