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Switzerland votes for tighter gun controls

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:16s - Published < > Embed
Switzerland votes for tighter gun controls

Switzerland votes for tighter gun controls

Swiss voters have backed, by a margin of nearly two-to-one, adopting tighter gun controls, steering the country away from a clash with the European Union.

David Doyle reports.

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Switzerland votes for tighter gun controls

Switzerland will adopt tighter gun controls - steering the country away from a clash with the European Union.

In a binding referendum on Sunday (May 19), voters agreed by a margin of nearly two-to-one to bring Swiss gun laws in line with the EU.

After militants killed scores of people in Paris in 2015, Brussels in 2017 toughened laws against buying semi-automatic rifles and made it easier to track weapons in national databases.

These restrictions apply to non-EU member Switzerland because it's part of Europe's Schengen open-border system, but they had raised concerns among shooting enthusiasts as well as right-wing activists.

They complained the rules would disarm law-abiding citizens and damage Switzerland's national identity.

But failure to adopt the rule could have forced Switzerland out of the passport-free Schengen zone.

(SOUNDBITE) (French) SWISS BANK EMPLOYEE, PHILIPPE, SAYING: "To me, the new obligations linked to the possession of guns are not that restrictive (white flash).

It is just that Switzerland has to align itself with a system in which it participates." The initial EU proposal had provoked outcry because it meant a ban on the Swiss tradition of ex-soldiers keeping their assault rifles.

However, Swiss officials negotiated concessions for veterans and gun enthusiasts in the country's numerous shooting clubs.




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