The Swiss have had a long-standing and proud tradition of gun ownership. It’s being infringed on. READ MORE
On May 19, Swiss citizens will go to the polls to vote in a referendum that will determine whether the peaceful mountain nation will acquiesce to the mandates of the European Firearms Directive. The Swiss have a proud history of voting to protect their firearms heritage. In 2011, the Swiss electorate rejected a ballot measure that would have ended the tradition of militia members keeping their firearms at home and burdened law-abiding gun owners with federal gun registration and new acquisition requirements.
Less than a week after the November 13, 2015, terrorist attack at the Bataclan theater in Paris, the European Union expedited its pre-existing plans to amend the European Firearms Directive. The European Firearms Directive sets the minimum threshold of gun regulation that EU member states must enact.
Finalized in May 2017, the new European Firearms Directive included a significant expansion of firearms registration and licensing requirements. Moreover, the European Firearms Directive prohibited most gun owners from accessing the following categories of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms,
Any of the following centre-fire semi-automatic firearms:
(a) short firearms which allow the firing of more than 21 rounds without reloading, if:
(i) a loading device with a capacity exceeding 20 rounds is part of that firearm; or
(ii) a detachable loading device with a capacity exceeding 20 rounds is inserted into it;
(b) long firearms which allow the firing of more than 11 rounds without reloading, if:
(i) a loading device with a capacity exceeding 10 rounds is part of that firearm; or
(ii) a detachable loading device with a capacity exceeding 10 rounds is inserted into it.
EU member states were given 15 months to conform their national laws to most portions of the European Firearms Directive and 30 months to conform to the registration provisions.
Neutral Switzerland is not a member of the EU. However, the country is a member of the Schengen Area – a coalition of European countries that have abolished the border controls between their nations. As a member of the Schengen Area, the Swiss are obligated to comply with the EU’s firearms mandates. During the convoluted EU legislative process, the Swiss were able to secure a small concession from the EU to permit preservation of its longstanding tradition of allowing members of the militia to keep their service rifles after their term of service.
In December 2017, Swiss gun rights group ProTell made clear that the group would oppose the attempt to align Swiss gun laws to the European Firearms Directive by referendum if necessary. On September 28, 2018 both houses of the Swiss Federal Assembly (parliament) voted to revise the country’s firearms laws to comport with the EU’s mandate.
After the Federal Assembly capitulated to Brussels’s demands, Swiss gun rights activists made good on their promise. On January 17, the pro-gun referendum committee submitted the necessary signatures to put the changes to Swiss gun law to a popular vote on May 19. Voters will be asked if they “Ja” support the Federal Assembly’s surrender to the EU, or “Nein” do not want the country to adopt the EU gun control requirements.
The referendum committee has developed the “Nein” campaign to promote the pro-gun rights position on the ballot. The “Nein” campaign has attracted a wide variety of support, including backing from many of the various archery and shooting sports clubs and organizations, ProTell, the largest political party in the National Council the Swiss People’s Party (SVP), and militia organizations. The campaign materials highlight Swiss shooters from all walks of life and point out that the attempt to conform Swiss firearms law to the European Firearms Directive is wrong, hostile to freedom, useless, dangerous, and anti-Swiss.
The referendum campaign shows that there are many in Switzerland that possess a deep understanding of the vital role an armed populace plays in a system of ordered liberty. The referendum committee website published a piece from SVP National Councilor Werner Salzmann which explained,
There are three mechanisms of protection that have proven effective throughout history to prevent state arbitrariness and human rights abuses: the separation of powers, the right to freedom of expression and the right to private firearms ownership.
All three of these protections have always been exceptionally well developed in Switzerland. The power-limiting effect of the separation of powers is reinforced in Switzerland by the referendum and initiative right. So-called “hate speech” censorship, as in Germany, does not exist with us. And every law-abiding, mentally unremarkable citizen in Switzerland could always buy as many commercial weapons and ammunition as she wanted. [Translated from the original German using Google Translate]
The referendum committee’s fact sheets point out several of the specific problems with the European Firearms Directive. The EU laws would turn the right to own commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms into a privilege. The measure would curtail possession of the civilian versions of the military’s SIG SG 510 and SIG SG 550, which account for 80 percent of the rifles used in sports shooting. Casual shooters could face disarmament, as they would not be able to provide the proof of the need for a semi-automatic firearm required by EU law.
The campaign has also made clear that the 2017 additions to the European Firearms Directive are only the beginning of the EU’s gun control efforts. Article 17 of the Directive requires that every five years the European Commission must “submit to the European Parliament and to the Council a report on the application of [the European Firearms] Directive, including a fitness check of its provisions, accompanied, if appropriate, by legislative proposals…”
With the natural rights of the Swiss in the balance May 19, NRA will continue to monitor Switzerland’s European Firearms Directive Referendum and keep American gun owners apprised of the latest developments.
4 thoughts on “Swiss to Vote on Implementation of EU Gun Controls”
I hope they vote against it.
Once the camel has his nose under the tent, the whole works is coming in!!!!
Dictation from Brussels. Switzerland, hold the line. It’s YOUR nation. Don’t allow your nation to devolve into the rest of the EU cesspool. The safest, most free nations in Europe are the ones that have told the EU to stuff it.
Pretty funny, in that this would ban the country’s historic national firearms like the 1889 Schmidt-Rubin, as well as the 1871 Vetterli (12 round magazines).
We are the only country in the world that has a Second Amendment.
Find one government in all of history that banned it’s own ARMED FORCES from “Keeping and Bearing” ARMS.
Find one government in the history of humanity that felt a need to document a “RIGHT” for it’s ARMED FORCES to possess ARMS.
Oppressive Governments are ALWAYS banning the People’S RIGHTS to arms.
The claim that the Founding Fathers wrote the 2nd Amendment to give Our ARMED FORCES a “right” to keep and carry ARMS is S-T-U-P-I-D.
The only reason for the Second Amendment is to clearly spell-out the GOD GIVEN RIGHT of INDIVIDUALS to keep & bear ARMS.
The only reason for the BILL(list) of RIGHTS was to codify INDIVIDUALS’ GOD GIVEN RIGHTS.
Has there ever been a government that was not chock full of it’s “rights” up to and including declaring itself to be the Lord God Almighty?! (Rome, Egypt, Israel,etc)
Does the 1st Amendment mean the GOVERNMENT is allowed to give speeches? Try shutting up any Politician. But THEY would LOVE to shut YOU up, hence the FIRST Amendment.
Anyone who tells you the 2nd Amendment applies to the Army or State Militia, is telling you they think you are STUPID.
There has NEVER been a government that felt it had to codify it’s army’s/soldier’s “RIGHT” to “Keep and BEAR ARMS” because there has NEVER been a government that refused to allow It’s own soldiers to KEEP and BEAR ARMS!
The Second Amendment was written for the People, like the other 9 Amendments in the Bill of Rights. This was confirmed by the SCOTUS in the DC vs Heller decision, where they stated that the “People” in the Second Amendment were the same “People” that are mentioned in the First and Fourth Amendment.
The 2nd Amendment clearly codifies the “right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms”, and certainly not “the Militia”.
Why would “the Militia”, a type of army manned by citizen-soldiers as opposed to full-time “regulars”, need a constitutional amendment to guarantee they have the right “to keep and bear arms”?
Is there any specific statement anywhere in the Constitution that the army Congress is empowered to raise has the “right to keep and bear arms”? Of course not. …………. That is assumed.
the 2nd amendment,, specifies that the RIGHT to bear arms is the right of the people,, NOT the militia,,,, it is the people who will make up the militia,, but the right is not the right of a “well regulated militia” it is the right of the people, We the people were BORN WITH INALIENABLE RIGHTS, meaning they come from GOD.
Your Rights do not come from the Constitution. Your Rights come from Our Creator, and the Constitution was written to SUPERVISE, REGULATE, and CONTROL government actors. As it relates to firearms, the Heller “decision” was completely unnecessary, and likely a smokescreen to make it APPEAR that the USG retained some rights to regulate some firearms. Check out the relevant part of US v. Cruikshank:
“[The Right to Keep and Bear Arms] is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed;… This is one of the amendments that has no other effect
than to restrict the powers of the national government,…”.
U.S. v. Cruikshank Et Al. 92 U.S. 542 (1875).
Res adjudicata – “the thing has already been decided.”
The 9th and 10th Amendments help make it ABUNDANTLY clear to even the DENSEST of intellects that we truly have NO “Constitutional rights.” What we have(at the risk of being redundant) is Constitutionally-SECURED rights, but these rights are ONLY as secure as:
a) the honor and integrity of those taking the oath, and
b) the ability of the People to COMPEL obedience on pain of perjury charges and removal from office.
The intention of the Founders and Framers was to keep our God-given rights secure by REQUIRING those who seek office to take the oath as an immutable predicate to taking office, meaning it is binding on THEM – not on US.
Of course, most of the power brokers wish to keep us ignorant of our Rights and our Power. If possible, i highly recommend Thomas Paine’s “The Rights of Man,” which should help to educate Americans and illustrate to them the difference between Natural Rights, and what the 14th (never properly ratified, btw) wishes to change that to: “privileges and immunities.”
It is implicit in the nature of all kinds of armies —- be they militia or regulars, volunteer, conscripted, or mercenary — to be armed.
They are all “armed forces”.
They all “bear arms”.
They all carry guns.
That is what they do.
It certainly no more requires an amendment to the Constitution to state that “the Militia” has the RKBA , than a specific statement that the army Congress is empowered to raise may be manned by armed troops.
Governments don’t have to document their “right” to bear arms, that is what governments ARE, they are naked force, George Washington said as much. Saying governments have a right to guns is like saying cars have a right to have wheels…
“The [U.S.] Constitution is a limitation on the government, not on private individuals … it does not prescribe the conduct of private individuals, only the conduct of the government … it is not a charter for government power, but a charter of the citizen’s protection against the government.” Ayn Rand