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The Swiss Vote To Keep Guns At Home

Friday, February 18, 2011

Switzerland has historically had one of the highest per capita rates of firearm ownership in the world.  The country has no standing army, relying instead on a citizen militia for national defense.  And these members of the citizen militia keep their military-issued firearms in their homes.  There are also many shooting enthusiasts and shooting clubs in the country.  This has been the case for decades.

But, perhaps predictably in today's "progressive" environment, the Swiss have seen recent attempts to restrict their longstanding firearm freedoms.

As reported in a WallStreetJournal.com article this week, after an emotional debate over gun control, Swiss voters firmly rejected a referendum that would have ended the longstanding practice of keeping army-issue firearms at home and tightened restrictions on civilian gun ownership.

According to the article, a majority of voters rejected the initiative.  Apparently the Swiss government also opposed the referendum, arguing that soldiers are now allowed to store their weapons on base and that civilian gun possession laws are strict enough.

The article went on to note that the "NO" vote exceeded 70 percent in some rural areas, which are more conservative and are the home to many shooting clubs.  And according to Jakob Buchler, a leader of the conservative Democratic People's Party, the Swiss people will not allow themselves to "be disarmed."

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.