Switzerland referendum could ban military guns from homes

[JURIST] The Swiss Green Party [official website, in French] has collected enough signatures to force a referendum [link to text, multilingual] on whether the country's service members should be required to keep their government-issued firearms at military compounds. The Green Party has denounced [position statement, in French] the current practice of permitting the storage of weapons at home:

An impressive number of military weapons lie unused in Swiss cellars. No usage, whether military or sports-related, justifies their presence in the midst of the population. Far from protecting the people, these weapons represent a risk for their safety. Easily available, they contribute to increased suicides and murders.
The proposed constitutional amendment would specially address sports shooters, gun vendors and collectors, and those whose jobs require them to use firearms. The referendum would also mandate a national firearm registry, which opponents say is too costly.

For years, Swiss gun control advocates have pushed to keep military guns out of homes [IANSA backgrounder], urging the nation's Parliament [official website, in English] to pass a 2007 law banning the storage of military ammunition in residential buildings. The Swiss referendum process requires a minimum of 100,000 signatures on the ballot, and recent initiatives have addressed issues ranging from treatment for heroin addicts to national citizenship [JURIST reports].


 

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