What happens when E.U. gun control meets Swiss gun culture? A referendum.

What happens when E.U. gun control meets Swiss gun culture? A referendum.

Gun Rights

Swiss themed gun holsters are displayed in a glass case during the 45th edition of the Arms Trade Fair, in Lucerne, on March 29, 2019. (STEFAN WERMUTH/AFP via Getty Images) April 3 at 6:55 AM BERLIN — In some countries, pushing through gun reforms after major terrorist attacks or mass shootings has proven to be more difficult than in others. While the United States remains far from any substantial changes, New Zealand banned semiautomatic assault rifles and military-style weapons within less than a week after the Christchurch terrorist attack in mid-March. The move echoed a similar, but far slower, 2017 move by the European Union to toughen firearms laws, in response to the 2015 Paris attacks that left 130 victims dead. In a bloc of 28 (soon to be 27) member states, agreeing on joint reforms proved more difficult than expected. The passed reform ended up being weaker than initially proposed, with various exceptions for hunters or members of firearms club, for instance, who will continue to be able to own semiautomatic rifles and handguns. The reforms will still make it more difficult for civilians to legally obtain them and — perhaps more importantly — create uniform rules for the registration of such weapons, which is especially important in the borderless Schengen zone where arms traffickers have so far found loopholes in abundance. Later next month, Swiss voters will decide if those rules should also apply to Switzerland, which while not part of the E.U. tends to follow its […]

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