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Cabinet turns down ban on arms at home

The Swiss government has rejected a people’s initiative that aims to ban more than one million military weapons from Swiss households.

This content was published on December 16, 2009 - 11:46

It said on Wednesday that current legislation on weapons offered enough protection against abuse and that it was not going to put forward a counter-proposal to the initiative.

Launched in February by the centre-left Social Democratic Party and a number of pacifist organisations, the initiative calls for army weapons to remain in barracks and for a national gun register to be created. It also wants to ban private individuals from buying or owning particularly dangerous guns such as automatic weapons and pump-action shotguns.

The government noted that several prevention measures had been put in place.

From January 1, 2010, soldiers in Switzerland’s militia army can deposit their weapon at a local army base. They will also have to present a permit if they want to keep their weapon after compulsory military service.

The issue has been a political hot potato in Switzerland after a number of tragedies involving army weapons.

These have included the 2001 killings of 14 people in the cantonal parliament of Zug and the murder of Swiss skier Corinne Rey-Bellet by her husband in April 2006.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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