Tighter gun controls approved by Swiss voters: report
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A wide majority of Swiss voters cast ballots Sunday in favor of enacting stricter gun control rules better aligned with European Union regulations, according to Reuters.

The binding referendum passed by a margin of 64 to 36 percent, according to the news service. While Switzerland is not part of the EU, it is part of Europe’s Schengen open-border system, meaning bucking Brussels on gun regulations could have led to the nation leaving the Schengen zone.


The EU enacted stricter firearms rules following a November 2015 mass shooting in Paris in which ISIS militants killed 130 people, with the new rules including tighter controls on buying semiautomatic weapons and measures to make it easier to track weapons. Former members of the Swiss military traditionally keep their assault rifles, which led Swiss officials to negotiate some exemptions for veterans and recreational shooters who belong to Swiss shooting clubs, according to Reuters.

Despite the negotiations, Swiss gun rights advocates have argued the regulations threaten to disarm law-abiding citizens, according to the news service.

“To me, the new obligations linked to the possession of guns are not that restrictive, while the risk of not being able to benefit from Schengen’s advantages are very real,” a bank employee told the news service. “It has nothing to do with blackmail, it is just that Switzerland has to align itself with a system to which it participates.”