[StBernard] Gun Control by Executive Order

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Fri Jan 18 09:26:07 EST 2013

But it's not quite that simple.

Conditions under the 1999 Gun Act

To purchase a firearm in a commercial shop, one needs to have a
Waffenerwerbsschein (weapon acquisition permit). A permit allows the
purchase of three firearms. Everyone over the age of 18 who is not
psychiatrically disqualified (such as having had a history of endangering
his own life or the lives of others) or identified as posing security
problems, and who has a clean criminal record (requires a Criminal Records
Bureau check) can request such a permit

Basically, the sale of automatic firearms, selective fire weapons and
certain accessories such as sound suppressors ("silencers") is forbidden (as
is the sale of certain disabled automatic firearms which have been
identified as easily restored to fully automatic capability). The purchase
of such items is however legal with a special permit issued by cantonal
police. The issuance of such a permit requires additional requirements to be
met, e.g. the possession of a specific gun locker.

The rules laid out above were changed on 1 December 2008 as Switzerland
joined the Schengen treaty <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_treaty> ;
and all member countries must adapt some of their laws to a common standard.
Following the draft of the Swiss government for the new Waffengesetz
(weapons law), these points will change:

* Unlawful possession of guns will be punished.

* Gun trade among individuals will require a valid weapon acquisition
permit. Weapons acquired from an individual in the last ten years (which did
not require a weapon acquisition permit) have to be registered. As a central
weapons register was politically unfeasible, the authorities hope to get an
overview of the market through this registration requirement.

* Every gun must be marked with a registered serial number.

* Airsoft guns <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airsoft_gun> and
imitations of real guns will also be governed by the new law.

* While the above mentioned "free arms" remain exempt from the weapon
acquisition permit, the vendor is required to notify the local arms bureau
of the sale.


In Switzerland every able bodied man is required to maintain a
combat ready gun in his home. Generally they are a civilized people and live
peaceable lives.

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