The Initiative

On 13th February 2011, the Swiss vote on the Swiss Federal People’s Initiative “For Protection Against Gun Violence”.

The popular initiative launched by politically leftist and pacifist circles under the leadership of the Social Democratic Party (SP) wants to radically tighten today’s firearms legislation with rigorous but unfit and bureaucratic measures. Under the pretext of combating violent crime, it also demands the abolition of the home delivery of the personal army weapon to Swiss militiamen.

The initiative demands:

  • A proof of ability and capability for the acquisition and possession of firearms
  • A ban on so-called “particularly dangerous weapons” such as serial firearms and pump actions
  • The establishment of a central register of weapons at the Federal Government
  • A waiver of the home delivery of the personal weapon to the members of the army
  • A ban on surrendering their weapons to military personnel released from compulsory military service

The Federal Council has examined the initiative and rejects it without a counterproposal. He believes that sufficient account is taken of the protection against the abuse of arms in the current Arms Act and that steps have already been taken in the field of army weapons to prevent possible abuses with ordnance weapons. The Security Council of the National Council (SiK-N) also recommends to its Council the initiative “Protection against gun violence” by 18 votes to 8 against rejection.

The “Verein gegen den Waffenverbotsinitiative” rejects the weapons initiative. The Swiss Weapons Act and the measures implemented by the Confederation and the cantons to deliver the army weapon are suitable for combating abuses of firearms.

” Our arguments

Schedule of political treatment

01/10/2010Federal Council and ParliamentThe Federal Council and Parliament recommend the Weapons Initiative without any counter-proposal for rejection. In the final vote, the initiative was rejected more clearly than in the actual treatment. The National Council rejects the Weapons Initiative by 119: 69 votes (with 4 abstention), the Council of States by 30:11 votes (with 1 abstention).

Word protocols of the National Council and the Council of States »
13/09/2010SenateAfter the National Council, the Council of States has also spoken out against the weapons initiative. By 27 votes to 15, the Small Chamber recommends rejecting the leftist popular initiative.
18/08/2010SiK-SThe Security Council of the Council of States (SiK-S) rejects the gun ban initiative with 9 to 3 votes. Press release SiK-S »
18/06/2010NationalFor the bourgeois majority in the National Council, the initiative “For protection against armed violence” goes beyond the goal. The big chamber recommends the weapon prohibition initiative with 103 to 66 votes to the rejection.
23/03/2010SiK-NThe Security Policy Commission of the National Council (SiK-N) clearly rejects the weapons initiative by 18 to 8 votes. SDA message »
16/12/2009Federal CouncilThe Federal Council adopts the message on the Weapons Initiative and recommends that Parliament reject it without any counter-proposal. Communiqué des Bundesrat »