Zurich — Switzerland on Sunday backed new restrictions on semi-automatic firearms, choosing to avoid a potential standoff with the European Union. While Switzerland has declined to join the 28-country bloc, it is a member of the open-border Schengen area and therefore must harmonise its weapons laws. Nearly two-thirds of voters backed the change in a referendum on Sunday. It means civilians using and owning large-magazine semi-automatic guns will need special permission and additional checks. “We’re taking care of the safety and security of people in Switzerland without undermining the traditional shooting culture,” said justice minister Karin Keller-Sutter. Opponents of the measure, including members of rifle clubs, had feared the country’s tradition of shooting for sport was under threat. Those in favour, including the government, cited the importance of Schengen and said the new rules would not  end the culture of shooting matches — such as the annual Zurich event called Knabensc...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now