Published: 08 Jan 2013 23:19 GMT+01:00 | Print version
Updated: 08 Jan 2013 23:19 GMT+01:00
A week after an apparently deranged gunman killed three women in a Valais mountain village, a committee of the Swiss lower house of parliament called on Tuesday for the equivalent of a national gun registry.
The lower house security policy commiitee voted with 12 in favour and seven opposed for linking existing gun registries at a cantonal level into a national network, commission president Chantal Gallade was quoted by the ATS news agency as saying.
The committee had asked the Swiss government to quickly draft a law change proposal, which will need to be voted through parliament before it can take
effect, she explained.
The committee had long been scheduled to debate a range of motions linked to illegal use of military weapons, and the vote was not linked to last week's
Yet the issue was all the more poignant after the January 3rd killings in the small village of Daillon, where a 33-year-old former soldier with known psychiatric and drug problems used a Swiss military rifle and a hunting rifle to kill three women and injure two men.
The issue of connecting the regional gun registries into a national network has been on the table since a referendum in February 2011 blocked the creation
of an actual national registry.
More than 56 percent of Swiss voters rejected the motion that also sought to change the country's long-standing tradition of letting citizens keep army-issue weapons at home.
The committee on Tuesday also rejected a similar motion, which would have required the collection of all military arms once a soldier completes his or her military service.
With a population of eight million people, Switzerland counts about two million registered firearms, but there are believed to be a large number of unregistered weapons as well.
Tuesday's suggested law change would require regional officials to systematically inform military authorities if they refuse to issue a firearms permit or confiscate a weapon.
Military authorities would also be required to inform regional officials if they for security reasons had withdrawn army-issue weapons from any citizens in their canton.
Hunting stray cats year round remains legal in Switzerland after Swiss lawmakers on Wednesday voted against banning the practice. READ () »
A 40-year-old man was sentenced on Wednesday to life in prison, 15 years after he killed a 50-year-old gay taxi driver in his Geneva apartment by stabbing him 47 times with a knife . READ () »
Swiss lawmakers rejected on Wednesday a deal proposed by Washington to expose American tax dodgers and halt a raft a US lawsuits provided that Swiss banks that helped stash the cash pay massive fines. READ () »
Switzerland's senate on Wednesday again backed a deal with Washington to expose US tax dodgers and fine Swiss banks which helped hide their money, a day after G8 leaders agreed to chase cheats and corporate fiddles. READ () »
When I lost my job in Zurich three months ago, I felt like the world was collapsing around me. I felt inadequate and angry, and had a sense of shame about becoming unemployed in a foreign country. READ () »
At least four drowning deaths were reported in Switzerland on Tuesday amid the country’s continuing heatwave, which is drawing throngs of bathers to the country’s rivers and lakes. READ () »
The world's largest fully solar-powered boat, a Swiss vessel called "Turanor PlanetSolar," docked in New York on Tuesday during a mission to study the effects of climate change on the Gulf Stream current. READ () »
Swiss champion football team FC Basel may be in danger of losing one of its top players, striker Jacques Zoua. READ () »
Students at one of Zurich’s largest secondary schools were sent home on Tuesday after seniors trashed parts of the building in what was described in news reports as a “graduation prank”. READ () »
The last mountain pass highway route in Switzerland was finally cleared of snow on Tuesday as most of the country continued to swelter in a heatwave with record-breaking temperatures. READ () »