Skip to comments.Troops pay to keep latest assault rifle at home (It Just Isn't Fair)
Posted on 03/14/2005 2:32:19 PM PST by Cornpone
Soldiers who have completed military service can hold on to the armys latest assault rifle from April 1, but they will have to pay for the pleasure.
The government says the weapons must first have their fully automatic capability disabled and owners have to foot the bill.
Fridays ruling means Swiss soldiers can, for the first time, take home the SIG 90 assault rifle.
Previously, they had only been allowed to keep the older SIG 57 rifle and regulation pistols.
But in a break with tradition, those who dont want to be separated from their personal weapon will have to dip into their pockets. This applies to both new and old SIG models.
They will have to pay up to SFr100 ($87) to have their rifle disabled, so that it cannot fire in bursts. In the past, the armys logistics division picked up the tab.
Sweeping budget cuts have also hit the army, which is reducing the militia force by a third, from 350,000 to 220,000 soldiers (including 80,000 reservists).
In December the defence ministry said it planned to close 25 military sites, including four airbases, as part of efforts to make annual savings of SFr240 million ($209 million) by 2010.
Around 560,000 Swiss soldiers currently keep a rifle or pistol at home. Under the countrys militia system, troops have to be ready for action at the drop of a hat.
But over the past decade, those who have completed military service have become less inclined to hang on to their firearm.
In 1994 more than half of them took home their rifle or pistol; last year this figure had shrunk to 43 per cent.
According to the Federal Police Office, there are around three million firearms in private hands in Switzerland.
Gun law revision
In a separate development on Friday, the government said it would delay any revision of the gun law until a likely nationwide vote on the Schengen/Dublin accord.
The bilateral treaty between Switzerland and the European Union, which has been approved by the government and parliament, covers closer cooperation on security and asylum.
Schengen includes directives on the sale and possession of firearms, including a ban on automatic weapons.
It is being challenged by the rightwing Swiss Peoples Party as well as the isolationist Campaign for an Independent and Neutral Switzerland.
If enough signatures are collected, a nationwide referendum will take place on June 5 this year.
In the wake of the massacre in September 2001, when a lone gunman shot dead 14 people in the cantonal parliament in Zug, the then justice minister, Ruth Metzler, proposed setting up a central register for firearms.
Can't you just visualize the US having to defend der Schwietz a little later from almost anybody after they get thru registering and disarming? Maybe they need the money to pay back the wartime Jews?
If they're smart, they will be independent of the EU!
Strange that they think as long as a man is officially in the Militia, he can have the burst fir Sig in his house, along with a supply of ammunition for it. When he finally gets old enough (they don't just serve a measly 4-6 years like our reservists/guardsmen) to "retire", he suddenly becomes untrustworthy? Bah Humbug.
Maybe the William Tell Society (Switzerland's much more strident equivalent to the NRA) will be able to raise enough fuss to head off the proposed gun control...maybe while they are at it, they can maintain Switzerland's now traditional neutrality, rather than allowing her to become just another cog in the EU.
I thought it was a Swiss law that every home had to have a weapon and a cache of ammunition. Also fully auto weapons. Did something change?
the transparent clip is awesome! I want one!
Nothing has changed. The situation was and is that most every Swiss male under about 60 is a member of the Militia. (Our original militia system was patterned after theirs, they've had it for a long time!) All militia members are required to keep their issue weapon at home, along with a tin of a "ready" ammunition, to be used until they can form up with their units and get more.
What has changed is that they won't be allowed to retain that weapon after they finish their militia service. In the past they have always been able to do that. Now they will only be able to retain it if it's converted to semi-auto (BATFE wouldn't even allow that, their rule is "once a machine gun, always a machine gun, unless you replace the entire receiver, welding in a block to prevent full auto isn't good enough. It's not a law, just their fiat). And of course the individual will have to pay for the privilege of being allowed to exercise a reduced version of a right their fathers exercised for free.
William Tell must be spinning in his grave.
It's a magazine, not a clip. But I want one too! I think it's even compatible with the M-16/AR-15, but I could be wrong about that.
That can is sealed. Break the seal without authorization and you will spend time in a Swiss jail reading the Bible.
It worked for them in two world wars...
I feel sorry for anyone who tries to invade Switzerland. The Swiss may be friendly and cheerful to tourists, but there is a whole bunch of firepower tucked away in those mountains. If I recall, there was a program on the History Channel a few weeks ago that mentioned Hitler wanted to invade Switzerland, but allowed himself to be talked out of it (one of the few times that happened) and instead sent those troops to Russia for the Summer of '42 offensive.
Read Halbrook's book on the Swiss "Target Switzerland." They had the ability to mobilize up to 800,000 within 2 days, most of whom could shoot their K11 and K31 rifles very accurately at 300 yards (the range that they qualified at).
Pre-WW1, a German General asked a Swiss general what the Swiss, with their 250,000 man army, would do if the Germans, decided to invade with 500,000 soldiers. The reply is an absolute classic: "My soldiers will shoot twice and then go home."
The Finns were ALMOST as good at shooting as the Swiss (its not their national sport, as is the case with Switzerland), and they took the Russians about 20:1 in the Winter War of 1939-40. One Finn took out over 500 Russians with his iron-sighted M39, another over 400 plus 200 or so with his sub-machine gun. I can only imagine what the Swiss would've been able to do.
Any Swiss FReepers reading this - I have lots of room in my gun safe if you're looking for storage...
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