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The police said the seizure of over 1,000 firearms was impressive from a home in the Bel Air neighborhood.
USA TODAY

GENEVA – With the push of the gun revolt continuously raising outgoing debates in the United States and elsewhere, popular Swiss firearms belonging to civilians have also been burned.

In its first worldwide referendum, the people of this country of heavily armed Alpine go to polls on May 19 to decide whether to accept more stringent gun control measures required by the European Union.

Europe has long banned automatic weapons, as well as some semi-automatic US available

But after the 2015 terrorist attacks of Paris, claiming 130 lives, The EU has made it more difficult to legally buy some weapons across its 27 member states.

Many in Switzerland are armed with these steps, arguing that strict rules will not stop terrorism.

"This is a futile regulation because there are no terrorist attacks that the EU has been using to legitimize the tightening of laws to be carried out on a legal weapon," says Luca Filippini, president of Switzerland Shooting Sport Federation.

Shooting is a popular sport in Switzerland, where families are often seen for range, carrying their rifles. Switzerland is voting on May 19, 2019 to decide whether it should adopt rules of more strict EU gun control. (Photo: Swiss Shooting Sport Federation)

Restrictions were also adopted in New Zealand after a terrorist attack in Christchurch in March, of which 51 were killed. The country banned semiautomatic assault rifles and military-style weapons.

And in Australia, a 1997 law banned some semi-automatic and pump-action weapons, which forced the owners to sell them back to the government. That measure was passed after a killer started in the fire with a semi-automatic weapon, shooting dead 35 people.

But Switzerland has not had a mass shot since 2001, though the weapons are everywhere as cheese and chocolate.

in the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey, there are about 28 guns per 100 residents. However other official sources indicate that the number is higher, since guns purchased before 2008 do not need to register and do not show statistics.

In comparison, the US has the highest number of weapons in the world, with more than 120 weapons for every 100 residents.

While recent attacks on a [ synagogue at Poway, Calif., At the University of North Carolina in Charlotte and a killer shootings nationwide have been pushing for a lot of gun-control debates in the United In the United States, in Switzerland, gun ownership is not an issue that is controversial.

That's because mass killings are rare and school shootings do not exist in this peaceful country of 8.5 million people, where weapons are fully rooted in a sense of patriotic duty and national identity.

Every man must serve the military, and their weapons, but not weapons, are kept in the house. People who own private guns can buy ammunition freely, if their weapon is registered.

"Responsable gun culture" – while Switzerland usually refers to their logical attitude towards weapons – it also means learning to acquire and hold guns safe from an early age.

Many young people belong to gun groups in their local communities, where they learn sharp shooting. They can test their skills in an annual shooting contest arranged for children aged 13 to 17 competing with the use of rifle service army.

It is not unusual to see the whole family coming from the shooting range, with rifles hidden on their shoulders or carrying backpacks.

Shooting is a popular sport in Switzerland, where families are often seen for scope, bringing their rifles. Switzerland is voting on May 19, 2019 to decide whether it should adopt rules of more strict EU gun control. However, despite the spread of firearms, the rate of gun homicide was very low – 0.5 per 100,000 people, compared to 5 in the US, according to United Nations data.

But in the upcoming referendum, guns in Switzerland may face a battle.

Although Switzerland is not a member of the European Union, it is part of the Schengen block agreement, allowing people from 26 European countries to enter any of the countries without a passport control. This means that Switzerland must comply with new EU firefighters if they want to remain in unlimited zones.

"Switzerland is committed to these guidelines and is bound to use national law regulations," said Nicolas Haesler, a spokeswoman for the Social Democratic Party, with most of the country's political groups supporting the move .

He added "A & # 39; no & # 39; vote will lead to Switzerland's automatic exclusion from the Schengen area, with all the negative consequences for our security, economy and travel."

But Filippini said that if the EU has a way, some rifles are used by most 130,000 members of the Shooting Federation are forbidden, making it more difficult to train target shooting, one of the favorite sports here .

"We have no problems with the weapons in Switzerland, so we do not need a new law," he said.

Opponents also oppose the existing laws of the country controlling the sale, ownership and licensing of firearms Guns, which include a prohibition on carrying hidden weapons, are strictly enough. It allows citizens or legal residents over the age of 18, who have obtained government permission and have no criminal record or mental illness history, to purchase weapons from authorized dealers, except for automatic guns , which was banned.

And those who want to buy a gun must first prove that they know how safe it is to use before a license is issued.

Similar licensing procedures also exist in other parts of Europe, but Switzerland is the first to allow people, rather than politicians, to decide the future of its firearms.

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