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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi Guys,


I wanted to sharw with you some considerations I made about the legal environment concering guns, in particular SBR's between the US and my country (Switzerland).

As I understand, your 2nd amendment gives you the basic right on federal level to own firearms. I don't know of any other country thast has such a right written in the constitution in such a way. That def. makes 1:0 for the US on gun legislation:shock:

If we dig a bit deeper though, the situation is more nuanced. On a federal level, you are limited by a series of acts that affect machine guns, SBR's, suppressors etc. Ownership - as I understand - of these items is restricted or forbidden altogether, depending on the state. Further state legislation affects also the characteristics of non-NFA items, like magazine capacity or these strange things they make you do to rifles in California for instance.

Over here on the other hand, we do not have a consitutional right to own weapons. It is more of a privilege. Gun ownership is more restricted, but has less grey areas compared to the US.


In the US, regardless of the state, SBRs would fall under NFA rules. Acquiring such an item, would have you do a lot of paperwork - either via the police or via trust. In terms of time and money, it would be 200 USD tax + X weeks of waiting time.

Once you acquire the gun - correct me if I'm wrong - you are limited in trasporting it cross-state and selling it may also be a concern.

Over here, to buy any type of semi-auto gun, you are issued a "buying permit". This costs 70.- CHF and usually takes 10 working days to be issued. It is a fairly simple PDF where you need to give information about your personal data and what "kind" of weapon you want to buy. you do not need to dive any reason for why you are buying it. Stating "223 rifle" or "rifle" is usually enough.

Each buying permit has 3 slots (don't ask me why not 2 or 4...), so if you play it smart the 70.- fee is can be split on 3 guns. The buying permit is issued after a background check, but must be issued if you are not a criminal in the database of the cantonal Police (our cantons are your states).

So let's assume that I feel like buying a CQC SCAR, a P90 SBR and because I'm really rich - also a SIG 553.

Over here, regardless where I live, I submit a request to be issued a buying permit. Pay 70.-, wait 2 weeks, and get the permit for 3 rifles. The day after I go to the shop, hand in the permit, PAY, and go home happy with 3 SBRs. Selling or transporing these guns? No Problem! (Yeah I get it, my country is smaller than NYC....)

In the US, depending on where I live, i might not be allowed to buy and own these guns. OUCH! In many states you can get them, but you will have to undergo a process which is more expensive and more time-consumuing.

Coming back to the title... do you agree that we are more "free" here with regard to SBR's :)?

The US is a really cool country. But for being the Land of Freedom, as in any other country, there are some odd contradictions!

regards
andy
 

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I'm not going to lie to you, the NFA restrictions are more than a bit cumbersome, at times bizarrely confusing...and, really, rather silly to boot. But we do have really good BBQ, so...we got that going for us. :lol:
 

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One small detail difference. We can, with limits, transport any weapon to any state (that allows the ownership) of said weapon, as long as it does fall under NFA restrications. I.e. I live in PA, and my parents live in WV. I can transport my pistol or semi-auto Scar to my parents without any restrictions. If it were a SBR Scar, i would have to notify the proper authorities.
Also it is exceptionally hard to get the a full auto weapon made after 1986, and the ones before 1986 go for roughly 10 to 20 times their value. To own one, as i understand it, you actually need to be either a manufacturer or a dealer and acquire the proper licenses and approvals.
To purchase a handgun from anyone, you need to get a background check. To buy a rifle from a store, you also need a background check, but not from person to person.
The biggest struggle is watching which states you can go to and can't. Living in PA, i'm surrounded by 5 states, 3 of which, if i were to have a weapon on me, would throw me in jail. 2 of which, i can carry a loaded weapon with my Concealed Carry Permit issued through PA.
I'm definitely jealous of the freedoms. Thanks for the info, andy! I hope that clears the waters, but I'm sure it's as clear as mud.....which is how we in the U.S. feel.
 

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You have an excellent point. My blood boils when I think about SBR (I vomited in my mouth) and silencer restrictions. The fact that these two items are regulated makes zero sense. Those who think otherwise have been conditioned by the evil and ignorant sons of b!tches who wrote the laws into thinking so. Automatics are where the waters get muddy for me. (Shoot me for saying it) I agree to there being some kind of accountability for automatic weapons. But before you hate me let me tell you what I mean. I believe that you should have to fill out a form and go through a background check simply like the one we do right now for most every other type of firearm. That's it. The pre 1986 portion is sh!t and worthless and only exists to regulate automatics out of existence. It's meant to keep automatics out of the hands of all who can't afford them. Which is most people. That's bogus. Silencers and SBRs being regulated at all is a sham. Those regulations exist solely because the government makes money off of them. It has nothing to do with keeping the population safe. Therefor I completely disagree with those regulations.

Maybe I am assuming and I am sure you can clear this up but aren't those guns registered to you in Switzerland? That's what we have been fighting tooth and claw here to avoid for decades. If they are in fact registered to you when you buy them then no sir your gun laws do not make you more free over there. Gun registration is bad news. The baddest of bad news. That being said we who delved into NfA items consented to registration. It was the price we paid to own things we wanted. I hate it but those are the facts of NFA ownership as the law stands. In that regard our country isn't any more free then yours. Thanks for sharing.
 

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They say new Zealand is one the most free countries in the world too. Nfa rules are ridiculous and convoluted for the most part
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's an interesting discussion. Over here we have NFA-like Items as well. These would be suppressors, full-autos, laser devices, grenade launchers and (oddly enough) night vision scopes (not goggles, these are ok to buy without permit....).

The item group above is theoretically "prohibited". That said, there are plenty of people here that have suppressors or full-autos. Yesterday I even saw a 40mm grenade launcher on sale for the SIG 550-551 platform running at a modest 1'800.- CHF

The law states that cantonal authorities may issue special permits to buy those items. Here it's where it gets tricky. Whereas with normal weapons such as a .50 Cal Barrett or a Glock all you need is the buying permit (same across all the country), for prohibited items each canton has a different implementation for the exceptions.

You could say that talking about prohibited items, we do have our "California" or "New York" as well. Some cantons make your life easy, some are really strict.

In my Canton for instance, if you want to access the prohibited items market, you have to go to the police and have a little chat. Essentially you want to present yourself and talk them trough what kind of items you are collecting. It is not mandatory to do so - you could send in the request also without notice - it is just out of bon-ton. If they know you, and know you are a serious collector, the chance is higher that they issue you the permit to own prohibited items. They are cool about guns, and usually have served in our SF's. Most of the times they are more of a serious collector than the citizen :p

Back then, I told them that I collect moderns AR's, and would sooner or later consider expanding to Suppressors, lasers and possibly Full autos. Eventually I had been told that full autos are usually granted when you own 10+ guns, and have been collecting guns for more than 5 years. This is more or less their benchmark for a "serious" collector. Th ebenchmark is lower for Suppressors, which I eventually bought.

As with normal weapons, the Item ID is registered under your name, so there is always that aspect of registration in place. The fee is also higher (120.-) but it takes less to get the permit. Once they know you, usually it's less than a week.

Selling prohibited items to private citizens is complicated as well. As a consequence, the full auto market over here is not so liquid. In contrast to the US, full autos are usually cheaper than semi-autos - since demand is *easier* for the last group.

Speaking of odd things, shooting a full auto is prohibited though. You can therefore legally own one - but using it is not allowed. Like buying a Ferrari and be limited to the 1st gear...
 

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Speaking of odd things, shooting a full auto is prohibited though. You can therefore legally own one - but using it is not allowed. Like buying a Ferrari and be limited to the 1st gear...
More like buying a Ferrari and not being able to drive it. What's the point? Also you mentioned that firearms in general are registered. Freedom isn't in the description.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
More like buying a Ferrari and not being able to drive it. What's the point? Also you mentioned that firearms in general are registered. Freedom isn't in the description.
Well you can shoot the semi auto, but not full auto - that's what I meant.
 

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The one place where we might still have a edge on you is the transferring of used rifles and pistols between private individuals without knowledge or permission of a central government. It sounds like you have a national registry of all firearms along with who owns them. You might need to clarify this for us. For most of this country we are still free to by and sell to individuals as we choose. It is possible for Americans to own unlimited legal firearms without the government having any knowledge of them which I am sure pisses them off to no end.
 

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In America sure we have the far left that absolutely want to 100 % outlaw all guns cause of their fantasy utopia. But the majority of politicians it's all grand standing and they don't give a flying f. Their main goal is to use restrictions as a way to rape us out of more $$$$$$$$$$$$. Always follow the money. Our nfa taxes goes to fund the doj. That is money appropriated to doj without congressional approval.

Everything in America is always allot more complex then just blame Bloomberg and company
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The one place where we might still have a edge on you is the transferring of used rifles and pistols between private individuals without knowledge or permission of a central government. It sounds like you have a national registry of all firearms along with who owns them. You might need to clarify this for us. For most of this country we are still free to by and sell to individuals as we choose. It is possible for Americans to own unlimited legal firearms without the government having any knowledge of them which I am sure pisses them off to no end.
You're totally right about that. Indeed, if I want to sell my SIG to my dad he has to request a buying permit and I will keep the copy. While this def. sucks, it makes sure that if he goes crazy and shoots the neighbor's dog they won't blame it on my gun.

Taking one step back, I agree that the US is overall more free compared to Switzerland for guns. Concealed carry among others are further variables in the equation that make the US a more free "package" if you may call it so.

My original point however was purely based on SBR's, as they are a little cool niche. Strangely enough, as pointed out above, my local legislation is more SBR-friendly - which is a total random thing (!).

the whole hassle between a 15.9" rifle and a 16" rifle says a lot about how modern world politicians approach certain topics... Not only in the US ofc, we do have our fair share of idiotic legislators as well..
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Andy, what's the process in CH to carry concealed?
The answer is a sad one. We do not carry concealed. At least not the normal citizen.

you are issued a concealed carry permit if your situation justifies it. that last part makes a ton of difference: I don't know anyone that has a concealed carry permit. Perhaps they do and did not tell me, but i doubt it.

It fits the picture though, as using the gun in public gets you in other troubles as well.

forget about concealed carry! Defensive use at home is borderline ok, but also there most of the times it gets you into troubles - even if you were right.

EXAMPLE: some time ago here in CH some woman shot her boyfriend and killed him. He, a big bodybuilder with a background of domestic violence, tried to beat her up and was eventually shot like 7 times with a 9mm handgun of her girlfriend.

Eventually she got some years of jail for the following reasons: The court stated that the first TWO shots were classified as self defense, but the other extra rounds were not needed. It was believed that 2 rounds would have incapacitated the vitctim which would have been enough. The extra shots killed him, and that was classified as blablabla.

so yeah.. so much for concealed carry and its practical use over here
 

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The answer is a sad one. We do not carry concealed. At least not the normal citizen.

you are issued a concealed carry permit if your situation justifies it. that last part makes a ton of difference: I don't know anyone that has a concealed carry permit. Perhaps they do and did not tell me, but i doubt it.

It fits the picture though, as using the gun in public gets you in other troubles as well.

forget about concealed carry! Defensive use at home is borderline ok, but also there most of the times it gets you into troubles - even if you were right.

EXAMPLE: some time ago here in CH some woman shot her boyfriend and killed him. He, a big bodybuilder with a background of domestic violence, tried to beat her up and was eventually shot like 7 times with a 9mm handgun of her girlfriend.

Eventually she got some years of jail for the following reasons: The court stated that the first TWO shots were classified as self defense, but the other extra rounds were not needed. It was believed that 2 rounds would have incapacitated the vitctim which would have been enough. The extra shots killed him, and that was classified as blablabla.

so yeah.. so much for concealed carry and its practical use over here
Based on this I think I'll stay in my state in the USA, where concealed carry, NFA, and legal protection when there's a justified shootings are all embraced.
 

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That self defense situation and the resulting ruling is absolutely bananas. She should have emptied the gun on him. Here in the states we do not and are warned against shooting to wound. There are several reasons behind this. The number one reason is if you pull the trigger on someone you better damned sure mean to kill them. In reality shooting someone with 3 rounds out of a magazine rather then 15 doesn't make a lot of sense when your aim is to kill that person. The 4-15 bullets won't make them any deader if the first one killed them. There have been too many cases also of crack heads or some other amped up type of individual taking several rounds and continuing to fight. That's where the logic displayed in that case you described falls on its face. I'm sure you don't agree with it so this isn't to poke at you just at the situation you described.
 

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andy,
it sounds like in general that the swiss see firearms as collectibles but their usage is not acceptable. so let me ask, what about shooting the guns?
are you forced to join a shooting club? can you shoot on your property? what about outside in nature? (desert, forest, conservation land, etc)
any restrictions on ammo?

PS> what do you mean by lasers? accessories or laser guided missiles? :tongue:
 

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Can a Mod change the title of this thread to "I changed my mind U.S.A ROCKS!!" :shock::arrow::th_vote_yes:



Don't get me wrong we have our issues but living elsewhere you'll still be at the mercy of the U.S. in many ways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
andy,
it sounds like in general that the swiss see firearms as collectibles but their usage is not acceptable. so let me ask, what about shooting the guns?
are you forced to join a shooting club? can you shoot on your property? what about outside in nature? (desert, forest, conservation land, etc)
any restrictions on ammo?

PS> what do you mean by lasers? accessories or laser guided missiles? :tongue:
You are right - there are many guns in our country on a per captita basis, but the tradition is different. They were historically never really meant for personal defense. Instead, it was more of a defense against outside aggressors.

We actually have a really deep tradition of marksmanship! On the first weekend of May, in Switzerland all the 300m shooting ranges organize what is called "Field shooting". It is a shooting festival sponsored by the Confederation. All of the ammunition you shoot is free on this weekend. Usually you go to a range, lend a SIG550 and dump some magazines at 300m. Then you go out and enjoy a Beer + Sausage :)

In addition let's not forget that all Military personnel keeps their equipment at home! I have my SIG550 in the basement, along with Kevlar helmets, BDU, Rucks, Sleeping bags, LBE etc.. It's pretty unique. My dad still has his old Stgw 57 + SIG P210 from his army time. In time, across generations of people that served, it's cool to have such a souvenir. The government trusts its soldiers here with these weapons, but they are historically meant to defend our homeland against aggressors... unfortunately the self defence against other private citizens gets you into troubles....

Shooting is theoretically not allowed in public places.. ofc we have a lot of mountains where nobody really cares what happens :) Still, I would like to go outside and do some legit target shooting like thie guy Nutnfancy on Youtube. He just drives his truck in the desert and has a blast. Here it's a bit different, and not only because we do not have a desert eheh.

On private proerty the only limitation is the extra noise and your neighbors. If you can keep it "quiet" and safe within your property, nobody can say anything. The reality is that shooting 223 (even suppressed) is not feasible in my house, even if you got a big garden. I reckon some combination of subsonic suppressed calibers would work, but it's not really worth the hassle if you ask me.

Good question about the lasers! I just ordered a DBAL A3 and had to ask for a special permit; don't know if it also includes the laser gun from moonraker eheh.
 

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Grass is always greener on the other side.

Let's not forget you have chocolate, and awesome ice cream, Movenpick. :?
 
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