Swiss Rifle Range

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jmorris
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Swiss Rifle Range

Postby jmorris » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:46 pm

I don't think this would fly any where in the states.

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Re: Swiss Rifle Range

Postby C-dub » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:00 pm

I think you are correct. Pretty cool range!
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Re: Swiss Rifle Range

Postby JustSomeOldGuy » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:28 pm

Ah Switzerland. The land of William Tell, and of "if we're invaded, we all shoot twice and then go home". Gotta love it.
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Re: Swiss Rifle Range

Postby cmgee67 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:04 am

Never seen anything quite like this. Did I hear him right? Said a guy was drawing a bit of attention to himself because he was shooting a rifle less than 60 years old? Is there some kind of law there that says your gun must be a certain age?
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Re: Swiss Rifle Range

Postby loktite » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:32 am

cmgee if your question was sincere, it's because he was shooting a long rifle, vs say an MSR. As in they're only used to seeing "old-timers" shoot long rifles. At least, that was my interpretation :tiphat:
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Re: Swiss Rifle Range

Postby jmorris » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:16 am

cmgee67 wrote:Never seen anything quite like this. Did I hear him right? Said a guy was drawing a bit of attention to himself because he was shooting a rifle less than 60 years old? Is there some kind of law there that says your gun must be a certain age?


I just took it to be that he was the only on there that day with a rifle under sixty years old. But it may be that the older rifles are easier to obtain.
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Re: Swiss Rifle Range

Postby cmgee67 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:41 pm

Yes my question was sincere. And that’s how I kind of took it as well because it wouldn’t make too much sense if they were only allowed 60 year old guns haha. You never know in different parts of the world. That was a nice K31 he was shooting. I gotta have one of them baby’s one day
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Re: Swiss Rifle Range

Postby mrvmax » Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:44 pm

jmorris wrote:I don't think this would fly any where in the states.

That’s because there are too many incompetent people shooting at the ranges in the US. I have yet to be at any range (including the ones in the military) where there were not bullet holes in places they never should have been.

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Re: Swiss Rifle Range

Postby jmorris » Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:19 pm

Ok, you made me tell this story. I started work at Brooks AFB a couple years before it became Brooks City Base. There was a small building that housed the arms room. Outside the door was a clear barrel. If you don't know, that's a barrel, usually tilted, full of sand with a heavy metal lid on top wider than the barrel. You remove your magazine, clear the chamber, stick the muzzle in a hole (8"-10") in the lid, and pull the trigger. In a perfect world you then hand in your weapon. But in this world there were at least 30 impact dents in the metal ring. This meant that at least 30 people did not clear their weapon properly, did not insert the muzzle into the hole as required, and from a distance of likely inches couldn't hit said hole.

Given that some (many) probably did perform 2 & 3 correctly there likely were many more failing at #1.
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Re: Swiss Rifle Range

Postby Pawpaw » Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:26 pm

jmorris wrote:Ok, you made me tell this story. I started work at Brooks AFB a couple years before it became Brooks City Base. There was a small building that housed the arms room. Outside the door was a clear barrel. If you don't know, that's a barrel, usually tilted, full of sand with a heavy metal lid on top wider than the barrel. You remove your magazine, clear the chamber, stick the muzzle in a hole (8"-10") in the lid, and pull the trigger. In a perfect world you then hand in your weapon. But in this world there were at least 30 impact dents in the metal ring. This meant that at least 30 people did not clear their weapon properly, did not insert the muzzle into the hole as required, and from a distance of likely inches couldn't hit said hole.

Given that some (many) probably did perform 2 & 3 correctly there likely were many more failing at #1.

In my 22 years in the Air Force, I saw many of those clearing barrels. I can't remember ever seeing one that didn't have those marks.
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Re: Swiss Rifle Range

Postby Abraham » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:41 pm

Having spent time in Switzerland, I found it to be profoundly militant.

Military everywhere with low flying jets a constant. Deuce and a halfs filled with troops here, there, and yonder.

Yeah, they may be kinda, sorta, neutral, but they pose a very military presence.

Frankly, I found it reassuring...


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Re: Swiss Rifle Range

Postby MechAg94 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:33 am

The range I belong to uses angle iron supports for the target boards. Most of them show signs of being shot. Some people are just inaccurate with handguns or they hadn't properly sighted in their rifle, but some of the hits look like someone was doing penetration tests. Annoys the gun club officers and this is a private range.

Outside of the military and reserve weapons, how prevalent is civilian firearm ownership over there? What hoops do they have to jump through? I figure if we had a bunch of licensing and training requirements that could be revoked, we would have less horseplay issues. I would rather deal with people acting foolish if it is what it takes to be free.

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Re: Swiss Rifle Range

Postby jmorris » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:35 pm

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Re: Swiss Rifle Range

Postby The Annoyed Man » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:01 am

My next door neighbors - until a couple of weeks ago - are Swiss. He served in the Swiss Army. His wife’s father was an avid hunter. The Swiss laws concerning gun ownership are only in some way more libertarian than our own. They are more restrictive in other ways.

For instance, I asked him if he brought his issued rifle, a Sig STG 57 home when his service was over - as is often rumored to be the case here. He’s 50 years old, so the STG 57 was the issued weapon back then. These days, the issued rifle is the SG550. When you muster out, you become part of the militia. That’s what happens. When your active duty service is over, you become part of the official militia, which is the rationale for sending you home WITH your rifle. However, you don’t have to bring the rifle home and become part of the militia. You have a choice. But if you want to bring it home, you must be part of the militia. My neighbor said that, yes, he did bring his rifle home, along with the required 200 rounds of ammunition to go with the rifle.

The ammunition, right there, is one of the restrictions. You are required to have 200 rounds on hand, and it has to be issued ammunition. You can’t go buy any old commercial 7.62/.308 ammo you want and run it through the gun. Also, you can’t just go casually shooting and then ask for more. You have to account for Every. Round. Fired. That requires a paper trail. So, for the average Swiss militiaman, he has his required 200 rounds on hand, and replaces it as he uses it, but he never has more than the 200 rounds. Heck, between my son and me, we have probably got 6000-7000 rounds of 5.56 alone in our gun room. You’ll never find that in a private home in Switzerland.

Next restriction..... the rifle isn’t yours, it’s the Army’s. It belongs to them. If at any time, post active duty, you decide that this thing is taking up too much room in your tiny Swiss apartment (safe storage is a requirement) and you don’t maintain the proficiency with it to be a militiaman, then you must return the rifle along with the unfired ammo to the Army. If you die while still part of the militia, the rifle and ammo must be returned to the Army, it is not passed down to your survivors. At that point, you no longer have the automatic right to be in possession of a firearm. You can’t just walk into a gun store and buy another one. Once you turn in your military weapon, you must jump through the required hoops to own a privately purchased gun AND the hoops for privately purchased ammunition. And by the way, even during that time that you keep your issued weapon at home, you still have to jump through the hoops to obtain a privately owned firearm. You can get privately owned guns, but it is more like living in California than in Texas......if California passed a few more restrictive gun laws. The link that jmorris supplied above is accurate as far as private ownership of firearms and the restrictions thereon.

So, compared to Germany and Austria, for instance, the percentage of the Swiss population which owns firearms is lower than it is in either Germany or Austria - countries which have fairly restrictive laws also. Here in the US when discussing Swiss gun policy, we tend to be too focused on the fact that an honorably discharged member of the armed forces can take their select fire weapon home with them when they muster out.....which is true....but we tend to ignore the requirements placed upon the militiaman in order to keep the gun.

Yes, it is true that Switzerland has a “gun culture” and many are enthusiastic shooters, but it is nowhere near the shooting nirvana that many Americans imagine it to be. With the exception of not being permitted to bring home your issued select fire weapon, and the nearly prohibitive hoops you have to jump through to purchase and own a fully automatic weapon here in the US, the average Texan enjoys generally less restrictive gun rights than the average Swiss citizen. And the Swiss don’t have anything like the 2nd Amendment, with its phrase “shall no be infringed” in their Constitution. It simply isn’t part of their mentality. In Switzerland, gun ownership and possession is still very much a permission, and not a basic human right. They’re just a lot more libertine about that permission than many other European countries. Furthermore, the Swiss are between a rock and hard spot with the EU. Switzerland is not a member nation, but being surrounded by member nations, the EU has successfully pressured Switzerland into passing their own versions of a lot of the EU’s laws. That pressure is mostly in the form of economic sanctions. For example, Switzerland has been forced to adopt a bunch the EU’s environmental laws under the threat of losing their commercial aviation landing rights at EU airports. Member nations pay much lower landing fees at EU airports than non member nations. For the Swiss, who fly in and out of a lot of EU nations, Swiss Air cannot compete with other European carriers in the European market if they have to pay 10x as much in landing fees per passenger and plane. So to preserve Swiss Air’s viability (their only international carrier), Switzerland has had to make compromises in its environmental laws. As a land-locked nation, they have no alternative.

The Swiss tightened their gun laws in 2008 to come into compliance with an EU firearms directive. Why? Because they were pressured into it. I’m quoting jmorris’s link above:
EU Gun Ban

A 2017 amendment to the EU Firearms Directive, known as the "EU Gun Ban", introduces new restrictions on firearms possession and acquisition, especially on semi-automatic firearms, personal defense weapons, magazine capacity, blank firing guns and historical firearms. The restrictions must be introduced into the Swiss legal system by August 2018 due to its membership of the Schengen area.

The Directive also includes an exemption covering a specific Swiss issue - it allows possession to a target shooter of one firearm used during the mandatory military period after leaving the army, provided it was converted to semi-automatic only (art. 6(6) of the Amendment Directive). This part of the Directive specifically was however challenged by the Czech Republic in front of the European Court of Justice due to its discriminatory nature. The Czech Republic seeks nullification of the "Swiss exemption" as well as of other parts of the Directive.

Civil rights organizations plan to hold a referendum to reject the recent EU directive. According to Swiss People's Party vice-president Christoph Blocher, Switzerland should consider abandoning EU's borderless Schengen Area if the Swiss people reject the proposed measures in a referendum.

the “Schengen area” is the collective EU member states which have agreed to open, passport-less borders with free and unrestricted travel between those nations. Switzerland, although not an EU nation, did join the Schengen Area - which is another reason why the EU is able to blackmail the swiss into adopting EU environmental laws in exchange for landing rights. With only 24% of their population caring enough about guns to privately own any, it is very much up for grabs whether the Swiss will choose to preserve their gun privileges by leaving the Schengen Area, or adopt the EU Gun Ban in order to preserve the Swiss economy. The post Cold War record indicates that they’ll choose the preservation of their economy over their political autonomy.

That’s why I don’t necessarily view Switzerland as an example of what the US should be like.
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