Implementing the amended EU- Weapons Directive

On the 19 of May 2019, the Swiss electorate voted on the Federal Decree on the Approval and Implementation of the Exchange of Notes between Switzerland and the EU on the adoption of Directive (EU) 2017/853 amending the EU Weapons Directive.


In brief

Current position  

The Swiss law on weapons, like that of the EU, aims to ensure that weapons are used safely at all times. In order to comply with the latest requirements, weapons law must be updated when necessary. The EU amended its Weapons Directive in 2017. As one of the Schengen/Dublin member states, Switzerland plans to implement the amendment to the EU Weapons Directive. The Swiss Shooting Interest Group has successfully requested a referendum on the new legal provisions. In the event that the new provisions are rejected, cooperation between Switzerland with the other Schengen and Dublin states will automatically cease, unless the other states and the EU Commission offer concessions to Switzerland. 


The bill  

The new provisions of the Weapons Act introduce an obligation to label all the essential components of a weapon. This makes it easier for the police to ascertain where a weapon has come from. In addition, the exchange of information with the other Schengen states will be improved. This will make it easier for the Swiss police to find out who has been refused the right to use a weapon in another country for security reasons. The new provisions also introduce selective changes regarding the authorisation of semi-automatic weapons. Assault rifles, however, will still be available to those who have served in the armed forces. The other provisions have also been conceived so as to ensure that the Swiss traditions of marksmanship are preserved. 


wo is entitled to vote? Where and how to vote?


Last modification 11.07.2022

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