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Personal firearms in Switzerland
Home > Relocation Guide > Relocation questions > Firearms
Some of our clients settling in Switzerland ask us about their rights with respect to firearms. Can you import weapons to Switzerland? In what circumstances can they be transported? Where can they be fired? Are there limitations with respect to the type of weapon? We’ll try to answer these questions in this section.
We’d like to stress that in our mind, there is absolutely no credible reason for an average citizen to want to transport a loaded weapon, given the fact that violent crime is practically non-existent in Switzerland. Firearm ownership is widespread in Switzerland, however, and precision shooting is a highly regarded pastime. Young people can practice shooting military weapons by the age of 16, and keep their rifles at home. More information
It is worth noting that the high number of firearms per capita does not lead to a high rate of violent crime – on the contrary.
Purchasing, bearing and importing firearms in Switzerland are subject to federal law and consequently the same legislation is applied throughout Switzerland, regardless of your canton of residence. Variations in the application of these laws can nonetheless exist. Your canton of residence is the exclusive competent authority for issuing licenses for purchasing, bearing or importing arms. This means, for example, that someone who resides in Geneva cannot apply for a license in the canton of Bern.
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