Swiss gun control referendum, 2011
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A referendum was held in Switzerland on 13 February 2011 on the federal popular initiative "For the protection against gun violence" («Für den Schutz vor Waffengewalt»). It was rejected by 56% of voters and a majority of cantons.
The initiative foresees that guns can no longer be kept at home, but must be stored at the arsenal (Zeughaus) instead, that possession of a gun should be linked to a screening of the ability and necessity of the gunholder, and that all guns should be registered. Left-wing parties (SP, Greens, CSP) and the GLP are mostly in favour of the proposal, with right-wing parties (SVP, FDP, CVP, BDP) opposed.
According to polls from January 2011, the initiative was favoured by 45% of respondents, with 34% opposed and a relatively high amount of undecideds at 21%. A second poll from two weeks before the referendum saw a closening of the polls, with 47% to 45% in favour.
More than half, 56.3%, of all voters were against the initiative, with only the cantons of Basel-Stadt, Zurich, Geneva, Jura, Vaud and Neuchâtel in support; this meant the initiative would have narrowly passed in western Switzerland, but clearly failed in the German-speaking parts. In Switzerland, the passing of a constitutional amendment by initiative requires a double majority; not only must a majority of people vote for the amendment but also a majority of cantons give their consent.
|Source: Direct Democracy|