Switzerland Debates Gun Laws in Shootings' Aftermath

Two mass killings spark debate about easy access to firearms
Police search for evidence on Jan. 3 in Daillon after a gunman opened fire in the village in southern Switzerland, killing three people and wounding two others Photograph by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

On a snowy late-February morning, a man walked into the cafeteria of a wood-processing plant in the Swiss village of Menznau and opened fire with a Sphinx AT .380 pistol. Four people died, including the gunman. Six others were wounded. It was Switzerland’s second mass shooting in less than two months. In January a man with a history of mental illness fired a rifle from his window in the Alpine village of Daillon, killing three and injuring two. The shootings have rekindled the debate over gun control in Switzerland, where an estimated one in four households has a gun. “This act has touched us all deeply and made us aware what incredible suffering can be inflicted by weapons,” Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga said in Bern on Feb. 27, the day after the Menznau killings.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.