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Swiss Diehards Defy Rifle Reform as Trump Pushes Gun Remedy

  • Swiss Parliament to begin debating proposed EU gun law in June
  • Rejection of EU directive would risk membership of Schengen
Inside The National Rifle Association Foundation Annual Meeting
Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
Updated on

Swiss gun-rights activists, whose logo is a muscular William Tell clutching a crossbow, are taking aim at European Union firearm reform, just as Donald Trump says armed Parisians could have stopped terror attacks in 2015.

Seven hundred years after Switzerland’s defiant hero was forced by Habsburg oppressors to shoot an apple off his son’s head, a gun-advocacy group plans to trigger a referendum to block the implementation of tighter EU restrictions on semi-automatic firearms like the AR-15 assault rifle used by Nikolas Cruz in February to kill 17 classmates at his Florida high school. Protell and its supporters in the nationalist Swiss People’s Party bridle at Brussels laying down laws they say are unnecessary in Switzerland, where gun crime is rare.