The Latest: Swiss voters appear set to back tighter gun laws

May 19, 2019 - 3:51 am

GENEVA (AP) — The Latest on Switzerland's referendum on tightening Swiss gun laws (all times local):

12:45 p.m.

Swiss media are reporting that early exit polls show voters have approved a measure to tighten Switzerland's gun laws, bringing the Alpine country in line with many of its European partners over the objections of some law-abiding gun owners.

Switzerland's public broadcaster says preliminary estimates show a solid majority nationwide has voted to align with a European Union directive on firearms adopted in 2017.

The Swiss proposal would, among other things, require regular training on the use of firearms, special waivers for possession of some semi-automatic weapons and serial-numbering of major parts of some guns to help track them.

Switzerland is not an EU member, but is in Europe's Schengen visa-free travel zone.

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8 a.m.

Swiss voters are casting ballots in a referendum to decide whether to enact new restrictions on guns and line up with Switzerland's partners in the European visa-free travel zone who have already tightened gun rules following extremist attacks in Europe.

The proposal could require regular training on the use of firearms, special waivers for possession of some semi-automatic weapons and serial-numbering of major parts of some guns to help track them.

Supporters, including the Swiss parliament and executive branch, say similar measures adopted by the European Union after deadly extremist attacks in France are needed to ensure strong police cooperation and economic ties with Switzerland's partners in Europe's Schengen zone of visa-free travel.

Switzerland is in the Schengen zone but is not one of the EU's 28 nations.