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Switzerland, land of peace, sees gun sales soar after terror attacks

Switzerland, land of peace, sees gun sales soar after terror attacks

 

Helena Bachmann | USA TODAY

Business at Daniel Wyss’ gun shop has been brisk lately in the village of Burgdorf near Switzerland’s capital of Bern.

He said the increased demand for firearms is triggered by a growing fear among the Swiss public that terrorists could attack their tranquil land at any time.

As nations around Europe tighten their gun laws after a series of terror attacks in several countries since 2015, the Swiss are bucking this trend by turning to firearms for protection.

Official statistics show that gun sales in some parts of Switzerland soared nearly 50% after last year’s attacks in Paris and the March bombings in Brussels. And gun sales continue to grow since the killings in France and Germany in the past two weeks.

In Wyss’ shop, “the demand for pistols, revolvers and pump-action guns rose by 30% to 50% after this month’s attacks in Nice and Munich,” he told USA TODAY.

Even though Switzerland has not been involved in an armed battle since a conflict between Catholics and Protestants in 1847, guns are ubiquitous in this Alpine nation.

In fact, neutral Switzerland has long been one of the world’s most heavily armed countries, trailing behind only the United States and Yemen in the number of guns per 100 people, according to the Small Arms Survey.

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