[COFFEE] Official way to get a gun in Switzerland as a foreigner


I never thought I would be starting a thread like this… But looking at what’s going on, I would like to ask if anybody knows about an official way of getting the gun as a foreigner living in Switzerland (Permit B)? Eg. are there any trainings to be followed etc.?

What about getting the other protective equipment, eg. bulletproof vest or helmet. Are getting those is somehow regulated? Do you have any recommendations?

First, be sure you are not from this list of countries, because that would be very difficult according to art.12 OArm/WV :

Bosnie et Herzégovine;
Macédoine du Nord;
Sri Lanka;


Thank you, I’m from Poland (and yes, it may ring a bell why I feel it may be important thing to do…), so should not be a problem in my case.


For most weapons a permission is required but most of the other equipment you mentioned you can just go to a gun shop and buy it.

For a gun you just fill out the corresponding form and wait until you get the permission and then you can go to any shop and buy it.

With the same permission you can also buy ammunition for some time (not sure how long, I guess 6 months), after that you need a new criminal record excerpt to buy ammunition in a shop.

You don’t have to follow any trainings etc.

For certain weapon types e.g. assault rifles etc. there is now a new law, thank you once again EU, and the normal permission is not enough anymore and those types of weapons are “prohibited”. But that’s just a term used to be compliant with EU regulations and you can still buy it you just need a cantonal exemption.

It’s more or less the same process with the difference that in 5 and in 10 years after the purchase you have to send it a tracking sheet where you list that you at least went 5/10 times to a shooting range or something like that with your that rifle. You can also join a club or something but just filling out the sheet is probably simpler. It’s basically 1 time per year and you’re fine. If you go in the beginning every week or so for 10 weeks that’s fine too. The whole process is basically just an alibi-process to the compliant with EU regulations.

You can also circumvent the problem if you buy the assault rifle with a magazine that holds less than 10 cartridges, because then they are allowed to sell it with just an ordinary permission.

In short, as long as you have a clean criminal record and there are no reports at your local police station (e.g. because of domestic violence or similar issues), then it’s usually just a formality.

Gun shops can help you to fill out the forms and can also advise on the easiest ways on how to comply with regulations.


I’d say “thank you common sense” rather… :thinking:

Don’t think countries should be looking up to the USA for guns’n’ammo regulations.


I think we should. Anyway the new process is just an alibi-process. Basically nothing changed, there is just a new form with a new name and you have to send a letter after 5 and after 10 years. You can basically 2 weeks in a row go to a shooting range and you already fulfil all the requirements. And you can go around the process entirely if you buy magazines for less than 10 cartridges.

It’s just another useless paper compliance exercise.

But that’s another topic.

Switzerland used to have gun laws like the US. It’s still very easy to get all kind of guns and I like it that way.


Thank you for very informative answer.

OK, good to know that there is no requirement, but in case I would like to, can anybody recommend anything? What about joining the local shooting club etc.?

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Didn’t we have a vote on this? Thank you Swiss people

Of course joining a shooting club is the cheapest and easiest way to get practice and also meet people with the same interests etc. Such clubs are available almost everywhere and membership is cheap and quote often they have access to a local shooting range or even military facilities.

Contra of a club is that you’re expected to attend regularly and participate in club events etc. so there is a time commitment involved with it.

But there are also shooting facility you can use ad-hoc but they’re more much more expensive (pay per visit or yearly membership). In most cases you have to bring a criminal record to gain access and some also require you do demonstrate your skills in handling a gun before they let you alone (e.g. that you follow safety rules etc.). Many offer also introduction courses etc.

In the end it also depends a bit what you want to do. Long range rifle shooting, or shot range with a gun, or dynamic / combat shooting with moving objects etc. If you want to shoot with a sniper rifle on a very long range you also need some contacts because events are very rare and there aren’t such facilities in every corner.

So it depends I guess and what you want to do and also the time you want to commit.

I think we know by now how easily voting behaviour can be manipulated. So, thank you pro-EU lobbyists. In this case, they threatened us in the sense of: they pointed a gun at your face and said you have to vote YES otherwise Schengen will fall and then all bilateral contracts will fall and then our economy will completely drown and the famine of the millennium breaks out in Switzerland because we will be the poorest country on earth because we will be completely isolated from the rest of the world, etc.


Also based on what I heard such clubs might not be super welcoming towards foreigners (just a heads up).


I don’t know if I want to open up that bottle here, but how on earth is this not racist and against discrimination laws?


It’s based on precise criteria (and countries get removed from the list if they no longer fulfill them)

It serves two purpose, lower the risk of internal violence between groups, and reduce weapon trafficking towards countries with ongoing conflicts.

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It’s outdated. Why isn’t Ukraine or Russia on it?

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Interesting. I’m Polish too and I would call myself a pacifist in my own sense of the word (don’t attack first, only defend). For years I’ve been strictly anti-gun, mostly because I didn’t want to have school shootings and all that drama that you have in USA. I always thought the state should have a monopoly on violence and that I would not trust the average Joe to be responsible enough to keep a gun safe. Now I don’t know anymore.

Ironically, the only party that is pro-gun in Poland (Konfederacja) has been labeled pro-Russian by the public. In his recent interview, Mentzen said: “Ask yourself, what does Putin want, more guns in Poland or less guns? Obviously he wants Poles to remain unarmed. So whoever publicly goes against gun ownership, is doing Putin a favor. In Ukraine, they have allowed gun ownership only 1 week before the war, much too late.”


Basically everyone can buy a gun in Switzerland. Not so long ago even semi-automatic assault rifles. And we didn’t have any school shootings yet.

Gun laws aren’t the problem in the US, society is.


I don’t think you can separate it that well.
If noone had guns, noone would be afraid of the other guy shooting onself. noone would call for “arm the teachers!”. Noone nedds to “mistrust as a precaution”.

People are mistrustful (mix in abit of xenophobia/ racism/ white pride/ …). If there were no guns, a mistrustful encounter would typically result in a brawl and some bruises. The moment you add guns, mistrustful encounters escalate much more quickly into deadly violence.

Once everyone mistrusts everyone ("he might have a gun!!), gun “accidents” become so frequent.

I’d rather rely on force monopole by the state and trust everyone else won’t shoot me on sight. There may be quite some examples in the world where this is a bad idea because of fucked up / nonexistent / irresponsible governments. But in Switzerland I believe we are as far away from that as possible.

I did enjoy going to the “Feldschiessen” recently and I even got that basic medal :sunglasses:
I was very fascinated by this perculiar impression of power when wielding the Sturmgewehr. Very intersting.

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What about the bullets?
Are there stricter controls for that?
I thought that even the military recruits take the (empty) guns home, but are handed the bullets only when needed.

A lot of soldiers and recruits collect ammo (empty shells and full ones), since no one gives a f… Seriously: Switzerland has more than enough weapons to do bullshit. I can’t find any reason why we don’t have a situation like in the US besides more reasonable people and the on average higher happyness/well beeing.

This is exactly my case too!

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