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On Monday, a man walked into the office of an insurance firm in the Swiss city of Schaffhausen and began attacking people with a chainsaw. He wounded at least five people and sparked a massive manhunt along the nation’s border with Germany.

The alleged attacker has been identified as 51-year-old Franz Wrousis, a person who apparently “has spent significant time living in a forest.” Mr.Wrousis has two prior convictions for weapons charges according to Agence France-Presse.

Swiss police don’t believe that Mr. Wrousis’ attack was “a terrorist act” (presumably a euphemism for violence inspired by the Islamic faith, as his victims were certainly terrorized). They believe it was related to some sort of quarrel with the firm itself.

Police were alerted “about 10 minutes after the attack began” — validating once again the old saw (so to speak) about police responsiveness when seconds count.

One of the victims suffered serious wounds, and all were hospitalized after the attack. Various news sources indicate that none of the injured have life-threatening wounds.

Firearms ownership is relatively common in the Swiss Confederation which has taken a more sophisticated approach to firearms laws than their European neighbors. Swiss men between the ages of 18 and 34 are required to do military service, during which they are issued rifles and pistols that they keep at home.

According to a 2007 survey, the Swiss have the world’s third highest rate of firearms ownership on a per capita basis.

The BBC reports that Swiss citizens are given the option to purchase these weapons after their service obligation is completed, and many choose to do so. In recent years, Swiss voters have rejected several recent efforts to impose more stringent gun control.

Switzerland does have some restrictive gun laws, though, and doesn’t have a tradition of carrying of firearms for personal self defense. Swiss citizens may apply for a concealed carry license, but they are issued parsimoniously.

The right isn’t respected for all persons. Resident aliens from certain countries are specifically denied the right to purchase a firearm: Algeria, Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey.

In this case, the lack of an armed civilian firearms on the scene, coupled with an untimely police response, allowed this attack to occur without resistance. And enabled the perpetrator’s escape.

It should have been a defensive gun use.

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  1. Switzerland is one of the few countries I’d like to visit in Europa… now you tell me they have actual forest trolls roaming the cantons 🙂

  2. “Resident aliens from certain countries are specifically denied the right to purchase a firearm: Algeria, Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey.”

    Gosh, I can’t think of a single thing all those nations have in common.


  3. I might be wrong, but Switzerland is also one of the few countries that have direct democracy for passing major laws.

    • Not exactly. The country is a federation. Each Canton has elections for representatives and that is direct. However if the federal government is going to do anything then it requires a unanimous vote of all the cantons. That just means a majority vote in each Canton. The cantons are analogous to u.s. States

      • More analogous to our original Articles of Confederation if I understand correctly, only limited to a socio-geographic scale where it can actually work (the US was already too far-flung & diverse in 1776 to function as a committee of states alone, hence the Executive branch and superior court [both of which subsequently grew like garden-weeds])

  4. Who took those photos and why? What is going on there?

    Also, the results show that, video games and movies aside, chainsaws are a pretty crappy weapon.

  5. Is the 3 guns thing new? That was not true a few years ago. Assuming the person I knew had them legally, which I think they did.

    • I can’t find the source for that — thought I had it in my notes, but can’t find it. I have removed that line. Apologies.

      • I thought it was three semi-auto or otherwise restricted firearms are allowed to be purchased on each permit, but you can always apply for more permits. For non-restricted manually operated firearms, no permit is needed, just some background check certificate.

  6. Should’ve been a defensive chainsaw use. Just imagine how epic a chainsaw fight with an actual troll would be… on a mountain no less.

  7. A Swiss guy here… We can have more than 3 guns, but we apply with a form for up to 3 guns each time. Which is normally just a formality, but costs us 50 bucks. There are basically no CC licenses and we have very strict laws how to keep the weapona secured, transported and so on.

    About the restricted countries: They have been in wars/civil wars in the last 20+ years and the fear was, they would buy guns here and take them there and stuff like that or learn to shoot and use guns and go back fo use that knowledge.

  8. 1 2″x4″ board longer than the chain saw should have ended the attack. A baseball bat would have worked well too, but There are no Swiss baseball leagues so I imagine baseball bats are hard to come by in any of the cantons.

    • Not disagreeing with you, but honestly I wouldn’t be eager to engage a guy (even a retard like this) who had a Chainsaw. Obviously I would if necessary, but a chainsaw is pretty intimidating.

  9. ” doesn’t have a tradition of carrying of firearms for personal self defense” this is actually wrong, we lost this right in 1999 with the first federal gun law, until 1999 and even more until 1995 carrying was legal in most cantons in Switzerland, without any permit for most of these.


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