TITLE: Gun Utopias? Firearm Access & Ownership in Israel & Switzerland (2011)
SOURCE: Journal of Public Health Policy (JPHP)
AUTHOR(S): Janet Rosenbaum
RESEARCH QUESTION: Gun advocates claim that mass-casualty events are mitigated & deterred with three policies: (1) permissive gun laws, (2) widespread gun ownership, (3) encouragement of armed civilians who can intercept shooters, & cite Switzerland & Israel as exemplars; is it true?
FINDINGS: Compared with the US, Switzerland & Israel have lower gun ownership & stricter gun laws, & their policies discourage personal gun ownership. The Swiss federal government requires gun permit applicants to demonstrate need for protection against a specific risk & pass weapons safety & firearm use regulation tests. Permit holders may own only one handgun for 6 months, after which they must renew their permit every 3 months. Israel rejects about 40% of gun permit applicants, more than any country in the western world. Israel requires all guns to have an Interior Ministry permit & an identifying mark for tracing, & limits which citizens may apply for a permit, based on their residence, occupation, or role in national defense. Applicants are excluded if they take psychotropic drugs or have been arrested for drug use or domestic violence (even if not convicted), & must also pass a Hebrew language test. Permit holders may own only one handgun & must renew their permit annually or whenever their residence, occupation, or national defense role changes. Switzerland gun owners report higher gun-violence victimization rates than non-gun owners. Israel only 81st out of 179 countries in rate of gun ownership. Only 2% of Swiss military members keep their gun post-service. Israel bans use of personal guns for terrorism or crime prevention.
IMAGES: Reason for owning gun, Switzerland v USA: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3267868/figure/F2/
Proportion of households with gun, Switzerland v USA: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3267868/figure/F1/
TAGS: Israel, Switzerland, Ownership rates, gun culture, myths, comparative policies, international