In 2022, 96 army weapons were reported missing
Thieves grab assault rifles and pistols
Almost 100 army weapons were listed as missing last year. Most were stolen, one was destroyed in a fire. Anyone who loses their weapon as a member of the army must expect the consequences. With fines, fines or even arrest.
Published: 3 minutes ago
Army weapons are reported missing every year.
Ruedi StuderBundeshaus Editor
It is a recurring problem for the army: dozens of assault rifles and pistols are registered as missing every year. Also in 2022, 96 army weapons were lost. Almost the same number as in the previous year, when 98 weapons were lost.
In 82 cases it was an assault rifle 90 – the rest were pistols, mainly the pistol 75.
95 weapons were lost through theft or were at least reported as stolen. A gun was destroyed in a fire. Since 2009, the army has registered 1,132 army weapons as missing.
“Weapons losses are almost unchanged compared to 2021 and are in the range of fluctuations in previous years,” says army spokesman Stefan Hofer. The reasons for the increase in the last two years compared to 2020 – at that time only 70 army weapons were lost – cannot be clearly determined. “It’s possible that they have something to do with the increased mobility after Corona and have therefore approached the figures for 2019 again.”
20 weapons recovered
Last year, at least 20 weapons registered as missing were recovered – 17 assault rifles and three pistols. A little more than the year before.
“Most of the weapons were found in the living quarters of the people who reported the loss – or with their next tenants,” explains Hofer. “The police also seized another part of the weapons during the investigation.”
As before, most of the weapons found would be returned to the army’s logistics base by the cantonal police corps, “that is, given to the police by citizens or found during police operations,” explains Hofer. However, the slight increase in the number of weapons found cannot be clearly explained. However, it is within the range of the fluctuations of recent years.
According to Hofer, both the number of missing and the number of weapons found correspond to the average of the last five years.
“Perpetrators” face consequences
The army does not take the problem lightly and launched a prevention campaign back in 2017. And the “perpetrators” face consequences depending on the case. In minor cases, you can get away with a disciplinary punishment from the troops. In many cases there is a fine. In the case of serious negligence, however, there is a penalty of up to three years imprisonment.
If the gun is stolen, you can get away with it without being punished, provided the gun was kept in accordance with the rules.
The sensitization of the members of the army, which is carried out on the occasion of the recruit schools and refresher courses, will in any case be continued, according to Hofer. “The troop commanders are required to deal with the topic of ‘preventing the loss of weapons’.” In addition, the service booklet contains information on preventing the loss of weapons.
Hofer emphasizes: “The Swiss army is doing everything it can to prevent weapon losses, because every missing weapon is one too many.”