updated 2/23/2009 3:09:13 PM ET 2009-02-23T20:09:13

Campaigners said Monday they have collected enough signatures to force a referendum in Switzerland on whether to confine army weapons to military compounds.

Service in the country's militia army is compulsory for men, and conscripts have to take their guns home between call-ups.

"Almost every day a person commits suicide with a firearm in Switzerland," said Josef Lang, a parliament member for the Green Party who is campaigning for the proposal alongside the Social Democrats, rights groups and others.

The referendum, a date for which has yet to be set, would also ask voters to decide whether to set up a countrywide firearms register and forbid citizens from buying particularly dangerous guns, such as pump-action rifles or automatic weapons, for personal use.

It goes far beyond a 2007 law that requires military ammunition to be stored on base — a move that was seen by many as the first step to dismantling the guns-at-home tradition.

Anita Fetz, a lawmaker for the Social Democrat Party, said a register would lead to more security and was worth the cost, which opponents claim would be immense. "Every single car and every cow in Switzerland are registered. Of course that costs something," she said.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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