Today, in a country of 7.3 million people, 465,000 households have a military-issue weapon. In addition, 350,000 firearms are kept by demobilized soldiers for summer shooting practices held in nearly every Swiss town and village. Another 500,000 guns are in civilian hands. Although some statistics show Switzerland's rate of gun-related deaths is higher than that of neighbors Germany, France and Austria, the number of murders is still low compared to the staggering number of firearms in the country. Last year 47 homicides were recorded — up from only 40 in 2000 — and police say in all cases privately owned firearms were involved.