In Focus Armed Violence Monitor - Weapon Seizures in South-East Europe in 2020 is Published

With its monthly In Focus - Armed Violence Monitors for South East Europe (SEE), SEESAC offers a more comprehensive overview of trends by analyzing specific types of firearm incidents occurring in the region in 2020.

The third issue puts the spotlight on weapon seizures in South East Europe (SEE) from 1 January to 31 December 2020, being the most frequently reported type of incident in the mentioned period. Weapon seizures represent a powerful and efficient law enforcement response to countering the use, proliferation and trafficking of firearm, ammunition and explosives.

Some significant highlights from this issue are:

  • With 1,235 cases, weapon seizures account for nearly half of all recorded firearm incidents in the region.
  • Handguns, as the most seized weapon, were reported in 480 cases, followed by explosives (306), rifles/shotguns (242) and automatic/military-grade weapons (161).
  • Among gas pistols that were seized in 58 cases, Ekol pistol was reported in 13 cases and Zoraki in five cases. The seizure of air guns was reported in 19 cases, while fake/toy guns were seized in eight cases.
  • A total of 71 cases involving large seizures (five or more weapons) were recorded across the region.
  • Out of 1,316 perpetrators, sex was reported for 1112 perpetrators, of whom 1,085 were men, and 28 were women.
  • Weapon seizures in urban areas (852) by far outnumbered those in the rural areas (383). The majority of weapon seizures took place at home (442) and in the street (209).

More information on weapon seizures in the SEE in 2020 is available here.

About the Armed Violence Monitoring Platform (AVMP)

The Armed Violence Monitoring Platform (AVMP) has been established by SEESAC with EU funding within the framework of EU Council Decision (CFSP) 2016/2356 and is currently supported through EU Council Decision (CFSP) 2019/2111, in support of SEESAC disarmament and arms control activities in South-East Europe.

The AVMP captures data on firearm-related incidents happening in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, North Macedonia, Kosovo* and the Republic of Moldova. 

The data is gathered daily from the relevant authorities' official websites, as well as print and online media.  The collected data range from the type of incident, firearms used, age and gender of the victim and the perpetrator, outcome of the incident. etc. Basic data analysis is also provided for various data sets aiming to discover trends related to the incidents. Quality assurance is conducted rigorously by SEESAC. The platform has seen significant improvements in recent years in terms of data collection and categorization. 

The purpose of the AVMP is to make essential data available to all interested parties working on small arms and light weapons control. The AVMP can serve as an informative tool for interventions with the overarching goal of a more effective response on arms control and the reduction of their negative impact on civilians.

*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999).