'Less Arms, Less Tragedies' Small Arms and Light Weapons Collection Campaign is Taking Place Across Croatia

On 11 March 2010, the European Union (EU), under the EU COUNCIL DECISION 2010/179/CFSP, decided to support SEESAC arms control activities in the Western Balkans, as a way to implement the EU Strategy to combat the illicit accumulation and trafficking of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and their ammunition. SEESAC’s current campaign to collect weapons, explosive devices, and associated ammunition in towns across Croatia is one such activity supported by the EU.

In collaboration with the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Croatia, and through a campaign entitled "Less Arms, Less Tragedies," residents are encouraged to voluntarily surrender any weapons they might still have in their homes, without fear of legal consequences. The Ministry of Interior has set up information and collection stands, and organized various awareness raising events with the aim of educating the Croatian public about the dangers of weapons and ways of turning them in anonymously and without sanctions. This year, campaign took place in towns and villages within the Virovitica, Varazdin, Daruvar, Zadar, Gospic and Krapina counties.

Ongoing since 2007, "Less Arms – Less Tragedies" campaign is a nationwide effort to prevent firearm-related tragedies by encouraging citizens to surrender illegal weapons to the police. It is conducted hand-in-hand with the EU funded SEESAC project for SALW destruction. Since its beginning, the collection campaign  resulted in voluntary removal of over 58,818 small arms and explosive devices, almost two million rounds of ammunition and nearly 2 tons of explosives from civilian homes – making the lives of Croatian citizens that much safer. The first public destruction of small arms took place this year (2011) in the presence of President Ivo Josipović, when a batch of 2,510 handguns and rifles were melted down at the CMC Sisak Steel Mill. A total of 30,000 small arms and light weapons are planned to be destroyed by the end of 2011.

See Media Clippings on "Less Arms - Less Tragedies" SALW Collection Campaign in Croatia

"Less Arms - Less Tragedies" - Zupanijska Panorama, Krapina HRT2 26.05.2011