The In Focus Armed Violence Monitor on Celebratory Shootings in South-East Europe in 2020 is Now Available

SEESAC continues publishing its In Focus - Armed Violence Monitors for South-East Europe (SEE), with the aim of providing a more thorough analysis of trends regarding specific types of firearm incidents happening in the region throughout 2020.

The second issue centres around celebratory shooting incidents in South-East Europe (SEE) from 1 January to 31 December 2020. The phenomenon of celebratory shooting i.e. discharging a firearm into the air during celebrations, festivities, sports, religious or other public gatherings to mark the occasion is still present in many cultures and regions, including SEE despite its adverse outcomes ranging from injuries and death from stray bullets to property damage.

The following are some of the most significant findings from this issue:

  • A total of 65 celebratory shooting incidents were recorded in South-East Europe in 2020, including incidents occurring at family celebrations, wedding celebrations, birthday parties and public gatherings.
  • The highest number of celebratory shootings was reported in the summer months, i.e. July (6), August (17), and September (11). Nearly 60% of all reported celebratory shooting incidents took place during family celebrations.
  • Handguns were the most reported type of weapon used in celebratory shooting incidents in all jurisdictions, with 22 (33.8%) reported incidents involving this type of firearm, followed by gas pistols reported in 15 (23%) incidents. Automatic/Military-grade weapons were reported as used in 11 (16.9%) celebratory shooting incidents. Firearms were seized in 51 (78%) incidents related to celebratory shootings. 
  • Out of 81 perpetrators, 76 (94%) were men.
  • Five victims of celebratory shooting incidents were reported in 5 (8%) incidents.

For additional information on celebratory shooting incidents in the SEE in 2020, please click 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).