April-June 2023 Quarterly Armed Violence Monitor: Drop in Number of Criminal Context Incidents, Undetermined Shootings, and Suicides with Firearms

SEESAC has just published its latest Quarterly Armed Violence Regional Monitor, shedding light on the trends of firearm incidents in South East Europe from April to June 2023.

This quarter observed 831 firearm incidents, slightly more than the 824 incidents reported in the previous quarter.

Weapon seizures remained the most prevalent type of incident reported this quarter, with  395 cases recorded. The number of seizures peaked in May when the Armed Violence Monitoring Platform (AVMP) reported the highest-ever number of seizures in a single month. Handguns continued to be the most commonly seized weapons, followed by explosives and rifles/shotguns.

A 27% decrease was documented in incidents in the criminal context, which declined from 146 incidents reported in the previous quarter to  107 cases.

Moreover, there was a 13% decline in the number of undetermined shootings, dropping from 122 to 106 cases.

The report, however, also emphasizes a concerning trend in firearm-related fatalities and injuries. This quarter witnessed a worrying rise in deaths and injuries resulting from two mass shootings. Fatalities rose by 79%, with 50 people who lost their lives compared to 28 victims in the previous quarter. Additionally, the number of people injured with firearms increased from 93 to 122 victims.

In the reporting period, 16 people died by suicide using firearms, which is a 29% decrease in relation to the previous quarter.

Men accounted for 98% of all perpetrators, of those whose sex was reported.

To learn more details on the reported incidents, download the report here.

More data on firearms incidents in South East Europe is available on the Armed Violence Monitoring Platform.

About the Armed Violence Monitoring Platform (AVMP)

The AVMP monitors firearms-related incidents happening in South East Europe. Established in 2014, it collects detailed data from the media reports and reports of public institutions where available, covering the Western Balkans and the Republic of Moldova.

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.

The AVMP aims to make essential data available to all interested parties and serve as an informative tool for interventions with the overarching goal of a more effective arms control framework and reducing their negative impact on civilians.

The AVMP is supported with funding from the EU Council Decision (CFSP) 2019/2111 to support SEESAC disarmament and arms control activities in South-East Europe, reducing the threat of illicit small arms and light weapons, and their ammunition.