July-September 2023 Quarterly Armed Violence Monitor draws attention to celebratory shootings during summer months

In its latest Quarterly Armed Violence Regional Monitor, SEESAC highlights trends regarding firearm incidents in South East Europe from July to September 2023.

This quarter witnessed 953 firearm incidents, representing a 14% increase compared to the last quarter's 832 incidents, slightly exceeding the figures from the same period last year (937 incidents).

Weapon seizures remained the most prevalent type of incident reported this quarter, with 456 cases recorded. August documented a peak in seizures, with the Armed Violence Monitoring Platform (AVMP) recording the highest-ever monthly number of seizures. Handguns continued to be the most commonly seized weapons, followed by explosives and rifles/shotguns.

Undetermined shootings were the second most reported type of incident, with 123 cases recorded, demonstrating a 15% rise from the 107 incidents in the previous quarter.

A downtrend was also observed in firearm incidents in the criminal context, with cases decreasing from 107 to 100.

The Monitor also draws attention to a reoccurring trend of celebratory shootings in the summer months. Namely, 85 celebratory shootings were recorded, marking a significant increase since the previous quarter with 17 such cases and a 27% drop from the same period last year when 117 incidents were reported.

Furthermore, the Monitor highlights the tragic impact of firearm incidents, with 45 people killed, 108 injured, and 89 threatened in these incidents. It is worth noting that the number of fatalities, injuries, and threats with firearms decreased by 10%, 11%, and 31%, respectively. In addition, 12 people died in firearm suicides, which is 29% less than in the previous quarter.

Men accounted for 99% 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 media reports and reports of public institutions where available, covering the Western Balkans and the Republic of Moldova.

The collected data ranges 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.