Serbia is the first in Europe in terms of the number of weapons per capita

, News

Along with Montenegro, Serbia is number one in Europe in terms of the number of weapons possessed per 100 inhabitants.
“It may be a consequence of some history and tradition in the first place, although I think that has changed a lot. Until, say, 50 years ago, almost every house had weapons, especially in Montenegro, but also in Serbia. It was, simply, a kind of tradition. Just as there is an icon in the house, so there was a gun or even a smaller cannon. It is a remnant of a warrior history, which is traditionally transmitted,” psychologist Zarko Trebjesanin told Euronews Serbia.
As Zoran Dragisic, a professor at the Faculty of Security, explained to Euronews Serbia, when there are already a lot of weapons, it is good that they have been legalized. He also states the reasons that contribute to these statistics.
“There are a lot of trophy weapons left in Serbia that are left over from the wars. We have a special cultural attitude towards weapons, not only in Serbia, but in the entire Balkans. On the other hand, there is a large number of hunters in Serbia. We should also keep in mind that shooting is our most trophy sport,” said Dragisic.
Illegal weapons impossible to “count”
The data used by this research refer to legally registered weapons, and it is almost impossible to get data on how many illegal weapons are in circulation in Serbia. Dragisic points out that estimates are different and vary considerably, and that, according to some, there are more than a million pieces of illegal weapons in Serbia.
However, he believes that the number is too large, because if there are a lot of legal weapons, the number of illegal ones should be reduced.
“Mostly it is a weapon that cannot be legalized, and that is automatic weapons and explosive devices,” he points out.
He adds that illegal weapons have mostly remained since the wars of the 1990s, but also that during the “Saber” operation, a large number of illegal weapons were voluntarily handed over to the Ministry of the Interior.
Should we be afraid?
Trebjesanin also believes that the wars of the 1990s could be one of the reasons why people decide to legally possess weapons today, and he points out the “Balkan mentality”, which was also influenced by those wars.
“I think the first answer is that owning a weapon is a relic of the past and tradition. After all, it certainly has to do with the wars of the 1990s. Of course, there is something in the mentality, because that mentality arises and changes over time,” says Trebjesanin.
Due to so many weapons in Serbia, many residents could feel insecure.
Dragisic, however, believes there is no reason for general security concerns in that regard.
“Weapons don’t kill people – people kill people. Even if there are security threats, they are in the domain of social security. If someone wants to commit murder, they will also find a way to get a weapon. After all, such a crime can be committed with a stone,” says Dragisic.
He emphasized, however, that the abuse of legal weapons happens by someone shooting at weddings and other celebrations, and that it can then be dangerous.
“However, such weapons are taken quickly and the chances of these people getting them again are very, very small,” says Dragisic.
He emphasizes that the laws in Serbia that deal with this topic are well made, because it is necessary for a person who wants a weapon to go through strict procedures, including a medical examination.
There are more weapons than inhabitants in the United States
According to the World Population Survey, the leading country in the world in the number of personal weapons is the United States. In the United States, there are 120 weapons per 100 citizens. This would mean that they have more weapons than the population, although it is pointed out that many people in the United States do not own a single piece of weapon, while at the same time a large number of those who own more pieces.
It is followed by the Falkland Islands with 62 weapons per 100 inhabitants, followed by Yemen (53), New Caledonia (42), Serbia (39) and Montenegro (39).
The first ten places in the world are filled by Uruguay (35), Canada (35), Cyprus (34) and Finland (32), BiF reports.