Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
Duquet, Nils and Maarten Van Alstein. 2016 ‘Size of the Illicit Gun Market in Belgium.’ Guns for Sale: The Belgian Illicit Gun Market in a European Perspective; Chapter 1 (Section 1.1), p. 3. Brussels: Flemish Peace Institute. 21 March
1.1. Size of the Illicit Gun Market in Belgium
According to frequently quoted figures, it is estimated that there are between 1.5 and 2 million firearms circulating in Belgium. The federal government also used this figure in its communication prior to the introduction of the new federal firearms legislation in 2006.(6)
In view of the fact that about 870,000 firearms were registered in the Central Weapons Registry (CWR) of the Belgian police at the time, this implies that there were about 630,000 to 1.1 million illegal firearms in circulation in 2006.
To date, however, the source on which this estimate is based is unclear. In reality, a lack of reliable quantitative data makes it impossible to credibly and more accurately estimate the number of illicitly-held firearms in Belgium. The police surmise that the number is "very high"… (7)
6) See, for example, the press releases of the Federal Council of Ministers of 4 March, 3 June and 9 December 2005
7) Wapens komen in kleine leveringen, Knack, 11 August 2010; Nooit zoveel illegale wapens in ons land, Gazet van Antwerpen, 18 August 2010.