Citation(s) from the literature library

Kohli, Anil, Aaron Karp and Sonal Marwah. 2011 ‘Firearm Fatality Scenario for 2008.’ Mapping Murder: The Geography of Indian Firearm Fatalities; IAVA Issue Brief No. 2, p. 2. New Delhi: India Armed Violence Assessment / IAVA and the Small Arms Survey, Geneva. 20 September

Relevant contents

Firearm Fatality Scenario for 2008

For 2008, the NCRB reports a total of 4,101 people murdered by firearms in India, or 12.2 per cent of all 33,727 murder victims that year (NCRB, 2009a, p. 195). The total number of reported firearm victims - including suicides and accidental deaths - was 6,219.

Murders constituted the largest proportion (66 per cent) of all firearm deaths. Suicides and accidental deaths due to firearms accounted for 34 per cent of the total firearm deaths - a significant proportion (see Table 1). Some criminologists and epidemiologists have raised doubts about NCRB data, making it difficult to regard these figures as conclusive (see Box 1).

In India, most of the victims of firearm murder are killed by unlicensed firearms. According to the NCRB, only 14 per cent of the murder victims in 2008 were killed by licensed firearms (NCRB, 2009a, p. 340; see Table 2). While the precision of this figure is subject to debate, the general proportion seems roughly consistent with media reports.

Unlike licensed firearms, unlicensed weapons are generally craft-made and fire single shots; assailants can dispose of them easily and without much loss. They typically cannot be traced to any owner or by ballistic fingerprinting. These features make unlicensed firearms ideal for criminal use.

[NCRB = National Crime Records Bureau]

ID: Q5814

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