Citation(s) from the literature library

Hadzovic, Denis, Armin Krzalic and Sanja Mihajlovic. 2013 ‘Distribution of Legal Civilian Possession.’ Small Arms Survey 2010/2011: Bosnia and Herzegovina, p. 12. Belgrade: South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SEESAC), European Union, UN Development Programme. 20 November

Relevant contents

1.2. Distribution of Legal Civilian Possession

No central database exists for recording either the number of licenses that are granted to civilians or the number of firearms held by police agencies in BiH; however, some progress has been noted in this domain, pertaining mostly to legal regulation. In response to the inability to achieve a political consensus on the enactment of a state law on weapons, the Council of Ministers of BiH rendered a decision to harmonise the existing legislative framework, at all levels of government, with international legislation within this domain.To reiterate, this area is regulated under the competency of the entity in RS, cantonal competency in the Federation and the competency of Brcko District of BiH. Although the deadline for implementing this decision was not met by the authorities, certain progress was made.

Some levels of government, such as Sarajevo Canton, the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton (HNK), Zenica-Doboj Canton (ZDK), Tuzla Canton (TK) and Brcko District, have enacted new legal regulations that are largely harmonised with the Council Directive 91/477/EEZ, along with the amendments to the Directive 2008/51/EC and the UN Protocol on Weapons. In other cantons the area of civilian possession is not adequately regulated.

In some cases the Law on Acquisition, Possession and the Carrying of Firearms and Ammunition of the Socialist Republic of BiH is still in use and certain provisions of this Law are impossible to implement. The efforts of the MIA of the FBiH to regulate the area of procurement, possession and the bearing of firearms and ammunition is of note, in particular its efforts to ensure a single harmonised law on the level of the FBiH.

However, these efforts are dependant upon the willingness of cantonal governments to agree to transfer competence in this area to the entity, which is somewhat of an unrealistic expectation. The field of civilian possession in RS is regulated by the 2007 Law on Arms and Ammunition (Amended in 2009 ). This Law is not sufficiently harmonised with European standards and further amendments are needed in order to proceed with the Council of Ministers Decision that all legal solutions in this area must be harmonised with international law and in full respect of all European norms.

Aside from the above mentioned structural problems and legislative differences, data on the number of civilian registered weapons has been collected based solely on the cordiality and understanding of law enforcement agencies at the state, entity, cantonal and district levels… The collected information has produced realistic indicators on the number of legal firearms and the total number of hunting firearms…

According to an analysis of the results collected from the police agencies in BiH, the total quantity of legally registered firearms amounts to 349,396 pieces…However, when compared to 2004 the total quantity of registered firearms has decreased by 5,604 pieces…

Out of the total number of legal firearms in BiH 60% are short-barrelled firearms (208,458 pistols and revolvers), while 40% fall under the category of long-barrelled firearms or hunting weapons…

[BiH = Bosnia and Herzegovina; RS = Republika Srpska; MIA = Ministry of Internal Affairs; FBiH = Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina]

ID: Q11261

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