Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
European Commission. 2014 ‘Estimated Number of Firearms Based on Firearms Seizures.’ Study to Support an Impact Assessment on Options for Combatting Illicit Firearms Trafficking in the European Union (Table 2.2), p. 18. Luxembourg: Centre for Strategy & Evaluation Services. 1 July
Estimated Number of Firearms Based on Firearms Seizures…
Table 2.2: Number of Firearms Seized (7 Member States)
Member State: No. of firearms seized in last 5 years - Total number of registered and unregistered firearms - Percentage of all firearms
Denmark: 7,049 - 650,000 - 2%
Estonia: 95 - 123,000 - 1%
France: 3,910 - 1,9000,000 - 0%
Greece: 8,946 - 2,500,000 - 0%
Lithuania: 691 - 135,000 - 1%
Portugal: 31,670 - 2,400,000 - 1%
UK: 3,348 - 4,060,000 - 0%
Total/average: 7,958 - 4,124,000 - 1%
Source: based on data provided to CSES by national authorities that completed a country fiche.
The above estimate of 7,958 seizures needs to be scaled up to provide an EU-level estimate. In order to do this we have first calculated the number of illicit seizures as a proportion of registered and unregistered firearms in each of the seven Member State for which data is available. We then calculated the average percentage of illicit seizures as a proportion of total firearms for the seven Member States which amounted to around 1%. Using this approach and based on the Commission's estimate of 81 million licit and illicit firearms circulating in the EU, gives an estimate of 81,000 illicitly trafficked firearms in the EU. Scaling up in this way is fraught with imperfections from a methodological point of view but nevertheless provides a very approximate estimate.