Serbia Surrenders Over 100,000 Illegal Weapons as Protests Against Violence and Government Persist

news 02-Jul-2023 Europe

Protesters in Belgrade Hold Banner Saying "Students Against Violence" as Tens of Thousands Demonstrate Against Violence and Government

Serbs Surrender Over 100,000 Illegal Weapons

In Serbia, more than 100,000 firearms from illegal private ownership have been surrendered, including handguns and mines. The government issued a call for surrendering weapons following two shooting rampages. Protests against violence and President Vucic continue.

After two shooting rampages resulting in a total of 18 deaths in May, people in Serbia have surrendered a total of 108,833 weapons from illegal possession. A police spokesperson in Belgrade announced this, according to the Serbian news agency Tanjug. The government had urged citizens to surrender their weapons.

The deadline for the amnesty period expired at midnight on Friday after being extended once before. According to police reports, approximately 82,400 handguns, around 26,500 mines and other explosives, as well as 4.2 million rounds of ammunition, were surrendered.

New Protests Against Violence and Government

Since the two firearm attacks in May, tens of thousands of people have repeatedly taken to the streets in Belgrade and other cities, including yesterday. Left-wing and liberal opposition parties, as well as civic movements, called for the demonstrations.

In Belgrade, the protesters gathered near the headquarters of the privately-owned broadcaster "Pink TV." They accused the government-controlled network of inciting hatred and violence. The anger of the citizens is also directed towards President Aleksandar Vucic and the government, who are accused of not preventing this climate of violence.

The two shooting rampages deeply shocked Serbian society. On May 3, a 13-year-old student shot and killed nine classmates and a security guard at his school in central Belgrade. The following day, a young man in a village near Belgrade killed eight people with firearms. The two shooting rampages were unrelated to each other.

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