Late Thursday, official media claimed that a man had opened fire from a moving car, killing eight people and wounded 14 others in a hamlet south of Belgrade, marking the second mass shooting in Serbia in as many days.
Radio-Television of Serbia said that a suspect with the initials U.B. was detained close to the central Serbian city of Kragujevac. According to Serbia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, the arrest occurred following an “extensive search.”
Serbia has very stringent gun laws, making mass shootings an extremely unusual occurrence there. Small Arms Survey, a Geneva-based group, reports that the western Balkan country has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in Europe, with 39.1 weapons per 100 people.
With 120.5 firearms for every 100 Americans, the United States ranks first. The wars of the 1990s left the western Balkans with an abundance of firearms, which has contributed to an entrenched gun culture.
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Eight kids and a school guard were slain on Wednesday when a 13-year-old boy used his father’s guns in a rampage at a school in Belgrade. Thursday’s attack followed this. Shockwaves from the tragedy reverberated throughout a country unaccustomed to mass slaughter.
Before this week, the previous mass shooting was in 2016, when a jealous man killed five people, including his wife, and injured another 20 at a cafe in Serbia. After the earlier massacre this week, authorities in Serbia tried to tighten gun rules, and that’s when Thursday’s event occurred.
The administration has proposed a three-month assessment of all existing weapons permits and a two-year ban on issuing permits for small firearms.
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