Serbian citizens legally own almost one million firearms, Belgrade daily Politika reported citing Internal Affairs Ministry figures.
Most of those weapons are hunting, sports or personal protection guns but the authorities are facing a huge problem with illegal firearms left over from the wars of the 1990s.
Automatic weapons and explosive devices are banned under Serbian law and their owners face between two and 12 years in prison.
The Serbian police destroyed some 18,000 illegal weapons seized from criminals or handed in under an amnesty three years ago. The Internal Affairs Ministry launched three separate initiatives allowing individuals to hand in illegal firearms with no consequences since 2014.
Black market prices of weapons
The Politika said that large amounts of firearms are still available on the black market, adding that AK type assault rifles cost between 600 and 1,000 euro while Heckler & Koch automatic weapons cost up to 2,000 euro and are mainly used for drive-by killings by criminal gangs.
Pistols and revolvers cost between 50 and 500 euro each, depending on state and manufacturer while explosive devices which criminals use for murders cost between 5,000 and 10,000 euro, the daily said quoting an unnamed source.
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