Universiteit Leiden

nl en


Firearm Homicides in Europe: A comparison with non-firearm homicides in five European countries

Detailed, comparative research on firearm violence in Europe is rare. Using data from the European Homicide Monitor, this paper presents the prevalence and characteristics of firearm homicides in Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland between 2001 and 2016.

Katharina Krüsselmann, Pauline Aarten, Marieke Liem, Sven Granath, Janne Kivivuori, Nora Markwalder, Karoliina Suonpää, Asser Hedegaard Thomsen, Simone Walser
13 May 2023
Read the full article here

It is estimated that between 1000 and 1500 individuals are killed with a firearm in Europe each year, equalling a firearm homicide rate of around 0.3 per 100.000 population. Yet, significant differences exist when comparing firearm homicide rates across European countries, with several countries reporting a rate equal to or lower than 0.1 per 100.000 population (e.g. Poland, Germany, or Spain), whilst others have firearm homicide rates four (e.g. in Bosnia or Sweden) to fifteen times (Albania) higher.

One common factor used in international academic literature to explain variations in firearm homicides is the availability of firearms to the civilian population. Taking together, the findings of this article contradict the general notion – commonly based on international or US studies – that a higher rate of firearm availability is correlated with higher firearm homicide rate. 

This website uses cookies.  More information.