Europe, Belgium- 678,592 of the registered legal firearms were possessed by 168,349 individuals in 2022. There is a rise of over 8,000 new registered weapons, as per the statistics obtained from the Ministry of Justice.
The average gun licence holder has about four weapons. Hainaut, in Wallonia, remains the most heavily-armed area in Belgium, also explained by a large number of shooting clubs and historical shooting traditions, such as pole shooting.
Moreover, the majority of the weapons in Belgium are held legally as well as there is a long history of shooting tradition all over the nation.
There are some of Walloon families who are encouraging children as young as eight years old to participate in sports shooting, as per the sources.
The shooting ranges offering classes specifically for school children are becoming increasingly popular as well as sports shooting in the nation continues to grow.
As per the shooting centres that were being interviewed, the shooting teaches the children responsibility and concentration, among other things.
With extremely strict licensing and registration laws, Belgium has one of the lowest homicides by firearms rates in Europe.
Despite this figure, Belgium has gained a reputation for its vast black market of illegal firearms, which are trafficked from across Europe by organised criminals.
Until 2006, the nation had relatively liberal domestic gun legislation, as well as an influx of weapons from the Balkan wars led to increased reports of illegal firearms in the country.
A 2017 report by the Flemish Peace Institute called Belgium a “lethal cocktail of criminal supply and terrorist demand.”
As the legal registration of firearms in Belgium has increased, so have the cases of illegal possession increased.
Since 2009, there has been a 6 percent increase in recorded possession of illegal firearms as well as explosives in Belgium, spiking to 20,358 reported cases in 2018.
In addition, registered firearm owners often complain that crime committed by criminals with black market weapons reflects badly on law-abiding gun owners.
Accidents at shooting clubs are extremely low as well as ensuring a shooting range is significantly cheaper than insuring a football venue.