Firearms fatalities in Denmark 1970-1979

Forensic Sci Int. Nov-Dec 1983;23(2-3):93-8. doi: 10.1016/0379-0738(83)90137-8.


In the 10-year period from 1970 to 1979 933 firearm fatalities occurred in Denmark which represent an increase of 45% during a little more than 10 years. Eighty-eight per cent were suicides, 8% homicides, and 4% accidents. Accidental shootings have decreased from 8% to 4% and the fall seems to be a result of fewer accidents in connection with hunting, probably due to a more restrictive legislation about hunting. An increasing share of the total number of deaths, now responsible for 57% of the fatalities, are by shotgun. There has been a remarkable increase in the use of sawn-off long barreled weapons. Still considering the marked increase of firearm fatalities, fatal shootings are of very limited importance in Denmark, especially homicidal shootings of which there are 2-3 per year. Shotguns are at the present time the only procurable dangerous weapons which have led to an increased share of the total firearm fatalities. Restrictions in the use of shotguns during hunting seem to have had positive effects on the reduction of hunting accidents. As mentioned above, the most valuable method of bringing the firearm fatalities under further control seems to be increased control over the procurement and possession of shotguns.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Accidents
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Denmark
  • Female
  • Homicide
  • Humans
  • Legislation as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Suicide
  • Time Factors
  • Wounds, Gunshot / mortality*