SEOUL, Aug. 23 (Korea Bizwire) – The number of accidents and crimes involving guns totaled 88 over the past seven years in South Korea, resulting in 32 deaths, a ruling party lawmaker said Thursday, citing police data.
Gun crimes and accidents are not common in the country, where possession of firearms is prohibited, except for air guns, rifles and shotguns authorized for hunting and industrial purposes. The issue drew attention this week after an elderly man fired a shotgun and killed two local government employees.
According to police data submitted to Rep. Lee Jae-jung of the Democratic Party, guns were involved in a total of 88 crimes and accidents that happened between 2012 and June this year, resulting in 32 deaths and 57 injuries.
By year, 11 cases occurred in 2012, 13 in 2013, nine in 2014, 10 in 2015, 18 in 2016, 15 in 2017 and nine in the first half of this year. By type of gun, 53 cases involved shotguns and 28 involved air guns and rifles, according to the data.
Fifty-two cases involved misfiring and four cases involved suicide.
“As gun accidents continue to happen, I will press the government for better measures to control firearms during the parliamentary audit of the government,” Lee said.