Perception of Weapon Availability and New Sources for Weapon Knowledge in a Convenient Sample of Croatian Youth

  • Marko Toth University of Applied Sciences Velika Gorica
  • Kristina Perišić University of Applied Sciences Velika Gorica
  • Franko Markušić University of Applied Sciences Velika Gorica
Keywords: youth, weapon availability, weapon carrying, deep web, violence


The aim of this research is to examine the perception of weapon availability and new sources for weapon knowledge of young people from Croatia. The last research about weapons (attitudes, availability, knowledge) in Croatia was conducted 12 years ago and there has been no significant research since so there is a serious gap of information in this field. 82 students (59% males and 41% females) in the age between 18 to 24 from the University of Applied Sciences Velika Gorica participated in this survey. The questionnaire included the introductory instructions and questions about sociodemographic data, questions about the weapons perception and knowledge. The results show that 88% of young people find it easy to get a weapon in the time interval of 2-7 days (30.9%). In the real environment, weapons are most easily reachable in specialized gun stores (82%), in the streets (72%) and in schools (44.1%). Results of online availability of weapons show that 68.3% of participants believe that it is possible to obtain weapons through online shopping and 61% through online forums. The largest source of knowledge about weapons is Internet (71.5%). Almost half of the students perceives that firearms are available in schools and almost third that it is available in colleges. It seems that firearms are more accessible in the real physical environment than online but students learn more about guns through the Internet and media than in the physical environment. Our results may indicate possible weapons availability to young people in Croatia.


Addington, L. A. (2003). Students' fear after Columbine: Findings from a randomized experiment. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 19(4), 367-387.

Bayraktar, F., & Gün, Z. (2006). Incidence and correlates of Internet usage among adolescents in North Cyprus. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 10(2), 191-197.

Berkowitz, L., & LePage, A. (1967). Weapons as aggression-eliciting stimuli. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 7(2p1), 202.

Blažević, M., Celjak, A., Čular, I., Lugomer-Armano, G., Perišić, K., Sudar, M. i Toth, M. (2011) Percepcija raširenosti i dostupnosti oružja kod adolescenata u Hrvatskoj. U: I.Toth (Ur.), Zbornik radova IV. Međunarodna konferencija “Dani kriznog upravljanja”, (str. 742 -775), Velika Gorica: Veleučilište Velika Gorica s pravom javnosti

Brener, N. D., Simon, T. R., Anderson, M., Barrios, L. C., & Small, M. L. (2002). Effect of the incident at Columbine on students’ violence-and suicide-related behaviors. American journal of preventive medicine, 22(3), 146-150.

Brener, N., Lowry, R., Barrios, L., Simon, T., & Eaton, D. (2005). Violence-related behaviors among high school students--United States, 1991-2003. Journal of School Health, 75(3), 81-86.

Burns, R., & Crawford, C. (1999). School shootings, the media, and public fear: Ingredients for a moral panic. Crime, Law and Social Change, 32(2), 147-168.

Bushman, B. J., Jamieson, P. E., Weitz, I., & Romer, D. (2013). Gun violence trends in movies. Pediatrics, 132(6), 1014-1018.

Control of the acquisition and possession of weapons 2017, Official Journal of the European Union (EU) Retrieved from

Gun Violence Archive. (May 17, 2019.). Retrieved May 17, 2019, from

He, B., Patel, M., Zhang, Z., & Chang, K. C. C. (2007). Accessing the deep web: A survey. Communications of the ACM, 50(5), 94-101.

In A.M., Hoffman, J.H. Schuh, & R.H. Fenske (Eds), Violence on campus, (p. 53-67). Gaithersburg, Maryland: Jones & Bartlett Learning

Khoury-Kassabri, M., Astor, R. A., & Benbenishty, R. (2007). Weapon carrying in Israeli schools: the contribution of individual and school factors. Health Education & Behavior, 34(3), 453-470.

Kuntsche, E. N., & Klingemann, H. K. H. (2004). Weapon-carrying at Swiss schools? A gender-specific typology in context of victim and offender related violence. Journal of Adolescence, 27(4), 381-393. (2019, February 7). Strava u Zadarskoj školi: Učenik na nastavi kolegici žigosao slovo U na ruku i rekao joj: 'Sad se možeš hvaliti da si ustaša'. Retrieved May 17, 2019, from

Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal, and coping. Springer publishing company.

Lowry, R., Powell, K. E., Kann, L., Collins, J. L., & Kolbe, L. J. (1998). Weapon-carrying, physical fighting, and fight-related injury among US adolescents. American journal of preventive medicine, 14(2), 122-129.

Madhavan, J., Ko, D., Kot, Ł., Ganapathy, V., Rasmussen, A., & Halevy, A. (2008). Google's deep web crawl. Proceedings of the VLDB Endowment, 1(2), 1241-1252.

Melde, C., Esbensen, F. A., & Taylor, T. J. (2009). ‘May piece be with you’: A typological examination of the fear and victimization hypothesis of adolescent weapon carrying. Justice Quarterly, 26(2), 348-376.

Miller, M., Hemenway, D., & Wechsler, H. (2002). Guns and gun threats at college. Journal of American College Health, 51(2), 57-65.

Muschert, G. W., & Peguero, A. A. (2010). The Columbine effect and school antiviolence policy. In New approaches to social problems treatment (pp. 117-148). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Muschert, G. W., Henry, S., Bracy, N. L., & Peguero, A. A. (Eds.). (2014). Responding to school violence: Confronting the Columbine effect. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Nacionalna strategija i akcijski plan za kontrolu malog i lakog oružja 2009, NN 113 (Cro). Retrieved from:

Perlus, J. G., Brooks-Russell, A., Wang, J., & Iannotti, R. J. (2014). Trends in bullying, physical fighting, and weapon carrying among 6th-through 10th-grade students from 1998 to 2010: Findings from a national study. American journal of public health, 104(6), 1100-1106.

Presley, C. A., Meilman, P. W., & Cashin, J. R. (1997). Weapon carrying and substance abuse among college students. Journal of American College Health, 46(1), 3-8.

Saukkonen, S., Laajasalo, T., Jokela, M., Kivivuori, J., Salmi, V., & Aronen, E. T. (2016). Weapon carrying and psychopathic-like features in a population-based sample of Finnish adolescents. European child & adolescent psychiatry, 25(2), 183-191.

Scharrer, E., Weidman, L. M., & Bissell, K. L. (2003). Pointing the finger of blame: News media coverage of popular-culture culpability. Journalism & communication monographs, 5(2), 48-98.

Sheley, J. F., & Wright, J. D. (1993). Gun acquisition and possession in selected juvenile samples. US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice.

Simon, T. R., Dent, C. W., & Sussman, S. (1997). Vulnerability to victimization, concurrent problem behaviors, and peer influence as predictors of in-school weapon carrying among high school students. Violence and Victims, 12(3), 277.

Summers, R. W., & Hoffman, A. M. (1998). Weapon carrying on campus.

Valdebenito, S., Ttofi, M. M., Eisner, M., & Gaffney, H. (2017). Weapon carrying in and out of school among pure bullies, pure victims and bully-victims: A systematic review and meta-analysis of cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. Aggression and violent behavior, 33, 62-77.

Van Geel, M., Vedder, P., & Tanilon, J. (2014). Bullying and weapon carrying: A meta-analysis. JAMA pediatrics, 168(8), 714-720.

Weimann, G. (2016). Terrorist migration to the dark web. Perspectives on Terrorism, 10(3).

Zakon o nabavi i posjedovanju oružja građana 2018, NN 94 (Cro). Retrieved from

How to Cite
Toth, M., Perišić, K., & Markušić, F. (2020). Perception of Weapon Availability and New Sources for Weapon Knowledge in a Convenient Sample of Croatian Youth. Annals of Disaster Risk Sciences, 2(1-2), 61-72. Retrieved from