This photo was taken in Serbian in 2012 during the destruction of 17,000 confiscated firearms. The most striking thing about the photo, at least to me, is what terrible quality the weapons are. Among the serviceable weapons there are piles of ancient rusted revolvers and cheap Chinese air rifles. Like most gun destruction programs, they tend to collect and destroy the lowest quality weapons, while the good stuff remains on the street (or buried underground by militants).


  • echelon

    What a shame.

    I don’t care if they are “ancient rusted revolvers” or “cheap Chinese air rifles”…they BELONGED to someone else – they were owned and by political “legal” fiat they were stolen and destroyed.

    If my great grandfather gave me an old heirloom or whatever it doesn’t matter the condition or usefulness – it’s priceless because of the sentimental value and nobody has the right to steal it from me!

    • Jack Morris

      You hit the nail on the head. What we have here is a photograph of thousands of stolen items under the authority of politicians. It’s sickening.

      • Esh325

        There isn’t really much context given to the picture. We don’t know who they were confiscated from.

        • MrEllis

          Context, these firearms were mostly surplus arms or seized from criminals and they were destroyed to meet agreements on the removal of small arms after the war. There was no collection program, no one went door to door. It was a move to appease the EU and the UN. Most of those guns were inventory and it was a publicity event to demonstrate how serious the Ministry of the Interior was about the reduction of small arms in the Balkans. This was a reduction in surplus.

          At the time there was still well armed criminal elements operating in Serbia and this was a political event. No one went door to door or even held a turn in.

          • noguncontrol

            Surplus should have been sold to civilians, civilians would benefit from being able to defend themselves.

          • MrEllis

            In Eastern Europe it’s more likely they would have ended up in the hands of criminals.

          • JRJ21

            So you think this disarmed even one criminal?IT’S THE POLITICIANS WHO ARE USUALLY THE CRIMINALS.

          • MrEllis

            Yes. Not every place is America, not every solution revolves around more guns. Relax. Crime has dropped over 22% since this. Violent crimes even more so. These weapons were arming Eastern Bloc criminal organizations, they were not what regular citizens wanted there. Most of the have weapons left from the civil war.

    • El Duderino

      I think you’re missing TFB’s main point — the collectors come by, you give them an air rifle or Nagant revolver to make them happy, and bury your AKs, Mausers, etc. somewhere for a Rainy Decade.

      • echelon

        No I understand their point completely. And that further points to the absurdity of practices such as these. But not every “collector” just gives up an old junky weapon. Some have them physically confiscated literally at gun point or they are forced to bring them into a police station or somewhere else.

        And it’s fine if the AK or other weapon is “duty ready” – fine go ahead and bury it. Stick it to the Man – I fully support and encourage that. I’m not talking about those weapons.

        I’m talking about armed robbery. It’s one of the specialties of the state along with kidnapping and murder.

      • Ben

        If its time to bury your guns, its time to use them.

        • iksnilol

          Personal experience, no, you are wrong in that one.

    • That might have a different ring if the heirloom is in the possession of a neighbour heir and that particular heir likes to discharge it willy-nilly, or when he decides his honor has been hurt.

      • iksnilol

        Or if that heirloom is in the hands of violent nationalists.

      • echelon

        If the “willy-nilly” discharge either impacts another person’s property or their actual person then they have committed a true crime.

        Otherwise it doesn’t and shouldn’t matter. Reckless and stupid does not equal illegal and it’s certainly no reason to have a government come in and forcefully steal that person’s belongings.

        • Ron Pitts

          Not to be contentious here… But: “Reckless and [or] stupid does not equal illegal …..” Yes, it does and yes it does, if necessary. Put it in the perspective of a traffic violation. If determined “Reckless” in a court of law You (coll) can have your CCW/CPL suspended for indefinite periods for up to and including eternity at which time you will be required to surrender any or all weapons. This is not limited to CCW holders. In my State (MI) if you are having a little target practice in your own back yard and it is within 150 yds of your neighbors house, outbuilding, etc. your neighbor can have you cited for the offense. It is your risk to be found at whatever level of fault.

          • echelon

            You’re looking at this from a statist perspective. Of course the Nanny State wants to prohibit any and all things “for your safety”.

            I’m talking about in the real world – the world not defined by .gov.

            If reckless or stupid gets YOU hurt, then that’s not illegal, just stupid or reckless. If stupid or reckless gets someone else hurt or their property then yes, you just crossed the line.

            “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences.” – C.S. Lewis

          • jcitizen

            Maybe – but driving is a privilege – in the US, the 2nd Amendment is a God given right, no one can take away.

      • desert

        now you are “digging” to try and justify your stand…just STFU! you will be ahead of the game

    • rick

      AMEN….. I am not a criminal ! Why should I give ‘anything’ I have that is legal to the friggin’ government ! ! ! ? Believe me, the govt’ is NOT YOUR FRIEND…. ! !

  • iksnilol

    I would have been sad, then I saw it is in Serbia. F*** them is a decent summary of my opinion of them.

    I won’t elaborate too much due to TFBs one and only rule.

    Unsurprisingly a lot of Tokarevs and WW2 firearms.

    • SP mclaughlin

      Kebab removed.

      • iksnilol

        I don’t know how to respond to that. I am not sure whether you are being serious or not.

  • Darren Hruska

    Dislike, DISLIKE! D-:

  • Alex Nicolin

    Actually Serbia has very permissive gun laws, and the Serbs have lots of weapons per capita, 70/100 people, second only to the US, which has around 90. I agree though that they probably surrendered only the lowest quality weapons. Besides the legal ones, they also have many military grade ones that “evaporated” from military depots during the long wars.

    • iksnilol

      Not really permissive. You need a valid reason, you have safe storage laws and to top it all off ammunition is restricted. It is either 60 cartridges per rifle, per year or 60 packages of ammunition in total (also yearly). Also, did I mention handloading for pistols and rifles is illegal?

      • Paul Joly

        “except rounds shot at ranges”

        • iksnilol

          But still, you are limited to factory ammo and you can’t have a decent stock of ammo. No buying it cheap and stacking it deep.

      • JRJ21

        All guns rightly belong to the citizen first,it is the Governments who cannot, ever, in all history, be trusted not to kill their citizens.It is Government who needs to be watched like a hawk by armed citizens,the very foundation of America demanded this by the founders in the Second Amendment

        • iksnilol

          What do you do when it is the citizens of a country killing the citizens of another country?

          + what does your comment have to do with my observation at how restrictive Serbian gun laws are?

          • JRJ21

            It has everything to do with all these guys in uniform always thinking they own all the guns,when the right relation is that the citizens are endowed with certain inalienable rights.The citizens own all the guns,not the Governments,I know this is revolutionary to a State worshiper.

          • iksnilol

            Look, I appreciate what you are saying and all but you are going off topic is all I am trying to say.

            Like, if I now began preaching the virtues of mayonnaise over ketchup then you would probably think that I am going off tangent because I would be.

  • lucusloc

    Their are a fair number of homemade guns I can see in the picture as well.

  • jamezb

    Idk, right off the bat I see a Mauser HSC, 1905 Colt, P-38, a Desert Eagle, A 1911, ….these don’t all look too dismal to me… I’d like to dive in!
    The rifles, first thing I noticed is quite a few are break-barrel air guns…

    • desert eagle? Where?

      • jamezb

        Blued, bottom edge at 5:00 from center, the P38 is pointing at it, only the grip and trigger guard are exposed, so I could be incorrect, however the grip angle and mag. base sure look D.E. to me.

        • jamezb

          I was gonna try to i.d. others, but it was too painful.

    • Tommy

      I see a Beretta 92F

  • dan citizen

    “…as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.”

    Damn, that’s a whole lot of M57s

  • jamezb

    Whatcha wanna bet Mr. Dress Uniform has his OWN pile off to the side?

    • Yea… I am sure **MANY** went “missing” after confiscation and actual destruction.

    • Jim

      I imagine that’s where the best stuff went.

  • nano

    All the tt-33’s make me sad

  • G43

    This photo is definetely not from Serbia: that is an Italian Army dress uniform for commissioned officers, so maybe from Kosovo (KFOR under NATO auspices). I can’t really pickup details, but it’s probably an Engineers officer judging from the beret badge.

    • MrEllis

      He’s working with the UN, it was a surplus arms reduction program they held after the war.

  • Renegade

    I have a similar picture around somewhere with about $1,000,000 of NFA items that were chopped up in California.

  • Kivaari

    Why destroy them?

    • copywriter

      Exactly. Like my wife just said, why not sell them to legitimate users and collectors and put the money to good use (medicine, education, charity). Hate to see destruction like this.

  • Kivaari

    It’s too bad the good ones were not safely stored away. In that region it would be nice to have an armory full of war ready firearms. Considering raiding armies have swept back and forth through the same lands for thousands of years, it would be good to be able to defend your self and nation. Like nearly 100 years ago when the King of Montenegro required every man to have a revolver.

    • iksnilol

      I don’t think Serbia should have a war ready armory considering they are one of the primary raiding armies.

      • noguncontrol

        Aside from Croatia and Bosnia, Serbia has raided no one. And the attacks those places happened because the Serbs didnt want to lost Yugoslavia, so it wasnt so much a raid against others as an attempt to preserve their old union. Kosovo is part of Serbia, so it cannot be considered a raid, many Serbs lived in Kosovo before the jihadi terrorists took over thanks to the NATO and UN mafia.

        • iksnilol

          It was less trying to avoid the loss of the union and more trying to take over the union. They wanted their “Greater Serbia”, they saw an opportunity and they took it. Now 20 years later the situation is still a major Charlie Foxtrot with them denying any responsibility.

          I agree though, Kosovo isn’t a legit country but I support them nonetheless. The enemy of my enemy is my ally.

    • Iggy

      It should be pointed out that the King of Montenegro owned shares in the company that made the required model of revolver. (Gasser 11mm if memory serves)

      • Kivaari

        My sources have never said that, but I assumed it was the case. Too bad he didn’t pick a better handgun.

  • RICK


    • MrEllis

      Oddly enough, you shouldn’t have given up your medication, either.

      • Julio

        Oh… thankyou! : )

  • Patrick Mingle

    awful lot of tokarevs

  • Alex

    Its just a matter of time before guns become self aware and turn on their human masters. When I saw the atrocity displayed in the photo I turned the screen so that my sidearm could not bear witness to the horror. But I fear it was too late. There, there, my little glockenspiel, it’s not real, it’s just a picture.

  • Josh

    What a shame.

  • Mystick

    I can just picture a PSA-type thing where you have a guy standing there wearing an “Operator” logo ball cap, surveying the “field” with a single tear rolling down his face… like the Indian in those PSA’s from the 70’s…

  • Herp

    This is the problem with Europeans. You paint Americans with such a broad brush. You consume American media, read American blowhard blogs, and assume that you know what an American is. You realize this is an enormous country that isn’t anything like culturally homogenous, right? Do you understand that people from Alabama don’t eat the same, talk the same, move at the same pace, or have the same religious beliefs as people from the UP? Could you point to the UP on a map?

    • I agree with your post. My comment above is more than a little shouty, confrontational and mean and dumb. But I would like to say that I do realize that US is an enormous country, and I took a lot of time to familiarize myself with different viewpoints, cultural cultural quirks, and contentious talking points of different US citizens. Just because I’m interested in your country, honest.

      The reaction (or rather overreaction) above was to the stereotypical “they wanna take our guns” applied to a completely different situation. It’s like declaring “proletarian’s solidarity” with people who are nothing like gun enthusiasts in the US. The generalization that followed was about the overall tendency of well-meaning, civil, regular Americans to impose (mentally) their worldview on the rest of the world’s populace – according to the discourse that was laid down during the Cold War. I’m not against it per se, but it shows much more when you look from the outside.

      • desert

        You STILL do not get it! Americans don’t want anyone IN THE WORLD to have their means of protection taken! We know the worlds history, we know how many multiple millions have been murdered by despots….NOW do you understand?

      • Michel_T

        American get upset when “strangers” are being disarmed by the government… because at point in time, the disarmed individuals will be abused by their government… and then they’ll ask the US to come and help them.

        Being defenceless doesn’t make you safer. Never did, never will.

    • desert

      He is pointing into the air LOL

    • Bowserb

      UP? Upper Peninsula? How many people outside of Michigan and Wisconsin would know what UP stands for? Maybe even I don’t, right? Good question for Jimmy Kimmel to ask college students.

      • Noel

        Upper penninsula was my guess too, but was thinking Maine? I think it’s something very regional, like someone is supposed to know when I say “THE SOUTH END”, that only is used in reference to my particular county or city in the whole nation.

  • janklow

    it’s weird that you, the reader of a firearms-based blog, would not expect the average reader of the blog to be against firearms confiscation.

    but maybe this is you holding your perceptions and anxieties over people’s heads or something

  • iksnilol

    Serbians didn’t “have to” shoot people. They shot people gladly. I should know, most of my family and friends have shrapnel or bullets in their bodies, courtesy of Serbia.

    Though I will disagree with you, most people who had to use a weapon like to keep it. Those who don’t want to keep it are in the minority compared to those who keep it.

  • Veracious_one

    with Muslims around you can bet the Serbs aren’t voluntarily surrendering any weapons…..

  • JRJ21

    It was Obama who disarmed The Ukraine and left them helpless against Russian aggression.Clinton did the same in Serbia with his arms blocade.They always think that disarming people makes the bad guys stop.

    • Max Glazer

      What aggression? Defending against openly murderous gangs is aggression? Keeping law and order on streets is aggression?
      How did Obama disarm Ukraine? What weapons did Obama leave Ukraine without?

      • JRJ21

        It’s not up to me to teach you history.Google Obama disarms Ukraine as a Senator.Russians in Ukraine are the obvious aggressors,are you in a coma?

        • Max Glazer

          It certainly isn’t up to you since your knowledge of history is zero.

          Obama helped destroy ammunition and weapons that were so damn out of date that they were plain dangerous to use. You obviously have no concept of “use-by” date for weapons and ammo that utilize explosive materials either in propellant or warheads. Ukraine was plain too broke to conduct destruction of the weapons that were LONG past their use-by date. Some of those weapons that weren’t destroyed are today being sent to the front lines in Donets and Luhansk and regularly fail. Some even have certificates attached that state “NOT TO BE USED”. When used anyway, what sometimes occurs has catastrophic consequences. Plenty of unexploded rockets, mortar shells, grenades for underbarrel launchers at best. Or worse they explode upon firing. Ukraine barely bought replacements and that was LONG BEFORE this war. Clearly you have no idea on what was ACTUALLY destroyed or how Ukraine actually lived. Doubt you gave a stuff about it either until US began sponsoring the upraising there and using open neo-faschists for that. American servicemen that died in WW2 fighting Germans must be turning in their graves and asking themselves just what exactly they gave their lives for?

          No Russian combat units ANYWHERE on the territory of Ukraine. No proof offered by anyone. Until there is indisputable proof that Russian forces are combating Ukrainian military in East of Ukraine, I strongly recommend you not make statements you can’t back. You sound like Jen Psaki.
          Who are Russians look like obvious aggressors to? Lying politicians of Western Europe and US lapdogs that drove former Soviet states into poverty and known for being political prostitutes? Or Ukrainian government ministers that happen to have foreign citizenships?

          Crimea was an autonomous region with own special status and own CONSTITUTION under Ukrainian administration. Legitimate referendum was conducted, considered fair and unbiased by international observers, conducted in full accordance with international law. It is not up to USA to lecture Russia on international law either since it breaks it whenever it feels like it.

          Well it wasn’t Russia that spent 5 billion on “promoting democracy” in Ukraine. It wasn’t Russian politicians that were calling for armed revolt against DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED government. It wasn’t Russia that started shelling civillians (schools, hospitals, residential areas) in Eastern Ukraine because of them disagreeing and asking for a little more autonomy in administration of their region. It seems that asking for a similar government setup like one used in USA itself (federal and state governments) is criminal.

          Clearly you are the one in coma.

  • Guest

    Mr Ellis Ellis Ellis = ANTI 2nd AMMENDMENT TROLL

  • desert

    You are very opinionated about how Americans think, but you do it WITHOUT A SINGLE FRIGGING CLUE OF WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT!!

  • echelon

    The short answer is: I don’t have to know anything about the person. The point is not about the person. It’s about a group of people calling themselves a “government” and then using that term as having the legal authority and permission to do illegal things. In this case that’s stealing other peoples’ property.

    If the picture was of baseball bats, curling irons, shoes, stacks of money, you name it, my response would’ve been the same.

    If you and by extension the people who live with you in your country are fine with having something that is and should be “legal” declared “illegal” overnight and now subject to confiscation then so be it. Then you have the government you deserve.

    And nowhere in my post did I say that you or anyone else had to agree with me. If I did that then I’d be no better than the .gov using force and coercion.

  • petru sova

    Its rather unusual for Europeans to trash anything of value. These weapons and even parts guns could have been sold legally to legal dealers in Serbia or other countries as used guns and brought a lot of money to the local economy. The money made could have been used to buy new police equipment or even donated to orphanages. Naaa, that’s too complicated for power mad politicians to comprehend.

  • Bowserb

    It’s the same kind of junk that shows up for local government “buy backs”. At least with the buybacks, you get a few bucks for a crap gun–to use as a down payment on a better one.

  • Hohodaddy77

    If Stole, They should been returned to owners.
    If you were doing your job right, You would not have to destroy them.
    Oh I was Military Police for 6 years.
    But to sit here and post this, remove the and fire these people who get money to
    trash good guns.

  • Hohodaddy77

    Sell them to law bidding people who will store them. And use them the right way.
    Serbia was smart they would get money from their sale.

  • Jimbo

    I see some pretty nice pistols in the group. Hard to see what types of rifles are being destroyed, but that sure is a lot of walnut! The sad point is however, that every one of these weapons could have been used for hunting, target shooting, gun education, and defending life and liberty. Instead, they were destroyed in a fraudulent “feel good” demonstration that likely accomplished nothing.

  • Noel

    While sights like this sicken me every time, and wreak of tyrrany and intent on genocide, I maybe am self serving in wanting to purchase perhaps about a quarter ton by weight of the remains of one of these autrocities. Not if they’re just burned ash or melted clumps, but when they cut receivers with torches and bebnd barrels, and break stocks, leaving recognizable parts. I’d salvage some parts first of all, maybe try to build a functional firearm if there was something worthy, but mostly think it would be fun to piece together some non-servicable but cool looking prop wall hanger.