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Bahamas — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law

StockpilesGun Numbers

Civilian Guns

Number of Privately Owned Firearms

The estimated total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in the Bahamas is 75,0001

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in the Bahamas is 21.71 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Rifles

In the Bahamas, the number of rifles in civilian possession is reported to be 1,5652

Number of Privately Owned Shotguns

In the Bahamas, the number of shotguns in civilian possession is reported to be 15,5452

Number of Privately Owned Handguns

In the Bahamas, the number of handguns in civilian possession is reported to be 3,0002

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, the Bahamas ranked at No. 1703

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, the Bahamas ranked at No. 984

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in the Bahamas is reported to be 20,1102

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in the Bahamas is 6.485

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of the Bahamas are reported to have 1,5006 7 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in the Bahamas are reported to have 4,0006 8 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

ChartIn the Bahamas, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2010: 789
2000: 3910

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

ChartIn the Bahamas, the annual rate of all gun deaths per 100,000 population is

2010: 25.19
2000: 13.805

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn the Bahamas, annual homicides by any means total

2014: 12311
2013: 119
2012: 11111 12
2011: 12711 12 13 14
2010: 9411 12 13 15
2009: 8611 12 13 15 16
2008: 73
2007: 78
2006: 61
2005: 52
2004: 44
2003: 50
2002: 52
2001: 43
2000: 74
1999: 5313
1998: 48
1997: 47
1996: 41
1995: 42

Rate of Homicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn the Bahamas, the annual rate of homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2014: 32.1511
2013: 31.53
2012: 29.8411 12
2011: 34.6711 12 13
2010: 26.0811 12 13 15
2009: 24.2611 12 13 15 16
2008: 20.96
2007: 22.80
2006: 18.18
2005: 15.80
2004: 13.65
2003: 15.84
2002: 16.83
2001: 14.19
2000: 24.85
1999: 18.113
1998: 16.613 17
1997: 16.2
1996: 14.4
1995: 15.0

Gun Homicides

ChartIn the Bahamas, annual firearm homicides total

2014: 10511
2013: 98
2012: 87
2011: 9111 12
2010: 6911 12 9 18
2009: 5212 13
2008: 4612
2007: 43
2006: 33
2005: 36
2000: 3710
1997: 1819
1996: 13
1995: 18

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn the Bahamas, the annual rate of firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2014: 32.635
2013: 30.72
2012: 27.52
2011: 29.04
2010: 22.235 9
2009: 16.915 13
2008: 15.105
2007: 14.24
2006: 11.03
2005: 12.13
2000: 11.7810
1997: 6.2319
1996: 4.58
1995: 6.47

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

ChartIn the Bahamas, the percentage of homicides committed with a firearm is reported to be

2014: 85%11
2013: 82%
2012: 78%
2011: 72%11 12
2010: 73%
2009: 60%12
2008: 63%
2007: 55%
2006: 54%
2005: 69%

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn the Bahamas, annual suicides by any means total

2008: 420
2007: 5
2006: 2
2005: 4
2002: 320 21
2001: 120
2000: 11

Rate of Suicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn the Bahamas, the annual rate of suicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2008: 1.220
2007: 1.5
2006: 0.6
2005: 1.3
2002: 1.020 21
2001: 0.320
2000: 3.720 21

Gun Suicides

ChartIn the Bahamas, annual firearm suicides total

2010: 29
2000: 110

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn the Bahamas, the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

2010: 0.69
2000: 0.3110

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

In the Bahamas, annual shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2000: 110

Rate of Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

In the Bahamas, the annual rate of unknown-cause shooting deaths per 100,000 population is

2000: 0.3110

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In the Bahamas, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is prohibited22 23

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from the Bahamas is reported by Customs to be US$1,98124 (2011)

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In the Bahamas, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law25 26 27

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to the Bahamas is reported by Customs to be US$232,56024 (2011)

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In the Bahamas, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law28

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in the Bahamas do not include28 certification of the intended end user of any small arms or ammunition transfer, and/or a written declaration of its intended end use

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in the Bahamas is categorised as restrictive29

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in the Bahamas includes the Firearm Act 1969,30 the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1990,31 the Firearms (Amnesty) Act 1993,32 and the Firearms (Amendment) Act 199433

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in the Bahamas are regulated by the Commissioner of Police34 35 36 37

Right to Possess Firearms

In the Bahamas, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law38 39 28

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In the Bahamas, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic firearms and incendiary ammunition36

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In the Bahamas, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited36

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In the Bahamas, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is permitted under licence36 40

Regulation of Handguns

In the Bahamas, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is only permitted subject to stringent conditions26 40

Gun Ownership and Possession

In the Bahamas, only licensed gun owners40 35 41 34 26 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in the Bahamas are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm35 34

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in the Bahamas is 18 years, or 14 years whilst under the supervision of a person over the age of 21 years42

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in the Bahamas must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental health, addiction and other various43 35 34 44 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In the Bahamas, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required28

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in the Bahamas does not stipulate28 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In the Bahamas, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required28 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In the Bahamas, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every one year26 34 35

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in the Bahamas are permitted to possess only the nature and number of firearms specified in the valid firearms certificate35

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in the Bahamas are permitted to possess only a quantity of ammunition authorised by the Licensing Authority40 35

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In the Bahamas, the law does not require28 that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register

Gun Dealer Record Keeping

In the Bahamas, licensed firearm dealers are required45 46 47 45 36 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Private Gun Sales

In the Bahamas, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited22 46

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In the Bahamas, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful22 46 23 47 14

Background Checks for Private Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm in a private sale in the Bahamas is to pass official background checks before taking possession

Background Checks for Dealer Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm from a licensed gun dealer in the Bahamas is obliged46 to pass official background checks before taking possession

Limit on Gun Dealer Sales

In the Bahamas, the number and type of firearms which can be sold by a licensed gun dealer to a single gun owner is limited to the number of firearms and ammunition specified in the valid firearms certificate35

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In the Bahamas, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined28

Regulation of Gun Shows

In the Bahamas, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated28 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in the Bahamas do not include28 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of private firearms and ammunition by licensed gun owners

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Dealer

Firearm regulations in the Bahamas do not include28 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in the Bahamas do not include28 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in the Bahamas do not include28 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In the Bahamas, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law48

Firearm Tracing

In the Bahamas, state authorities do not carry out28 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Record of Firearms and Ammunition

In the Bahamas, the ballistic characteristics of each civilian firearm and its ammunition are not28 recorded in a register

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In the Bahamas, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit41

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In the Bahamas, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit41

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In the Bahamas, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm49 is seven years in prison and a fine14 40 41

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in the Bahamas are known to have14 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In the Bahamas, it is not state policy28 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

Organization of American States

On 14 November 1997, as a member of the Organisation of American States (OAS), the Bahamas adopted the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Explosives, Ammunition and Other Related Materials (CIFTA), a legally binding multilateral treaty of which the OAS is depository. The CIFTA Convention has since been signed and ratified50 51 by the Bahamas

United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

The UNCCPCJ, a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council mandated to promote action to prevent national and transnational crime, lists52 the Bahamas as an elected member

Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development

The Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development, a diplomatic initiative aimed at addressing the interrelations between armed violence and development, was not signed53 by the Bahamas.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified54 by the Bahamas

United Nations Firearms Protocol

The United Nations Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition has been signed and ratified55 by the Bahamas

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, the Bahamas committed to a consensus decision of the United Nations to adopt, support and implement the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects56

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, the Bahamas have yet to submit a national report57 27 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In the Bahamas, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated27

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In the Bahamas, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated27

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of the Bahamas submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was not apparent27

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated27 by the Bahamas to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, the Bahamas have not declared58 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, the Bahamas have been a Member State of the United Nations since 197359

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list60 the Bahamas as a Participating State


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