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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

There are reportedly 3,0002 handguns in civilian possession in the Bahamas

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

In the Bahamas, annual deaths resulting from firearms total 2000: 399

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

In the Bahamas, the annual rate of all gun deaths per 100,000 population is 2000: 13.805

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn the Bahamas, annual homicides by any means total

2012: 11110
2011: 12710 11 12
2010: 9410 11 13
2009: 8710 11 13 14
2008: 73
2007: 78
2006: 61
2005: 52
2004: 44
2003: 50
2002: 52
2001: 43
2000: 74
1999: 5311
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

2012: 29.810
2011: 34.710 11
2010: 26.110 11 13
2009: 24.510 11 13 14
2008: 21.0
2007: 22.8
2006: 18.2
2005: 15.8
2004: 13.6
2003: 15.8
2002: 16.8
2001: 14.2
2000: 24.9
1999: 18.111
1998: 16.611 15
1997: 16.2
1996: 14.4
1995: 15.0

Gun Homicides

ChartIn the Bahamas, annual firearm homicides total

2011: 9410
2010: 6910 16
2009: 5210 11
2008: 4610
2007: 43
2006: 33
2005: 36
2000: 379
1997: 1817
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

2011: 30.005
2010: 22.23
2009: 16.915 11
2008: 15.105
2007: 14.24
2006: 11.03
2005: 12.13
2000: 11.789
1997: 6.2317
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

2011: 74%10
2010: 73%
2009: 60%
2008: 63%
2007: 55%
2006: 54%
2005: 69%

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn the Bahamas, annual suicides by any means total

2008: 418
2007: 5
2006: 2
2005: 4
2002: 318 19
2001: 118
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: 1.218
2007: 1.5
2006: 0.6
2005: 1.3
2002: 1.018 19
2001: 0.318
2000: 3.718 19

Gun Suicides

In the Bahamas, annual firearm suicides total 2000: 19

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

In the Bahamas, the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is 2000: 0.319

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

In the Bahamas, annual shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total 2000: 19

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: 0.319

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In the Bahamas, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is prohibited20 21

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$1,98122 (2011)

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In the Bahamas, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law23 24 25

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to the Bahamas is reported by Customs to be US$232,56022 (2011)

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In the Bahamas, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law26

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in the Bahamas do not include26 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 restrictive27

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in the Bahamas includes the Firearm Act 1969,28 the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1990,29 the Firearms (Amnesty) Act 1993,30 and the Firearms (Amendment) Act 199431

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in the Bahamas are regulated by the Commissioner of Police32 33 34 35

Right to Possess Firearms

In the Bahamas, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law36 26

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In the Bahamas, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic firearms and incendiary ammunition34

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In the Bahamas, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited34

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In the Bahamas, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is permitted under licence34 37

Regulation of Handguns

In the Bahamas, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is only permitted subject to stringent conditions24 37

Gun Ownership and Possession

In the Bahamas, only licensed gun owners37 33 38 32 24 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 firearm33 32

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 years39

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in the Bahamas must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental, addiction and other various40 33 32 41 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In the Bahamas, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required26

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in the Bahamas does not stipulate26 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 required26 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 year24 32 33

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 certificate33

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 Authority37 33

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In the Bahamas, the law does not require26 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 required42 43 44 42 34 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 prohibited20 43

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In the Bahamas, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful20 43 21 44 12

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 obliged43 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 certificate33

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In the Bahamas, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined26

Regulation of Gun Shows

In the Bahamas, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated26 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in the Bahamas do not include26 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 include26 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 include26 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 include26 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 law45

Firearm Tracing

In the Bahamas, state authorities do not carry out26 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 not26 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 permit38

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In the Bahamas, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit38

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In the Bahamas, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm46 is 7 years prison and a fine12 37 38

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in the Bahamas are known to have12 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 policy26 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 ratified47 48 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, lists49 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 signed50 by the Bahamas.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified51 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 ratified52 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 Aspects53

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 report54 25 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 been designated25

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In the Bahamas, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated25

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of the Bahamas submitted to the UN, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities is not apparent25

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated25 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 declared55 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 197356

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list57 the Bahamas as a Participating State


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30.

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