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Barbados — 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 Barbados is 9,0001 2

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in Barbados is 3.51 2 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Barbados ranked at No. 1663

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Barbados ranked at No. 762

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Barbados are reported to have 1,4004 5 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Barbados are reported to have 1,6004 6 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Barbados, annual homicides by any means total

2010: 317
2009: 198 7
2008: 25
2007: 27
2006: 35
2005: 29
2004: 22
2003: 33
2002: 25
2001: 25
2000: 20
1999: 237
1998: 20
1995: 16

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

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

2010: 11.37
2009: 7.428 7
2008: 9.80
2007: 10.59
2006: 13.78
2005: 11.46
2004: 8.70
2003: 13.10
2002: 9.96
2001: 9.96
2000: 7.94
1999: 8.67
1998: 7.5
1995: 6.1

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Barbados, annual firearm homicides total

2000: 87
1999: 9
1998: 7

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2000: 3.07
1999: 3.4
1998: 2.6

Suicides (any method)

In Barbados, annual suicides by any means total 2001: 29

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

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

2001: 0.7010
2000: 3.50

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Barbados, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence11

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In Barbados, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law12 11

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Barbados is reported by Customs to be US$112,61913 (2011)

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In Barbados, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law12 11 14

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Barbados is reported by Customs to be US$587,35513 (2011)

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Barbados, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law15

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Barbados do not include15 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 Barbados is categorised as restrictive16

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Barbados includes the Firearms Act 199817

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Barbados are regulated by the Minister responsible for Police Administration18

Right to Possess Firearms

In Barbados, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law19 15

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Barbados, private possession of fully automatic weapons is permitted under licence15

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Barbados, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is permitted under licence15

Regulation of Handguns

In Barbados, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence15

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Barbados, only licensed gun owners11 20 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Barbados are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example, collection20 21 22

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Barbados is 25 years23

Gun Licence Background Check

An applicant for a firearm licence in Barbados must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental and addiction23 20 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Barbados, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required15

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Barbados does not stipulate15 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Barbados, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required15 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Barbados gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every one year24

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Barbados are permitted to possess any number of firearms15

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Barbados are permitted to possess any quantity of ammunition15

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Barbados, the law does not require15 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 Barbados, licensed firearm dealers are required25 26 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Sales and Transfers

Background Checks for Private Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm in a private sale in Barbados is not obliged15 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 Barbados is not obliged15 to pass official background checks before taking possession

Regulation of Private Gun Sales

In Barbados, the private sale and transfer of firearms is permitted15

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Barbados, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful27 25

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In Barbados, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined15

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Barbados, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated15 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Barbados include28 29 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 Barbados include25 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Barbados do not include15 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Barbados do not include15 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Barbados, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is not required by law15

Firearm Tracing

In Barbados, state authorities carry out30 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Marking of Firearms and Ammunition

In Barbados, state authorities do not employ15 ballistic fingerprinting technology to trace guns and ammunition

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Barbados, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is prohibited31

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Barbados, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm32 is 2 years prison and/or a $5,000 fine33

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Barbados are not known to have 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 Barbados, it is not state policy15 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), Barbados 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 ratified34 35 by Barbados

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 signed36 by Barbados.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed, but not yet ratified37 by Barbados

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, but not yet ratified38 by Barbados

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Barbados 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 Aspects39

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Barbados against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 15740 41 42 43 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Barbados has submitted one or more national reports44 14 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Barbados, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated45 14

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated14 by Barbados to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Barbados has not declared46 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Barbados has been a Member State of the United Nations since 199647

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list48 Barbados as a Participating State


Short References

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Karp, Aaron.2012.‘Estimated Civilian Gun Ownership.’ Measurement and Use of Statistical Data to Analyze Small Arms in the Caribbean and Latin America.Mexico City:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Center of Excellence, National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI),28 April. (Q8972)Full Citation

2.

Karp, Aaron.2007.‘Completing the Count: Civilian firearms - Annexe online.’ Small Arms Survey 2007: Guns and the City.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,27 August. (Q5)Full Citation

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Karp, Aaron.2007.‘Completing the Count: Civilian firearms.’ Small Arms Survey 2007: Guns and the City.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,27 August. (Q4)Full Citation

4.

Karp, Aaron.2012.‘State Firearms Ownership.’ Measurement and Use of Statistical Data to Analyze Small Arms in the Caribbean and Latin America.Mexico City:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Center of Excellence, National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI),28 April. (Q8973)Full Citation

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Karp, Aaron.2006.‘Trickle and Torrent: State stockpiles.’ Small Arms Survey 2006: Unfinished Business.Oxford:Oxford University Press,1 July. (Q6)Full Citation

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Karp, Aaron.2006.‘Trickle and Torrent: State stockpiles.’ Small Arms Survey 2006: Unfinished Business.Oxford:Oxford University Press,1 July. (Q7)Full Citation

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UNODC.2013.‘Homicide in 207 Countries - Barbados.’ Global Study on Homicide 2011: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,26 June. (Q6389)Full Citation

8.

OAS Observatory on Citizen Security.2011.‘Intentional Homicide.’ Report on Citizen Security in the Americas 2011.Washington, DC:Organisation of American States,1 January. (Q5678)Full Citation

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WHO.2010.‘Number of Suicides by Age Group and Gender, Barbados, 2001.’ World Health Organization Mental Health Data.Geneva:World Health Organization,12 September. (Q2467)Full Citation

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OAS Observatory on Citizen Security.2011.‘Suicide.’ Report on Citizen Security in the Americas 2011.Washington, DC:Organisation of American States,1 January. (Q5680)Full Citation

11.

Barbados.1998.‘Conditions for the Holding of Firearm Licences.’ Firearms Act 1998, Chapter 179.Bridgetown:Government of Barbados,1 November. (Q2150)Full Citation

12.

Barbados.1998.‘Import and Export Licences.’ Firearms Act 1998, Chapter 179.Bridgetown:Government of Barbados,1 November. (Q2154)Full Citation

13.

Marsh, Nicholas.2013.‘Database of Authorised Transfers of Small Arms and Light Weapons.’ NISAT Small Arms Trade Database.Oslo:Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers,14 February. (Q16)Full Citation

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UNODA.2009.‘PoA-ISS Country Profiles.’ UN small arms Programme of Action (UNPoA) – Implementation Support System.New York:United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs,29 October. (Q1309)Full Citation

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Barbados.1998.‘Firearms Act.’ Firearms Act 1998, Chapter 179.Bridgetown:Government of Barbados,1 November. (Q4069)Full Citation

16.

Newton, George D and Franklin E Zimring.1969.‘Firearm Licensing: Permissive v Restrictive.’ Firearms & Violence in American Life: A staff report submitted to the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence.Washington, DC:US Government Printing Office,1 January. (Q22)Full Citation

17.

Barbados.1998.‘Firearms Act.’ Firearms Act 1998, Chapter 179.Bridgetown:Government of Barbados,1 November. (Q2149)Full Citation

18.

Barbados.1998.‘Regulations.’ Firearms Act 1998, Chapter 179.Bridgetown:Government of Barbados,1 November. (Q2158)Full Citation

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Sherman, Amy and Tom Ginsburg.2014.‘Gun Rights in National Constitutions.’ Marco Rubio Says Second Amendment Is Unique in Speech to NRA.Miami FL:Miami Herald (PolitiFact Florida),29 April. (Q8507)Full Citation

20.

Barbados.1998.‘Firearm Licences.’ Firearms Act 1998, Chapter 179.Bridgetown:Government of Barbados,1 November. (Q2156)Full Citation

21.

Barbados.1998.‘Collector's Licence.’ Firearms Act 1998, Chapter 179.Bridgetown:Government of Barbados,1 November. (Q2162)Full Citation

22.

Barbados.1998.‘Antique Firearms.’ Firearms Act 1998, Chapter 179.Bridgetown:Government of Barbados,1 November. (Q2164)Full Citation

23.

Barbados.1998.‘Disqualification for Holding Firearm.’ Firearms Act 1998, Chapter 179.Bridgetown:Government of Barbados,1 November. (Q2153)Full Citation

24.

Barbados.1998.‘Conditions for the Holding of Firearm Licences.’ Firearms Act 1998, Chapter 179.Bridgetown:Government of Barbados,1 November. (Q2151)Full Citation

25.

Barbados.1998.‘Licences in Respect of Firearms Dealers and Gunsmiths.’ Firearms Act 1998, Chapter 179.Bridgetown:Government of Barbados,1 November. (Q2152)Full Citation

26.

Barbados.1998.‘Firearms Dealer's Licence.’ Firearms Act 1998, Chapter 179.Bridgetown:Government of Barbados,1 November. (Q2155)Full Citation

27.

Barbados.1998.‘Licences in Respect of Firearms Dealers and Gunsmiths.’ Firearms Act 1998, Chapter 179.Bridgetown:Government of Barbados,1 November. (Q2157)Full Citation

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Barbados.1998.‘Storage of Firearms and Ammunition.’ Firearms Act 1998, Chapter 179.Bridgetown:Government of Barbados,1 November. (Q2160)Full Citation

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Caribbean Net News. 2009. ‘US and Nine Caribbean Islands Sign Agreement to Help Trace Illegal Guns.’ 1 April. (N165) Full Citation

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Barbados.1998.‘Carrying Firearm in a Public Place.’ Firearms Act 1998, Chapter 179.Bridgetown:Government of Barbados,1 November. (Q2161)Full Citation

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34.

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39.

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