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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

2012: 217
2011: 27
2010: 317 8 9
2009: 197 8 9 10
2008: 25
2007: 27
2006: 35
2005: 29
2004: 22
2003: 33
2002: 25
2001: 25
2000: 20
1999: 238
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

2012: 7.47
2011: 9.6
2010: 11.17 8 9
2009: 6.87 8 9 10
2008: 9.0
2007: 9.8
2006: 12.7
2005: 10.6
2004: 8.1
2003: 12.2
2002: 9.3
2001: 9.3
2000: 7.5
1999: 8.68
1998: 7.5
1995: 6.1

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Barbados, annual firearm homicides total

2008: 1311
2007: 6
2006: 14
2005: 7
2004: 9
2000: 88 11
1999: 98
1998: 7

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2008: 5.111
2007: 2.4
2006: 5.5
2005: 2.7
2004: 3.6
2000: 3.08 11
1999: 3.48
1998: 2.6

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Barbados, annual suicides by any means total

2008: 112
2006: 9
2005: 1
2004: 3
2001: 212 13
2000: 1012

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

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

2008: 0.412
2006: 3.5
2005: 0.4
2004: 1.2
2001: 0.812 14
2000: 4.0

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 licence15

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In Barbados, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law16 15

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Barbados is reported by Customs to be US$112,61917 (2011)

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In Barbados, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law16 15 18

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Barbados is reported by Customs to be US$587,35517 (2011)

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Barbados, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law19

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Barbados do not include19 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 restrictive20

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Barbados includes the Firearms Act 199821

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Barbados are regulated by the Minister responsible for Police Administration22

Right to Possess Firearms

In Barbados, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law23 19

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Barbados, private possession of fully automatic weapons is permitted under licence19

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Barbados, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is permitted under licence19

Regulation of Handguns

In Barbados, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence19

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Barbados, only licensed gun owners15 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 Barbados are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example collection24 25 26

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Barbados is 25 years27

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Barbados must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental and addiction27 24 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Barbados, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required19

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Barbados does not stipulate19 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 required19 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Barbados, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every one year28

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Barbados are permitted to possess any number of firearms19

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Barbados are permitted to possess any quantity of ammunition19

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Barbados, the law does not require19 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 required29 30 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 Barbados, the private sale and transfer of firearms is permitted19

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Barbados, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful31 29

Background Checks for Private Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm in a private sale in Barbados is not obliged19 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 obliged19 to pass official background checks before taking possession

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In Barbados, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined19

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Barbados, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated19 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Barbados include32 33 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 include29 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 include19 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Barbados do not include19 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 law19

Firearm Tracing

In Barbados, state authorities carry out34 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Record of Firearms and Ammunition

In Barbados, the ballistic characteristics of each civilian firearm and its ammunition are not19 recorded in a register

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Barbados, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is prohibited35

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Barbados, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm36 is 2 years prison and/or a $5,000 fine37

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 policy19 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 ratified38 39 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 signed40 by Barbados.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified41 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 and ratified42 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 Aspects43

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. 15744 45 46 47 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 reports48 18 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 designated49 18

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated18 by Barbados to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Barbados has not declared50 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 199651

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list52 Barbados as a Participating State


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