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Belarus — 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 Belarus is 710,0001

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in Belarus is 7.31 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Rifles

In Belarus, the number of rifles in civilian possession is reported to be 3,6802

Number of Privately Owned Shotguns

In Belarus, the number of shotguns in civilian possession is reported to be 165,2782

Number of Privately Owned Handguns

There are reportedly 1,9002 handguns in civilian possession in Belarus

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Belarus ranked at No. 643

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Belarus ranked at No. 791

Number of Licensed Firearm Owners

The number of licensed gun owners in Belarus is reported to be 170,8582

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

The rate of licensed firearm owners per 100 people in Belarus is 1.704

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in Belarus is reported to be 170,8533

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in Belarus is 1.744

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Belarus are reported to have 1,739,7125 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Belarus are reported to have 36,0246 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Belarus, annual homicides by any means total

2009: 5957 8
2008: 647
2007: 657
2006: 7348
2005: 825
2004: 815
2003: 9837 8
2002: 1,138
2001: 9698
2000: 1,013
1999: 974
1998: 1,036
1997: 1,021
1996: 970
1995: 960

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

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

2009: 6.157 8
2008: 6.687 8 9
2007: 6.77
2006: 7.58 9
2005: 8.4
2004: 8.3
2003: 9.967 8 9
2002: 11.47
2001: 9.78 9
2000: 10.1
1999: 9.6
1998: 10.2
1997: 10.0
1996: 9.5
1995: 9.3

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Belarus, annual firearm homicides total

2009: 128
2008: 15
2007: 16
2006: 6
2005: 11
2004: 43
2003: 42
2002: 38
2001: 53
1997: 65
1996: 66
1995: 80

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2009: 0.18
2008: 0.2
2007: 0.2
2006: 0.1
2005: 0.1
2004: 0.4
2003: 0.4
2002: 0.4
2001: 0.5
1997: 0.6
1996: 0.6
1995: 0.8

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Belarus, annual suicides by any means total

2009: 2,74310
2008: 2,661
2007: 2,663
2003: 3,467
2002: 3,300
1999: 3,40811

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

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

2009: 28.3710
2008: 27.49
2007: 27.45
2003: 35.11
2002: 33.25
1999: 34.4411

Unintentional Gun Deaths

In Belarus, annual unintentional shooting deaths total 1996: 911

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

In Belarus, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death per 100,000 population is 1996: 0.0911

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Belarus, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence, but is not conducted in practice12

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In Belarus, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law13 14

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Belarus is reported by Customs to be US$143,91015 (2011)

Small Arms Exports - World Ranking

In a comparison of the world's major/mid-level/minor/unknown small arms exporters, Belarus is categorized as 'unknown'16

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In Belarus, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law13 14

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Belarus is reported by Customs to be US$1,938,53915 (2011)

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Belarus is moderate17

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Belarus, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law18

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Belarus 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 Belarus is categorised as restrictive20

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Belarus includes the Parliamentary Act No. 61-3 of the Republic of Belarus of 13 November 2001 on weapons, Act No. 130-3 of the Republic of Belarus of 6 January 1998 on export controls, the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus of 1 January 2001,21 and the Presidential Decree No. 473 "On measures to improve the regulation of the circulation of and tracing military, service and civilian weapons and ammunition in the territory of the Republic of Belarus"22

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Belarus are regulated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Defence23

Right to Possess Firearms

In Belarus, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law24

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Belarus, civilians are not allowed to possess handguns unless awarded for military service2

Regulation of Handguns

In Belarus, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is prohibited2

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Belarus, only licensed gun owners2 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Belarus are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example, hunting, target shooting2

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Belarus is 18 years2

Gun Licence Background Check

An applicant for a firearm licence in Belarus must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental and domestic violence2 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Belarus, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are required2

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Belarus stipulates2 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Belarus, the law requires2 that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In Belarus, licensed gun makers are required25 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Belarus, State agencies are required26 to maintain records of the storage and movement of all firearms and ammunition under their control

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Belarus include2 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of private firearms and ammunition by licensed gun owners

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Belarus include27 28 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Belarus include29 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Belarus, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law30 31

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Belarus are known to have32 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Small Arms Destroyed

In Belarus, the total number of firearms destroyed following recent amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be 66,407 (2003) and 60,00032 (2004)

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Belarus, it is state policy33 34 35 32 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

At the resumption of the most recent session of the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (UNCCPCJ), a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council mandated to promote action to prevent national and transnational crime, Belarus was listed as an elected member for a three-year term of office36

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 signed37 by Belarus.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed38 by Belarus

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 ratified39 by Belarus

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Belarus 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 Aspects40

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Belarus against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 5341 42 43 44 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Belarus has submitted one or more national reports45 46 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Belarus, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated47 46

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Belarus, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated47 46

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Belarus submitted to the UN, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities is not apparent47 46

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated46 by Belarus to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided46 to Belarus by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Belarus has not declared48 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Belarus has been a Member State of the United Nations since 194549

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list50 Belarus as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

For a profile of conflict in Belarus, select the Link icon to open an external web page from the UCDP Conflict Encyclopedia at Uppsala University

Global Peace Index

To see where Belarus ranks, select the Link icon to open an external web page at the Global Peace Index


Short References

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2.

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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

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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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11.

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12.

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13.

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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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Small Arms Survey.2001.‘60 Known Legal Small Arms Exporting Countries, 2001.’ Small Arms Survey 2001: Profiling the Problem.Oxford:Oxford University Press,1 July. (Q867)Full Citation

17.

Belarus.2010.‘Collection and Destruction.’ National Report of Belarus on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York:Permanent Mission of Belarus to the United Nations,1 January. (Q3431)Full Citation

18.

Belarus.2010.‘Control of Brokering Activities.’ National Report of Belarus on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York:Permanent Mission of Belarus to the United Nations,1 January. (Q3426)Full Citation

19.

Belarus.2010.‘Export Controls.’ National Report of Belarus on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York:Permanent Mission of Belarus to the United Nations,1 January. (Q3428)Full Citation

20.

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

21.

Belarus.2010.‘Legislation.’ National Report of Belarus on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York:Permanent Mission of Belarus to the United Nations,1 January. (Q3422)Full Citation

22.

Belarus.2005.‘Legislation.’ National Report of Belarus on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York:Permanent Mission of Belarus to the United Nations,1 January. (Q3460)Full Citation

23.

Belarus.2010.‘Penalties for Offences.’ National Report of Belarus on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York:Permanent Mission of Belarus to the United Nations,1 January. (Q3423)Full Citation

24.

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

25.

Belarus.2005.‘Marking and Control of Manufacturing – Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping.’ National Report of Belarus on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York:Permanent Mission of Belarus to the United Nations,1 January. (Q4537)Full Citation

26.

Belarus.2010.‘Stockpile Management and Security – State-Owned Firearm Records.’ National Report of Belarus on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York:Permanent Mission of Belarus to the United Nations,1 January. (Q4536)Full Citation

27.

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28.

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29.

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30.

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31.

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