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Cook Islands — 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 Cook Islands is 8601

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in the Cook Islands is 2.52 to 6.61 firearms per 100 people

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in the Cook Islands is reported to be 5002

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in the Cook Islands is 3.303

Government Guns

Routine Arming of Police

In the Cook Islands, police officers on routine patrol do not carry a firearm4

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in the Cook Islands are reported to have 295 firearms

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In the Cook Islands, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law6

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from the Cook Islands is reported by Customs to be US$5,2757 (2009)

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In the Cook Islands, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law8

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to the Cook Islands is reported by Customs to be US$1,5237 (2011)

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In the Cook Islands, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law8

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in the Cook Islands is categorised as restrictive9

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in the Cook Islands includes the Arms Ordinance 1954 and Crimes Act 196910

Right to Possess Firearms

In the Cook Islands, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law11

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

Regulation of Handguns

In the Cook Islands, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is prohibited12

Gun Ownership and Possession

In the Cook Islands, no civilian (civilian ownership prohibited)13 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 Cook Islands are required to prove genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example, pest control14

Gun Licence Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in the Cook Islands must pass a background check which considers undefined14 records

Firearm Safety Training

In the Cook Islands, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required14 for a firearm licence

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In the Cook Islands, the law requires15 that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in the Cook Islands do not include14 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of private firearms and ammunition by licensed gun owners

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in the Cook Islands do not include14 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In the Cook Islands, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is not required by law16

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In the Cook Islands, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm17 is a $100 fine18

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

Pacific Islands Forum

As a member of the Pacific Islands Forum, the Cook Islands adopted the March, 2000 Nadi Framework agreement, which aims to harmonise small arms-related legislation across Oceania. In August 2003, the Nadi Framework’s draft model Weapons Control Bill was unanimously accepted for consideration by all 16 member states of the Pacific Islands Forum19 20

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 signed21 by the Cook Islands.

United Nations Firearms Protocol

The United Nations Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition has not been signed22 by the Cook Islands

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, the Cook Islands have yet to submit a national report23 24 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In the Cook Islands, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated25 24

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In the Cook Islands, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated25 24

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of the Cook Islands submitted to the UN, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities is not apparent25 24

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated24 by the Cook Islands to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided24 to the Cook Islands by other UN Member States

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, the Cook Islands are not a Member State of the United Nations

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list26 the Cook Islands as a Participating State


Short References

1.

Alpers, Philip and Conor Twyford.2003.‘Stockpiles and Trafficking in the Pacific.’ Small Arms in the Pacific.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,31 March. (Q405)Full Citation

2.

Alpers, Philip and Conor Twyford.2003.‘Civilian Firearm Ownership in Pacific Nations, 2002.’ Small Arms in the Pacific.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,31 March. (Q406)Full Citation

3.

GunPolicy.org.2011.‘Calculated Rates – Cook Islands.’ Historical Population Data – USCB International Data Base.Suitland, MD:US Census Bureau Population Division,17 March. (Q4218)Full Citation

4.

Alpers, Philip and Conor Twyford.2003.‘Stockpiles and Trafficking in the Pacific: Police Inventories.’ Small Arms in the Pacific.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,31 March. (Q145)Full Citation

5.

Karp, Aaron.2003.‘Fewer Blanks: Global Firearm Stockpiles: Firearms of the Pacific.’ Small Arms Survey 2003: Development Denied.Oxford:Oxford University Press,1 July. (Q408)Full Citation

6.

Alpers, Philip and Conor Twyford.2003.‘Import and Export Laws in Pacific States.’ Small Arms in the Pacific.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,31 March. (Q414)Full Citation

7.

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

8.

IANSA.2006.‘Reviewing Action on Small Arms 2006: Assessing the first five years of the UN Programme of Action.’ Biting the Bullet 'Red Book' 2006.New York:International Action Network on Small Arms and the Biting the Bullet project,26 June. (Q82)Full Citation

9.

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

10.

Alpers, Philip and Conor Twyford.2003.‘Pacific Small Arms Legislation: Firearm laws in the Pacific.’ Small Arms in the Pacific.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,31 March. (Q149)Full Citation

11.

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

12.

Alpers, Philip and Conor Twyford.2003.‘Pacific Small Arms Legislation: Domestic and Regional Issues.’ Small Arms in the Pacific.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,31 March. (Q142)Full Citation

13.

Alpers, Philip and Conor Twyford.2003.‘Pacific Small Arms Legislation: Domestic and regional issues.’ Small Arms in the Pacific.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,31 March. (Q411)Full Citation

14.

IANSA.2006.‘Reviewing Action on Small Arms 2006: Assessing the first five years of the UN Programme of Action.’ Biting the Bullet 'Red Book' 2006.New York:International Action Network on Small Arms and the Biting the Bullet project,26 June. (Q409)Full Citation

15.

Alpers, Philip and Conor Twyford.2003.‘Pacific Small Arms Legislation: Registration.’ Small Arms in the Pacific.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,31 March. (Q322)Full Citation

16.

IANSA.2006.‘Reviewing Action on Small Arms 2006: Assessing the first five years of the UN Programme of Action.’ Biting the Bullet 'Red Book' 2006.New York:International Action Network on Small Arms and the Biting the Bullet project,26 June. (Q323)Full Citation

17.
18.

Alpers, Philip and Conor Twyford.2003.‘Selected Penalties for Firearm Offences in the Pacific.’ Small Arms in the Pacific.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,31 March. (Q412)Full Citation

19.

SPCPC/OCO.2000.‘Towards a Common Approach to Weapons Control: The 'Nadi Framework'.’ South Pacific Chiefs of Police Conference (SPCPC) and Oceania Customs Organisation (OCO).Nadi, Fiji:Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Secretariat,10 March. (Q576)Full Citation

20.

Baker, Jean.2000.‘Weapons Control Bill: Explanatory Notes.’ Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.Suva, Fiji:Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat,10 March. (Q577)Full Citation

21.

GDAV.2006.‘Geneva Declaration.’ Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development.Geneva:Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development Secretariat,7 June. (Q7162)Full Citation

22.

UNGA.2001.‘United Nations Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition.’ UN General Assembly Resolution 55/255.New York:UN General Assembly,31 May. (Q17)Full Citation

23.

Cattaneo, Silvia and Sarah Parker.2008.‘Reporting, NPCs and NCAs, 2002 to 2008.’ Implementing the United Nations Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons: Analysis of the National Reports submitted by States from 2002 to 2008.Geneva:United Nations Development Programme,1 November. (Q20)Full Citation

24.

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

25.

IANSA.2006.‘Reviewing Action on Small Arms 2006: Assessing the first five years of the UN Programme of Action.’ Biting the Bullet 'Red Book' 2006.New York:International Action Network on Small Arms and the Biting the Bullet project,26 June. (Q166)Full Citation

26.

Wassenaar Arrangement.1996.‘Introduction: Participating States.’ Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies.Vienna:Wassenaar Secretariat,12 July. (Q19)Full Citation