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Ecuador — 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 Ecuador is 350,0001 2 3

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in Ecuador is 2.51 3 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Shotguns

In Ecuador, the number of shotguns in civilian possession is reported to be 100,0004

Number of Privately Owned Handguns

There are reportedly 100,0004 handguns in civilian possession in Ecuador

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Ecuador ranked at No. 965

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Ecuador ranked at No. 1423

Number of Licensed Firearm Owners

The number of licensed gun owners in Ecuador is reported to be 117,0006

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

The rate of licensed firearm owners per 100 people in Ecuador is 0.867

Number of Registered Firearms

ChartThe number of registered guns in Ecuador is reported to be

2012: 167,1028
2006: 117,0009
2005: 117,0003

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

ChartThe rate of registered guns per 100 people in Ecuador is

2012: 1.107
2006: 0,899
2005: 0.867

Estimated Number of Illicit Firearms

Unlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Ecuador there are estimated to be 250,0002

Estimated Rate of Illicit Firearms per 100 Population

Unlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Ecuador there are estimated to be 1.837 illicit firearms per 100 people

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Ecuador are reported to have 240,00010 2 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Ecuador are reported to have 42,00010 11 2 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

ChartIn Ecuador, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2009: 1,63912
2000: 1,64813

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

ChartIn Ecuador, the annual rate of all gun deaths per 100,000 population is

2009: 11.257
2000: 13.24

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Ecuador, annual homicides by any means total

2012: 1,92414
2011: 2,10615 14 16
2010: 2,33015 14 17 18 19
2009: 2,187
2008: 2,479
2007: 2,301
2006: 2,357
2005: 2,409
2004: 2,315
2003: 1,771
2002: 2,059
2001: 1,986
2000: 2,086
1999: 2,15017
1998: 1,830
1997: 1,472
1996: 1,865
1995: 1,526

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

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

2012: 12.414
2011: 13.8115 14 16
2010: 15.5315 14 17 18
2009: 14.8215 14 17 18 19
2008: 17.08
2007: 16.13
2006: 16.81
2005: 17.49
2004: 17.11
2003: 13.34
2002: 15.8
2001: 15.54
2000: 16.64
1999: 17.717 20
1998: 15.317
1997: 12.5
1996: 16.1
1995: 13.4

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Ecuador, annual firearm homicides total

2011: 1,32015
2010: 1,518
2009: 1,41312
2008: 1,79017 21
2006: 1,64614 17 21
2005: 1,718
2004: 1,47217 21
2000: 1,32113

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2011: 8.807
2010: 10.26
2009: 9.70
2008: 12.717 21
2006: 11.837 17 21
2005: 12.57
2004: 11.117 21
2000: 10.1613

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

ChartIn Ecuador, the percentage of homicides committed with a firearm is reported to be

2011: 63%15 16
2010: 65%15
2009: 65%12
2006: 69%14
2005: 81%
2004: 61.6%17

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Ecuador, annual suicides by any means total

2009: 1,17222
2008: 1,105
2007: 1,227
2006: 1,09622 23
2005: 1,12322
2004: 1,034
2003: 881
2002: 707
2001: 711
2000: 64022 13

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

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

2009: 8.622
2008: 8.2
2007: 9.2
2006: 8.322 23
2005: 8.6
2004: 8.022
2003: 6.9
2002: 5.6
2001: 5.7
2000: 5.222 13

Gun Suicides

ChartIn Ecuador, annual firearm suicides total

2009: 7212
2000: 9513

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Ecuador, the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

2009: 0.497
2000: 0.7313

Unintentional Gun Deaths

ChartIn Ecuador, annual unintentional shooting deaths total

2009: 1012
2000: 3113

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Ecuador, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death per 100,000 population is

2009: 0.077
2000: 0.2413

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Ecuador, annual shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2009: 14412
2000: 20113

Rate of Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn Ecuador, the annual rate of unknown-cause shooting deaths per 100,000 population is

2009: 0.997
2000: 1.5513

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Ecuador, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37

Home-made Guns

In Ecuador, the prevalence of illicit craft, or 'home-made' firearm manufacture is reported to be high8 37

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In Ecuador, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law38 39 40 41

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Ecuador is reported by Customs to be US$042 (2011)

Small Arms Exports - World Ranking

In a comparison of the world's major/mid-level/minor/unknown small arms exporters, Ecuador was categorized as 'unknown'43

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In Ecuador, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law38 44 45 46 47 48 34 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 41

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Ecuador is reported by Customs to be US$128,89942 (2011)

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Ecuador is high4 8 56

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Ecuador, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law27 52 57 41 58

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Ecuador include59 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 Ecuador is categorised as restrictive60

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Ecuador includes the Act on the Manufacture, Import, Export, Trade and Possession of Arms, Ammunition, Explosives and Accessories of 198061 and its Regulations (Executive Decree No. 169 of 1997)62

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Ecuador are regulated by the National Defence Ministry, through the Joint Command of the Armed Forces,63 64 65 8 and the Police66

Right to Possess Firearms

In Ecuador, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law67 68

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Ecuador, civilians are not allowed to possess weapons of war,69 70 71 72 automatic firearms, pistols with a calibre greater than or equal to 9 mm.73 The possession of revolvers with a calibre not greater than .38 inches, semi-automatic pistols and sub-machine guns with a caliber not greater than 9 mm, and repeating or semi-automatic shotguns is restricted74

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Ecuador, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited73 16

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Ecuador, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is restricted74

Regulation of Handguns

In Ecuador, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is prohibited, with some exceptions73 74 16

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Ecuador, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law16

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Ecuador, only licensed gun owners75 76 77 78 79 80 8 16 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Ecuador are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example hunting, target shooting, collection, personal protection, security81 82

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Ecuador is 18 years4

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Ecuador must pass a background check which considers criminal and mental83 84 16 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Ecuador, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are required4

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Ecuador does not stipulate4 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Ecuador, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every year for certificates of firearm possession77 and every two years for licences to carry firearms85

Licensing Records

In Ecuador, authorities maintain a record79 86 87 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Ecuador are permitted to possess one firearm for personal defence and another one for sporting or hunting purposes81

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Ecuador, the law requires79 65 45 88 89 37 90 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 Ecuador, licensed firearm dealers are required79 86 91 87 92 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In Ecuador, licensed gun makers are required79 91 87 35 92 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Ecuador, State agencies are required79 93 92 to maintain records of the storage and movement of all firearms and ammunition under their control

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Private Gun Sales

In Ecuador, the private sale and transfer of firearms is permitted94 95 96 97 98

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Ecuador, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful25 99 87 100 95 96 98 101 102 33

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Ecuador include25 103 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 Ecuador include25 103 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Ecuador include93 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Ecuador include25 32 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Ecuador, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law29 35 104 36 89 90

Firearm Tracing

In Ecuador, state authorities carry out89 90 105 106 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Ecuador, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit78 80 8 16

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Ecuador, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit78 80 8 16

Gun Free Zones

In Ecuador, private guns are prohibited in public demonstrations, meetings, assemblies, councils and any other sort of public acts107 80

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Ecuador, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm108 is 6 years prison and a fine109 110 111 112

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Ecuador are not known to have113 114 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Firearms Collected and Seized

ChartIn Ecuador, firearms voluntarily surrendered for destruction, collected or seized in routine policing are reported to number

2013: 3,739115 116 114
2012: 5,171
2011: 4,606115 117 93 113
2010: 514115 116

Small Arms Destroyed

In Ecuador, the total number of firearms destroyed following recent amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be 7,00093 (2011) 113

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Ecuador, it is state policy93 8 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

Andean Community

As a member of the Andean Community, Ecuador

adopted Decision 552: The Andean Plan to Prevent, Fight and Eradicate Illicit Trafficking in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects in June, 2003118

Organization of American States

On 14 November 1997, as a member of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Ecuador 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 ratified119 120 by Ecuador

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, lists121 Ecuador 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 signed in 2007122 by Ecuador.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed123 by Ecuador

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 ratified124 by Ecuador

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Ecuador 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 Aspects125

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Ecuador against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 15126 127 128 129 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Ecuador has submitted one or more national reports130 58 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Ecuador, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated131 58

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Ecuador, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated131 58

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Ecuador submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was not apparent131 58

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated58 by Ecuador to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Ecuador has not declared132 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Ecuador has been a Member State of the United Nations since 1945133

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list134 Ecuador as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


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Ecuador.1997.‘Manufacturing of Weapons for Military Use (Fabricación de Armas para uso Militar).’ Regulations to the Act on Arms, Ammunition, Explosives and Accessories, Executive Decree No. 169. RO/32.Quito:Ministry of the Attorney General of the Republic of Ecuador,27 March. (Q9320)Full Citation

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