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El Salvador — 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 El Salvador is 400,0001 2

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in El Salvador is 5.81 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, El Salvador ranked at No. 893

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, El Salvador ranked at No. 921

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in El Salvador is reported to be 149,7194 2

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in El Salvador is 2.515

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of El Salvador are reported to have 84,7406 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in El Salvador are reported to have 16,8007 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

In El Salvador, annual deaths resulting from firearms total 1999: 1,8638

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

In El Salvador, the annual rate of all gun deaths per 100,000 population is 1999: 32.195

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn El Salvador, annual homicides by any means total

2011: 4,3719
2010: 3,9879 10
2009: 4,382
2008: 3,179
2007: 3,497
2006: 3,927
2005: 3,779
2004: 3,897
2003: 3,356
2002: 2,835
2001: 3,590
2000: 3,551
1999: 3,8459
1998: 5,584
1997: 6,573
1996: 6,792
1995: 7,977

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

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

2011: 70.29
2010: 64.49 10
2009: 71.1
2008: 51.9
2007: 57.3
2006: 64.6
2005: 62.5
2004: 64.6
2003: 55.9
2002: 47.3
2001: 60.2
2000: 59.89 10 11
1999: 65.09 11
1998: 95.09
1997: 112.6
1996: 117.3
1995: 139.1

Gun Homicides

ChartIn El Salvador, annual firearm homicides total

2008: 2,4469
2006: 3,070
2005: 2,909
2002: 1,441
2001: 1,640
1999: 1,8378

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2008: 39.99
2007: 50.3610
2006: 50.59 10
2005: 48.1
2002: 24.19
2001: 27.5
1999: 28.208

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn El Salvador, annual suicides by any means total

2006: 41112
1999: 82113

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

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

2006: 6.8012
2005: 6.90
1999: 7.908

Gun Suicides

In El Salvador, annual firearm suicides total 1999: 168

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

In El Salvador, the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is 1999: 0.28 13

Unintentional Gun Deaths

In El Salvador, annual unintentional shooting deaths total 1999: 108

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

In El Salvador, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death per 100,000 population is 1999: 0.158

Non-fatal Gun Injuries

Rate of Non-fatal Gun Injury per 100,000 People

ChartIn El Salvador, the reported, or estimated annual rate or proportion of non-fatal firearm injury is

2001: 5714
2000: 65

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In El Salvador, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law15 16 17

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from El Salvador is reported by Customs to be US$60018 (2011)

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In El Salvador, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law15 17

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to El Salvador is reported by Customs to be US$2,667,24518 (2011)

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in El Salvador are regulated by the Ministry of National Defence and the National Civil Police16 17

Right to Possess Firearms

In El Salvador, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law19

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In El Salvador, private possession of fully automatic weapons is permitted under a licence16

Gun Ownership and Possession

In El Salvador, only licensed gun owners20 17 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Gun Licence Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in El Salvador must pass a background check which considers mental16 records

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In El Salvador gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every six years for possession, three years for a licence to carry20

Licensing Records

In El Salvador, authorities maintain a record21 20 17 2 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In El Salvador, the law requires21 20 2 that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register

State-Owned Firearm Records

In El Salvador, State agencies are required22 to maintain records of the storage and movement of all firearms and ammunition under their control

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In El Salvador, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is not required by law23

Firearm Tracing

In El Salvador, state authorities carry out23 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Marking of Firearms and Ammunition

In El Salvador, state authorities employ20 17 ballistic fingerprinting technology to trace guns and ammunition

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in El Salvador are known to have24 25 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Surrendered in Gun Amnesty

In El Salvador, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered in recent arms amnesty and collection programmes is reported to be 10,20026 (1991-96)

Small Arms Destroyed

In El Salvador, the total number of firearms destroyed following recent amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be 28,03624 (2006-2008)

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

Central American Integration System

As a member of the Central American Integration System (SICA), El Salvador is party to the 2007 Central American Programme on Small Arms Control and the Code of Conduct of Central American States on the Transfer of Arms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Material27

Organization of American States

On 14 November 1997, as a member of the Organisation of American States (OAS), El Salvador 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 ratified28 29 by El Salvador

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, El Salvador was listed as an elected member for a three-year term of office30

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 200631 by El Salvador.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified32 by El Salvador

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 ratified33 by El Salvador

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, El Salvador 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 Aspects34

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored El Salvador against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 9035 36 37 38 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, El Salvador has submitted one or more national reports39 40 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In El Salvador, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated41 40

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In El Salvador, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated41 40

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of El Salvador submitted to the UN, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities is apparent41

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated40 by El Salvador to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided40 to El Salvador by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, El Salvador has not declared42 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, El Salvador has been a Member State of the United Nations since 194543

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list44 El Salvador as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


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