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Armed violence prevention, gun control laws and the small arms trade:

Guyana — 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 Guyana is 155,0001 2 3

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) per 100 people in Guyana is 20.41 3

Number of Privately Owned Rifles

In Guyana, the number of rifles in civilian possession is reported to be 1944

Number of Privately Owned Shotguns

In Guyana, the number of shotguns in civilian possession is reported to be 4,0284

Number of Privately Owned Handguns

In Guyana, the number of handguns in civilian possession is reported to be 2,7684

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Guyana ranked at No. 1345

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Guyana ranked at No. 453

Number of Licensed Firearm Owners

ChartThe number of licensed gun owners in Guyana is reported to be

2012: 4,0006
1999: 2,0004

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

ChartThe rate of licensed firearm owners per 100 people in Guyana is

2012: 0.547
1999: 0.26

Number of Registered Firearms

ChartThe number of registered guns in Guyana is reported to be

2007: 56,0008
2005: 56,0003 9

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

ChartThe rate of registered guns per 100 people in Guyana is

2007: 7.338
2005: 7.237

Estimated Number of Illicit Firearms

Unlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Guyana there are estimated to be 55,0002 10

Estimated Rate of Illicit Firearms per 100 Population

Unlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Guyana the rate of illicit firearms per 100 people is estimated to be 7.107

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Guyana are reported to have 15,50011 2 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Guyana are reported to have 2,50011 2 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

In Guyana, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2010: 5812 13

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

In Guyana, the annual rate of all gun deaths per 100,000 population is

2010: 7.787 13

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Guyana, annual homicides by any means total

2013: 15514
2012: 13914 15
2011: 13014 15 16 17
2010: 14014 15 16 18
2009: 11714 15 16 18 19
2008: 158
2007: 115
2006: 153
2005: 142
2004: 131
2003: 206
2002: 142
2001: 79
2000: 74
1999: 9116
1998: 113
1997: 87
1996: 88
1995: 109

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

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

2013: 19.3814
2012: 17.4814 15
2011: 16.4414 15 16 17
2010: 17.8114 15 16 18
2009: 14.9814 15 16 18 19
2008: 20.37
2007: 14.93
2006: 19.99
2005: 18.66
2004: 17.31
2003: 27.34
2002: 18.92
2001: 10.57
2000: 9.94
1999: 12.416 20
1998: 15.5
1997: 11.916
1996: 12.116 20
1995: 15.016

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Guyana, annual firearm homicides total

2013: 4314
2012: 25
2011: 2414 15
2010: 2814 15 13
2009: 1215
2005: 8516

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2013: 5.847
2012: 3.38
2011: 3.23
2010: 3.757 13
2009: 1.607
2005: 11.516

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

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

2013: 28%14
2012: 18%
2011: 18%14 15 17
2010: 20%14 15
2009: 10%15
2005: 61.3%16

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Guyana, annual suicides by any means total

2008: 17221
2007: 189
2006: 206
2005: 17321 22
2004: 19121
2003: 203
2002: 181
2001: 203

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

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

2008: 22.521
2007: 24.7
2006: 27.0
2005: 22.621 22
2004: 25.021
2003: 26.7
2002: 23.8
2001: 26.8

Gun Suicides

In Guyana, annual firearm suicides total

2010: 212 13

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

In Guyana, the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

2010: 0.277 13

Unintentional Gun Deaths

In Guyana, annual unintentional shooting deaths total

2010: 112

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

In Guyana, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death per 100,000 population is

2010: 0.137

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Guyana, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence,23 24 25 26 but is not conducted in practice27

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Guyana, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law28 27

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Guyana is reported by Customs to be US$2,15829 (2011)

Firearm Imports

In Guyana, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law28 30 31 32 33 34

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Guyana is reported by Customs to be US$123,09429 (2011)

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Guyana is negligible10 35 4

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Guyana, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law36

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Guyana do not include27 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 Guyana is categorised as restrictive37

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Guyana includes the Firearms Act of 1940, last amended in 2014,38 and the Firearms Regulations39 40 41

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Guyana are regulated by the Commissioner of Police,42 27 the Firearm Licencing Approval Board,43 35 the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Task Force on Narcotic Drugs and Illicit Weapons, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the President44

Right to Possess Firearms

In Guyana, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law45 46 47

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Guyana, civilians are not allowed to possess fully automatic firearms, firearms that fire noxious liquid or gas, ammunition containing noxious compounds,48 49 sawn-off shotguns and imitation firearms50

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Guyana, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited48 17

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Guyana, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is permitted under licence48

Regulation of Handguns

In Guyana, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence48 50 17

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Guyana, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law50 17

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Guyana, only licensed gun owners51 24 17 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Guyana are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm52

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Guyana is 18 years53

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Guyana must pass a background check which considers criminal54 43 55 and mental health52 17 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Guyana, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required47

Partner to be Advised or Interviewed

In Guyana, licensing authorities are not required47 to conduct interviews with, or to advise an applicant's spouse, partner, or next of kin before issuing a gun licence

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Guyana does not stipulate47 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Guyana, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required47 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Guyana gun owners are licensed for an indefinite period47

Licensing Records

In Guyana, authorities maintain a record42 27 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Guyana are permitted to possess 1 firearm per person4

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Guyana are permitted to possess any quantity of ammunition47

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Guyana, the law requires56 57 27 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 Guyana, licensed firearm dealers are required25 56 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

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

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Guyana, State agencies are required27 58 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 Guyana, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited without a valid firearms licence28 24 26 33 27

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Guyana, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful23 28 24 26 33 27

Background Checks for Private Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm in a private sale in Guyana is obliged52 54 43 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 Guyana is obliged52 54 43 to pass official background checks before taking possession

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In Guyana, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined47

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Guyana, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated47 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Guyana do not include47 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 Guyana do not include47 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Guyana do not include47 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Guyana do not include47 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Guyana, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law59 31 27

Firearm Tracing

In Guyana, state authorities carry out27 60 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Record of Firearms and Ammunition

In Guyana, the ballistic characteristics of each civilian firearm and its ammunition are27 recorded in a register

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Guyana, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is allowed without a permit, with some restrictions4 17

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Guyana, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is allowed without a permit, with some restrictions4 17

Gun Free Zones

In Guyana, private guns are prohibited in any area prescribed by the Minister61

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Guyana, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm62 is 10 years in prison and a fine51 48 50 63 24 28 33 60

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Guyana are known to have35 64 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Firearms Surrendered and Seized

ChartIn Guyana, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered, bought back or seized by authorities is reported to be

2012: 11135
2011: 125
2007: 13065
2006: 119

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Guyana, it is state policy66 67 58 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), Guyana 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 ratified68 69 by Guyana

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 200870 by Guyana.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified71 by Guyana

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 ratified72 by Guyana

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Guyana 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 Aspects73

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Guyana against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 11374 75 76 77 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Guyana has submitted one or more national reports78 79 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Guyana, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated79

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Guyana, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated79

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Guyana submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was apparent80 79

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated79 by Guyana to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Guyana has not declared81 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Guyana has been a Member State of the United Nations since 196682

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list83 Guyana as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


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