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Haiti — 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 Haiti is 200,0001 2 3

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in Haiti is 2.01 2 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Rifles

In Haiti, the number of rifles in civilian possession is reported to be 5,7284

Number of Privately Owned Handguns

There are reportedly 14,6514 handguns in civilian possession in Haiti

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Haiti ranked at No. 1185

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Haiti ranked at No. 1642

Proportion of Households with Firearms

In Haiti, the percentage of households with one or more guns is reported to be 2010: 2.3%6 (Port au Prince area only)

Number of Registered Firearms

ChartThe number of registered guns in Haiti is reported to be

2006: 20,3797 8
2005: 20,3792 4 3

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

ChartThe rate of registered guns per 100 people in Haiti is

2006: 0.217
2005: 0.229

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Haiti are reported to have 13,00010 11 firearms

Routine Arming of Police

In Haiti, police officers on routine patrol carry one or more firearms12

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Haiti are reported to have 10,00010 13 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Haiti, annual homicides by any means total

2012: 1,03314
2011: 914
2010: 67714 15 16
2009: 598
2008: 498
2007: 486
2004: 1,34215
2003: 1,939
2002: 1,764
2001: 1,382

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

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

2012: 10.214 17
2011: 9.114
2010: 6.814 15 16
2009: 6.1
2008: 5.2
2007: 5.1
2006: 12.0018
2004: 14.515 18 16
2003: 21.3
2002: 19.7
2001: 15.7
1999: 14.616

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Haiti, annual suicides by any means total

2008: 10719
2003: 220

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

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

2008: 1.119
2003: 0.0
2002: 0.0
2001: 0.2

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Haiti, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is prohibited outside the monopoly of State for weapons of war21 22

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In Haiti, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law21 22

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Haiti is reported by Customs to be US$123 (2010)

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In Haiti, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law21 24 25 22

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Haiti is reported by Customs to be US$223,68023 (2011)

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Haiti includes the Decree on Firearms of 1988,26 the Decree of 1989 modifying the Decree of 198827 and the Constitution of 198722

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Haiti are regulated by the Haiti Armed Forces26 and the Police28 29

Right to Possess Firearms

In Haiti, the right to private gun ownership is conditionally guaranteed by the Constitution,22 30 31 3 as limited by statute law27

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Haiti, civilians are not allowed to possess weapons of war,21 22 32 33 automatic firearms,34 destructive weapons35 and incendiary or exploding bullets36

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Haiti, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited34 25

Regulation of Handguns

In Haiti, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence32

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Haiti, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law32 33

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Haiti, only licensed gun owners27 37 38 28 22 3 29 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Haiti are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example self-defence,32 sports and recreational purposes33

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Haiti is 18 years27 39

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Haiti, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every year40

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Haiti, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful24 25

Carrying Guns

Law Regulates Firearms in Public

In Haiti, carrying a gun in a public place is regulated by law37 38

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Haiti, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm41 is 5 years prison and a fine25

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Haiti are known to have42 43 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 Haiti, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered in recent arms amnesty and collection programmes is reported to be 20044 (2006)

Exchanged in Gun Buyback

In Haiti, the total number of firearms exchanged for monetary or in-kind compensation during recent gun buyback and disposal programmes is reported to be 3,68443 (1994-95)

Firearms Collected and Seized

In Haiti, firearms voluntarily surrendered for destruction, collected or seized in routine policing are reported to number 33,00043 (1994-95)

Small Arms Destroyed

In Haiti, the total number of firearms destroyed following recent amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be 24942 (2003)

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Haiti, it is state policy45 42 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), Haiti 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 ratified46 47 by Haiti

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 signed48 by Haiti.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed, but not yet ratified49 by Haiti

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 ratified50 by Haiti

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Haiti 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 Aspects51

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Haiti against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 13652 53 54 55 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Haiti has submitted one or more national reports56 57 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Haiti, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated58 57

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated57 by Haiti to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided57 to Haiti by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Haiti has not declared59 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Haiti has been a Member State of the United Nations since 194560

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list61 Haiti as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


Short References

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Karp, Aaron.2012.‘Estimated Civilian Gun Ownership.’ Measurement and Use of Statistical Data to Analyze Small Arms in the Caribbean and Latin America.Mexico City:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Center of Excellence, National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI),28 April. (Q8972)Full Citation

2.

Karp, Aaron.2007.‘Completing the Count: Civilian firearms - Annexe online.’ Small Arms Survey 2007: Guns and the City.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,27 August. (Q5)Full Citation

3.

Muggah, Robert.2005.‘Civilian Gun Possession.’ Securing Haiti's Transition: Reviewing Human Insecurity and the Prospects for Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,1 October. (Q9880)Full Citation

4.

Haiti.2003.‘Law Enforcement and Criminalisation (Application des Lois et Criminalisation ).’ National Report of Haiti 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, NY:Permanent Mission of Haiti to the United Nations,8 July. (Q4786)Full Citation

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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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Kolbe, Athena and Robert Muggah.2011.‘Securing the State: Haiti Before and After the Earthquake.’ Small Arms Survey 2011: States of Security.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,6 July. (Q9878)Full Citation

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OAS Hemispheric Citizen Security Observatory.2012.‘Legally Registered Civilian Firearms.’ Report on Citizen Security in the Americas 2012.Washington, DC:Organisation of American States (OAS),1 July. (Q9208)Full Citation

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OAS Observatory on Citizen Security.2011.‘Civilian Firearms Legally Registered.’ Report on Citizen Security in the Americas 2011.Washington, DC:Organisation of American States,1 January. (Q5679)Full Citation

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GunPolicy.org.2011.‘Calculated Rates - Haiti.’ Historical Population Data - USCB International Data Base.Suitland, MD:US Census Bureau Population Division,22 August. (Q4242)Full Citation

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Karp, Aaron.2012.‘State Firearms Ownership.’ Measurement and Use of Statistical Data to Analyze Small Arms in the Caribbean and Latin America.Mexico City:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Center of Excellence, National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI),28 April. (Q8973)Full Citation

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Petrini, Benjamin.2011.‘Latin America and the Caribbean, 1995-2008, Total Recorded Intentional Homicide, Completed, Rate per 100,000 Population.’ World Bank Homicide Rate Dataset 1995-2008.Washington, DC:Social Development Department, World Bank,10 February. (Q3817)Full Citation

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21.

Haiti.1988.‘Weapons of War (Armes de guerre).’ Decree of 12 January 1988, Laying Down the Conditions for the Ownership, Possession and Use of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons Listed as Dangerous on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,12 January. (Q9860)Full Citation

22.

Haiti.1987.‘Firearms (Armes à feu).’ Constitution of the Republic of Haiti of 1987 (Constitution de la République d'Haïti de 1987).Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Republic of Haiti,10 March. (Q9875)Full Citation

23.

Marsh, Nicholas.2014.‘Database of Authorised Transfers of Small Arms and Light Weapons.’ NISAT Small Arms Trade Database.Oslo:Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers,22 December. (Q16)Full Citation

24.

Haiti.1989.‘Imports and Transfers of Firearms (Importations et transferts d'armes à feu).’ Decree of 23 May 1989, Modifying Certain Articles of the Decree of 12 January 1988, on the Control of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,23 May. (Q9870)Full Citation

25.

Haiti.1989.‘Penalties (Sanctions).’ Decree of 23 May 1989, Modifying Certain Articles of the Decree of 12 January 1988, on the Control of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,23 May. (Q9874)Full Citation

26.

Haiti.1988.‘Decree on Firearms of 1988 (Décret sur les armes à feu de 1988).’ Decree of 12 January 1988, Laying Down the Conditions for the Ownership, Possession and Use of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons Listed as Dangerous on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,12 January. (Q9859)Full Citation

27.

Haiti.1989.‘Firearm Possession Requirements (Conditions pour la possession d'armes à feu).’ Decree of 23 May 1989, Modifying Certain Articles of the Decree of 12 January 1988, on the Control of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,23 May. (Q9866)Full Citation

28.

Haiti.1989.‘Competent Authority to Issue Licences (Autorité compétente pour délivrer les licences).’ Decree of 23 May 1989, Modifying Certain Articles of the Decree of 12 January 1988, on the Control of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,23 May. (Q9872)Full Citation

29.

Muggah, Robert.2005.‘Policing Small Arms.’ Securing Haiti's Transition: Reviewing Human Insecurity and the Prospects for Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,1 October. (Q9881)Full Citation

30.

Comparative Constitutions Project.2013.‘Right to Armed Self-defense.’ Haiti's Constitution of 1987 with Amendments through 2012 - English.Austin, TX:Comparative Constitutions Project / CCP,1 September. (Q8504)Full Citation

31.

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

32.

Haiti.1988.‘Firearm Possession for Personal Defence (Possession d'armes à feu pour défense personnelle).’ Decree of 12 January 1988, Laying Down the Conditions for the Ownership, Possession and Use of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons Listed as Dangerous on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,12 January. (Q9862)Full Citation

33.

Haiti.1989.‘Firearm Possession for Sports and Recreational Purposes (Possession d'armes à feu à des fins récréatives ou sportives).’ Decree of 23 May 1989, Modifying Certain Articles of the Decree of 12 January 1988, on the Control of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,23 May. (Q9865)Full Citation

34.

Haiti.1988.‘Automatic Firearms (Armes à feu automatiques).’ Decree of 12 January 1988, Laying Down the Conditions for the Ownership, Possession and Use of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons Listed as Dangerous on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,12 January. (Q9863)Full Citation

35.

Haiti.1989.‘Possession of Destructive Weapons (Possession d'engins destructeurs).’ Decree of 23 May 1989, Modifying Certain Articles of the Decree of 12 January 1988, on the Control of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,23 May. (Q9868)Full Citation

36.

Haiti.1988.‘Ammunition (Munitions).’ Decree of 12 January 1988, Laying Down the Conditions for the Ownership, Possession and Use of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons Listed as Dangerous on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,12 January. (Q9864)Full Citation

37.

Haiti.1989.‘Carrying and Possession of Firearms (Port et possession d'armes à feu).’ Decree of 23 May 1989, Modifying Certain Articles of the Decree of 12 January 1988, on the Control of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,23 May. (Q9869)Full Citation

38.

Haiti.1989.‘Licences to Carry Firearms and Ownership Declarations (Licences pour port d'armes à feu et déclarations de possession à domicile).’ Decree of 23 May 1989, Modifying Certain Articles of the Decree of 12 January 1988, on the Control of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,23 May. (Q9871)Full Citation

39.

Haiti.1989.‘Firearms in the Possession of Minors (Mineurs en possession d'armes à feu).’ Decree of 23 May 1989, Modifying Certain Articles of the Decree of 12 January 1988, on the Control of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,23 May. (Q9867)Full Citation

40.

Haiti.1989.‘Licence Validity (Validité de la licence).’ Decree of 23 May 1989, Modifying Certain Articles of the Decree of 12 January 1988, on the Control of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,23 May. (Q9873)Full Citation

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