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Iceland — 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 Iceland is 90,0001

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in Iceland is 30.31 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Iceland ranked at No. 1412

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Iceland ranked at No. 151

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Iceland are reported to have 3753 firearms

Routine Arming of Police

In Iceland, police officers on routine patrol do not carry a firearm4

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Iceland are reported to have 1,0395 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

In Iceland, annual deaths resulting from firearms total 2009: 46

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

In Iceland, the annual rate of all gun deaths per 100,000 population is 2009: 1.256

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Iceland, annual homicides by any means total

2011: 37
2010: 2
2009: 1
2008: 0
2007: 2
2006: 0
2005: 3
2004: 38
2003: 0
2002: 49
2001: 1
2000: 510
1999: 2
1998: 07
1997: 2
1996: 1
1995: 0

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

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

2011: 0.97
2010: 0.6
2009: 0.3
2008: 0.0
2007: 0.7
2006: 0.0
2005: 1.0
2004: 1.058
2003: 0.00
2002: 1.419
2001: 0.35
2000: 1.7810
1999: 0.72
1998: 0.07
1997: 0.7
1996: 0.4
1995: 0.0

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Iceland, annual firearm homicides total

2009: 07
2008: 0
2007: 111 7
2006: 1
2005: 1
2004: 08
2003: 0
2000: 111
1996: 1

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2009: 0.07
2008: 0.0
2007: 0.3211 7
2006: 0.33
2005: 0.34
2004: 0.008
2003: 0.00
2000: 0.3611
1996: 0.37

Long Gun Homicides

In Iceland, annual long gun homicides total 1996: 111

Rate of Long Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

In Iceland, the annual rate of long gun homicide per 100,000 population is 1996: 0.3711

Gun Homicides (Other)

ChartIn Iceland, annual gun homicides (other) total

2007: 111
2006: 1
2005: 1
2000: 1

Rate of Gun Homicide (Other) per 100,000 People

ChartIn Iceland, the annual rate of gun homicide (other) per 100,000 population is

2007: 0.3211
2006: 0.33
2005: 0.34
2000: 0.36

Gun Suicides

ChartIn Iceland, annual firearm suicides total

2009: 412
2008: 4
2007: 5
2006: 7
2005: 4
2004: 4
2003: 5
2002: 3
2001: 6
2000: 7
1999: 3
1998: 3
1997: 7
1996: 6

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

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

2009: 1.2512
2008: 1.25
2007: 1.61
2006: 2.3
2005: 1.35
2004: 1.37
2003: 1.73
2002: 1.04
2001: 2.1
2000: 2.49
1999: 1.08
1998: 1.1
1997: 2.58
1996: 2.23

Handgun Suicides

In Iceland, annual handgun suicides total 1997: 112

Rate of Handgun Suicide per 100,000 People

In Iceland, the annual rate of handgun suicide per 100,000 population is 1997: 0.3712

Long Gun Suicides

ChartIn Iceland, the number of long gun suicides is

2009: 412
2008: 3
2007: 1
2006: 6
2005: 3
2004: 1
2003: 5
2002: 1
2001: 3
2000: 4
1999: 2
1997: 2
1996: 3

Rate of Long Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Iceland, the annual rate of long gun suicide per 100,000 population is

2009: 1.2512
2008: 0.94
2007: 0.32
2006: 1.97
2005: 1.01
2004: 0.34
2003: 1.73
2002: 0.35
2001: 1.05
2000: 1.42
1999: 0.72
1997: 0.74
1996: 1.12

Gun Suicides (Other)

ChartIn Iceland, annual gun suicides (other) total

2008: 112
2007: 4
2006: 1
2005: 1
2004: 3
2002: 2
2001: 3
2000: 3
1999: 1
1998: 3
1997: 4
1996: 3

Rate of Gun Suicide (Other) per 100,000 People

ChartIn Iceland, the annual rate of gun suicide (other) per 100,000 population is

2008: 0.3112
2007: 1.28
2006: 0.33
2005: 0.34
2004: 1.03
2002: 0.70
2001: 1.05
2000: 1.07
1999: 0.36
1998: 1.10
1997: 1.48
1996: 1.12

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Iceland is reported by Customs to be US$3,20713 (2011)

Regulation of Firearm Imports

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Iceland is reported by Customs to be US$1,987,80013 (2011)

MeasuresGun Regulation

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Iceland, only licensed gun owners14 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Licensing Records

In Iceland, authorities maintain a record14 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Iceland, the law requires14 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 Iceland, licensed firearm dealers are required15 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In Iceland, licensed gun makers are required15 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Iceland, State agencies are required16 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 Iceland, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law17

Firearm Tracing

In Iceland, state authorities carry out18 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

MeasuresInternational Controls

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 200719 by Iceland.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified20 by Iceland

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, but not yet ratified21 by Iceland

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Iceland 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 Aspects22

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Iceland has submitted one or more national reports23 24 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

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

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated24 by Iceland to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Iceland has declared26 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Iceland has been a Member State of the United Nations since 194627

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list28 Iceland as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Global Peace Index

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


Short References

1.

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

2.

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

3.

Karp, Aaron.2006.‘Trickle and Torrent: State stockpiles.’ Small Arms Survey 2006: Unfinished Business.Oxford:Oxford University Press,1 July. (Q6)Full Citation

4.

Andrew Clarke. 2013. ‘Why is Violent Crime So Rare in Iceland?.’ BBC News. 16 May. (N289) Full Citation

5.

Karp, Aaron.2006.‘Trickle and Torrent: State stockpiles.’ Small Arms Survey 2006: Unfinished Business.Oxford:Oxford University Press,1 July. (Q7)Full Citation

6.

WHO.2011.‘Inter-country Comparison of Mortality for Selected Cause of Death – Total Firearm Death.’ European Detailed Mortality Database (DMDB).Copenhagen:World Health Organisation Regional Office for Europe,15 September. (Q5684)Full Citation

7.

UNODC.2013.‘Homicide in 207 Countries - Iceland.’ Global Study on Homicide 2011: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,26 June. (Q6272)Full Citation

8.

UNODC.2006.‘Reported Overall Homicide Numbers and Rates per 100,000 Population for 64 Countries, 2003-04.’ Ninth United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (2003 – 2004).Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,10 December. (Q9)Full Citation

9.

UNODC.2005.‘Recorded Homicide and Firearm Homicide in 53 Countries, Completed or Attempted.’ Eighth United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (2001-2002).Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,15 April. (Q1077)Full Citation

10.

UNODC.2004.‘Recorded Intentional Homicide, Completed.’ Seventh United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (1998-2000).Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,19 March. (Q91)Full Citation

11.

WHO.2012.‘Inter-country Comparison of Mortality for Selected Cause of Death – Gun Homicide in Iceland.’ European Detailed Mortality Database (DMDB).Copenhagen:World Health Organisation Regional Office for Europe,14 February. (Q6076)Full Citation

12.

WHO.2012.‘Inter-country Comparison of Mortality for Selected Cause of Death – Gun Suicide in Iceland.’ European Detailed Mortality Database (DMDB).Copenhagen:World Health Organisation Regional Office for Europe,29 February. (Q6148)Full Citation

13.

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

14.

Iceland.2008.‘Legislation, Regulations, Administrative Procedures – Licensing and Civilian Gun Registration.’ National Report of Iceland 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:Permanent Mission of Iceland to the United Nations,7 April. (Q4792)Full Citation

15.

Iceland.2008.‘Legislation, Regulations, Administrative Procedures – Shop Owners and Manufacturers.’ National Report of Iceland 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:Permanent Mission of Iceland to the United Nations,7 April. (Q4791)Full Citation

16.

Iceland.2008.‘Stockpile Management and Security.’ National Report of Iceland 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:Permanent Mission of Iceland to the United Nations,7 April. (Q4793)Full Citation

17.

Iceland.2008.‘Marking, Record Keeping and Tracing – Marking.’ National Report of Iceland 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:Permanent Mission of Iceland to the United Nations,7 April. (Q4794)Full Citation

18.

Iceland.2008.‘Marking, Record Keeping and Tracing – Tracing.’ National Report of Iceland 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:Permanent Mission of Iceland to the United Nations,7 April. (Q4795)Full Citation

19.

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

20.

UNODA.2013.‘Towards Entry Into Force.’ Arms Trade Treaty.New York NY:United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,2 April. (Q7226)Full Citation

21.

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

22.

UNGA.2001.‘Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.’ United Nations General Assembly.New York:UN General Assembly,20 July. (Q18)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.

UNODA.2011.‘National Reports on Small Arms Exports.’ United Nations Register of Conventional Arms - The Global Reported Arms Trade.New York:United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,21 October. (Q14)Full Citation

27.

UN.2013.‘Member States of the United Nations.’ UN.org Web Site.New York:United Nations General Assembly,7 April. (Q290)Full Citation

28.

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