Find Gun Policy Facts

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

India — 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 India is 40,000,0001 2

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in India is 3.363 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, India ranked at No. 24

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, India ranked at No. 1102

Number of Licensed Firearm Owners

The number of licensed gun owners in India is reported to be 2,600,0005

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

The rate of licensed firearm owners per 100 people in India is 0.213

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in India is reported to be 6,300,0001

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in India is 0.533

Estimated Number of Illicit Firearms

Unlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in India there are estimated to be 33,700,0001

Estimated Rate of Illicit Firearms per 100 Population

Unlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in India there are estimated to be 2.833 illicit firearms per 100 people

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of India are reported to have 2,600,0006 7 8 firearms

Routine Arming of Police

In India, police officers on routine patrol carry one or more firearms9

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in India are reported to have 1,700,0007 10 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

ChartIn India, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2014: 3,6555
2010: 3,063
2008: 6,21911
2007: 7,603
2006: 8,089
2005: 8,469
2004: 11,220
2003: 10,363
2002: 12,361
2001: 11,102
2000: 11,519
1999: 12,147

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

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

2014: 0.303
2010: 0.26
2008: 0.55
2007: 0.68
2006: 0.73
2005: 0.78
2004: 1.04
2003: 0.98
2002: 1.19
2001: 1.08
2000: 1.14
1999: 1.23

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn India, annual homicides by any means total

2012: 43,35512 13
2011: 43,74112 14
2010: 42,299
2009: 32,36915 16 12 14
2008: 33,7271 12 14
2007: 32,31817 12 14
2006: 32,481
2005: 32,719
2004: 33,608
2003: 32,716
2002: 35,290
2001: 36,202
2000: 47,36812
1999: 37,17018 14
1998: 38,584
1997: 43,54914
1996: 43,184
1995: 42,112

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

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

2012: 3.512 13
2011: 3.612 14
2010: 3.5
2009: 2.783 12 14
2008: 2.8019 12 14
2007: 2.8720 12 14
2006: 2.8221 12 14
2005: 2.88
2004: 3.133 12 14
2003: 3.09
2002: 3.39
2001: 3.54
2000: 4.512
1999: 3.7218 14
1998: 3.94
1997: 4.414
1996: 4.4
1995: 4.4

Gun Homicides

ChartIn India, annual firearm homicides total

2010: 2,96112
2009: 2,90812 14
2008: 4,10111 22 12 14
2007: 4,838
2006: 5,575
2005: 5,643
2004: 8,43411 22 14
2003: 7,82611 22
2002: 9,293
2001: 8,019
2000: 8,370
1999: 9,29411 22 14

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2010: 0.253
2009: 0.253 14
2008: 0.3623 3 14
2007: 0.433 3 14
2006: 0.4821 3 14
2005: 0.50
2004: 0.783 14
2003: 0.743
2002: 0.89
2001: 0.78
2000: 0.83
1999: 0.9318 14

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

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

2010: 7%12
2009: 7%
2008: 10%
2007: 12%
2006: 14%
2005: 14%
2004: 20.8%14

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn India, annual suicides by any means total

2008: 125,01724
2007: 122,637
2006: 118,112
2005: 113,914
2004: 113,697
2003: 110,851
2002: 110,417
2001: 108,506
2000: 108,593
1999: 110,587
1998: 104,713

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

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

2008: 10.824
2007: 10.8
2006: 10.5
2005: 10.3
2004: 10.5
2003: 10.4
2002: 10.5
2001: 10.6
2000: 10.8
1999: 11.2
1998: 10.8

Gun Suicides

ChartIn India, annual firearm suicides total

2008: 47911
2007: 719
2006: 353
2005: 752
2004: 503
2003: 544
2002: 471
2001: 395
2000: 515
1999: 550

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

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

2008: 0.043
2007: 0.06
2006: 0.03
2005: 0.07
2004: 0.05
2003: 0.05
2002: 0.05
2001: 0.04
2000: 0.05
1999: 0.06

Unintentional Gun Deaths

ChartIn India, annual unintentional shooting deaths total

2008: 1,63911
2007: 2,046
2006: 2,161
2005: 2,254
2004: 2,283
2003: 1,993
2002: 2,597
2001: 2,688
2000: 2,634
1999: 2,303

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

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

2008: 0.143
2007: 0.18
2006: 0.20
2005: 0.21
2004: 0.21
2003: 0.19
2002: 0.25
2001: 0.26
2000: 0.26
1999: 0.23

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In India, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence25

Small Arms Manufacture - World Ranking

In a classification of the world's small, medium and major firearm manufacturers, India was ranked 'medium'26

Home-made Guns

In India, the prevalence of illicit craft, or 'home-made' firearm manufacture is reported to be high22 27

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In India, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law28 29 30

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from India is reported by Customs to be US$22,956,42231 (2011)32 33

Small Arms Exports - World Ranking

In a comparison of the world's major/mid-level/minor/unknown small arms exporters, India was categorized as 'major'34 35 36

Firearm Imports

In India, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law28 29 30

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to India is reported by Customs to be US$5,444,00331 (2011)37 38 39

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in India is moderate40 41 27

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In India, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law42 43

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in India include44 29 certification of the intended end user of any small arms or ammunition transfer, and/or a written declaration of its intended end use

Transparency of Small Arms Transfers

ChartIn its annual Small Arms Trade Transparency Barometer, the Small Arms Survey compares public reporting among major arms exporting nations on a scale from strong to weak (25 to zero). In recent years, India scored

2016: 8.2545
2014: 8.2546
2013: 9.0047
2012: 8.2548
2011: 9.2549
2010: 10.0050
2009: 9.7551
2008: 9.2552
2007: 8.7553
2006: 9.0054
2005: 9.0055
2004: 8.7556

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in India is categorised as restrictive57

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in India includes the Arms Act of 195958 59

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in India are regulated by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Internal Security Division II. Implementation and enforcement is by state, territory, metropolitan and special-task police forces, all members of the Indian Police Service.60

Right to Possess Firearms

In India, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law61 62 63

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In India, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic firearms64 65 13

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In India, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is permitted under licence64 65

Regulation of Handguns

In India, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence, for target shooting and protection only, and only specific calibres are permitted66 67 65 13

Law Regulates Long Guns

In India, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law66 67 13

Gun Ownership and Possession

In India, only licensed gun owners68 69 70 13 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in India are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example target shooting, personal protection, security, pest control, hunting66 70

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in India is 21 years71 70

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in India must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental health and domestic violence71 70 13 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In India, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required72

Partner to be Advised or Interviewed

In India, licensing authorities are not required72 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 India stipulates in the case of any offence involving violence,73 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In India, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is required5 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In India, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every three years74

Licensing Records

In India, authorities maintain a record69 65 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in India are permitted to possess three firearms68

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in India are permitted to possess only 25 rounds per purchase and 50 rounds per annum total75

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In India, the law requires69 76 65 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 India, licensed firearm dealers are required69 65 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In India, licensed gun makers are required69 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In India, State agencies are required69 77 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 India, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited without a licence78

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In India, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful78

Background Checks for Private Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm in a private sale in India is obliged71 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 India is obliged71 to pass official background checks before taking possession

Limit on Gun Dealer Sales

In India, the number and type of firearms which can be sold by a licensed gun dealer to a single gun owner is limited to three in total possession68

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In India, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined72

Regulation of Gun Shows

In India, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated72 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in India include79 5 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 India do not include72 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in India include77 80 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in India include81 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In India, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law82 83

Firearm Tracing

In India, state authorities do not carry out84 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Record of Firearms and Ammunition

In India, the ballistic characteristics of each civilian firearm and its ammunition are not72 recorded in a register

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In India, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit68 13

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In India, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit85 13

Reciprocity for Hidden Handgun Permit Holders

In India, gun owners with a permit to carry hidden handguns issued in another jurisdiction are sometimes granted85 reciprocal rights

Gun Free Zones

In India, private guns are prohibited in schools5

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In India, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm86 is one to three years in prison87

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in India are known to have41 88 89 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 India, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered, bought back or seized by authorities is reported to be

2013: 6,24190
2011: 6,85491 92

Small Arms Destroyed

In India, the number of firearms destroyed following amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be 6,80189 (2004), 10,47288 (2006), 7,56088 (January-October 2007) and 4,37041 (2007-2009, North and North East India)

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In India, it is not state policy93 94 95 96 7 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

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 not signed97 by India.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed98 by India

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 ratified99 by India

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, India 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 Aspects100

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored India against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 23101 102 103 104 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, India has submitted one or more national reports105 106 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In India, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated107 106

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In India, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated107 106

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of India submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was not apparent106

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated106 by India to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, India has not declared108 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, India has been a Member State of the United Nations since 1945109

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list110 India as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


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