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

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 2,600,0005 6 7 firearms

Routine Arming of Police

In India, police officers on routine patrol carry one or more firearms8

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in India are reported to have 1,700,0006 9 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

ChartIn India, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2008: 6,21910
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

2008: 0.553
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

2011: 42,92311
2010: 41,726
2009: 32,36912 13 11
2008: 33,7271 11
2007: 32,31814 11
2006: 32,481
2005: 32,719
2004: 33,608
2003: 32,716
2002: 35,290
2001: 36,202
1999: 37,17015 11
1998: 38,584
1997: 43,54911
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

2011: 3.511
2010: 3.4
2009: 2.783 11
2008: 2.8016 11
2007: 2.8717 11
2006: 2.8218 11
2005: 2.88
2004: 3.133 11
2003: 3.09
2002: 3.39
2001: 3.54
1999: 3.7215 11
1998: 3.94
1997: 4.411
1996: 4.4
1995: 4.4

Gun Homicides

ChartIn India, annual firearm homicides total

2009: 3,09311
2008: 4,10110 19 11
2007: 4,838
2006: 5,575
2005: 5,643
2004: 8,434
2003: 7,82610 19
2002: 9,293
2001: 8,019
2000: 8,370
1999: 9,29410 19 11

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2009: 0.311
2008: 0.3620 11
2007: 0.433 11
2006: 0.4818 11
2005: 0.50
2004: 0.783 11
2003: 0.743
2002: 0.89
2001: 0.78
2000: 0.83
1999: 0.9315 11

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn India, annual suicides by any means total

2008: 125,01721
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: 10.821
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: 47910
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: 1,63910
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 licence22

Small Arms Manufacture - World Ranking

In a classification of the world's small, medium and major firearm manufacturers, India is ranked 'medium'23

Home-made Guns

In India the prevalence of illicit craft, or 'home-made' firearm manufacture is reported to be high19 24

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In India, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law25 26

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from India is reported by Customs to be US$22,956,42227 (2011)28

Small Arms Exports - World Ranking

In a comparison of the world's major/mid-level/minor/unknown small arms exporters, India is categorized as 'minor'29

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In India, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law25

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to India is reported by Customs to be US$5,444,00327 (2011)

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in India is moderate30 31 24

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In India, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law32

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in India include26 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

In the most recent survey of state transparency in declaring firearm and ammunition exports among major small arms exporting nations, India was ranked at No. 3333

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in India is categorised as restrictive34

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in India includes the Arms Act of 195935 36

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.37

Right to Possess Firearms

In India, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law38 39

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In India, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic firearms40 41

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In India, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited40 41

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In India, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is permitted under licence40 41

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 permitted42 43 41

Gun Ownership and Possession

In India, only licensed gun owners44 45 46 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, hunting42 46

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in India is 21 years47 46

Gun Licence Background Check

An applicant for a firearm licence in India must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental and domestic violence47 46 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In India, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required48

Partner to be Advised or Interviewed

In India, licensing authorities are not required48 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,49 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 not required49 48 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In India gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every three years50

Licensing Records

In India, authorities maintain a record45 41 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 firearms44

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 total51

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In India, the law requires45 52 41 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 required45 41 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 required45 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In India, State agencies are required45 to maintain records of the storage and movement of all firearms and ammunition under their control

Gun Sales and Transfers

Background Checks for Dealer Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm from a licensed gun dealer in India is obliged47 to pass official background checks before taking possession

Regulation of Private Gun Sales

In India, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited53

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In India, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful53

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 possession44

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In India, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined48

Regulation of Gun Shows

In India, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated48 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in India include54 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 include48 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 include55 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in India include56 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 law57 58

Firearm Tracing

In India, state authorities do not carry out48 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Marking of Firearms and Ammunition

In India, state authorities do not employ48 ballistic fingerprinting technology to trace guns and ammunition

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 permit44

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In India, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit59

Reciprocity for Hidden Handgun Permit Holders

In India, gun owners with a permit to carry hidden handguns issued in another jurisdiction are sometimes granted59 reciprocal rights

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In India, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm60 is 1 to 3 years prison61

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in India are known to have31 62 63 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Small Arms Destroyed

In India, the total number of firearms destroyed following recent amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be 6,80163 (2004), 10,47262 (2006), 7,56062 (January-October 2007) and 4,37031 (2007-2009, North and North East India)

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In India, it is state policy64 65 66 6 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

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, India was listed as an elected member for a three-year term of office67

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 signed68 by India.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed69 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 ratified70 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 Aspects71

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. 2372 73 74 75 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 reports76 77 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 designated78 77

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In India, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated78 77

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated77 by India to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, India has not declared79 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 194580

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list81 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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