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Iraq — 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 Iraq is 9,750,0001

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in Iraq is 34.21 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, Iraq ranked at No. 132

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Iraq ranked at No. 81

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Iraq are reported to have 425,0003 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Iraq are reported to have 690,0004 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

In Iraq, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2008: 7,8225

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

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

2008: 27.75

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Iraq, annual homicides by any means total

2012: 2,6286
2011: 2,5187
2008: 6088

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

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

2012: 8.06
2011: 8.797
2008: 2.08
2004: 7.349
2002: 2.90

Gun Homicides

In Iraq, annual firearm homicides total

2008: 1,7725

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

In Iraq, the annual rate of firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2008: 6.35

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

In Iraq, the percentage of homicides committed with a firearm is reported to be

2011: 45%7

Unintentional Gun Deaths

In Iraq, annual unintentional shooting deaths total

2008: 5,1235

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

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

2008: 18.0810

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

In Iraq, annual shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2008: 9275

Rate of Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

In Iraq, the annual rate of unknown-cause shooting deaths per 100,000 population is

2008: 3.2710

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Iraq, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is prohibited11

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Iraq is reported by Customs to be US$8312 (2011)

Firearm Imports

In Iraq, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law11 13

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Iraq is reported by Customs to be US$29,451,57112 (2011)14 15 16 17

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

Law Regulates Civilian Access to Firearms

In Iraq, civilian possession of guns is regulated by law7

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Iraq includes the Weapons Act, Law No. 13 of 199218

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Iraq are regulated by the Ministry of the Interior19

Right to Possess Firearms

In Iraq, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law20 21

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

Law Regulates Automatic Weapons

In Iraq, civilian possession of automatic weapons is regulated by law7

Law Regulates Handguns

In Iraq, civilian possession of handguns is regulated by law7

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Iraq, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law7

Gun Ownership and Possession

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Iraq must pass a background check which considers undefined7 records

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Iraq, the law requires22 23 that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Iraq, State agencies are required24 25 to maintain records of the storage and movement of all firearms and ammunition under their control

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Iraq, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful19

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Iraq include24 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Iraq, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law22 18 26 23

Carrying Guns

Law Regulates Firearms in Public

In Iraq, carrying a gun in a public place is regulated by law7

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Firearms Surrendered and Seized

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

2012: 11,82027
2011: 17,281
2010: 10,949

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

League of Arab States

As a member of the League of Arab States, Iraq adopted the Arab Model Law on Weapons, Ammunitions, Explosives and Hazardous Material in January 200228

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 signed29 by Iraq.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed30 by Iraq

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 ratified31 by Iraq

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Iraq 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 Aspects32

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Iraq against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 12333 34 35 36 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Iraq has submitted one or more national reports37 38 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Iraq, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated38

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Iraq, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated38

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Iraq submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was not apparent38

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated38 by Iraq to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided38 to Iraq by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Iraq has not declared39 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Iraq has been a Member State of the United Nations since 194540

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list41 Iraq as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

To see where Iraq 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.

Karp, Aaron.2012.‘Table 1 - Estimated Law Enforcement Firearms in 20 Selected Countries.’ Armed Actors - Estimating Law Enforcement Firearms.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,1 December. (Q6544)Full Citation

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Waiselfiz, Julio Jacobo.2015.‘Number and Rate of Gun Deaths in 90 Countries (Número e taxas de mortalidade por AF segundo causa básica em 90 países do mundo).’ Violence Map: Deaths by Firearms (Mapa da Violência: Mortes Matadas por Armas de Fogo).Brasilia:Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales / Latin American Social Sciences Institute,1 January. (Q11896)Full Citation

6.

UNODC.2014.‘Homicides in Iraq.’ Global Study on Homicide 2013: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC),10 April. (Q10288)Full Citation

7.

Butchart, Alexander, Christopher Mikton and Etienne Krug.2014.‘Country Profile: Iraq.’ Global Status Report on Violence Prevention 2014.Geneva:World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),10 December. (Q9503)Full Citation

8.

UNODC.2013.‘Homicide in 207 Countries - Iraq.’ Global Study on Homicide 2011: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,26 June. (Q6285)Full Citation

9.

Petrini, Benjamin.2011.‘Middle East and North Africa, 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. (Q3813)Full Citation

10.

GunPolicy.org.2016.‘Calculated Rates - Iraq.’ Historical Population Data - USCB International Data Base.Suitland, MD:US Census Bureau Population Division,20 May. (Q11910)Full Citation

11.

Iraq.2012.‘Enforcement and Prosecution.’ National Report of Iraq 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 Iraq to the United Nations,1 January. (Q13139)Full Citation

12.

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

13.

Iraq.2012.‘Export Controls.’ National Report of Iraq 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 Iraq to the United Nations,1 January. (Q13141)Full Citation

14.

Holtom, Paul and Christelle Rigual.2015.‘Importers of Small Arms Based on UN Comtrade, 2012.’ Small Arms Survey 2015: Weapons and the World.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press and the Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,1 June. (Q11070)Full Citation

15.

Rigual, Christelle.2015.‘Annexe 4.2: Major Importers.’ Small Arms Survey 2015: Weapons and the World.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press and the Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,1 June. (Q11078)Full Citation

16.

Holtom, Paul, Irene Pavesi and Christelle Rigual.2014.‘Importers of Small Arms Based on UN Comtrade, 2011.’ Small Arms Survey 2014: Women and Guns.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press and the Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,16 June. (Q11041)Full Citation

17.

Pavesi, Irene and Christelle Rigual.2013.‘Annexes 8.2: Major Importers.’ Small Arms Survey 2013: Everyday Dangers.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press and the Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,2 July. (Q8486)Full Citation

18.

Iraq.2012.‘Legislation, Regulations and Administrative Measures.’ National Report of Iraq 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 Iraq to the United Nations,1 January. (Q13138)Full Citation

19.

Iraq.2012.‘Dealers.’ National Report of Iraq 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 Iraq to the United Nations,1 January. (Q13142)Full Citation

20.

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

21.

Zachary Elkins, Tom Ginsburg and James Melton. 2013. ‘U.S. Gun Rights Truly Are American Exceptionalism.’ Bloomberg (USA). 7 March. (N422) Full Citation

22.

Iraq.2012.‘Marking, Record-keeping and Follow-up.’ National Report of Iraq 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 Iraq to the United Nations,1 January. (Q13143)Full Citation

23.

Iraq.2010.‘Labelling and Record-Keeping and Tracing.’ National Report of Iraq 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 Iraq to the United Nations,1 January. (Q4798)Full Citation

24.

Iraq.2012.‘Management and Safeguarding of Accumulated Stocks of Weapons.’ National Report of Iraq 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 Iraq to the United Nations,1 January. (Q13140)Full Citation

25.

Iraq.2010.‘Stockpile Management and Security.’ National Report of Iraq 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 Iraq to the United Nations,1 January. (Q4797)Full Citation

26.

Iraq.2010.‘Legislation, Regulations and Administrative Procedures.’ National Report of Iraq 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 Iraq to the United Nations,1 January. (Q4796)Full Citation

27.

Karp, Aaron, Nicholas Marsh and Giorgio Ravagli.2015.‘Number of Firearms Reported Seized by Police, 2010-2013.’ UNODC Study on Firearms 2015.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC),3 July. (Q10542)Full Citation

28.

League of Arab States / UNODA.2002.‘Arab Model Law on Weapons, Ammunitions, Explosives and Hazardous Material.’ United Nations Programme of Action Implementation Support System: Regional Organisations.New York, NY:Council of the League of Arab States / United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,1 January. (Q3215)Full Citation

29.

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

30.

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

31.

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, NY:UN General Assembly,31 May. (Q17)Full Citation

32.

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, NY:UN General Assembly,20 July. (Q18)Full Citation

33.

Parker, Sarah and Katherine Green.2012.‘Findings - Table 3: Reporting States by Rank and Score.’ The Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (Phase 1): Assessing Reported Progress.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,1 August. (Q8752)Full Citation

34.

Parker, Sarah and Katherine Green.2012.‘What do the PoAIM Scores Represent? How Should the PoAIM Scores Be Interpreted?.’ The Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (Phase 1): Assessing Reported Progress.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,1 August. (Q8753)Full Citation

35.

Parker, Sarah and Katherine Green.2012.‘Point Allocation System.’ The Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (Phase 1): Assessing Reported Progress.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,1 August. (Q8754)Full Citation

36.

Parker, Sarah and Katherine Green.2012.‘Introduction.’ The Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (Phase 1): Assessing Reported Progress.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,1 August. (Q8755)Full Citation

37.

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

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UNODA.2015.‘PoA-ISS Country Profiles.’ UN small arms Programme of Action (UNPoA) - Implementation Support System.New York, NY:United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs,11 September. (Q1309)Full Citation

39.

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

40.

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

41.

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