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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 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 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

Homicides (any method)

In Iraq, annual homicides by any means total 2008: 6085

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

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

2008: 2.05
2004: 7.346
2002: 2.90

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of 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$837 (2011)

Regulation of Firearm Imports

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Iraq is reported by Customs to be US$29,451,5717 (2011)8

MeasuresGun Regulation

Right to Possess Firearms

In Iraq, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law9

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Iraq, the law requires10 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 required11 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 Iraq, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law12 10

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 200213

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 signed14 by Iraq.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed15 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 ratified16 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 Aspects17

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. 12318 19 20 21 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 reports22 23 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 designated23

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Iraq, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated23

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Iraq submitted to the UN, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities is not apparent23

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated23 by Iraq to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided23 to Iraq by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Iraq has not declared24 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 194525

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list26 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,1 December. (Q6544)Full Citation

5.

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

6.

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

7.

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

8.

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,2 July. (Q8486)Full Citation

9.

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

10.

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:Permanent Mission of Iraq to the United Nations,1 January. (Q4798)Full Citation

11.

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:Permanent Mission of Iraq to the United Nations,1 January. (Q4797)Full Citation

12.

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:Permanent Mission of Iraq to the United Nations,1 January. (Q4796)Full Citation

13.

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:Council of the League of Arab States / United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,1 January. (Q3215)Full Citation

14.

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

15.

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

16.

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

17.

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

18.

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,1 August. (Q8752)Full Citation

19.

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,1 August. (Q8753)Full Citation

20.

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,1 August. (Q8754)Full Citation

21.

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,1 August. (Q8755)Full Citation

22.

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

23.

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

24.

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

25.

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

26.

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