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Jamaica — 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 Jamaica is 215,0001

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in Jamaica is 8.11 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Rifles

In Jamaica, the number of rifles in civilian possession is reported to be 7432

Number of Privately Owned Shotguns

In Jamaica, the number of shotguns in civilian possession is reported to be 3,4222

Number of Privately Owned Handguns

There are reportedly 13,9802 handguns in civilian possession in Jamaica

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Jamaica ranked at No. 1143

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Jamaica ranked at No. 741

Number of Licensed Firearm Owners

The number of licensed gun owners in Jamaica is reported to be 50,0004

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

The rate of licensed firearm owners per 100 people in Jamaica is 1.845

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in Jamaica is reported to be 65,0003 6

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in Jamaica is 2.385

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Jamaica are reported to have 7,0007 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Jamaica are reported to have 9,0008 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Jamaica, annual homicides by any means total

2011: 1,1339
2010: 1,445
2009: 1,68010
2008: 1,611
2007: 1,583
2006: 1,340
2005: 1,674
2004: 1,471
2003: 975
2002: 1,045
2001: 1,139
2000: 887
1999: 8549 11
1998: 859
1997: 1,038
1996: 925
1995: 780
1994: 69011
1993: 654
1992: 629
1991: 561
1990: 542

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

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

2011: 41.29
2010: 52.7
2009: 61.7910
2008: 59.49
2007: 58.72
2006: 49.94
2005: 62.74
2004: 55.51
2003: 37.06
2002: 40.04
2001: 43.99
2000: 34.54
1999: 33.49 12
1998: 33.9
1997: 41.49
1996: 37.29 12
1995: 31.79

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Jamaica, annual firearm homicides total

2010: 1,0809
2009: 1,290
2008: 1,253
2007: 1,249
2006: 1,008
2005: 1,2789 4
2004: 1,111
2003: 6924
2002: 5,593
2001: 789

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2010: 39.49
2009: 47.29 10
2008: 46.1
2007: 46.1
2006: 37.4
2005: 47.7
2004: 41.7

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Jamaica, annual suicides by any means total

2008: 3713
2004: 42
1995: 3614

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

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

2008: 5.0013
1995: 1.3614

Gun Suicides

In Jamaica, annual firearm suicides total 1995: 914

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

In Jamaica, the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is 1995: 0.3414

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Jamaica, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence, but is not conducted in practice15

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In Jamaica, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law16 17 18

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Jamaica is reported by Customs to be US$4,31619 (2011)

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In Jamaica, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law16 17 18 20

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Jamaica is reported by Customs to be US$1,553,16619 (2011)

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Jamaica is high21 4 22 23 24 25 26

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Jamaica, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law17

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Jamaica do not include27 certification of the intended end user of any small arms or ammunition transfer, and/or a written declaration of its intended end use

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Jamaica is categorised as restrictive28

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Jamaica includes the Firearms Act 1967 and the Gunpowder and Explosives Act29 20

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Jamaica are regulated by the Ministry of National Security and the Firearm Licensing Authority30 31 17

Right to Possess Firearms

In Jamaica, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law27

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Jamaica, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic firearms32

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Jamaica, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited32

Regulation of Handguns

In Jamaica, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence32 2

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Jamaica, only licensed gun owners33 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Jamaica are required to prove genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example, hunting, target shooting, collection, personal protection, security33 2

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Jamaica is 17 years34

Gun Licence Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Jamaica must pass a background check which considers criminal and mental33 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Jamaica, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required27

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Jamaica does not stipulate27 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Jamaica, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is required33 for a firearm licence

Licensing Records

In Jamaica, authorities maintain a record30 35 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Jamaica are permitted to possess any number of firearms27

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Jamaica are permitted to possess only 50 rounds of ammunition per year25

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Jamaica, the law requires30 35 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 Jamaica, licensed firearm dealers are required17 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Private Gun Sales

In Jamaica, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited36

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Jamaica, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful36

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In Jamaica, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined27

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Jamaica, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated27 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Jamaica include33 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 Jamaica do not include27 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Jamaica include37 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Jamaica do not include27 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Jamaica, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law15

Firearm Tracing

In Jamaica, state authorities carry out38 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Marking of Firearms and Ammunition

In Jamaica, state authorities employ39 ballistic fingerprinting technology to trace guns and ammunition

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Jamaica, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit40

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Jamaica, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit40

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Jamaica are known to have41 42 43 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 Jamaica, the total number of firearms destroyed following recent amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be 4,00043 (1999), 10,13241 (2004) and 6,00042 (2010)

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

Organization of American States

On 14 November 1997, as a member of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Jamaica adopted the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Explosives, Ammunition and Other Related Materials (CIFTA), a legally binding multilateral treaty of which the OAS is depository. The CIFTA Convention has since been signed, but not yet ratified44 45 by Jamaica

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 200646 by Jamaica.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed, but not yet ratified47 by Jamaica

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 ratified48 by Jamaica

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Jamaica 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 Aspects49

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Jamaica has submitted one or more national reports50 51 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Jamaica, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated52 51

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Jamaica submitted to the UN, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities is apparent51

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated51 by Jamaica to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided51 to Jamaica by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Jamaica has not declared53 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Jamaica has been a Member State of the United Nations since 196254

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list55 Jamaica as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


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