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Libya — 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 Libya is 900,0001

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in Libya is 15.51 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Libya ranked at No. 552

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Libya ranked at No. 401

Proportion of Households with Firearms

In Libya, the percentage of households with one or more guns is reported to be 2013: 213

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Libya are reported to have 535,2004 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Libya are reported to have 22,0225 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

In Libya, annual homicides by any means total 2008: 1766

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

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

2008: 2.96
2004: 2.967
2003: 2.20
2002: 2.50
1999: 2.08
1996: 1.91

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Libya, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is prohibited8

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Libya is reported by Customs to be US$09 (2009)

Regulation of Firearm Imports

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Libya is reported by Customs to be US$22,6069 (2011)

MeasuresGun Regulation

Right to Possess Firearms

In Libya, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law10

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Libya, no civilians8 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Private Gun Sales

In Libya, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited8

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Libya, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful8

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Libya, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is not required by law8

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Libya, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm11 is 10 years prison and a fine12

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Libya are known to have12 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

League of Arab States

As a member of the League of Arab States, Libya adopted the Arab Model Law on Weapons, Ammunitions, Explosives and Hazardous Material in January 200213

African Union

In June 2006, as a member of the African Union, Libya adopted an African Common Position to take to the Conference to Review the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA), held in June 200614

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, Libya was listed as an elected member for a three-year term of office15

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 200716 by Libya.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed, but not yet ratified17 by Libya

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 ratified18 by Libya

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Libya 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 Aspects19

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Libya against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 14220 21 22 23 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Libya has submitted one or more national reports24 25 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Libya, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated25

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Libya, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated25

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Libya submitted to the UN, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities is not apparent25

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated25 by Libya to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided25 to Libya by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Libya has not declared26 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Libya has been a Member State of the United Nations since 195527

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list28 Libya as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

To see where Libya 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.

Florquin, Nicolas, Moncef Kartas and Irene Pavesi.2014.‘Perceptions of Firearms.’ Searching for Stability: Perceptions of Security, Justice, and Firearms in Libya.Geneva:Small Arms Survey (SAS), Security Assessment in North Africa (SANA),1 August. (Q8948)Full Citation

4.

Karp, Aaron.2006.‘Trickle and Torrent: State stockpiles.’ Small Arms Survey 2006: Unfinished Business.Oxford:Oxford University Press,1 July. (Q6)Full Citation

5.

Karp, Aaron.2006.‘Trickle and Torrent: State stockpiles.’ Small Arms Survey 2006: Unfinished Business.Oxford:Oxford University Press,1 July. (Q7)Full Citation

6.

UNODC.2013.‘Homicide in 207 Countries - Libya.’ Global Study on Homicide 2011: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,26 June. (Q6398)Full Citation

7.

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

8.

Libya.2010.‘Measures to Prohibit the Manufacture, Stockpile, Transfer and Possession of Light Weapons.’ National Report of Libya 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 Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to the United Nations,1 January. (Q4620)Full Citation

9.

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

10.

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

11.
12.

Essam Mohamed. 2013. ‘Lawless Libya Criminalises Gun Ownership.’ Magharebia (USA). 19 December. (N321) 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.

African Union / UNODA.2005.‘Windhoek Common Position.’ United Nations Programme of Action Implementation Support System: Regional Organisations.New York:African Union / United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,14 December. (Q3216)Full Citation

15.

UNCCPCJ / UNODC.1991.‘Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.’ United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.Vienna:United Nations Economic and Social Council / United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,1 January. (Q3222)Full Citation

16.

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

17.

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

18.

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

19.

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

20.

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

21.

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

22.

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

23.

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

24.

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

25.

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

26.

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

27.

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

28.

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