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Myanmar — 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 Myanmar is 2,000,0001

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) per 100 people in Myanmar is 4.01

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Myanmar ranked at No. 342

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Myanmar ranked at No. 1111

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Myanmar are reported to have 503,5003 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Myanmar are reported to have 100,8004 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Myanmar, annual homicides by any means total

2012: 8,0445 6
2008: 4,8007
2007: 749
2006: 777
2005: 676
2004: 743
2003: 764
2002: 928 7
2001: 119
2000: 1,0417
1995: 1,613

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

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

2012: 15.25 6
2008: 10.27
2007: 1.6
2006: 1.7
2005: 1.5
2004: 1.67 9
2003: 1.77
2002: 1.87 9
2001: 2.0
2000: 2.37
1998: 2.079
1995: 3.87

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Myanmar, annual firearm homicides total

2002: 278
2001: 40

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2002: 0.068
2001: 0.08

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

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

2012: 2%6

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Myanmar, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence10 11 12

Home-made Guns

In Myanmar, the prevalence of illicit craft, or 'home-made' firearm manufacture is reported to be moderate13

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Myanmar, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law14

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Myanmar is reported by Customs to be US$11915 (2002)

Firearm Imports

In Myanmar, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law14

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Myanmar is reported by Customs to be US$73,06415 (2011)

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Myanmar is high10 16

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Myanmar, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law17

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Myanmar do not include17 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 Myanmar is categorised as restrictive18

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Myanmar includes the Arms Act 1878,19 Arms Act (Temporary Amendment) 1951,20 and the Regulation on Holding Firearms 197721

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Myanmar are regulated by the President of Myanmar22

Right to Possess Firearms

In Myanmar, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law23 24 17

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Myanmar, private possession of fully automatic weapons is not prohibited in law17 6

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Myanmar, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is not prohibited in law17

Regulation of Handguns

In Myanmar, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence25 6

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Myanmar, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is restricted by law6

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Myanmar, only licensed gun owners26 27 6 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Myanmar are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example self-defence28

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Myanmar is undefined17

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Myanmar must pass a background check which considers undefined29 6 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Myanmar, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required29

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Myanmar does not stipulate17 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Myanmar, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required17 for a firearm licence

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Myanmar, the law does not require30 17 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 Myanmar, licensed firearm dealers are required12 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Myanmar do not include17 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of private firearms and ammunition by licensed gun owners

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Myanmar, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is not required by law17

Firearm Tracing

In Myanmar, state authorities do not carry out17 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Record of Firearms and Ammunition

In Myanmar, the ballistic characteristics of each civilian firearm and its ammunition are not17 recorded in a register

Carrying Guns

Law Regulates Firearms in Public

In Myanmar, carrying a gun in a public place is restricted by law6

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Myanmar, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm31 is three to seven years in prison32

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Myanmar, it is not state policy33 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

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 signed34 by Myanmar.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed35 by Myanmar

United Nations Firearms Protocol

The United Nations Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition has not been signed36 by Myanmar

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Myanmar 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 Aspects37

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Myanmar has yet to submit a national report38 39 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Myanmar, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated40 39

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Myanmar, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated40 39

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated39 by Myanmar to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Myanmar has not declared41 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Myanmar has been a Member State of the United Nations since 194842

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list43 Myanmar as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


Short References

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12.

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18.

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19.

Myanmar.1878.‘Article 1.’ Arms Act (1878) [India Act XI, 1878] (1st October 1878).Naypyidaw:People's Assembly,1 October. (Q5150)Full Citation

20.

Myanmar.1951.‘Penalty for Treason with Firearms.’ Arms (Temporary Amendment) Act 1951.Naypyidaw:People's Assembly,27 October. (Q1354)Full Citation

21.

Cukier, Wendy.2005.‘Military Assault Weapon Prohibitions by Country - Myanmar.’ The Feasibility of Increased Restrictions on the Civilian Possession of Military Assault Weapons at the Global Level.Waterloo, ON:Project Ploughshares: Small Arms Working Group of the Canadian Peacebuilding Coordinating Committee,1 April. (Q1503)Full Citation

22.

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25.

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26.

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27.

Myanmar.1878.‘Article 13.’ Arms Act (1878) [India Act XI, 1878] (1st October 1878).Naypyidaw:People's Assembly,1 October. (Q5152)Full Citation

28.

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29.

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30.

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32.

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33.

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34.

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35.

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36.

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37.

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38.

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43.

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