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Myanmar — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law

StockpilesGun Numbers

Civilian Guns

Number of Privately Owned Firearms

ChartThe estimated total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in Myanmar is

2017: 877,0001
2007: 2,000,0002

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 1.61
2007: 4.02

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. 343

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. 1112

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Myanmar are reported to have 788,9004 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Myanmar are reported to have 76,0005 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Myanmar, annual homicides by any means total

2016: 7596 7
2015: 733
2014: 758
2013: 1,2507
2012: 1,436
2011: 1,055
2010: 801
2008: 4,8008
2007: 749
2006: 777
2005: 676
2004: 743
2003: 764
2002: 929 8
2001: 119
2000: 1,0418
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

2016: 1.56 7
2015: 1.5
2014: 1.5
2013: 2.367
2012: 2.73
2011: 2.02
2010: 1.55
2008: 10.28
2007: 1.6
2006: 1.7
2005: 1.5
2004: 1.68 10
2003: 1.78
2002: 1.88 10
2001: 2.0
2000: 2.38
1998: 2.0710
1995: 3.88

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Myanmar, annual male homicides by any means total

2015: 1,06011
2014: 1,125
2013: 1,042
2012: 1,195
2011: 955
2010: 650

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Myanmar, annual female homicides by any means total

2015: 24411
2014: 223
2013: 208
2012: 241
2011: 100
2010: 151

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Myanmar, annual firearm homicides total

2002: 279
2001: 40

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2002: 0.069
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%12

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Myanmar, annual suicides by any means total

2016: 1.4066
2015: 1,224
2014: 1,212

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

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

2016: 2.86
2015: 2.4
2014: 2.5

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 licence13 14 15

Home-made Guns

In Myanmar, the prevalence of illicit craft, or 'home-made' firearm manufacture is reported to be moderate16

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Myanmar, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law17

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

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

2002: 11918

Firearm Imports

In Myanmar, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law17

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

ChartThe annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Myanmar is reported by Customs to be US$

2013: 1,74419
2011: 73,06418

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Myanmar is high20 21 13 22

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Myanmar, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law23

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Myanmar do not include23 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 restrictive24

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Myanmar includes the Arms Act 1878,25 the Arms Act (Temporary Amendment) 1951,26 the Arms Emergency Punishment Temporary Act 1949,27 and the Regulation on Holding Firearms 197728

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Myanmar are regulated by the President of Myanmar29

Right to Possess Firearms

In Myanmar, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law30 31 23

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Myanmar, civilians are not allowed to possess any firearms32 27 33 34

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Myanmar, no civilian (except for ethnic Chin hunters)32 27 33 34 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Myanmar, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is not required by law23

Firearm Tracing

In Myanmar, state authorities do not carry out23 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 not23 recorded in a register

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Myanmar, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm35 is three to seven years in prison36

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Myanmar, it is not state policy37 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 signed38 by Myanmar.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed39 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 signed40 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 Aspects41

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 report42 43 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 designated44 43

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Myanmar, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated44 43

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated43 by Myanmar to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Myanmar has not declared45 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 194846

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list47 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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2.

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

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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

4.

Karp, Aaron.2018.‘Military Firearms Holdings, 2017.’ Estimating Global Military-Owned Firearms Numbers.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,18 June. (Q13436)Full Citation

5.

Karp, Aaron.2018.‘Law Enforcement Firearms Holdings, 2017.’ Estimating Global Law Enforcement Firearms Numbers.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,18 June. (Q13435)Full Citation

6.

Myanmar.2017.‘Indicators for Prevention of Accidents and Injuries.’ Public Health Statistics (2014‐2016).Naypyidaw:Ministry of Health and Sports,1 September. (Q13501)Full Citation

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9.

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UNODC.2017.‘Intentional Homicide Victims by Sex.’ Crime and Drugs Data.Vienna:UNODC,19 May. (Q13356)Full Citation

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13.

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14.

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15.

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17.

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18.

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19.

United Nations.2018.‘National Customs Data on Small Arms Exports and Imports - Myanmar.’ UN Comtrade International Trade Statistics Database.New York NY:United Nations Statistics Division,1 January. (Q13441)Full Citation

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22.

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23.

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24.

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25.

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

26.

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

27.

The Irrawaddy. 2017. ‘Haul of Firearms in U Phyo Ko Ko Tint San Case.’ 21 October. (N726) Full Citation

28.

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

29.

Myanmar.1878.‘Article 17.’ Arms Act (1878) [India Act XI, 1878] (1st October 1878).Naypyidaw:People's Assembly,1 October. (Q5155)Full Citation

30.

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

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

32.

John Buchanan.2016.‘Introduction.’ Militias in Myanmar.Washington DC:Asia Foundation,1 July. (Q13502)Full Citation

33.

Wai Moe, Mike Ives and Saw Nang. 2017. ‘Brazen Killing of Myanmar Lawyer Came After He Sparred With Military.’ New York Times. 2 February. (N727) Full Citation

34.

Joshua Carroll. 2016. ‘Bullets and Bibles: Pastor Defies Chin State's Macho Gun Culture.’ Frontier Myanmar. 31 May. (N728) Full Citation

35.

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36.

Myanmar.1878.‘Article 19.’ Arms Act (1878) [India Act XI, 1878] (1st October 1878).Naypyidaw:People's Assembly,1 October. (Q1358)Full Citation

37.

Myanmar.1878.‘Article 16.’ Arms Act (1878) [India Act XI, 1878] (1st October 1878).Naypyidaw:People's Assembly,1 October. (Q5154)Full Citation

38.

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39.

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40.

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41.

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47.

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