Find Gun Policy Facts

Armed violence prevention, gun control laws and the small arms trade:

Switch Language

Namibia — 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 Namibia is 260,0001

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in Namibia is 12.61 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Namibia ranked at No. 1102

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Namibia ranked at No. 511

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in Namibia is reported to be 97,2622

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in Namibia is 4.793

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Namibia are reported to have 22,5004 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Namibia are reported to have 17,4135 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Namibia, annual homicides by any means total

2004: 3526
2002: 346
2001: 353
2000: 380
1999: 379
1998: 407
1997: 327
1996: 353
1995: 373

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

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

2008: 27.46
2004: 17.26 7
2002: 17.5
2001: 18.2
2000: 20.0
1999: 20.5
1998: 22.6
1997: 18.7
1996: 20.8
1995: 22.6

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Namibia, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence8 9 10

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In Namibia, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law11 12 13

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Namibia is reported by Customs to be US$1,075,87014 (2011)

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In Namibia, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law11 12 13

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Namibia is reported by Customs to be US$9,465,73014 (2011)

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Namibia, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law15

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Namibia include16 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 Namibia is categorised as permissive17

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Namibia includes the Arms and Ammunition Act 7 of 199618

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Namibia are regulated by the Minister, the Inspector-General, or any member of the Police19

Right to Possess Firearms

In Namibia, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law20

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Namibia, civilians are not allowed to possess military-style weapons, automatic firearms, rifles, and imitations21

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Namibia, private possession of fully automatic weapons is permitted under licence21

Regulation of Handguns

In Namibia, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence20 22

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Namibia, only licensed gun owners20 23 24 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Namibia are not required to prove genuine reason to possess a firearm25

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Namibia is 18 years23 26

Gun Licence Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Namibia must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental and medical27 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Namibia, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required25

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Namibia does not stipulate25 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Namibia, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required25 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Namibia gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every time the firearm is permanently transferred, forfeited, or the licence ceases to be valid28

Licensing Records

In Namibia, authorities maintain a record29 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Namibia are permitted to possess any number of firearms25

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Namibia are permitted to possess any quantity of ammunition25

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Namibia, the law requires29 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 Namibia, licensed firearm dealers are required30 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In Namibia, licensed gun makers are required10 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Private Gun Sales

In Namibia, the private sale and transfer of firearms is permitted31

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Namibia, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful31 32

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In Namibia, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined25

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Namibia, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are regulated33 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Namibia include34 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 Namibia include34 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Namibia, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law35 36

Firearm Tracing

In Namibia, state authorities carry out36 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Namibia, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is allowed without a permit37

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Namibia, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is allowed without a permit37

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Namibia, it is not state policy38 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

African Union

In June 2006, as a member of the African Union, Namibia 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 200639

Southern African Development Community

As a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Namibia signed the SADC Declaration Concerning Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials in March 2001. This laid the ground for the August, 2001 adoption of the legally binding SADC Protocol on Control of Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials40

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 signed41 by Namibia.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed42 by Namibia

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 signed43 by Namibia

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Namibia 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 Aspects44

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Namibia has submitted one or more national reports45 15 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Namibia, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated46 15

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Namibia, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated46 15

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Namibia submitted to the UN, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities is apparent46 15

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated15 by Namibia to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Namibia has not declared47 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Namibia has been a Member State of the United Nations since 199048

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list49 Namibia as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

To see where Namibia 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.

GunPolicy.org.2011.‘Calculated Rates – Namibia.’ Historical Population Data – USCB International Data Base.Suitland, MD:US Census Bureau Population Division,17 March. (Q4267)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 - Namibia.’ Global Study on Homicide 2011: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,26 June. (Q6392)Full Citation

7.

Petrini, Benjamin.2011.‘Sub-Saharan 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. (Q3812)Full Citation

8.

Namibia.1996.‘Prohibition of Unauthorized Manufacture of Arms.’ Promulgation of Arms and Ammunition Act, 1996 (Act No.7 of 1996 – as of 2005).Windhoek:Parliament of Namibia,11 June. (Q3688)Full Citation

9.

Namibia.1996.‘Prohibition of Unauthorized Manufacture of Ammunition.’ Promulgation of Arms and Ammunition Act, 1996 (Act No.7 of 1996 – as of 2005).Windhoek:Parliament of Namibia,11 June. (Q3690)Full Citation

10.

Namibia.1996.‘Issue of Permits for Manufacture of Arms or Ammunition.’ Promulgation of Arms and Ammunition Act, 1996 (Act No.7 of 1996 – as of 2005).Windhoek:Parliament of Namibia,11 June. (Q4347)Full Citation

11.

IANSA.2006.‘Reviewing Action on Small Arms 2006: Assessing the first five years of the UN Programme of Action.’ Biting the Bullet 'Red Book' 2006.New York:International Action Network on Small Arms and the Biting the Bullet project,26 June. (Q82)Full Citation

12.

Namibia.1996.‘Prohibition of Importation or Exportation of Arms and Ammunition Without Permit.’ Promulgation of Arms and Ammunition Act, 1996 (Act No.7 of 1996 – as of 2005).Windhoek:Parliament of Namibia,11 June. (Q3683)Full Citation

13.

Namibia.1996.‘Issue of Permit for Importation or Exportation of Arms or Ammunition.’ Promulgation of Arms and Ammunition Act, 1996 (Act No.7 of 1996 – as of 2005).Windhoek:Parliament of Namibia,11 June. (Q3685)Full Citation

14.

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

15.

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

16.

Namibia.1994.‘Powers of Minister in Relation to Import and Export of Goods.’ Government Gazette – Promulgation of Import and Export Control Act, 1994 (Act 30 of 1994).Windhoek:Parliament of the Republic of Namibia,30 November. (Q4346)Full Citation

17.

Newton, George D and Franklin E Zimring.1969.‘Firearm Licensing: Permissive v Restrictive.’ Firearms & Violence in American Life: A staff report submitted to the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence.Washington, DC:US Government Printing Office,1 January. (Q22)Full Citation

18.

Namibia.1996.‘Arms and Ammunition Act 7 of 1996.’ Promulgation of Arms and Ammunition Act, 1996 (Act No.7 of 1996 – as of 2005).Windhoek:Parliament of Namibia,11 June. (Q3702)Full Citation

19.

Namibia.1996.‘Delegation.’ Promulgation of Arms and Ammunition Act, 1996 (Act No.7 of 1996 – as of 2005).Windhoek:Parliament of Namibia,11 June. (Q3697)Full Citation

20.

Namibia.1996.‘Prohibition of Possession of Arms Without Licence.’ Promulgation of Arms and Ammunition Act, 1996 (Act No.7 of 1996 – as of 2005).Windhoek:Parliament of Namibia,11 June. (Q3670)Full Citation

21.

Namibia.1996.‘Prohibition of Unauthorized Importation, Supply or Possession of Certain Firearms or Classes of Articles.’ Promulgation of Arms and Ammunition Act, 1996 (Act No.7 of 1996 – as of 2005).Windhoek:Parliament of Namibia,11 June. (Q3693)Full Citation

22.

Namibia.1996.‘Definitions.’ Promulgation of Arms and Ammunition Act, 1996 (Act No.7 of 1996 – as of 2005).Windhoek:Parliament of Namibia,11 June. (Q3669)Full Citation

23.

Namibia.1996.‘General Provisions Relating to Applications for Licences to Possess Arms and the Issuing of such Licences.’ Promulgation of Arms and Ammunition Act, 1996 (Act No.7 of 1996 – as of 2005).Windhoek:Parliament of Namibia,11 June. (Q3671)Full Citation

24.

Namibia.1996.‘Possession of Arms With Consent of Licence Holder Permitted in Certain Circumstances.’ Promulgation of Arms and Ammunition Act, 1996 (Act No.7 of 1996 – as of 2005).Windhoek:Parliament of Namibia,11 June. (Q3674)Full Citation

25.

Namibia.1996.‘Arms and Ammunition Act 7 of 1996.’ Promulgation of Arms and Ammunition Act, 1996 (Act No.7 of 1996 – as of 2005).Windhoek:Parliament of Namibia,11 June. (Q4343)Full Citation

26.

Namibia.1996.‘Possession of Arms or Ammunition by Juveniles.’ Promulgation of Arms and Ammunition Act, 1996 (Act No.7 of 1996 – as of 2005).Windhoek:Parliament of Namibia,11 June. (Q3694)Full Citation

27.

Namibia.1996.‘Declaration of Persons to be Unfit to Possess Arms.’ Promulgation of Arms and Ammunition Act, 1996 (Act No.7 of 1996 – as of 2005).Windhoek:Parliament of Namibia,11 June. (Q3675)Full Citation

28.

Namibia.1996.‘Duration of Licence.’ Promulgation of Arms and Ammunition Act, 1996 (Act No.7 of 1996 – as of 2005).Windhoek:Parliament of Namibia,11 June. (Q3672)Full Citation

29.

Namibia.1996.‘Register to be Kept by Inspector-Ceneral and Proof of Entries in Register.’ Promulgation of Arms and Ammunition Act, 1996 (Act No.7 of 1996 – as of 2005).Windhoek:Parliament of Namibia,11 June. (Q3696)Full Citation

30.

Namibia.1996.‘Registers to be Kept, Documents to be Retained and Returns to be Rendered by Licensed Dealers.’ Promulgation of Arms and Ammunition Act, 1996 (Act No.7 of 1996 – as of 2005).Windhoek:Parliament of Namibia,11 June. (Q3680)Full Citation

31.

Namibia.1996.‘Prohibition of Dealing in Arms and Ammunition Without Licence.’ Promulgation of Arms and Ammunition Act, 1996 (Act No.7 of 1996 – as of 2005).Windhoek:Parliament of Namibia,11 June. (Q3677)Full Citation

32.

Namibia.1996.‘Licences to Deal in Arms and Ammunition.’ Promulgation of Arms and Ammunition Act, 1996 (Act No.7 of 1996 – as of 2005).Windhoek:Parliament of Namibia,11 June. (Q3678)Full Citation

33.

Namibia.1996.‘Temporary Licences to Exhibit and to Deal in Arms and Ammunition.’ Promulgation of Arms and Ammunition Act, 1996 (Act No.7 of 1996 – as of 2005).Windhoek:Parliament of Namibia,11 June. (Q3679)Full Citation

34.

Namibia.1996.‘Prohibition of Possession of Ammunition in Certain Circumstances.’ Promulgation of Arms and Ammunition Act, 1996 (Act No.7 of 1996 – as of 2005).Windhoek:Parliament of Namibia,11 June. (Q3703)Full Citation

35.

Namibia.1996.‘No Arm Without Identification Marks to be Licensed.’ Promulgation of Arms and Ammunition Act, 1996 (Act No.7 of 1996 – as of 2005).Windhoek:Parliament of Namibia,11 June. (Q3673)Full Citation

36.

Namibia.2011.‘Measures Taken for Undertaking Traces and Responding to Tracing Requests.’ National Report of Namibia on its Implementation of the International Tracing Instrument to Enable States to Identify and Trace, in a Timely and Reliable Manner, Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons (UNPoA ITI).New York:Permanent Mission of Namibia to the United Nations,6 May. (Q4848)Full Citation

37.

Namibia.1996.‘Requirements as to Arms in Public Places.’ Promulgation of Arms and Ammunition Act, 1996 (Act No.7 of 1996 – as of 2005).Windhoek:Parliament of Namibia,11 June. (Q3695)Full Citation

38.

Namibia.1996.‘Disposal of Arms in Possession Of or Taken From Person Dealt With Under Section 10.’ Promulgation of Arms and Ammunition Act, 1996 (Act No.7 of 1996 – as of 2005).Windhoek:Parliament of Namibia,11 June. (Q3676)Full Citation

39.

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

40.

SADC / UNODA.2001.‘Protocol on Control of Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials.’ United Nations Programme of Action Implementation Support System: Regional Organisations.New York:Southern African Development Community Secretariat / United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,1 August. (Q3217)Full Citation

41.

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

42.

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

43.

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

44.

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

45.

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

46.

IANSA.2006.‘Reviewing Action on Small Arms 2006: Assessing the first five years of the UN Programme of Action.’ Biting the Bullet 'Red Book' 2006.New York:International Action Network on Small Arms and the Biting the Bullet project,26 June. (Q166)Full Citation

47.

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

48.

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

49.

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