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Netherlands — 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 the Netherlands is 510,0001

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in the Netherlands is 3.91 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, the Netherlands ranked at No. 782

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, the Netherlands ranked at No. 1121

Proportion of Households with Firearms

ChartIn the Netherlands, the percentage of households with one or more guns is reported to be

2004/05: 4.8%3
1999/2003: 1.7%
1995/98: 2.3%
1992: 1.9%4
1992/94: 2.0%3
1989: 2.0%

Proportion of Households with Rifles

In the Netherlands, the percentage of households with one or more rifles is reported to be

1992: 0.7%4

Proportion of Households with Shotguns

In the Netherlands, the percentage of households with one or more shotguns is reported to be

1992: 0.0%4

Proportion of Households with Handguns

ChartIn the Netherlands, the percentage of households with one or more handguns is reported to be

2004/05: 1.3%3
1999/2003: 0.8%
1995/98: 0.9%
1992/94: 1.4%3 4
1989: 0.9%

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in the Netherlands is reported to be 330,0001

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in the Netherlands is 2.025

Estimated Number of Illicit Firearms

Unlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in the Netherlands there are estimated to be 85,000 to 125,0006

Estimated Rate of Illicit Firearms per 100 Population

Unlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in the Netherlands there are estimated to be 0.775 illicit firearms per 100 people

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of the Netherlands are reported to have 691,0857 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in the Netherlands are reported to have 59,1178 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

ChartIn the Netherlands, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2015: 889 10
2014: 81
2013: 78
2012: 979 10 11
2011: 1079 10
2010: 849 10 12
2009: 1079 10
2008: 93
2007: 90
2006: 94
2005: 113
2004: 114
2003: 123
2002: 122
2001: 136
2000: 130
1999: 145
1998: 131
1997: 133
1996: 143

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

ChartIn the Netherlands, the annual rate of all gun deaths per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.525
2014: 0.48
2013: 0.46
2012: 0.58
2011: 0.64
2010: 0.51
2009: 0.65
2008: 0.57
2007: 0.55
2006: 0.58
2005: 0.69
2004: 0.70
2003: 0.76
2002: 0.76
2001: 0.85
2000: 0.82
1999: 0.92
1998: 0.83
1997: 0.85
1996: 0.92

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn the Netherlands, annual homicides by any means total

2015: 12013 14 15
2014: 144
2013: 147
2012: 15713 14 15 16
2011: 16513 14 15 16 17
2010: 15813 14 15 16 18
2009: 175
2008: 176
2007: 164
2006: 159
2005: 197
2004: 223
2003: 247
2002: 224
2001: 264
2000: 223
1999: 23013 14 15 18
1998: 208
1997: 23713 14 15 18 19
1996: 240
1995: 29913 18 19

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

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

2015: 0.715
2014: 0.85
2013: 0.87
2012: 0.945 5 16
2011: 0.995 16 17
2010: 0.955 16 18
2009: 1.06
2008: 1.07
2007: 1.00
2006: 0.97
2005: 1.21
2004: 1.37
2003: 1.52
2002: 1.39
2001: 1.65
2000: 1.40
1999: 1.455 18
1998: 1.32
1997: 1.525 18 19
1996: 1.54
1995: 1.918 19

Gun Homicides

ChartIn the Netherlands, annual firearm homicides total

2015: 4113 9 10
2014: 47
2013: 3513 9 10 20
2012: 5413 9 10 20 11
2011: 6013 9 10 20 16
2010: 41
2009: 5513 9 10 20 16 18
2008: 52
2007: 47
2006: 43
2005: 63
2004: 6713 9 10 20 18
2003: 7513 9 10 20
2002: 80
2001: 91
2000: 81
1999: 89
1998: 74
1997: 78
1996: 86

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2015: 0.245
2014: 0.28
2013: 0.215 20
2012: 0.325 20 11
2011: 0.365 20
2010: 0.25
2009: 0.335 20 18
2008: 0.32
2007: 0.29
2006: 0.26
2005: 0.39
2004: 0.415 20 18
2003: 0.465 20
2002: 0.50
2001: 0.57
2000: 0.51
1999: 0.56
1998: 0.47
1997: 0.50
1996: 0.55
1994: 0.3621

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

ChartIn the Netherlands, the percentage of homicides committed with a firearm is reported to be

2011: 34%16 17
2010: 23%
2009: 27%
2008: 25%
2007: 28%
2006: 24%
2005: 31%
2004: 29.9%18

Handgun Homicides

ChartIn the Netherlands, annual handgun homicides total

2015: 010
2014: 2
2013: 210 20
2012: 2
2011: 010
2010: 110 20
2009: 2
2008: 1
2007: 2
2006: 1
2005: 5
2004: 4
2003: 5
2002: 3
2001: 1
2000: 1
1999: 2
1998: 3
1997: 4
1996: 3

Rate of Handgun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn the Netherlands, the annual rate of handgun homicide per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.005
2014: 0.01
2013: 0.015 20
2012: 0.01
2011: 0.005
2010: 0.015 20
2009: 0.01
2008: 0.01
2007: 0.01
2006: 0.01
2005: 0.03
2004: 0.02
2003: 0.03
2002: 0.02
2001: 0.01
2000: 0.01
1999: 0.01
1998: 0.02
1997: 0.03
1996: 0.02

Long Gun Homicides

ChartIn the Netherlands, annual long gun homicides total

2015: 010
2014: 1
2013: 0
2012: 110 20
2011: 1
2010: 1
2009: 1
2008: 1
2007: 010
2006: 0
2005: 0
2004: 0
2003: 210 20
2002: 1
2001: 010
2000: 110 20
1999: 010
1998: 110 20
1997: 1
1996: 010

Rate of Long Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn the Netherlands, the annual rate of long gun homicide per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.005
2014: 0.01
2013: 0.00
2012: 0.015 20
2011: 0.01
2010: 0.01
2009: 0.01
2008: 0.01
2007: 0.005
2006: 0.00
2005: 0.00
2004: 0.00
2003: 0.015 20
2002: 0.01
2001: 0.00
2000: 0.01
1999: 0.005
1998: 0.015 20
1997: 0.01
1996: 0.005

Gun Homicides (Other)

ChartIn the Netherlands, annual gun homicides (other) total

2015: 3110
2014: 37
2013: 2610 20
2012: 46
2011: 48
2010: 31
2009: 38
2008: 35
2007: 37
2006: 30
2005: 49
2004: 49
2003: 49
2002: 59
2001: 68
2000: 64
1999: 73
1998: 54
1997: 58
1996: 68

Rate of Gun Homicide (Other) per 100,000 People

ChartIn the Netherlands, the annual rate of gun homicide (other) per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.185
2014: 0.22
2013: 0.155 20
2012: 0.27
2011: 0.29
2010: 0.19
2009: 0.23
2008: 0.21
2007: 0.23
2006: 0.18
2005: 0.30
2004: 0.30
2003: 0.30
2002: 0.37
2001: 0.42
2000: 0.40
1999: 0.46
1998: 0.34
1997: 0.37
1996: 0.44

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn the Netherlands, annual suicides by any means total

2015: 1,87122
2014: 1,839
2013: 1,857
2012: 1,753
2011: 1,647
2010: 1,600
2009: 1,525
2008: 1,435
2007: 1,353
2006: 1,524
2005: 1,572
2004: 1,514
2003: 1,500
2002: 1,567
2001: 1,473
2000: 1,500
1999: 1,51722 23
1998: 1,51922
1997: 1,570
1996: 1,577

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

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

2015: 11.045
2014: 10.90
2013: 11.05
2012: 10.48
2011: 9.89
2010: 9.65
2009: 9.25
2008: 8.74
2007: 8.27
2006: 9.34
2005: 9.64
2004: 9.31
2003: 9.25
2002: 9.71
2001: 9.18
2000: 9.42
1999: 9.595 23
1998: 9.665
1997: 10.05
1996: 10.14
1994: 10.3024

Gun Suicides

ChartIn the Netherlands, annual firearm suicides total

2015: 4710
2014: 33
2013: 4310 25
2012: 4210 25 11
2011: 4710 25
2010: 40
2009: 52
2008: 40
2007: 42
2006: 50
2005: 49
2004: 45
2003: 46
2002: 39
2001: 43
2000: 47
1999: 51
1998: 53
1997: 50
1996: 55

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn the Netherlands, the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.285
2014: 0.20
2013: 0.265 25
2012: 0.255 25 11
2011: 0.285 25
2010: 0.24
2009: 0.32
2008: 0.24
2007: 0.26
2006: 0.31
2005: 0.30
2004: 0.28
2003: 0.28
2002: 0.24
2001: 0.27
2000: 0.30
1999: 0.32
1998: 0.34
1997: 0.32
1996: 0.35
1994: 0.3126

Handgun Suicides

ChartIn the Netherlands, annual handgun suicides total

2015: 510
2014: 3
2013: 410 25
2012: 5
2011: 8
2010: 1
2009: 7
2008: 6
2007: 3
2006: 9
2005: 19
2004: 11
2003: 8
2002: 11
2001: 6
2000: 12
1999: 6
1998: 9
1997: 15
1996: 8

Rate of Handgun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn the Netherlands, the annual rate of handgun suicide per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.035
2014: 0.02
2013: 0.025 25
2012: 0.03
2011: 0.05
2010: 0.01
2009: 0.04
2008: 0.04
2007: 0.02
2006: 0.06
2005: 0.12
2004: 0.07
2003: 0.05
2002: 0.07
2001: 0.04
2000: 0.08
1999: 0.04
1998: 0.06
1997: 0.10
1996: 0.05

Long Gun Suicides

ChartIn the Netherlands, the number of long gun suicides is

2015: 410
2014: 1
2013: 410 25
2012: 6
2011: 3
2010: 3
2009: 6
2008: 3
2007: 3
2006: 5
2005: 6
2004: 6
2003: 9
2002: 3
2001: 010
2000: 110 25
1999: 5
1998: 3
1997: 2
1996: 7

Rate of Long Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn the Netherlands, the annual rate of long gun suicide per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.025
2014: 0.01
2013: 0.025 25
2012: 0.04
2011: 0.02
2010: 0.02
2009: 0.04
2008: 0.02
2007: 0.02
2006: 0.03
2005: 0.04
2004: .004
2003: 0.06
2002: 0.02
2001: 0.005
2000: 0.015 25
1999: 0.03
1998: 0.02
1997: 0.01
1996: 0.05

Gun Suicides (Other)

ChartIn the Netherlands, annual gun suicides (other) total

2015: 3810
2014: 29
2013: 3510 25
2012: 31
2011: 36
2010: 36
2009: 39
2008: 31
2007: 36
2006: 36
2005: 24
2004: 28
2003: 29
2002: 25
2001: 37
2000: 34
1999: 40
1998: 41
1997: 33
1996: 40

Rate of Gun Suicide (Other) per 100,000 People

ChartIn the Netherlands, the annual rate of gun suicide (other) per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.225
2014: 0.17
2013: 0.215 25
2012: 0.19
2011: 0.22
2010: 0.22
2009: 0.24
2008: 0.19
2007: 0.22
2006: 0.22
2005: 0.15
2004: 0.17
2003: 0.18
2002: 0.15
2001: 0.23
2000: 0.21
1999: 0.25
1998: 0.26
1997: 0.21
1996: 0.26

Unintentional Gun Deaths

ChartIn the Netherlands, annual unintentional shooting deaths total

2015: 010
2014: 1
2013: 0
2012: 110 27 11
2011: 010
2010: 110 27
2009: 010
2008: 0
2007: 0
2006: 0
2005: 0
2004: 210 27
2003: 1
2002: 3
2001: 1
2000: 2
1999: 5
1998: 3
1997: 3
1996: 1

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn the Netherlands, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.005
2014: 0.01
2013: 0.00
2012: 0.015 27 5
2011: 0.005
2010: 0.015 27
2009: 0.005
2008: 0.00
2007: 0.00
2006: 0.00
2005: 0.00
2004: 0.015 27
2003: 0.01
2002: 0.02
2001: 0.01
2000: 0.01
1999: 0.03
1998: 0.02
1997: 0.02
1996: 0.01
1994: 0.0128

Unintentional Handgun Deaths

ChartIn the Netherlands, annual unintentional shooting deaths by handgun total

2015: 010
2014: 0
2013: 0
2012: 0
2011: 0
2010: 0
2009: 0
2008: 0
2007: 0
2006: 0
2005: 0
2004: 0
2003: 0
2002: 210 27
2001: 1
2000: 010
1999: 110 27
1998: 010
1997: 110 27
1996: 1

Rate of Unintentional Handgun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn the Netherlands, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death by handgun per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.005
2014: 0.00
2013: 0.00
2012: 0.00
2011: 0.00
2010: 0.00
2009: 0.00
2008: 0.00
2007: 0.00
2006: 0.00
2005: 0.00
2004: 0.00
2003: 0.00
2002: 0.015 27
2001: 0.01
2000: 0.005
1999: 0.015 27
1998: 0.005
1997: 0.015 27
1996: 0.01

Unintentional Long Gun Deaths

ChartIn the Netherlands, annual unintentional shooting deaths by long gun total

2015: 010
2014: 0
2013: 0
2012: 110 27
2011: 010
2010: 110 27
2009: 010
2008: 0
2007: 0
2006: 0
2005: 0
2004: 0
2003: 0
2002: 110 27
2001: 010
2000: 0
1999: 0
1998: 0
1997: 0
1996: 0

Rate of Unintentional Long Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn the Netherlands, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death by long gun per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.005
2014: 0.00
2013: 0.00
2012: 0.015 27
2011: 0.005
2010: 0.015 27
2009: 0.005
2008: 0.00
2007: 0.00
2006: 0.00
2005: 0.00
2004: 0.00
2003: 0.00
2002: 0.015 27
2001: 0.005
2000: 0.00
1999: 0.00
1998: 0.00
1997: 0.00
1996: 0.00

Unintentional Gun Deaths (Other)

ChartIn the Netherlands, annual unintentional shooting deaths by firearm (other) total

2015: 010
2014: 1
2013: 0
2012: 0
2011: 0
2010: 0
2009: 0
2008: 0
2007: 0
2006: 0
2005: 0
2004: 210 27
2003: 1
2002: 010
2001: 0
2000: 210 27
1999: 4
1998: 3
1997: 2
1996: 010

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death (Other) per 100,000 People

ChartIn the Netherlands, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death by firearm (other) per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.005
2014: 0.01
2013: 0.00
2012: 0.00
2011: 0.00
2010: 0.00
2009: 0.00
2008: 0.00
2007: 0.00
2006: 0.00
2005: 0.00
2004: 0.015 27
2003: 0.01
2002: 0.005
2001: 0.00
2000: 0.015 27
1999: 0.03
1998: 0.02
1997: 0.01
1996: 0.005

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn the Netherlands, annual shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2015: 010
2014: 0
2013: 0
2012: 0
2011: 0
2010: 210 29
2009: 010
2008: 110 29
2007: 1
2006: 1
2005: 1
2004: 010
2003: 110 29
2002: 010
2001: 110 29
2000: 010
1999: 010 23
1998: 110 29
1997: 2
1996: 1

Rate of Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn the Netherlands, the annual rate of unknown-cause shooting deaths per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.005
2014: 0.00
2013: 0.00
2012: 0.00
2011: 0.00
2010: 0.015 29
2009: 0.005
2008: 0.015 29
2007: 0.01
2006: 0.01
2005: 0.01
2004: 0.005
2003: 0.015 29
2002: 0.005
2001: 0.015 29
2000: 0.005
1999: 0.00
1998: 0.01
1997: 0.015 29
1996: 0.01
1994: 0.0330

Handgun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn the Netherlands, annual deaths by handgun in which the cause remains undecided total

2015: 010
2014: 0
2013: 0
2012: 0
2011: 0
2010: 110 29
2009: 010
2008: 0
2007: 0
2006: 110 29
2005: 010
2004: 0
2003: 0
2002: 0
2001: 0
2000: 0
1999: 0
1998: 0
1997: 110 29
1996: 010

Rate of Handgun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn the Netherlands, the annual rate of unknown-cause handgun deaths per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.005
2014: 0.00
2013: 0.00
2012: 0.00
2011: 0.00
2010: 0.015 29
2009: 0.005
2008: 0.00
2007: 0.00
2006: 0.015 29
2005: 0.005
2004: 0.00
2003: 0.00
2002: 0.00
2001: 0.00
2000: 0.00
1999: 0.00
1998: 0.00
1997: 0.015 29
1996: 0.005

Long Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn the Netherlands, annual deaths by long gun in which the cause remains undecided total

2015: 010
2014: 0
2013: 0
2012: 0
2011: 0
2010: 0
2009: 0
2008: 0
2007: 0
2006: 0
2005: 0
2004: 0
2003: 0
2002: 0
2001: 0
2000: 0
1999: 0
1998: 0
1997: 0
1996: 0

Rate of Long Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn the Netherlands, the annual rate of unknown-cause long gun deaths per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.005
2014: 0.00
2013: 0.00
2012: 0.00
2011: 0.00
2010: 0.00
2009: 0.00
2008: 0.00
2007: 0.00
2006: 0.00
2005: 0.00
2004: 0.00
2003: 0.00
2002: 0.00
2001: 0.00
2000: 0.00
1999: 0.00
1998: 0.00
1997: 0.00
1996: 0.00

Gun Deaths (Other) from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn the Netherlands, annual deaths by firearm (other) in which the cause remains undecided total

2015: 010
2014: 0
2013: 0
2012: 0
2011: 0
2010: 110 29
2009: 010
2008: 110 29
2007: 1
2006: 010
2005: 110 29
2004: 010
2003: 110 29
2002: 010
2001: 110 29
2000: 010
1999: 0
1998: 110 29
1997: 1
1996: 1

Rate of Gun Death (Other) from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn the Netherlands, the annual rate of unknown-cause gun deaths (other) per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.005
2014: 0.00
2013: 0.00
2012: 0.00
2011: 0.00
2010: 0.015 29
2009: 0.005
2008: 0.015 29
2007: 0.01
2006: 0.005
2005: 0.015 29
2004: 0.005
2003: 0.015 29
2002: 0.005
2001: 0.015 29
2000: 0.005
1999: 0.00
1998: 0.015 29
1997: 0.01
1996: 0.01

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In the Netherlands, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is prohibited31 32

Small Arms Manufacture - World Ranking

In a classification of the world's small, medium and major firearm manufacturers, the Netherlands was ranked 'small'33

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In the Netherlands, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from the Netherlands is reported by Customs to be US$2,094,12245 (2011)

Small Arms Exports - World Ranking

In a comparison of the world's major/mid-level/minor/unknown small arms exporters, the Netherlands was categorized as 'minor'46

Firearm Imports

In the Netherlands, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law34 47 36 37 39 40 41 42 43

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to the Netherlands is reported by Customs to be US$55,279,28545 (2011)48 49 50 51

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in the Netherlands is moderate52

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In the Netherlands, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law53 54 55

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in the Netherlands include34 certification of the intended end user of any small arms or ammunition transfer, and/or a written declaration of its intended end use

Transparency of Small Arms Transfers

ChartIn its annual Small Arms Trade Transparency Barometer, the Small Arms Survey compares public reporting among major arms exporting nations on a scale from strong to weak (25 to zero). In recent years, the Netherlands scored

2016: 19.2556
2014: 19.2557
2013: 19.2558
2012: 18.5059
2011: 17.0060
2010: 17.0061
2009: 16.5062
2008: 17.0063
2007: 16.5064
2006: 16.2565
2005: 17.7566
2004: 13.0067

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in the Netherlands is categorised as restrictive68

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in the Netherlands includes the Wet Wapens en Munitie 1997 [Arms and Ammunition Act],69 70 Algemene Douanewet 2008 [General Customs Law], Besluit Strategische Goederen 2008 [Decree on Strategic Goods],34 the Council Directive of 18 June 1991 on Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Weapons,71 72 the European Union Firearms Regulation of 2012 and the Common Position on the Control of Arms Brokering of 200373

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in the Netherlands are regulated by the Ministry of Justice and the local Commissioner of Police,74 and the European Commission72

Right to Possess Firearms

In the Netherlands, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law75 76 77

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In the Netherlands, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic and 'Category II' firearms, incendiary and armour-piercing ammunition78 79 80 81 82

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In the Netherlands, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited79 78 83 81 82 17

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In the Netherlands, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is prohibited79 78 83 84 85 82

Regulation of Handguns

In the Netherlands, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence79 81 84 85 82 17

Law Regulates Long Guns

In the Netherlands, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law17

Gun Ownership and Possession

In the Netherlands, only licensed gun owners78 86 87 81 84 17 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in the Netherlands are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example hunting, sports shooting, collection86 88 78 89

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in the Netherlands is 18 years86 78 89

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in the Netherlands must pass a background check which considers criminal86 89 17 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In the Netherlands, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required77

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in the Netherlands does not stipulate77 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In the Netherlands, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required77 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In the Netherlands, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every one year86

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in the Netherlands are permitted to possess any number of firearms77

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in the Netherlands are permitted to possess any quantity of ammunition77 90

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In the Netherlands, the law requires91 92 93 94 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 the Netherlands, licensed firearm dealers are required94 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In the Netherlands, State agencies are required92 95 to maintain records of the storage and movement of all firearms and ammunition under their control

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Private Gun Sales

In the Netherlands, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited32

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In the Netherlands, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful32 96 97 85

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In the Netherlands, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined77

Regulation of Gun Shows

In the Netherlands, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated77 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in the Netherlands do not include77 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 the Netherlands do not include77 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in the Netherlands include95 98 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in the Netherlands include99 100 98 37 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In the Netherlands, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law101 102 103

Firearm Tracing

In the Netherlands, state authorities carry out104 103 94 105 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Record of Firearms and Ammunition

In the Netherlands, the ballistic characteristics of each civilian firearm and its ammunition are not77 recorded in a register

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In the Netherlands, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is prohibited106 17

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In the Netherlands, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is prohibited106 17

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In the Netherlands, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm107 is no more than nine months in prison or a fine108 109

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Firearms Surrendered and Seized

In the Netherlands, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered, bought back or seized by authorities is reported to be

2013/16: 24,000110

Small Arms Destroyed

ChartIn the Netherlands, the number of firearms destroyed following amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be

1994/96: 143,632111
1991/2007: 143,632112

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In the Netherlands, it is not state policy95 113 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

European Union

As a member of the European Union, the Netherlands is bound by the provisions of the ‘EU Firearms Directive’ – the 2007 Legislative Resolution on Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Weapons of the European Parliament114 115

European Union Export Reporting

Under the European Union Common Position on Arms Exports, the Netherlands is bound to declare its transfers of military technology and equipment. Independent monitoring provides detailed comparisons of arms export reporting compliance across EU member states, and records that the Netherlands have submitted one or more national reports116 on its arms transfers

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 2006117 by the Netherlands.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified118 by the Netherlands

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 ratified119 by the Netherlands

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, the Netherlands 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 Aspects120

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored the Netherlands against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 54121 122 123 124 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, the Netherlands have submitted one or more national reports125 126 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In the Netherlands, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated127 126

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In the Netherlands, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated127

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of the Netherlands submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was apparent127 128 126

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been donated126 by the Netherlands to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, the Netherlands have declared129 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, the Netherlands have been a Member State of the United Nations since 1945130

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies lists131 the Netherlands as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


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