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Nicaragua — 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 Nicaragua is 395,0001

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in Nicaragua is 7.71 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Nicaragua ranked at No. 932

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Nicaragua ranked at No. 771

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in Nicaragua is reported to be 90,1333

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in Nicaragua is 1.694

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Nicaragua are reported to have 611,8005 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Nicaragua are reported to have 8,5906 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Nicaragua, annual homicides by any means total

2011: 7387
2010: 785
2009: 802
2008: 7367 8
2007: 714
2006: 722
2005: 729
2004: 646
2003: 635
2002: 554
2001: 537
2000: 476
1999: 5617
1998: 639
1997: 679
1996: 662
1995: 707

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

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

2011: 12.67
2010: 13.6
2009: 14.0
2008: 13.17 8 9
2007: 12.8
2006: 13.1
2005: 13.4
2004: 12.1
2003: 12.0
2002: 10.6
2001: 10.4
2000: 9.4
1999: 11.27 9
1998: 13.0
1997: 14.1
1996: 14.0
1995: 15.2

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Nicaragua, annual firearm homicides total

2008: 3387
2007: 259

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2008: 5.97
2007: 4.67 8

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Nicaragua, annual suicides by any means total

2008: 12110
2007: 143
2006: 120
2005: 173
2004: 183
2003: 183
2002: 218
2001: 217
2000: 211

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

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

2005: 7.2010
2002: 6.6011

Gun Suicides

In Nicaragua, annual firearm suicides total 2002: 2511

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

In Nicaragua, the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is 2002: 0.4611

Unintentional Gun Deaths

In Nicaragua, annual unintentional shooting deaths total 2002: 5011

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

In Nicaragua, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death per 100,000 population is 2002: 0.9111

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

In Nicaragua, annual shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total 2001: 111

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

In Nicaragua, the annual rate of unknown-cause shooting deaths per 100,000 population is 2001: 0.0211

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In Nicaragua, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law12 13

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Nicaragua is reported by Customs to be US$4,00014 (2011)

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In Nicaragua, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law12 13

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Nicaragua is reported by Customs to be US$631,29914 (2011)

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Nicaragua, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law12 13

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Nicaragua includes the Special Act 510 for the Control and Regulation of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials15

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Nicaragua are regulated by the Bureau of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Related Materials16

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Nicaragua, only licensed gun owners12 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Nicaragua, the law requires16 12 17 that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Nicaragua, State agencies are required16 to maintain records of the storage and movement of all firearms and ammunition under their control

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Nicaragua, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful12

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Nicaragua, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law15 12

Firearm Tracing

In Nicaragua, state authorities carry out17 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Nicaragua are known to have18 19 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Surrendered in Gun Amnesty

In Nicaragua, the number of firearms and/or rounds of ammunition voluntarily surrendered for destruction in recent arms amnesty and collection programmes is reported to be 17,88320 (1989-2002 with Honduras)

Small Arms Destroyed

In Nicaragua, the total number of firearms destroyed following recent amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be 12,99618 (2006-2008)

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

Central American Integration System

As a member of the Central American Integration System (SICA), Nicaragua is party to the 2007 Central American Programme on Small Arms Control and the Code of Conduct of Central American States on the Transfer of Arms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Material21

Organization of American States

On 14 November 1997, as a member of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Nicaragua adopted the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Explosives, Ammunition and Other Related Materials (CIFTA), a legally binding multilateral treaty of which the OAS is depository. The CIFTA Convention has since been signed and ratified22 23 by Nicaragua

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 200924 by Nicaragua.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed25 by Nicaragua

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 ratified26 by Nicaragua

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Nicaragua 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 Aspects27

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Nicaragua has submitted one or more national reports28 29 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Nicaragua, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated30 29

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Nicaragua, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated30 29

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Nicaragua submitted to the UN, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities is not apparent30 29

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated29 by Nicaragua to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided29 to Nicaragua by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Nicaragua has not declared31 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Nicaragua has been a Member State of the United Nations since 194532

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list33 Nicaragua as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


Short References

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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

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OAS Observatory on Citizen Security.2011.‘Civilian Firearms Legally Registered.’ Report on Citizen Security in the Americas 2011.Washington, DC:Organisation of American States,1 January. (Q5679)Full Citation

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GunPolicy.org.2011.‘Calculated Rates – Nicaragua.’ Historical Population Data – USCB International Data Base.Suitland, MD:US Census Bureau Population Division,17 March. (Q4271)Full Citation

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

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Karp, Aaron.2012.‘Table 2 - Examples of Police Firearms Per Officer in Selected Countries.’ Armed Actors - Estimating Law Enforcement Firearms.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,1 December. (Q6545)Full Citation

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UNODC.2013.‘Homicide in 207 Countries - Nicaragua.’ Global Study on Homicide 2011: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,26 June. (Q6345)Full Citation

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OAS Observatory on Citizen Security.2011.‘Intentional Homicide.’ Report on Citizen Security in the Americas 2011.Washington, DC:Organisation of American States,1 January. (Q5678)Full Citation

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Petrini, Benjamin.2011.‘Latin America and the Caribbean, 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. (Q3817)Full Citation

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OAS Observatory on Citizen Security.2011.‘Suicide.’ Report on Citizen Security in the Americas 2011.Washington, DC:Organisation of American States,1 January. (Q5680)Full Citation

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Jackson, Thomas.2005.‘Global Gun Deaths.’ NISAT Firearm Mortality Database 2005.Oslo:Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers,1 January. (Q12)Full Citation

12.

Nicaragua.2008.‘Records.’ National Report of Nicaragua 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 Nicaragua to the United Nations,31 March. (Q4757)Full Citation

13.

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

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

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Nicaragua.2008.‘Marking of State Firearms.’ National Report of Nicaragua 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 Nicaragua to the United Nations,31 March. (Q4758)Full Citation

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Nicaragua.2010.‘Records (Registros).’ National Report of Nicaragua 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 Nicaragua to the United Nations,29 April. (Q4759)Full Citation

17.

Nicaragua.2008.‘Tracing.’ National Report of Nicaragua 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 Nicaragua to the United Nations,31 March. (Q4756)Full Citation

18.

Espinoza, Ana Yancy.2010.‘Seized and Destroyed Arms (Armas Decomisadas y Destruidas).’ IX Seminar: Control of Arms Transfers and Trafficking – Compilation (IX Seminario: Control del Tráfico y Transferencia de Armas de Fuego – Sistematización).Santa Marta:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime / UNODC,25 February. (Q5508)Full Citation

19.

REDCEPAZ.2006.‘Seized Firearms (Decomiso de Armas).’ The Problem of Illegal Arms in Central America (El problema de las Armas Ilegales en Centroamérica).Guatemala City:REDCEPAZ (Red Centroamericana para la Construcción de la Paz y la Seguridad Humana),1 March. (Q5509)Full Citation

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Karp, Aaron.2009.‘Summary of Disarmament Outcomes in 45 DDR Programmes.’ Small Arms Survey 2009: Shadows of War.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,9 July. (Q2941)Full Citation

21.

UNODA.2007.‘Central American Programme on Small Arms Control.’ United Nations Programme of Action Implementation Support System: Regional Organisations.New York:Central American Integration System / United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,1 January. (Q3221)Full Citation

22.

OAS / UNODA.1997.‘Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Explosives, Ammunition and Other Related Materials / CIFTA.’ United Nations Programme of Action Implementation Support System: Regional Organisations.New York:Organization of American States / United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,14 November. (Q3244)Full Citation

23.

OAS.1997.‘Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Explosives, Ammunition and Other Related Materials (CIFTA): Signatures and Ratifications.’ Organization of American States, Department of International Law.Washington DC:Organization of American States,14 November. (Q3262)Full Citation

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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

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

26.

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

27.

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

28.

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

29.

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

30.

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

31.

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

32.

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

33.

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