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Panama — 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 Panama is 700,0001

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in Panama is 21.71 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Panama ranked at No. 662

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Panama ranked at No. 261

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in Panama is reported to be 65,4363

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in Panama is 3.064

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Panama are reported to have 23,2755 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Panama are reported to have 11,7356 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

In Panama, annual deaths resulting from firearms total 2002: 2697

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

In Panama, the annual rate of all gun deaths per 100,000 population is 2002: 8.964

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Panama, annual homicides by any means total

2011: 7598
2010: 7599
2009: 818
2008: 654
2007: 444
2006: 363
2005: 364
2004: 308
2003: 338
2002: 380
2001: 306
2000: 299
1999: 2858
1998: 281
1997: 315
1996: 248
1995: 377

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

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

2011: 21.38
2010: 21.649
2009: 23.68
2008: 19.24
2007: 13.28
2006: 11.04
2005: 11.27
2004: 9.70
2003: 10.84
2002: 12.41
2001: 10.18
2000: 10.14
1999: 9.88
1998: 9.9
1997: 11.3
1996: 9.1
1995: 14.1

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Panama, annual firearm homicides total

2010: 5698
2009: 667
2008: 519
2007: 289
2006: 255
2005: 208
2004: 185
2002: 2227

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2010: 16.18 9
2009: 19.3
2008: 15.2
2007: 8.6
2006: 7.7
2005: 6.4
2004: 5.8
2003: 6.479
2002: 7.127

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Panama, annual suicides by any means total

2006: 18610
2002: 1557

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

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

2006: 5.7010
2004: 7.20
2002: 4.977

Gun Suicides

In Panama, annual firearm suicides total 2002: 317

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

In Panama, the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is 2002: 0.997

Unintentional Gun Deaths

In Panama, annual unintentional shooting deaths total 2002: 27

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

In Panama, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death per 100,000 population is 2002: 0.067

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

In Panama, annual shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total 2002: 147

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

In Panama, the annual rate of unknown-cause shooting deaths per 100,000 population is 2002: 0.457

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In Panama, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law11

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Panama is reported by Customs to be US$195,49112 (2011)

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In Panama, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law11

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Panama is reported by Customs to be US$2,246,24312 (2011)

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Panama, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law13

MeasuresGun Regulation

Right to Possess Firearms

In Panama, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law14

Gun Ownership and Possession

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Panama are required to prove genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example personal protection, security, hunting and sports shooting15

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Panama, the law requires15 16 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 Panama, licensed firearm dealers are required15 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Panama, State agencies are required17 to maintain records of the storage and movement of all firearms and ammunition under their control

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Panama, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law15 16

Firearm Tracing

In Panama, state authorities carry out15 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Marking of Firearms and Ammunition

In Panama, state authorities employ15 ballistic fingerprinting technology to trace guns and ammunition

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Panama are known to have18 19 20 21 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Small Arms Destroyed

In Panama, the total number of firearms destroyed following recent amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be 98618 (2006-2008)

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

Central American Integration System

As a member of the Central American Integration System (SICA), Panama 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 Material22

Organization of American States

On 14 November 1997, as a member of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Panama 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 ratified23 24 by Panama

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 200725 by Panama.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified26 by Panama

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 ratified27 by Panama

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Panama 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 Aspects28

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Panama against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 3229 30 31 32 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Panama has submitted one or more national reports33 13 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Panama, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated34 13

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Panama, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated34 13

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Panama submitted to the UN, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities is apparent34

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated13 by Panama to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Panama has not declared35 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Panama has been a Member State of the United Nations since 194536

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list37 Panama as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

To see where Panama 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.

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

4.

GunPolicy.org.2014.‘Calculated Rates – Panama.’ Historical Population Data – USCB International Data Base.Suitland, MD:US Census Bureau Population Division,8 July. (Q4278)Full Citation

5.

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

6.

Karp, Aaron.2006.‘Trickle and Torrent: State stockpiles.’ Small Arms Survey 2006: Unfinished Business.Oxford:Oxford University Press,1 July. (Q7)Full Citation

7.

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

8.

UNODC.2013.‘Homicide in 207 Countries - Panama.’ Global Study on Homicide 2011: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,26 June. (Q6343)Full Citation

9.

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

10.

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

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.

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

13.

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

14.

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

15.

Panama.2005.‘Marking, Tracing and Registration (Marcaje, Rastreo y Archivo).’ National Report of Panama 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 Panama to the United Nations,8 July. (Q4753)Full Citation

16.

Panama.2008.‘Illicit Trade in Small Arms.’ National Report of Panama 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 Panama to the United Nations,28 March. (Q4755)Full Citation

17.

Panama.2010.‘Marking, Registration and Tracing (Marcado, Mantenimiento de Registros y Localización).’ National Report of Panama 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 Panama to the United Nations,1 January. (Q4754)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

20.

Barragan, Gustavo.2003.‘Firearms in Panama (Armas de Fuego en Panamá).’ Report of the Binational Workshop Costa Rica – Panama: Traffic and Control of Firearms (Memoria Taller Binacional Costa Rica – Panamá, Tráfico y Control de Armas de Fuego).San Jose:International Alert,11 March. (Q5560)Full Citation

21.

Godnick, William and Helena Vasquez.2003.‘Panama.’ Small Arms Control in Latin America: Monitoring the Implementation of Small Arms Control Projects (MISAC).London:International Alert, Security and Peacebuilding Programme,1 March. (Q5564)Full Citation

22.

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

23.

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

24.

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

25.

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

26.

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

27.

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

28.

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

29.

Parker, Sarah and Katherine Green.2012.‘Findings - Table 3: Reporting States by Rank and Score.’ The Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (Phase 1): Assessing Reported Progress.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,1 August. (Q8752)Full Citation

30.

Parker, Sarah and Katherine Green.2012.‘What do the PoAIM Scores Represent? How Should the PoAIM Scores Be Interpreted?.’ The Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (Phase 1): Assessing Reported Progress.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,1 August. (Q8753)Full Citation

31.

Parker, Sarah and Katherine Green.2012.‘Point Allocation System.’ The Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (Phase 1): Assessing Reported Progress.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,1 August. (Q8754)Full Citation

32.

Parker, Sarah and Katherine Green.2012.‘Introduction.’ The Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (Phase 1): Assessing Reported Progress.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,1 August. (Q8755)Full Citation

33.

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

34.

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

35.

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

36.

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

37.

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