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

Papua New Guinea — 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 Papua New Guinea is 71,0001

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) per 100 people in Papua New Guinea is 1.21

Number of Privately Owned Rifles

In Papua New Guinea, the number of rifles in civilian possession is reported to be 4022

Number of Privately Owned Shotguns

In Papua New Guinea, the number of shotguns in civilian possession is reported to be 48,8032

Number of Privately Owned Handguns

In Papua New Guinea, the number of handguns in civilian possession is reported to be 7952

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Papua New Guinea ranked at No. 1453

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Papua New Guinea ranked at No. 1451

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in Papua New Guinea is reported to be 27,0431 4

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in Papua New Guinea is 0.505

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Papua New Guinea are reported to have 2,3006 to 10,0007 firearms

Routine Arming of Police

In Papua New Guinea, police officers on routine patrol carry one or more firearms8

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Papua New Guinea are reported to have 4,8009 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Papua New Guinea, annual homicides by any means total

2010: 71310 11
2009: 69710
2008: 60310 12
2007: 52010
2006: 610
2005: 603
2004: 309
2003: 609
2002: 470
2001: 436
2000: 46510 13
1999: 45013
1998: 502

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

ChartIn Papua New Guinea, the annual rate of homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2010: 10.410 11
2009: 10.410
2008: 9.210 12
2007: 8.1
2006: 9.8
2005: 9.910
2004: 15.2014 10
2003: 10.510
2002: 15.6014 10
2001: 7.910
2000: 8.610 13
1999: 8.9913
1998: 10.28

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Papua New Guinea, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is prohibited15 16

Home-made Guns

In Papua New Guinea, the prevalence of illicit craft, or 'home-made' firearm manufacture is reported to be moderate17

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Papua New Guinea, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law18 19 20 21

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Papua New Guinea is reported by Customs to be US$022 (2005)

Firearm Imports

In Papua New Guinea, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law18 19 20 23

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Papua New Guinea is reported by Customs to be US$1,792,56422 (2011)

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Papua New Guinea is high24

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Papua New Guinea, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law25 23

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Papua New Guinea do not include26 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 Papua New Guinea is categorised as restrictive27

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Papua New Guinea includes the Firearms Act of 1978,28 the Firearms (Amendment) Act of 1996, the Customs Act of 1953 and the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulation of 197318

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Papua New Guinea are regulated by the Commissioner of Police as the 'Registrar of Firearms'29

Right to Possess Firearms

In Papua New Guinea, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law30 31 32

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Papua New Guinea, civilians are not allowed to possess machine guns, and pistols or high-powered firearms not licensed before 199933 34 35

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Papua New Guinea, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited33 35 11

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Papua New Guinea, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is permitted under licence issued before 199934 35 36

Regulation of Handguns

In Papua New Guinea, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence issued before 199934 35 36 11

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Papua New Guinea, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law11

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Papua New Guinea, only licensed gun owners37 38 11 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Papua New Guinea are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example sports shooting, self-defence, hunting, veterinary purposes, scientific research, destruction of stock, and any other purpose approved by the Registrar37 35 39 40

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Papua New Guinea is 18 years37 39 40

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Papua New Guinea must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental health, and violence37 39 40 11 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Papua New Guinea, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required32

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Papua New Guinea stipulates39 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Papua New Guinea, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required32 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Papua New Guinea, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every one year37 41 42

Licensing Records

In Papua New Guinea, authorities maintain a record43 44 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Papua New Guinea are permitted to possess 1 firearm37

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Papua New Guinea are permitted to possess only ammunition of a calibre or gauge suitable for the licensed firearm45

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Papua New Guinea, the law requires43 46 47 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 Papua New Guinea, licensed firearm dealers are required48 43 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Papua New Guinea, State agencies are required46 49 47 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 Papua New Guinea, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited50 51

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Papua New Guinea, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful50 52

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In Papua New Guinea, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined32

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Papua New Guinea, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are regulated52 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Papua New Guinea include53 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 Papua New Guinea include52 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Papua New Guinea include49 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Papua New Guinea do not include32 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Papua New Guinea, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law47 46 54

Firearm Tracing

In Papua New Guinea, state authorities do not carry out55 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Record of Firearms and Ammunition

In Papua New Guinea, the ballistic characteristics of each civilian firearm and its ammunition are not32 recorded in a register

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Papua New Guinea, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit56 38 41 11

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Papua New Guinea, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit56 38 41 11

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Papua New Guinea, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm57 is six months in prison or a fine not exceeding K1,500.0058

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Papua New Guinea, it is state policy59 60 61 62 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

Pacific Islands Forum

As a member of the Pacific Islands Forum, Papua New Guinea adopted the March, 2000 Nadi Framework agreement, which aims to harmonise small arms-related legislation across Oceania. In August 2003, the Nadi Framework’s draft model Weapons Control Bill was unanimously accepted for consideration by all 16 member states of the Pacific Islands Forum63 64

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 200665 by Papua New Guinea.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed66 by Papua New Guinea

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 signed67 by Papua New Guinea

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Papua New Guinea 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 Aspects68

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Papua New Guinea against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 8169 70 71 72 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Papua New Guinea has submitted one or more national reports73 74 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Papua New Guinea, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated75 74

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Papua New Guinea, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated74

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Papua New Guinea submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was apparent74

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated74 by Papua New Guinea to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided74 76 77 to Papua New Guinea by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Papua New Guinea has not declared78 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Papua New Guinea has been a Member State of the United Nations since 197579

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list80 Papua New Guinea as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


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