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Poland — 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 Poland is 510,0001

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in Poland is 1.31 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Rifles

In Poland, the number of rifles in civilian possession is reported to be 179,1182

Number of Privately Owned Handguns

There are reportedly 12,7162 handguns in civilian possession in Poland

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Poland ranked at No. 783

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Poland ranked at No. 1421

Number of Licensed Firearm Owners

ChartThe number of licensed gun owners in Poland is reported to be

2014: 340,0004
1999: 131,2492

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

ChartThe rate of licensed firearm owners per 100 people in Poland is

2014: 0.895
1999: 0.34

Number of Registered Firearms

ChartThe number of registered guns in Poland is reported to be

2014: 500,0004
2005: 314,6411

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

ChartThe rate of registered guns per 100 people in Poland is

2014: 1.305
2005: 0.82

Estimated Number of Illicit Firearms

Unlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Poland there are estimated to be 300,000 to 500,0006

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Poland are reported to have 2,000,0007 8 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Poland are reported to have 139,2539 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

ChartIn Poland, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2011: 9910 11 12 13
2010: 9814
2009: 11610 11 12 13
2008: 114
2007: 116
2006: 97
2005: 121
2004: 141
2003: 154
2002: 182
2001: 160
2000: 211
1999: 221

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

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

2011: 0.265
2010: 0.2614
2009: 0.305
2008: 0.30
2007: 0.30
2006: 0.25
2005: 0.31
2004: 0.37
2003: 0.40
2002: 0.47
2001: 0.41
2000: 0.55
1999: 0.57

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Poland, annual homicides by any means total

2012: 31015
2011: 44916 17
2010: 436
2009: 493
2008: 460
2007: 525
2006: 49016 18
2005: 555
2004: 63316 19
2003: 662
2002: 71616 20
2001: 776
2000: 85516 21
1999: 1,82021
1998: 1,869
1997: 80722
1996: 873
1995: 853

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

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

2012: 0.815
2011: 1.216 17
2010: 1.1
2009: 1.3
2008: 1.216 17 23
2007: 1.4
2006: 1.316 18 23
2005: 1.5
2004: 1.716 19 23
2003: 1.7
2002: 1.916 20 23
2001: 2.0
2000: 2.216 21 23
1999: 4.7021 23
1998: 4.83
1997: 2.0922 23
1996: 2.26
1995: 2.21

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Poland, annual firearm homicides total

2011: 1610 16
2010: 9
2009: 1510 16 17
2008: 19
2007: 34
2006: 25
2005: 24
2004: 2610 17
2003: 47
2002: 74
2001: 58
2000: 7910
1999: 79
1998: 12121 17
1997: 10422
1996: 110
1995: 104

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2011: 0.0410 5
2010: 0.02
2009: 0.0410 5 17
2008: 0.05
2007: 0.09
2006: 0.07
2005: 0.06
2004: 0.0710 17
2003: 0.12
2002: 0.2
2001: 0.15
2000: 0.2110
1999: 0.2
1998: 0.3121 17
1997: 0.2722
1996: 0.28
1995: 0.27

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

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

2012: 4%15
2011: 5%16
2010: 7%
2009: 7%
2008: 7%
2007: 10%
2006: 10%
2005: 10%

Handgun Homicides

ChartIn Poland, annual handgun homicides total

2011: 310
2009: 1
2008: 6
2007: 5
2006: 4
2005: 4
2004: 2
2003: 3
2002: 12
2001: 5
2000: 11
1999: 21

Rate of Handgun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2011: 0.0110
2009: 0.00
2008: 0.02
2007: 0.01
2006: 0.01
2005: 0.01
2004: 0.01
2003: 0.01
2002: 0.03
2001: 0.01
2000: 0.03
1999: 0.05

Long Gun Homicides

ChartIn Poland, annual long gun homicides total

2011: 110
2010: 1
2009: 3
2007: 4
2006: 2
2005: 2
2003: 4
2002: 1
2001: 3
2000: 6
1999: 1

Rate of Long Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2011: 0.0010
2010: 0.00
2009: 0.01
2007: 0.01
2006: 0.01
2005: 0.01
2003: 0.01
2002: 0.00
2001: 0.01
2000: 0.02
1999: 0.00

Gun Homicides (Other)

ChartIn Poland, annual gun homicides (other) total

2011: 1210
2010: 8
2009: 11
2008: 13
2007: 25
2006: 19
2005: 18
2004: 24
2003: 40
2002: 61
2001: 50
2000: 62
1999: 57

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

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

2011: 0.0310
2010: 0.02
2009: 0.03
2008: 0.03
2007: 0.07
2006: 0.05
2005: 0.05
2004: 0.06
2003: 0.10
2002: 0.16
2001: 0.13
2000: 0.16
1999: 0.15

Suicides (any method)

In Poland, annual suicides by any means total

1996: 5,44624

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

In Poland, the annual rate of suicide by any means per 100,000 population is

1996: 14.1324

Gun Suicides

ChartIn Poland, annual firearm suicides total

2011: 3511
2010: 46
2009: 55
2008: 54
2007: 48
2006: 41
2005: 45
2004: 60
2003: 48
2002: 58
2001: 36
2000: 63
1999: 65

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

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

2011: 0.0911
2010: 0.12
2009: 0.14
2008: 0.14
2007: 0.13
2006: 0.11
2005: 0.12
2004: 0.16
2003: 0.13
2002: 0.15
2001: 0.09
2000: 0.16
1999: 0.17

Handgun Suicides

ChartIn Poland, annual handgun suicides total

2011: 811
2010: 16
2009: 11
2008: 17
2007: 12
2006: 10
2005: 14
2004: 17
2003: 13
2002: 21
2001: 9
2000: 13
1999: 16

Rate of Handgun Suicide per 100,000 People

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

2011: 0.0211
2010: 0.04
2009: 0.03
2008: 0.04
2007: 0.03
2006: 0.03
2005: 0.04
2004: 0.04
2003: 0.03
2002: 0.05
2001: 0.02
2000: 0.03
1999: 0.04

Long Gun Suicides

ChartIn Poland, the number of long gun suicides is

2011: 1011
2010: 6
2009: 14
2008: 8
2007: 10
2006: 14
2005: 9
2004: 12
2003: 11
2002: 12
2001: 5
2000: 20
1999: 19

Rate of Long Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

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

2011: 0.0311
2010: 0.02
2009: 0.04
2008: 0.02
2007: 0.03
2006: 0.04
2005: 0.02
2004: 0.03
2003: 0.03
2002: 0.03
2001: 0.01
2000: 0.05
1999: 0.05

Gun Suicides (Other)

ChartIn Poland, annual gun suicides (other) total

2011: 1711
2010: 24
2009: 30
2008: 29
2007: 26
2006: 17
2005: 22
2004: 31
2003: 24
2002: 25
2001: 22
2000: 30
1999: 30

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

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

2011: 0.0411
2010: 0.06
2009: 0.08
2008: 0.08
2007: 0.07
2006: 0.04
2005: 0.06
2004: 0.08
2003: 0.06
2002: 0.07
2001: 0.06
2000: 0.08
1999: 0.08

Unintentional Gun Deaths

ChartIn Poland, annual unintentional shooting deaths total

2011: 1012
2010: 7
2009: 11
2008: 12
2007: 6
2006: 6
2005: 2
2004: 8
2003: 9
2002: 8
2001: 10
2000: 15
1999: 14

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

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

2011: 0.0312
2010: 0.02
2009: 0.03
2008: 0.03
2007: 0.02
2006: 0.02
2005: 0.01
2004: 0.02
2003: 0.02
2002: 0.02
2001: 0.03
2000: 0.04
1999: 0.04

Unintentional Handgun Deaths

ChartIn Poland, annual unintentional shooting deaths by handgun total

2011: 112
2010: 1
2009: 2
2008: 3
2007: 1
2006: 1
2004: 1
2003: 1
2002: 1
2001: 1
2000: 6
1999: 4

Rate of Unintentional Handgun Death per 100,000 People

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

2011: 0.0012
2010: 0.00
2009: 0.01
2008: 0.01
2007: 0.00
2006: 0.00
2004: 0.00
2003: 0.00
2002: 0.00
2001: 0.00
2000: 0.02
1999: 0.01

Unintentional Long Gun Deaths

ChartIn Poland, annual unintentional shooting deaths by long gun total

2011: 112
2009: 3
2008: 2
2007: 2
2006: 2
2005: 1
2004: 6
2003: 5
2002: 2
2001: 5
2000: 4
1999: 6

Rate of Unintentional Long Gun Death per 100,000 People

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

2011: 0.0012
2009: 0.01
2008: 0.01
2007: 0.01
2006: 0.01
2005: 0.00
2004: 0.02
2003: 0.01
2002: 0.01
2001: 0.01
2000: 0.01
1999: 0.02

Unintentional Gun Deaths (Other)

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

2011: 812
2010: 6
2009: 6
2008: 7
2007: 3
2006: 3
2005: 1
2004: 1
2003: 3
2002: 5
2001: 4
2000: 5
1999: 4

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

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

2011: 0.0212
2010: 0.02
2009: 0.02
2008: 0.02
2007: 0.01
2006: 0.01
2005: 0.00
2004: 0.00
2003: 0.01
2002: 0.01
2001: 0.01
2000: 0.01
1999: 0.01

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2011: 3813
2010: 36
2009: 35
2008: 29
2007: 28
2006: 25
2005: 50
2004: 47
2003: 50
2002: 42
2001: 56
2000: 54
1999: 63

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

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

2011: 0.1013
2010: 0.09
2009: 0.09
2008: 0.08
2007: 0.07
2006: 0.07
2005: 0.13
2004: 0.12
2003: 0.13
2002: 0.11
2001: 0.15
2000: 0.14
1999: 0.16

Handgun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2011: 313
2010: 3
2009: 10
2008: 6
2007: 4
2006: 3
2004: 2
2003: 4
2002: 2
2001: 8
2000: 4
1999: 9

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

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

2011: 0.0113
2010: 0.01
2009: 0.03
2008: 0.02
2007: 0.01
2006: 0.01
2004: 0.01
2003: 0.01
2002: 0.01
2001: 0.02
2000: 0.01
1999: 0.02

Long Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2011: 613
2010: 5
2009: 5
2008: 3
2007: 4
2006: 1
2005: 6
2004: 6
2003: 9
2002: 6
2001: 8
2000: 9
1999: 3

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

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

2011: 0.0213
2010: 0.01
2009: 0.01
2008: 0.01
2007: 0.01
2006: 0.00
2005: 0.02
2004: 0.02
2003: 0.02
2002: 0.02
2001: 0.02
2000: 0.02
1999: 0.01

Gun Deaths (Other) from Undetermined Cause

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

2011: 2913
2010: 28
2009: 20
2008: 20
2007: 20
2006: 21
2005: 44
2004: 39
2003: 37
2002: 34
2001: 40
2000: 41
1999: 51

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

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

2011: 0.0813
2010: 0.07
2009: 0.05
2008: 0.05
2007: 0.05
2006: 0.06
2005: 0.12
2004: 0.10
2003: 0.10
2002: 0.09
2001: 0.10
2000: 0.11
1999: 0.13

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Poland, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence25 26

Small Arms Manufacture - World Ranking

In a classification of the world's small, medium and major firearm manufacturers, Poland was ranked 'medium'27

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In Poland, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Poland is reported by Customs to be US$12,856,51636 (2011)

Small Arms Exports - World Ranking

In a comparison of the world's major/mid-level/minor/unknown small arms exporters, Poland was categorized as 'mid-level'37

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In Poland, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law28 29 30 31 32 33 34

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Poland is reported by Customs to be US$49,497,19836 (2011)38

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Poland is moderate2

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Poland, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law39 30 40 41

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Poland include28 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, Poland scored

2014: 14.2542
2013: 14.2543
2012: 12.7544
2011: 15.0045
2010: 14.0046
2009: 13.2547
2008: 13.7548
2007: 13.2549
2006: 12.0050
2005: 13.7551
2004: 9.0052

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Poland is categorised as restrictive53

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Poland includes the Law of May 21, 1999 on arms and ammunition,54 the Law of June 22, 2001 on economic activity in the sphere of manufacturing of and trade in explosives, arms, ammunition and technology of military or police use,26 the Council Directive of 18 June 1991 on Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Weapons,55 56 the European Union Firearms Regulation of 2012 and the Common Position on the Control of Arms Brokering of 200357

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Poland are regulated by the European Commission56

Right to Possess Firearms

In Poland, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law58

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Poland, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic firearms, firearms disguised as other objects, and armour-piercing, incendiary and expanding ammunition59 60

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Poland, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited59 60 15

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Poland, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is permitted only with special authorisation61 62 60

Regulation of Handguns

In Poland, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted only with special authorisation, for hunting, shooting and protection only59 61 62 60 15

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Poland, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law15

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Poland, only licensed gun owners63 59 61 4 15 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Poland are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example hunting, target shooting, personal protection, security64 4

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Poland is 18 years64

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Poland must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental and domestic violence64 4 15 records

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Poland stipulates2 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Poland, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is required2 for a firearm licence

Licensing Records

In Poland, authorities maintain a record2 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Poland are permitted to possess only ammunition suitable for the intended firearm65

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Poland, the law requires66 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 Poland, licensed firearm dealers are required67 66 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In Poland, licensed gun makers are required25 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Poland, State agencies are required68 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 Poland, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful69 62

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Poland include2 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of private firearms and ammunition by licensed gun owners

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Poland include68 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Poland include2 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Poland, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law70 28 71

Firearm Tracing

In Poland, state authorities carry out71 66 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Carrying Guns

Law Regulates Firearms in Public

In Poland, carrying a gun in a public place is regulated by law15

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Poland, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is allowed without a permit2

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Firearms Collected and Seized

ChartIn Poland, firearms voluntarily surrendered for destruction, collected or seized in routine policing are reported to number

2013: 1,56772
2012: 1,850
2011: 1,577
2010: 2,269

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Poland, it is not state policy73 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, Poland 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 Parliament74 75

European Union Export Reporting

Under the European Union Common Position on Arms Exports, Poland 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 Poland has submitted one or more national reports76 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 not signed77 by Poland.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified78 by Poland

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 ratified79 by Poland

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Poland 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 Aspects80

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Poland against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 1581 82 83 84 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Poland has submitted one or more national reports85 86 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Poland, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated87 86

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Poland, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated87 86

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Poland submitted to the UN, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities is not apparent87 86

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been donated86 by Poland to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Poland has declared88 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Poland has been a Member State of the United Nations since 194589

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies lists90 Poland as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Global Peace Index

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


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