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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

The number of licensed gun owners in Poland is reported to be 131,2492

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

The rate of licensed firearm owners per 100 people in Poland is 0.344

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in Poland is reported to be 314,6413

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in Poland is 0.824

Estimated Number of Illicit Firearms

Unlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Poland there are estimated to be 300,000 to 500,0005

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Poland are reported to have 2,000,0006 7 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Poland are reported to have 139,2538 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

ChartIn Poland, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2011: 999 10 11 12
2010: 9813
2009: 1169 10 11 12
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: 0.264
2010: 0.2613
2009: 0.304
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

2011: 44914
2010: 436
2009: 493
2008: 460
2007: 525
2006: 49015
2005: 555
2004: 63316
2003: 662
2002: 71617
2001: 776
2000: 2,17018
1999: 1,820
1998: 1,869
1997: 80719
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

2011: 1.214
2010: 1.1
2009: 1.3
2008: 1.214 20
2007: 1.4
2006: 1.2815 20
2005: 1.45
2004: 1.6416 20
2003: 1.72
2002: 1.8717 20
2001: 2.01
2000: 5.6118 20
1999: 4.70
1998: 4.83
1997: 2.0919 20
1996: 2.26
1995: 2.21

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Poland, annual firearm homicides total

2011: 169
2010: 9
2009: 159 14
2008: 19
2007: 34
2006: 25
2005: 24
2004: 26
2003: 47
2002: 74
2001: 58
2000: 799
1999: 79
1998: 12118 14
1997: 10419
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: 0.049
2010: 0.02
2009: 0.049 14
2008: 0.05
2007: 0.09
2006: 0.07
2005: 0.06
2004: 0.07
2003: 0.12
2002: 0.2
2001: 0.15
2000: 0.219
1999: 0.2
1998: 0.3118 14
1997: 0.2719
1996: 0.28
1995: 0.27

Handgun Homicides

ChartIn Poland, annual handgun homicides total

2011: 39
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: 0.019
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: 19
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: 0.009
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: 129
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: 0.039
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: 5,44621

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: 14.1321

Gun Suicides

ChartIn Poland, annual firearm suicides total

2011: 3510
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: 0.0910
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: 810
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: 0.0210
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: 1010
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: 0.0310
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: 1710
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: 0.0410
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: 1011
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: 0.0311
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: 111
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: 0.0011
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: 111
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: 0.0011
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: 811
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: 0.0211
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: 3812
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: 0.1012
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: 312
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: 0.0112
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: 612
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: 0.0212
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: 2912
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: 0.0812
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 licence2

Small Arms Manufacture - World Ranking

In a classification of the world's small, medium and major firearm manufacturers, Poland is ranked 'medium'22

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In Poland, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law23 24 25 26 27 28

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Poland is reported by Customs to be US$12,856,51629 (2011)

Small Arms Exports - World Ranking

In a comparison of the world's major/mid-level/minor/unknown small arms exporters, Poland is categorized as 'mid-level'30

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In Poland, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law23 24 25 26 27

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Poland is reported by Customs to be US$49,497,19829 (2011)31

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 law23 32 33

Transparency of Small Arms Transfers

In the most recent survey of state transparency in declaring firearm and ammunition exports among major small arms exporting nations, Poland was ranked at No. 1634

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Poland is categorised as restrictive35

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Poland includes the Law of January 31 1961 on firearm ammunition and explosive,2 the Council Directive of 18 June 1991 on Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Weapons,36 37 the European Union Firearms Regulation of 2012 and the Common Position on the Control of Arms Brokering of 200338

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Poland are regulated by the European Commission37

Right to Possess Firearms

In Poland, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law39

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 ammunition40 41

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Poland, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited40 41

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Poland, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is permitted only with special authorisation42 43 41

Regulation of Handguns

In Poland, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted only with special authorisation, for hunting, shooting and protection only40 42 43 41

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Poland, only licensed gun owners44 40 42 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 prove genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example, hunting, target shooting, personal protection, security45

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Poland is 18 years45

Gun Licence Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Poland must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental and domestic violence45 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 firearm46

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Poland, the law requires47 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 required48 47 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

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 unlawful49 43

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 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 law50 51

Firearm Tracing

In Poland, state authorities carry out51 47 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Marking of Firearms and Ammunition

In Poland, state authorities employ2 ballistic fingerprinting technology to trace guns and ammunition

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

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

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 Parliament52 53

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 yet to submit a national report54 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 signed55 by Poland.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed, but not yet ratified56 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 ratified57 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 Aspects58

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. 1559 60 61 62 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 reports63 64 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 designated65 64

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Poland, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated65 64

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 apparent65 64

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been donated64 by Poland to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Poland has declared66 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 194567

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies lists68 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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