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Portugal — 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 Portugal is 2,600,0001

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in Portugal is 24.222 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Portugal ranked at No. 553

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Portugal ranked at No. 724

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in Portugal is reported to be 1,400,0001

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in Portugal is 13.042

Estimated Number of Illicit Firearms

Unlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Portugal there are estimated to be 1,200,0001

Estimated Rate of Illicit Firearms per 100 Population

Unlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Portugal there are estimated to be 11.182 illicit firearms per 100 people

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Portugal are reported to have 645,6305 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Portugal are reported to have 37,1556 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

ChartIn Portugal, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2011: 1427 8 9 10
2010: 18811
2009: 1527 8 9 10
2008: 160
2007: 158
2003: 208
2002: 221
2001: 1717 8 9
2000: 102
1999: 2027 8 9 12
1998: 1247 8 9

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

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

2011: 1.322
2010: 1.7711
2009: 1.422
2008: 1.50
2007: 1.48
2003: 1.98
2002: 2.12
2001: 1.65
2000: 0.99
1999: 1.96
1998: 1.21

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Portugal, annual homicides by any means total

2011: 11413
2010: 124
2009: 130
2008: 124
2007: 185
2006: 15513 14
2005: 133
2004: 14413 15
2003: 149
2002: 11913
2001: 105
2000: 11613 16
1999: 109
1998: 125
1997: 11413 17
1996: 106
1995: 40817

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

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

2011: 1.113
2010: 1.2
2009: 1.2
2008: 1.2
2007: 1.7
2006: 1.513 14
2005: 1.3
2004: 1.413 15
2003: 1.4
2002: 1.113
2001: 1.0
2000: 1.113 16
1999: 1.1
1998: 1.2
1997: 1.113 17
1996: 1.0
1995: 4.1117 13
1994: 2.9818

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Portugal, annual firearm homicides total

2011: 197
2010: 51
2009: 307 13
2008: 44
2007: 35
2006: 8013
2005: 68
2004: 72
2003: 577 13
2002: 677
2001: 63
2000: 39
1999: 61
1998: 70
1997: 12617
1996: 130
1995: 132

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2011: 0.187
2010: 0.48
2009: 0.287 13
2008: 0.41
2007: 0.33
2006: 0.813
2005: 0.6
2004: 0.7
2003: 0.547 13
2002: 0.657
2001: 0.61
2000: 0.38
1999: 0.6
1998: 0.69
1997: 1.2717
1996: 1.31
1995: 1.33
1994: 1.2819

Handgun Homicides

ChartIn Portugal, annual handgun homicides total

2009: 17
2008: 2
2007: 2
2003: 2
2002: 17

Rate of Handgun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2009: 0.017
2008: 0.02
2007: 0.02
2003: 0.02
2002: 0.16

Long Gun Homicides

ChartIn Portugal, annual long gun homicides total

2011: 17
2010: 4
2009: 4
2008: 5
2007: 10
2003: 11
2002: 5

Rate of Long Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2011: 0.017
2010: 0.04
2009: 0.04
2008: 0.05
2007: 0.09
2003: 0.11
2002: 0.05

Gun Homicides (Other)

ChartIn Portugal, annual gun homicides (other) total

2011: 187
2010: 47
2009: 25
2008: 37
2007: 23
2003: 44
2002: 45

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

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

2011: 0.177
2010: 0.44
2009: 0.24
2008: 0.35
2007: 0.22
2003: 0.42
2002: 0.43

Suicides (any method)

In Portugal, annual suicides by any means total 1999: 54512

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

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

1999: 5.4212
1994: 14.8320

Gun Suicides

ChartIn Portugal, annual firearm suicides total

2011: 1078
2010: 116
2009: 102
2008: 99
2007: 107
2003: 127
2002: 92
2001: 103
2000: 57
1999: 62
1998: 50

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

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

2011: 1.018
2010: 1.09
2009: 0.96
2008: 0.93
2007: 1.01
2003: 1.21
2002: 0.89
2001: 1.0
2000: 0.56
1999: 0.61
1998: 0.49
1994: 1.2821

Handgun Suicides

ChartIn Portugal, annual handgun suicides total

2009: 18
2008: 2
2007: 1
2003: 7
2002: 14

Rate of Handgun Suicide per 100,000 People

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

2009: 0.018
2008: 0.02
2007: 0.01
2003: 0.07
2002: 0.14

Long Gun Suicides

ChartIn Portugal, the number of long gun suicides is

2011: 178
2010: 12
2009: 16
2008: 22
2007: 23
2003: 15
2002: 5

Rate of Long Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

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

2011: 0.168
2010: 0.11
2009: 0.15
2008: 0.21
2007: 0.22
2003: 0.14
2002: 0.05

Gun Suicides (Other)

ChartIn Portugal, annual gun suicides (other) total

2011: 908
2010: 104
2009: 85
2008: 75
2007: 83
2003: 105
2002: 73

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

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

2011: 0.858
2010: 0.98
2009: 0.80
2008: 0.71
2007: 0.78
2003: 1.00
2002: 0.70

Unintentional Gun Deaths

ChartIn Portugal, annual unintentional shooting deaths total

2011: 39
2010: 2
2009: 3
2008: 2
2007: 4
2003: 6
2002: 21
2001: 5
2000: 6
1999: 2
1998: 4

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

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

2011: 0.039
2010: 0.02
2009: 0.03
2008: 0.02
2007: 0.04
2003: 0.06
2002: 0.2
2001: 0.05
2000: 0.06
1999: 0.02
1998: 0.04
1994: 0.2122

Unintentional Long Gun Deaths

ChartIn Portugal, annual unintentional shooting deaths by long gun total

2011: 19
2009: 1
2007: 1
2003: 3
2002: 9

Rate of Unintentional Long Gun Death per 100,000 People

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

2011: 0.019
2009: 0.01
2007: 0.01
2003: 0.03
2002: 0.09

Unintentional Gun Deaths (Other)

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

2011: 29
2010: 2
2009: 2
2008: 2
2007: 3
2003: 3
2002: 12

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

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

2011: 0.029
2010: 0.02
2009: 0.02
2008: 0.02
2007: 0.03
2003: 0.03
2002: 0.12

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2011: 1310
2010: 19
2009: 17
2008: 15
2007: 12
2003: 18
2002: 41
1999: 7712

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

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

2011: 0.1210
2010: 0.18
2009: 0.16
2008: 0.14
2007: 0.11
2003: 0.17
2002: 0.40
1999: 0.7712
1994: 0.9323

Handgun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

In Portugal, annual deaths by handgun in which the cause remains undecided total 2003: 110

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

In Portugal, the annual rate of unknown-cause handgun deaths per 100,000 population is 2003: 0.0110

Long Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2011: 110
2010: 2
2009: 2
2008: 1
2007: 1
2003: 1
2002: 7

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

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

2011: 0.0110
2010: 0.02
2009: 0.02
2008: 0.01
2007: 0.01
2003: 0.01
2002: 0.07

Gun Deaths (Other) from Undetermined Cause

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

2011: 1210
2010: 17
2009: 15
2008: 14
2007: 11
2003: 16
2002: 34

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

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

2011: 0.1110
2010: 0.16
2009: 0.14
2008: 0.13
2007: 0.10
2003: 0.15
2002: 0.33

ProductionGun Industry

Small Arms Manufacture - World Ranking

In a classification of the world's small, medium and major firearm manufacturers, Portugal is ranked 'small'24

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In Portugal, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law25 26 27 28 29 30

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Portugal is reported by Customs to be US$52,235,45231 (2011)32

Small Arms Exports - World Ranking

In a comparison of the world's major/mid-level/minor/unknown small arms exporters, Portugal is categorized as 'minor'33

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In Portugal, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law25 26 27 28 29

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Portugal is reported by Customs to be US$36,678,28631 (2011)34

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Portugal, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law35 36

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, Portugal was ranked at No. 2537

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Portugal includes the Council Directive of 18 June 1991 on Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Weapons,38 39 the European Union Firearms Regulation of 2012 and the Common Position on the Control of Arms Brokering of 200340

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Portugal are regulated by the European Commission39

Right to Possess Firearms

In Portugal, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law41

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Portugal, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic firearms, firearms disguised as other objects, and armour-piercing, incendiary and expanding ammunition42 43

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Portugal, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited42 43

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Portugal, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is permitted only with special authorisation44 45 43

Regulation of Handguns

In Portugal, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted only with special authorisation42 44 45 43

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Portugal, only licensed gun owners46 42 44 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Portugal are required to prove genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example, hunting, target shooting, personal protection, security47

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Portugal is 18 years47

Gun Licence Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Portugal must pass a background check which considers criminal and mental47 records

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Portugal are permitted to possess only ammunition suitable for the intended firearm48

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Portugal, the law requires49 50 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 Portugal, licensed firearm dealers are required50 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Portugal, State agencies are required51 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 Portugal, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful52 45

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Portugal, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law53 54

Firearm Tracing

In Portugal, state authorities carry out53 54 50 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Portugal are known to have55 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

European Union

As a member of the European Union, Portugal 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 Parliament56 57

European Union Export Reporting

Under the European Union Common Position on Arms Exports, Portugal 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 Portugal has submitted one or more national reports58 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 signed in 200659 by Portugal.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed, but not yet ratified60 by Portugal

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 ratified61 by Portugal

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Portugal 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 Aspects62

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Portugal against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 163 64 65 66 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Portugal has submitted one or more national reports67 68 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Portugal, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated69 68

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Portugal, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated69 68

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated68 by Portugal to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Portugal has declared70 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Portugal has been a Member State of the United Nations since 195571

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies lists72 Portugal as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


Short References

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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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40.

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41.

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42.

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43.

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44.

European Council.1991.‘Article 7.’ Council Directive of 18 June 1991 on Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Weapons (91/477/EEC) [current to 2008 amendments].Brussels:Council of the European Communities,18 June. (Q2411)Full Citation

45.

European Council.1991.‘Article 8.’ Council Directive of 18 June 1991 on Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Weapons (91/477/EEC) [current to 2008 amendments].Brussels:Council of the European Communities,18 June. (Q2412)Full Citation

46.

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47.

European Council.1991.‘Article 5.’ Council Directive of 18 June 1991 on Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Weapons (91/477/EEC) [current to 2008 amendments].Brussels:Council of the European Communities,18 June. (Q2409)Full Citation

48.

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