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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) per 100 people in Portugal is 24.222

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 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 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Portugal ranked at No. 724

Proportion of Households with Firearms

ChartIn Portugal, the percentage of households with one or more guns is reported to be

2005: 18.3%5
1999/2003: 13.2%

Proportion of Households with Handguns

ChartIn Portugal, the percentage of households with one or more handguns is reported to be

2005: 3.9%5
1999/2003: 4.3%

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 the rate of illicit firearms per 100 people is estimated to be 11.182

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Portugal are reported to have 645,6306 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Portugal are reported to have 37,1557 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

ChartIn Portugal, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2014: 1558 9 10 11
2013: 142
2012: 1418 9 11 12
2011: 1428 9 10 11
2010: 18813
2009: 1528 9 10 11
2008: 160
2007: 158
2003: 208
2002: 221
2001: 1718 9 10
2000: 102
1999: 2028 9 10 14
1998: 1248 9 10

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

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

2014: 1.432
2013: 1.31
2012: 1.312 12
2011: 1.322
2010: 1.7713
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

Total Number of Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn Portugal, annual male deaths resulting from firearms total

2014: 13315
2013: 126
2012: 126
2011: 126
2010: 164

Total Number of Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn Portugal, annual female deaths resulting from firearms total

2014: 2215
2013: 16
2012: 15
2011: 16
2010: 24

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Portugal, annual homicides by any means total

2012: 12216 17
2011: 11416 18
2010: 124
2009: 130
2008: 124
2007: 185
2006: 15516 18 19
2005: 133
2004: 14416 18 20
2003: 149
2002: 11916 18
2001: 105
2000: 11616 18 21
1999: 10918 21
1998: 125
1997: 11418 22
1996: 106
1995: 40822

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

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

2012: 1.216 17
2011: 1.116 18
2010: 1.2
2009: 1.2
2008: 1.2
2007: 1.8
2006: 1.516 18 19
2005: 1.3
2004: 1.416 18 20
2003: 1.4
2002: 1.116 18
2001: 1.0
2000: 1.116 18 21
1999: 1.118 21
1998: 1.2
1997: 1.118 22
1996: 1.0
1995: 4.1122 18
1994: 2.9823

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Portugal, annual male homicides by any means total

2014: 5215
2013: 62
2012: 80
2011: 65
2010: 8724

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Portugal, annual female homicides by any means total

2014: 5715
2013: 35
2012: 41
2011: 34
2010: 44

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Portugal, annual firearm homicides total

2014: 258
2013: 29
2012: 288 16 12
2011: 198 16
2010: 51
2009: 308 16 18
2008: 44
2007: 35
2006: 8116 18
2005: 68
2004: 7218
2003: 578 18
2002: 678
2001: 67
2000: 39
1999: 61
1998: 70
1997: 12622
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

2014: 0.248
2013: 0.28
2012: 0.278 2 12
2011: 0.188 2
2010: 0.48
2009: 0.288 2 18
2008: 0.42
2007: 0.33
2006: 0.762 18
2005: 0.64
2004: 0.718
2003: 0.548 18
2002: 0.648
2001: 0.65
2000: 0.38
1999: 0.6
1998: 0.69
1997: 1.2722
1996: 1.31
1995: 1.33
1994: 1.2825

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

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

2012: 37%16 17
2011: 20%16
2010: 36%
2009: 34%
2008: 44%
2007: 29%
2006: 52%
2005: 51%
2004: 50.0%18
2003: 53.0%

Male Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn Portugal, annual male firearm homicides total

2015: 1315
2014: 13
2013: 20
2012: 22
2011: 14
2010: 34

Female Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn Portugal, annual female firearm homicides total

2015: 1215
2014: 12
2013: 9
2012: 6
2011: 5
2010: 17

Handgun Homicides

ChartIn Portugal, annual handgun homicides total

2014: 48
2013: 2
2012: 2
2009: 1
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

2014: 0.048
2013: 0.02
2012: 0.02
2009: 0.01
2008: 0.02
2007: 0.02
2003: 0.02
2002: 0.16

Long Gun Homicides

ChartIn Portugal, annual long gun homicides total

2014: 58
2013: 5
2012: 6
2011: 1
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

2014: 0.058
2013: 0.05
2012: 0.06
2011: 0.01
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

2014: 168
2013: 22
2012: 20
2011: 18
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

2014: 0.158
2013: 0.21
2012: 0.19
2011: 0.17
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: 54514

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: 5.4214
1994: 14.8326

Male Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Portugal, annual male suicides by any means total

2014: 92515
2013: 812
2012: 859
2011: 794
2010: 836

Female Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Portugal, annual female suicides by any means total

2014: 29815
2013: 241
2012: 217
2011: 224
2010: 265

Gun Suicides

ChartIn Portugal, annual firearm suicides total

2014: 1189
2013: 98
2012: 1029 12
2011: 1079
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

2014: 1.139
2013: 0.94
2012: 0.979 12
2011: 1.019
2010: 1.10
2009: 0.97
2008: 0.94
2007: 1.01
2003: 1.21
2002: 0.88
2001: 0.99
2000: 0.56
1999: 0.61
1998: 0.49
1994: 1.2827

Male Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn Portugal, annual male firearm suicides total

2014: 10815
2013: 93
2012: 94
2011: 96
2010: 111

Female Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn Portugal, annual female firearm suicides total

2014: 1015
2013: 5
2012: 8
2011: 11
2010: 5

Handgun Suicides

ChartIn Portugal, annual handgun suicides total

2014: 209
2013: 1
2012: 2
2009: 1
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

2014: 0.199
2013: 0.01
2012: 0.02
2009: 0.01
2008: 0.02
2007: 0.01
2003: 0.07
2002: 0.13

Long Gun Suicides

ChartIn Portugal, the number of long gun suicides is

2014: 269
2013: 26
2012: 12
2011: 17
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

2014: 0.259
2013: 0.25
2012: 0.11
2011: 0.16
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

2014: 729
2013: 71
2012: 88
2011: 90
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

2014: 0.699
2013: 0.68
2012: 0.84
2011: 0.85
2010: 0.98
2009: 0.80
2008: 0.71
2007: 0.79
2003: 1.00
2002: 0.70

Unintentional Gun Deaths

ChartIn Portugal, annual unintentional shooting deaths total

2014: 110
2013: 1
2011: 3
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

2014: 0.0110
2013: 0.01
2011: 0.03
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: 0.2128

Unintentional Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn Portugal, annual unintentional male shooting deaths total

2014: 115
2013: 0
2012: 0
2011: 3
2010: 2

Unintentional Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn Portugal, annual unintentional female shooting deaths total

2014: 015
2013: 1
2012: 0
2011: 0
2010: 0

Unintentional Long Gun Deaths

ChartIn Portugal, annual unintentional shooting deaths by long gun total

2014: 110
2011: 1
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

2014: 0.0110
2011: 0.01
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

2013: 110
2011: 2
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

2013: 0.0110
2011: 0.02
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

2014: 1111
2013: 14
2012: 1111 12
2011: 1311
2010: 19
2009: 17
2008: 15
2007: 12
2003: 18
2002: 41
1999: 7714

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

2014: 0.1111
2013: 0.13
2012: 0.1011 2
2011: 0.1211
2010: 0.18
2009: 0.16
2008: 0.14
2007: 0.11
2003: 0.17
2002: 0.40
1999: 0.7714
1994: 0.9329

Male Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2014: 1115
2013: 13
2012: 10
2011: 13
2010: 17

Female Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2014: 015
2013: 1
2012: 1
2011: 0
2010: 2

Handgun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2014: 111
2003: 1

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

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

2014: 0.0111
2003: 0.01

Long Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2014: 311
2013: 1
2011: 1
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

2014: 0.0311
2013: 0.01
2011: 0.01
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

2014: 711
2013: 13
2012: 11
2011: 12
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

2014: 0.0711
2013: 0.12
2012: 0.10
2011: 0.11
2010: 0.16
2009: 0.14
2008: 0.13
2007: 0.10
2003: 0.15
2002: 0.33

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Portugal, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence30 31

Small Arms Manufacture - World Ranking

In a classification of the world's small, medium and major firearm manufacturers, Portugal was ranked 'small'32

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Portugal, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law33 34 31 35 36 37 38 39

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Portugal is reported by Customs to be US$52,235,45240 (2011)41 42

Small Arms Exports - World Ranking

In a comparison of the world's major/mid-level/minor/unknown small arms exporters, Portugal was categorized as 'major'43 44 45

Firearm Imports

In Portugal, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law33 34 31 35 36 37 38

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Portugal is reported by Customs to be US$36,678,28640 (2011)46 47 48 49

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Portugal, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law50 31 51 52

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Portugal include33 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, Portugal scored

2016: 16.7553
2014: 12.7554
2013: 11.0055
2012: 11.7556
2011: 12.7557
2010: 13.2558
2009: 12.7559
2008: 14.7560
2007: 13.2561
2006: 13.0062
2005: 11.5063
2004: 11.0064

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Portugal is categorised as restrictive65

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Portugal includes the Firearms Act No. 5/2006, as amended in 2013,30 33 31 66 the Council Directive of 18 June 1991 on Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Weapons,67 68 the European Union Firearms Regulation of 2012 and the Common Position on the Control of Arms Brokering of 200369

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Portugal are regulated by the European Commission68

Right to Possess Firearms

In Portugal, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law70 71

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 ammunition72 73

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Portugal, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited72 73 17

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Portugal, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is permitted only with special authorisation74 75 73

Regulation of Handguns

In Portugal, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted only with special authorisation72 74 75 73 17

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Portugal, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law17

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Portugal, only licensed gun owners31 76 72 74 17 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 establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example hunting, target shooting, personal protection, security77

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Portugal is 18 years77

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Portugal must pass a background check which considers criminal and mental health77 17 records

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Portugal are permitted to possess only ammunition suitable for the intended firearm78

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Portugal, the law requires79 80 81 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 required81 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In Portugal, licensed gun makers are required30 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Portugal, State agencies are required82 83 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 unlawful31 84 75

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Portugal include82 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Portugal, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law85 30 86 87 31 88

Firearm Tracing

In Portugal, state authorities carry out89 85 87 81 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Carrying Guns

Law Regulates Firearms in Public

In Portugal, carrying a gun in a public place is regulated by law17

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Portugal, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm90 is five years in prison31 91

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Portugal are known to have92 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Firearms Surrendered and Seized

ChartIn Portugal, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered, bought back or seized by authorities is reported to be

2015: 8,77293
2013: 11,29694
2012: 10,797
2011: 6,72395
2010: 4,395
2009/14: 31,67096

Small Arms Destroyed

In Portugal, the number of firearms destroyed following amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be

2011: 58597

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Portugal, it is not state policy82 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, 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 Parliament98 99

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 reports100 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 2006101 by Portugal.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified102 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 ratified103 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 Aspects104

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. 1105 106 107 108 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 reports109 110 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 designated111 110

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Portugal, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated111 110

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Portugal submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was not apparent110

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated110 by Portugal to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Portugal has declared112 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 1955113

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies lists114 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


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