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Russia — 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 Russia is 12,750,0001

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in Russia is 8.91 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Rifles

In Russia, the number of rifles in civilian possession is reported to be 226,0002

Number of Privately Owned Shotguns

In Russia, the number of shotguns in civilian possession is reported to be 3,410,0002

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Russia ranked at No. 93

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Russia ranked at No. 681

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in Russia is reported to be 5,000,0003

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in Russia is 3.504

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Russia are reported to have 26,000,0005 6 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Russia are reported to have 1,550,0007 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Russia, annual homicides by any means total

2011: 13,8268
2010: 14,574
2009: 21,603
2008: 23,908
2007: 25,650
2006: 28,989
2005: 35,817
2004: 39,396
2003: 42,160
2002: 44,675
2001: 43,556
2000: 41,386
1999: 38,589
1998: 33,982
1997: 35,4058 9
1996: 39,490
1995: 45,799

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

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

2011: 9.78
2010: 10.2
2009: 15.1
2008: 16.78 10
2007: 17.9
2006: 20.2
2005: 24.9
2004: 27.3
2003: 29.1
2002: 30.7
2001: 29.8
2000: 28.2
1999: 26.2
1998: 23.0
1997: 23.9
1996: 26.6
1995: 30.8

Suicides (any method)

In Russia, annual suicides by any means total 1998: 51,77011

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

In Russia, the annual rate of suicide by any means per 100,000 population is 1998: 36.1411

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Russia, 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, Russia is ranked 'major'12

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In Russia, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law13

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Russia is reported by Customs to be US$44,286,00714 (2011)15 16

Small Arms Exports - World Ranking

In a comparison of the world's major/mid-level/minor/unknown small arms exporters, Russia is categorized as 'major'17 16

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In Russia, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law13

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Russia is reported by Customs to be US$45,664,99714 (2011)

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

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

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Russia, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law18

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, Russia was ranked at No. 4719

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Russia is categorised as restrictive20

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Russia includes the Federal Weapons Act of 1996,2 the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation,21 and the Convention of 1 July 1969 on Reciprocal Recognition of Proofmarks on Small Arms22

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Russia, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic firearms and handguns23

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Russia, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited23

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Russia, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is not specifically prohibited in law23

Regulation of Handguns

In Russia, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is prohibited23

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Russia, only licensed gun owners24 25 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Russia are required to prove genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example, hunting, target shooting, collection, personal protection, security2

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Russia is 18 years25

Gun Licence Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Russia must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental, and medical25 26 records

Firearm Safety Training

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

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Russia gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every five years27

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Russia, the law requires28 23 that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In Russia, licensed gun makers are required29 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Russia, State agencies are required30 to maintain records of the storage and movement of all firearms and ammunition under their control

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Russia include27 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of private firearms and ammunition by licensed gun owners

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

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

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Russia, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law31

Firearm Tracing

In Russia, state authorities carry out28 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Russia, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is prohibited, with some exceptions32 27

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Russia, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is prohibited, with some exceptions32 27

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Russia, the maximum penalty for illicit firearm possession is 8 years prison and a fine27

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

At the resumption of the most recent session of the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (UNCCPCJ), a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council mandated to promote action to prevent national and transnational crime, Russia was listed as an elected member for a three-year term of office33

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 signed34 by Russia.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed35 by Russia

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 signed36 by Russia

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Russia 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 Aspects37

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Russia has submitted one or more national reports38 18 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Russia, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated39 18

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Russia, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated39 18

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been donated18 by Russia to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided18 to Russia by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Russia has not declared40 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Russia has been a Member State of the United Nations since 194541

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies lists42 Russia as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


Short References

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2.

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Small Arms Survey.2001.‘60 Known Legal Small Arms Exporting Countries, 2001.’ Small Arms Survey 2001: Profiling the Problem.Oxford:Oxford University Press,1 July. (Q867)Full Citation

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UNODA.2009.‘PoA-ISS Country Profiles.’ UN small arms Programme of Action (UNPoA) – Implementation Support System.New York:United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs,29 October. (Q1309)Full Citation

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Newton, George D and Franklin E Zimring.1969.‘Firearm Licensing: Permissive v Restrictive.’ Firearms & Violence in American Life: A staff report submitted to the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence.Washington, DC:US Government Printing Office,1 January. (Q22)Full Citation

21.

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22.

UNGA.1969.‘Reciprocal Recognition of Proof Marks.’ Convention for the Reciprocal Recognition of Proof Marks on Small Arms of July 1, 1969.Brussels:United Nations General Assembly,1 July. (Q5999)Full Citation

23.

Parker, Sarah.2011.‘Balancing Act: Regulation of Civilian Firearm Possession.’ Small Arms Survey 2011: States of Security.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,6 July. (Q5372)Full Citation

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Parker, Sarah.2011.‘Balancing Act: Regulation of Civilian Firearm Possession.’ Small Arms Survey 2011: States of Security.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,6 July. (Q5387)Full Citation

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Parker, Sarah.2011.‘Balancing Act: Regulation of Civilian Firearm Possession.’ Small Arms Survey 2011: States of Security.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,6 July. (Q5423)Full Citation

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Parker, Sarah.2011.‘Balancing Act: Regulation of Civilian Firearm Possession.’ Small Arms Survey 2011: States of Security.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,6 July. (Q5445)Full Citation

28.

Russia.2010.‘Record-Keeping – Civilian Gun Registration and Tracing.’ National Report of Russia on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York:Permanent Mission of Russia to the United Nations,1 January. (Q4578)Full Citation

29.

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30.

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31.

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32.

Parker, Sarah.2011.‘Balancing Act: Regulation of Civilian Firearm Possession.’ Small Arms Survey 2011: States of Security.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,6 July. (Q5409)Full Citation

33.

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36.

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37.

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38.

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42.

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