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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 2007 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 2007 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 5,000,0001

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

2012: 13,1208 9
2011: 13,8268 10 11
2010: 14,574
2009: 15,954
2008: 16,617
2007: 25,65010 11
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: 33,98210
1997: 35,40510 12
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

2012: 9.28 9
2011: 9.68 10 11
2010: 10.1
2009: 11.1
2008: 11.68 10 13 11
2007: 17.910 13 11
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: 23.010 13
1997: 23.9
1996: 26.6
1995: 30.8

Gun Homicides

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

In Russia, the percentage of homicides committed with a firearm is reported to be

2012: 25%9

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Russia, annual suicides by any means total

2011: 31,14414
2010: 33,480
2009: 37,570
2008: 38,406
2007: 41,329
2006: 42,855
2005: 46,063
2004: 49,378
2003: 51,749
2002: 55,330
2001: 57,284
2000: 56,934
1999: 57,276
1998: 51,77015

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

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

2011: 21.7914
2010: 23.44
2009: 26.47
2008: 27.05
2007: 29.08
2006: 30.08
2005: 32.19
2004: 34.33
2003: 36.07
2002: 38.72
2001: 39.84
2000: 39.40
1999: 39.45
1998: 36.1415

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 licence16

Small Arms Manufacture - World Ranking

In a classification of the world's small, medium and major firearm manufacturers, Russia was ranked 'major'17

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Russia, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law18 19 20 21

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Russia is reported by Customs to be US$44,286,00722 (2011)23 24 25 26 27

Small Arms Exports - World Ranking

In a comparison of the world's major/mid-level/minor/unknown small arms exporters, Russia was categorized as 'major'28 29 30 31 27 32

Firearm Imports

In Russia, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law19 20 21

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Russia is reported by Customs to be US$45,664,99722 (2011)33 34 35 36

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 law37 38

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Russia include18 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, Russia scored

2016: 9.7539
2014: 10.2540
2013: 5.5041
2012: 5.5042
2011: 6.0043
2010: 5.5044
2009: 5.5045
2008: 5.5046
2007: 5.5047
2006: 5.5048
2005: 5.5049
2004: 5.0050

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Russia is categorised as restrictive51

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Russia includes the Federal Weapons Act of 1996,16 19 52 the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation,53 54 and the Convention of 1 July 1969 on Reciprocal Recognition of Proofmarks on Small Arms55

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Russia are regulated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs,52 the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Federal Service for Defence Contracts,16 the President, the Government or the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation19

Right to Possess Firearms

In Russia, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law56 57

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Russia, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic firearms and handguns58

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Russia, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited58 9

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Russia, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is not specifically prohibited in law58

Regulation of Handguns

In Russia, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is prohibited58 9

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Russia, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law9

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Russia, only licensed gun owners59 60 9 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 establish a 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 years60

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Russia must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental health, and medical60 61 9 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 years62

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Russia, the law requires63 58 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 required64 16 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Russia, State agencies are required65 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 include62 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of private firearms and ammunition by licensed gun owners

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Dealer

Firearm regulations in Russia include66 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Russia include66 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Russia include67 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 law68 16

Firearm Tracing

In Russia, state authorities carry out63 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 exceptions69 62 9

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Russia, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is prohibited, with some exceptions69 62 9

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Russia, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm70 is eight years in prison and a fine54 62

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Russia are known to have71 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 Russia, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered, bought back or seized by authorities is reported to be

2013: 1,22272 71 73
2012: 8,444
2011: 2,23373
2010: 47

Small Arms Destroyed

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

1994/2002: 1,110,00074:

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Russia, it is not state policy75 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

The UNCCPCJ, a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council mandated to promote action to prevent national and transnational crime, lists76 Russia as an elected member

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 Russia.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed78 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 signed79 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 Aspects80

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Russia against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 3081 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, Russia has submitted one or more national reports85 38 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 designated86 38

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Russia, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated86 38

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Russia submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was not apparent38

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been donated38 by Russia to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided38 to Russia by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Russia has not declared87 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 194588

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies lists89 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


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