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Swaziland — 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 Swaziland is 72,0001

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in Swaziland is 6.41 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Swaziland ranked at No. 1442

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Swaziland ranked at No. 861

Number of Licensed Firearm Owners

The number of licensed gun owners in Swaziland is reported to be 2002: 8,7113

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

The rate of licensed firearm owners per 100 people in Swaziland is 2002: 0.734

Number of Registered Firearms

ChartThe number of registered guns in Swaziland is reported to be

2002: 11,4073
1998: 11,2005
1997: 11,0996

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

ChartThe rate of registered guns per 100 people in Swaziland is

2002: 0.964
1998: 1.03
1997: 1.05

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Swaziland, annual homicides by any means total

2004: 1417 8
2003: 135
2000: 9269
1999: 902
1998: 899

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

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

2008: 41.08
2004: 17.3710 8
2003: 13.057 8
2000: 88.619
1999: 88.48
1998: 90.77
1995: 18.78

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Swaziland, annual firearm homicides total

2004: 3847
2003: 440

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

In Swaziland, the annual rate of firearm homicide per 100,000 population is 2004: 37.167

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Swaziland, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is prohibited11 12 13

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In Swaziland, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law14

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Swaziland is reported by Customs to be US$4,72515 (2011)

Small Arms Exports - World Ranking

In a comparison of the world's major/mid-level/minor/unknown small arms exporters, Swaziland is categorized as 'minor' (re-exports only, no domestic production)16

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In Swaziland, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law14 13

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Swaziland is reported by Customs to be US$137,78715 (2011)

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Swaziland is moderate17

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Swaziland, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law14 12 17

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Swaziland includes the Arms and Ammunitions Act No. 24 of 196412

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Swaziland are regulated by the Police3

Right to Possess Firearms

In Swaziland, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law18

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Swaziland, only licensed gun owners3 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Firearm Safety Training

In Swaziland, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required12 3 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Swaziland gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every year19

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Swaziland, the law requires11 3 12 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 Swaziland, licensed firearm dealers are not required12 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 Swaziland, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful12

Number of Licensed Gun Dealers

The number of licensed firearm dealers in Swaziland is reported to be 2002: 813

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Swaziland include3 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of private firearms and ammunition by licensed gun owners

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Swaziland, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is not required by law11 12

Firearm Tracing

In Swaziland, state authorities do not carry out11 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Swaziland, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm20 is 2 to 10 years prison19

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Swaziland are known to have21 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Firearms Collected and Seized

ChartIn Swaziland, firearms voluntarily surrendered for destruction, collected or seized in routine policing are reported to number

2001: 27021
1994/97: 394

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Swaziland, it is state policy21 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

African Union

In June 2006, as a member of the African Union, Swaziland adopted an African Common Position to take to the Conference to Review the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA), held in June 200622

Southern African Development Community

As a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Swaziland signed the SADC Declaration Concerning Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials in March 2001. This laid the ground for the August, 2001 adoption of the legally binding SADC Protocol on Control of Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials23

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 signed24 by Swaziland.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed, but not yet ratified25 by Swaziland

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 ratified26 by Swaziland

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Swaziland 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 Aspects27

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Swaziland against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 14628 29 30 31 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Swaziland has submitted one or more national reports32 33 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Swaziland, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated33

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated33 by Swaziland to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided33 to Swaziland by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Swaziland has not declared34 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Swaziland has been a Member State of the United Nations since 196835

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list36 Swaziland as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Global Peace Index

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


Short References

1.

Karp, Aaron.2007.‘Completing the Count: Civilian firearms - Annexe online.’ Small Arms Survey 2007: Guns and the City.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,27 August. (Q5)Full Citation

2.

Karp, Aaron.2007.‘Completing the Count: Civilian firearms.’ Small Arms Survey 2007: Guns and the City.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,27 August. (Q4)Full Citation

3.

Thwala, Phumelele.2004.‘Civilian Firearm Ownership.’ Hide and Seek: Taking Account of Small Arms in Southern Africa.Pretoria:Institute for Security Studies,1 October. (Q8820)Full Citation

4.

GunPolicy.org.2014.‘Calculated Rates – Swaziland.’ Historical Population Data – USCB International Data Base.Suitland, MD:US Census Bureau Population Division,28 July. (Q8823)Full Citation

5.

McKenzie, Katharine.1999.‘Number of Licensed Firearms.’ Domestic Gun Control Policy in Ten SADC Countries.Johannesburg:Gun Free South Africa,1 September. (Q8839)Full Citation

6.

McKenzie, Katharine.1999.‘Swaziland: Crime and Proliferation of Firearms.’ Domestic Gun Control Policy in Ten SADC Countries.Johannesburg:Gun Free South Africa,1 September. (Q8838)Full Citation

7.

UNODC.2006.‘Reported Overall Homicide Numbers and Rates per 100,000 Population for 64 Countries, 2003-04.’ Ninth United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (2003 – 2004).Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,10 December. (Q9)Full Citation

8.

UNODC.2013.‘Homicide in 207 Countries - Swaziland.’ Global Study on Homicide 2011: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,26 June. (Q6387)Full Citation

9.

UNODC.2004.‘Recorded Intentional Homicide, Completed.’ Seventh United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (1998-2000).Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,19 March. (Q91)Full Citation

10.

Petrini, Benjamin.2011.‘Sub-Saharan Africa, 1995-2008, Total Recorded Intentional Homicide, Completed, Rate per 100,000 Population.’ World Bank Homicide Rate Dataset 1995-2008.Washington DC:Social Development Department, World Bank,10 February. (Q3812)Full Citation

11.

Swaziland.2008.‘Implementation of the International Tracing Instrument.’ National Report of Swaziland 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 Swaziland to the United Nations,1 January. (Q4743)Full Citation

12.

Thwala, Phumelele.2004.‘Overview of Legislation.’ Hide and Seek: Taking Account of Small Arms in Southern Africa.Pretoria:Institute for Security Studies,1 October. (Q8819)Full Citation

13.

Thwala, Phumelele.2004.‘Firearms Dealers.’ Hide and Seek: Taking Account of Small Arms in Southern Africa.Pretoria:Institute for Security Studies,1 October. (Q8822)Full Citation

14.

IANSA.2006.‘Reviewing Action on Small Arms 2006: Assessing the first five years of the UN Programme of Action.’ Biting the Bullet 'Red Book' 2006.New York:International Action Network on Small Arms and the Biting the Bullet project,26 June. (Q82)Full Citation

15.

Marsh, Nicholas.2013.‘Database of Authorised Transfers of Small Arms and Light Weapons.’ NISAT Small Arms Trade Database.Oslo:Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers,14 February. (Q16)Full Citation

16.

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

17.

Thwala, Phumelele.2004.‘Illegal Firearms.’ Hide and Seek: Taking Account of Small Arms in Southern Africa.Pretoria:Institute for Security Studies,1 October. (Q8821)Full Citation

18.

Sherman, Amy and Tom Ginsburg.2014.‘Gun Rights in National Constitutions.’ Marco Rubio Says Second Amendment Is Unique in Speech to NRA.Miami FL:Miami Herald (PolitiFact Florida),29 April. (Q8507)Full Citation

19.

McKenzie, Katharine.1999.‘Swaziland: Domestic Gun Control Policy.’ Domestic Gun Control Policy in Ten SADC Countries.Johannesburg:Gun Free South Africa,1 September. (Q8837)Full Citation

20.
21.

Thwala, Phumelele.2004.‘Arms Collection and Destruction Programmes.’ Hide and Seek: Taking Account of Small Arms in Southern Africa.Pretoria:Institute for Security Studies,1 October. (Q8818)Full Citation

22.

African Union / UNODA.2005.‘Windhoek Common Position.’ United Nations Programme of Action Implementation Support System: Regional Organisations.New York:African Union / United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,14 December. (Q3216)Full Citation

23.

SADC / UNODA.2001.‘Protocol on Control of Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials.’ United Nations Programme of Action Implementation Support System: Regional Organisations.New York:Southern African Development Community Secretariat / United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,1 August. (Q3217)Full Citation

24.

GDAV.2006.‘Geneva Declaration.’ Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development.Geneva:Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development Secretariat,7 June. (Q7162)Full Citation

25.

UNODA.2013.‘Towards Entry Into Force.’ Arms Trade Treaty.New York NY:United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,2 April. (Q7226)Full Citation

26.

UNGA.2001.‘United Nations Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition.’ UN General Assembly Resolution 55/255.New York:UN General Assembly,31 May. (Q17)Full Citation

27.

UNGA.2001.‘Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.’ United Nations General Assembly.New York:UN General Assembly,20 July. (Q18)Full Citation

28.

Parker, Sarah and Katherine Green.2012.‘Findings - Table 3: Reporting States by Rank and Score.’ The Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (Phase 1): Assessing Reported Progress.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,1 August. (Q8752)Full Citation

29.

Parker, Sarah and Katherine Green.2012.‘What do the PoAIM Scores Represent? How Should the PoAIM Scores Be Interpreted?.’ The Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (Phase 1): Assessing Reported Progress.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,1 August. (Q8753)Full Citation

30.

Parker, Sarah and Katherine Green.2012.‘Point Allocation System.’ The Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (Phase 1): Assessing Reported Progress.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,1 August. (Q8754)Full Citation

31.

Parker, Sarah and Katherine Green.2012.‘Introduction.’ The Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (Phase 1): Assessing Reported Progress.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,1 August. (Q8755)Full Citation

32.

Cattaneo, Silvia and Sarah Parker.2008.‘Reporting, NPCs and NCAs, 2002 to 2008.’ Implementing the United Nations Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons: Analysis of the National Reports submitted by States from 2002 to 2008.Geneva:United Nations Development Programme,1 November. (Q20)Full Citation

33.

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

34.

UNODA.2011.‘National Reports on Small Arms Exports.’ United Nations Register of Conventional Arms - The Global Reported Arms Trade.New York:United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,21 October. (Q14)Full Citation

35.

UN.2013.‘Member States of the United Nations.’ UN.org Web Site.New York:United Nations General Assembly,7 April. (Q290)Full Citation

36.

Wassenaar Arrangement.1996.‘Introduction: Participating States.’ Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies.Vienna:Wassenaar Secretariat,12 July. (Q19)Full Citation