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Timor-Leste — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law

StockpilesGun Numbers

Civilian Guns

Number of Privately Owned Firearms

ChartThe estimated total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in Timor-Leste is

2017: 3,0001
2007: 3,0002

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

ChartThe estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) per 100 people in Timor-Leste is

2017: 0.31
2007: 0.32

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Timor-Leste ranked at No. 1773

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Timor-Leste ranked at No. 1772

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Timor-Leste are reported to have 2,5274 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Timor-Leste are reported to have 4,0005 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Timor-Leste, annual homicides by any means total

2016: 316
2015: 31
2014: 30
2013: 29
2012: 29
2011: 28
2010: 397
2009: 32
2008: 357 8
2007: 627
2006: 49
2005: 46
2004: 23

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

ChartIn Timor-Leste, the annual rate of homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2016: 2.716
2015: 2.67
2014: 2.63
2013: 2.60
2012: 2.60
2011: 2.61
2010: 3.699
2009: 3.0
2008: 3.37 8 10
2007: 6.0
2006: 4.8
2005: 4.6
2004: 2.4
2002: 17.6010

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

In Timor-Leste, annual male homicides by any means total

2010: 2911

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

In Timor-Leste, annual female homicides by any means total

2010: 1011

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Timor-Leste, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is prohibited without official authorization12

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Timor-Leste, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law12

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Timor-Leste is reported by Customs to be US$

2011: 013

Firearm Imports

In Timor-Leste, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law12

Firearm Imports (Number)

The annual number of firearms imported to Timor-Leste is reported to be

2008: 1114

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

ChartThe annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Timor-Leste is reported by Customs to be US$

2013: 1,774,99615
2011: 477,86213

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Timor-Leste is categorised as restrictive16

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Timor-Leste includes the UN Regulation No. 2001/5 on Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Offensive Weapons17

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Timor-Leste are regulated by the Weapons and Explosives Department of the National Police18

Right to Possess Firearms

In Timor-Leste, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law19 20

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Timor-Leste, only licensed gun owners (in exceptional cases)21 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Timor-Leste are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example self-defence22

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Timor-Leste is 18 years23 22

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Timor-Leste must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental health and medical24 23 records

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Timor-Leste stipulates (in draft legislations only)25 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Licensing Records

In Timor-Leste, authorities maintain a record18 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Timor-Leste, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is prohibited24

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Timor-Leste, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is prohibited24

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Timor-Leste, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm26 is up to a year in in prison and/or a US$10,000 fine12

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Timor-Leste, it is state policy27 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

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 200628 by Timor-Leste.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed29 by Timor-Leste

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 signed30 by Timor-Leste

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Timor-Leste 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 Aspects31

UNPoA National Reporting

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

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Timor-Leste, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated32

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Timor-Leste, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated32

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Timor-Leste submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was not apparent32

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated32 by Timor-Leste to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided32 to Timor-Leste by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Timor-Leste has not declared33 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Timor-Leste has been a Member State of the United Nations since 200234

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list35 Timor-Leste as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


Short References

1.

Karp, Aaron.2018.‘Civilian Firearms Holdings, 2017.’ Estimating Global Civilian-Held Firearms Numbers.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,18 June. (Q13434)Full Citation

2.

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

3.

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

4.

Karp, Aaron.2018.‘Military Firearms Holdings, 2017.’ Estimating Global Military-Owned Firearms Numbers.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,18 June. (Q13436)Full Citation

5.

Karp, Aaron.2018.‘Law Enforcement Firearms Holdings, 2017.’ Estimating Global Law Enforcement Firearms Numbers.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,18 June. (Q13435)Full Citation

6.

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.2018.‘GBD Results Tool.’ Global Health Data Exchange.Seattle WA:University of Washington,8 August. (Q13503)Full Citation

7.

UNODC.2014.‘Homicides in Timor-Leste.’ Global Study on Homicide 2013: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC),10 April. (Q10271)Full Citation

8.

UNODC.2013.‘Homicide in 207 Countries - Timor-Leste.’ Global Study on Homicide 2011: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,26 June. (Q6305)Full Citation

9.

UNODC.2017.‘Intentional Homicide Victims.’ Crime and Drugs Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,19 May. (Q13355)Full Citation

10.

Petrini, Benjamin.2011.‘East Asia and the Pacific, 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. (Q3814)Full Citation

11.

UNODC.2017.‘Intentional Homicide Victims by Sex.’ Crime and Drugs Data.Vienna:UNODC,19 May. (Q13356)Full Citation

12.

UNTAET.2001.‘Prohibition of Unauthorized Activity.’ Regulation No. 2001/5 on Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and other Offensive Weapons in East Timor.Dili:United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor,23 April. (Q1281)Full Citation

13.

Marsh, Nicholas.2014.‘Database of Authorised Transfers of Small Arms and Light Weapons.’ NISAT Small Arms Trade Database.Oslo:Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers,22 December. (Q16)Full Citation

14.

UN Register of Conventional Arms.2018.‘National Reports on Small Arms Exports and Imports - Timor-Leste.’ UNROCA - The Global Reported Arms Trade.New York, NY:United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,1 January. (Q13378)Full Citation

15.

United Nations.2018.‘National Customs Data on Small Arms Exports and Imports - Timor-Leste.’ UN Comtrade International Trade Statistics Database.New York NY:United Nations Statistics Division,1 January. (Q13455)Full Citation

16.

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

17.

UNTAET.2001.‘Regulation No 2001/5.’ Regulation No. 2001/5 on Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and other Offensive Weapons in East Timor.Dili:United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor,23 April. (Q1506)Full Citation

18.

Timor-Leste.2009.‘Weapons and Explosives Department.’ National Police Organisation Law.Dili:Journal of the Republic,18 February. (Q13500)Full Citation

19.

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

20.

Zachary Elkins, Tom Ginsburg and James Melton. 2013. ‘U.S. Gun Rights Truly Are American Exceptionalism.’ Bloomberg (USA). 7 March. (N422) Full Citation

21.

UNTAET.2001.‘Authority to Issue, Suspend and Revoke Licenses.’ Regulation No. 2001/5 on Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and other Offensive Weapons in East Timor.Dili:United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor,23 April. (Q1273)Full Citation

22.

Timor-Leste.2008.‘Licensing Requirements.’ Timor-Leste Draft Law No. 9/11/2008 Arms Law.Dili:National Parliament,9 November. (Q1277)Full Citation

23.

UNTAET.2001.‘Definitions - Prohibited Person.’ Regulation No. 2001/5 on Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and other Offensive Weapons in East Timor.Dili:United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor,23 April. (Q1278)Full Citation

24.

UNTAET.2001.‘Authority to Issue, Suspend and Revoke Licenses.’ Regulation No. 2001/5 on Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and other Offensive Weapons in East Timor.Dili:United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor,23 April. (Q1276)Full Citation

25.

Timor-Leste.2008.‘Licensing Requirements.’ Timor-Leste Draft Law No. 9/11/2008 Arms Law.Dili:National Parliament,9 November. (Q1280)Full Citation

26.

GunPolicy.org. 2015. ‘Penalty for Unlawful Firearm Possession.’ Definition and Selection Criteria.
Sydney School of Public Health, 22 January.
(G93) Full Citation

27.

UNDPI.2006.‘Major Review at United Nations to Assess Progress Made, Actions Needed to Further Stem Illegal Small Arms Trade.’ Department of Public Information, News and Media Division, Peace and Security Section.New York, NY:United Nations,20 June. (Q5075)Full Citation

28.

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

29.

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

30.

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, NY:UN General Assembly,31 May. (Q17)Full Citation

31.

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, NY:UN General Assembly,20 July. (Q18)Full Citation

32.

UNODA.2018.‘PoA-ISS Country Profiles.’ UN small arms Programme of Action (UNPoA) - Implementation Support System.New York, NY:United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs,23 July. (Q1309)Full Citation

33.

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

34.

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

35.

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