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Timor-Leste — 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 Timor-Leste is 3,0001

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) per 100 people in Timor-Leste is 0.31

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. 1772

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. 1771

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Timor-Leste, annual homicides by any means total

2010: 393
2009: 32
2008: 353 4
2007: 623
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

2010: 3.63 4
2009: 3.0
2008: 3.33 4 5
2007: 6.0
2006: 4.8
2005: 4.6
2004: 2.4
2002: 17.605

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Timor-Leste is reported by Customs to be US$06 (2011)

Firearm Imports

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Timor-Leste is reported by Customs to be US$477,8626 (2011)

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Timor-Leste is categorised as restrictive7

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Timor-Leste includes the UN Regulation No. 2001/5 on Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Offensive Weapons8

Right to Possess Firearms

In Timor-Leste, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law9 10

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Timor-Leste, only licensed gun owners (in exceptional cases)11 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 exemple self-defence12

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Timor-Leste is 18 years13 12

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Timor-Leste must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental health and medical14 13 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)15 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Timor-Leste, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is prohibited14

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Timor-Leste, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is prohibited14

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Timor-Leste, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm16 is up to a year in in prison and/or a US$10,000 fine17

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Timor-Leste, it is state policy18 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 200619 by Timor-Leste.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed20 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 signed21 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 Aspects22

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Timor-Leste has yet to submit a national report23 24 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 not been designated24

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Timor-Leste, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated24

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 apparent24

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated24 by Timor-Leste to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided24 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 declared25 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 200226

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list27 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.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.

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

4.

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

5.

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

6.

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

7.

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

8.

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

9.

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

10.

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

11.

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

12.

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

13.

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

14.

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

15.

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

16.

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

17.

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

18.

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

19.

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

20.

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

21.

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

22.

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

23.

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

24.

UNODA.2015.‘PoA-ISS Country Profiles.’ UN small arms Programme of Action (UNPoA) - Implementation Support System.New York, NY:United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs,11 September. (Q1309)Full Citation

25.

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

26.

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

27.

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