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Uganda — 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 Uganda is 400,0001

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in Uganda is 1.41 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Uganda ranked at No. 892

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Uganda ranked at No. 1371

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in Uganda is reported to be 2,7703

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in Uganda is 0.014

Estimated Number of Illicit Firearms

Unlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Uganda there are estimated to be 200,0005

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Uganda are reported to have 133,0006 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Uganda are reported to have 28,0007 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Uganda, annual homicides by any means total

2011: 3,7538
2010: 3,160
2009: 2,6699 8
2008: 2,753
2007: 2,6458
2004: 2,04910
2003: 2,136

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

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

2011: 10.98
2010: 9.5
2009: 8.254 8
2008: 9.304 11 8
2007: 7.4311 8
2006: 9.02
2005: 8.7011
2004: 16.5511 8
2003: 7.95
2002: 15.5311
1997: 11.88
1996: 8.68
1995: 8.49

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Uganda, annual firearm homicides total

2009: 2808
2008: 351
2007: 247
2006: 377
2004: 36810
2003: 335

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Uganda, the annual rate of firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2009: 0.98
2008: 1.1
2007: 0.8
2006: 1.3
2004: 1.4210
2003: 1.25

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Uganda, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is prohibited12

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In Uganda, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law13 14

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Uganda is reported by Customs to be US$5,07215 (2011)

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In Uganda, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law13 16 17 14

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Uganda is reported by Customs to be US$3,853,34715 (2011)

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Uganda is moderate18 19

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Uganda, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law20 21

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Uganda do not include20 certification of the intended end user of any small arms or ammunition transfer, and/or a written declaration of its intended end use

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Uganda is categorised as restrictive22

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Uganda includes the Firearms Act, 197023 24

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Uganda are regulated by the Minister of Internal Affairs25

Right to Possess Firearms

In Uganda, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law26 20

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Uganda, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic firearms27 28

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Uganda, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited27 28

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Uganda, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is not specifically prohibited in law28

Regulation of Handguns

In Uganda, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence28

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Uganda, only licensed gun owners29 30 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Uganda are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example, hunting, and target shooting31 32 33 34

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Uganda is 25 years31

Gun Licence Background Check

An applicant for a firearm licence in Uganda must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental, addiction and other various31 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Uganda, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required20

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Uganda does not stipulate35 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Uganda, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required20 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Uganda gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every one year36

Licensing Records

In Uganda, authorities maintain a record30 28 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Uganda are permitted to possess 1 firearm per firearm certificate30 36

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Uganda are permitted to possess the quantity of ammunition specified in the firearm certificate36

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Uganda, the law requires37 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 Uganda, licensed firearm dealers are required38 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Uganda, State agencies are required39 to maintain records of the storage and movement of all firearms and ammunition under their control

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Private Gun Sales

In Uganda, the private sale and transfer of firearms is permitted40 41

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Uganda, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful40 42

Limit on Gun Dealer Sales

In Uganda, the number and type of firearms which can be sold by a licensed gun dealer to a single gun owner is limited to the firearm described in the certificate30

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In Uganda, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined20

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Uganda, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated20 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Uganda include43 31 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 Uganda include44 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Uganda include45 39 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Uganda include14 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Uganda, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law16 46

Firearm Tracing

In Uganda, state authorities do not currently carry out46 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Marking of Firearms and Ammunition

In Uganda, state authorities do not employ20 ballistic fingerprinting technology to trace guns and ammunition

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Uganda, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is prohibited47

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Uganda, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm48 is 10 years prison49 29

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Uganda are known to have50 51 52 53 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Surrendered in Gun Amnesty

In Uganda, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered in recent arms amnesty and collection programmes is reported to be 4,00051 (2000-05)

Small Arms Destroyed

In Uganda, the total number of firearms destroyed following recent amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be 10,00050 (2002), 4,00051 (2005), 50,00052 (2006), and 4,70053 (since 2008)

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Uganda, it is not state policy54 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, Uganda 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 200655

Regional Centre on Small Arms

In March 2000, as a member of the Regional Centre on Small Arms (RECSA), Uganda adopted the Nairobi Declaration on the Problem of Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons in the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa, then on 21 April 2004 adopted the Nairobi Protocol for the Prevention, Control and Reduction of Small Arms and Light Weapons in the Great Lakes Region, the Horn of Africa and Bordering States, a legally-binding multilateral protocol of which the RECSA is depository. The Nairobi Protocol has since been signed, and ratified56 57 by Uganda

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 200758 by Uganda.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed59 by Uganda

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 ratified60 by Uganda

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Uganda 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 Aspects61

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Uganda against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 8762 63 64 65 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Uganda has submitted one or more national reports66 67 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Uganda, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated68 67

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Uganda, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated68 67

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Uganda submitted to the UN, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities is apparent69 70

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated67 by Uganda to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided67 to Uganda by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Uganda has not declared71 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Uganda has been a Member State of the United Nations since 196272

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list73 Uganda as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


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