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Armed violence prevention, gun control laws and the small arms trade:

United Kingdom — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law

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StockpilesGun Numbers

Civilian Guns

Number of Privately Owned Firearms

The estimated total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in the United Kingdom is 4,060,0001

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in the United Kingdom is 6.71 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Rifles

In the United Kingdom, the number of rifles in civilian possession is reported to be 540,2372 3 4

Number of Privately Owned Shotguns

In the United Kingdom, the number of shotguns in civilian possession is reported to be 1,576,5485 3 6

Number of Privately Owned Handguns

In the United Kingdom, the number of handguns in civilian possession is reported to be 14,5013 7

Proportion of Households with Firearms

ChartIn the United Kingdom, the percentage of households with one or more guns is reported to be

2004/05: 6.0%8
1999/2003: 3.0%
1995/98: 4.1%
1989: 5.2%

Proportion of Households with Rifles

In the United Kingdom, the percentage of households with one or more rifles is reported to be

2005: 57%9

Proportion of Households with Shotguns

In the United Kingdom, the percentage of households with one or more shotguns is reported to be

2005: 67%9

Proportion of Households with Handguns

ChartIn the United Kingdom, the percentage of households with one or more handguns is reported to be

2004/05: 0.4%8 9
1999/2003: 0.1%
1995/98: 0.4%
1989: 0.5%

Number of Licensed Firearm Owners

The number of licensed gun owners in the United Kingdom is reported to be 842,6655 2 10 4 6

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

The rate of licensed firearm owners per 100 people in the United Kingdom is 1.3411

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in the United Kingdom is reported to be 2,149,3305 2 12 4 6

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in the United Kingdom is 3.4311

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of the United Kingdom are reported to have 900,00013 14 firearms

Routine Arming of Police

In the United Kingdom, police officers on routine patrol do not carry a firearm in England, Wales and Scotland, but carry one or more firearms in Northern Ireland15 16 17 18

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in the United Kingdom are reported to have 272,88419 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2011: 14620 21 22
2010: 16523 24 25 26
2009: 15027 28 29
2008: 17430 31 32
2007: 13033 34 35
2006: 21136 37 38
2005: 16239 40 41
2004: 15642 43 44
2003: 16345 46 47
2002: 16948 49 50
2001: 15651 52 53
2000: 23454 55 56
1999: 21257 58 59
1998: 19660 61 62
1997: 18763 64 65
1996: 24766 67 68

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

ChartIn the United Kingdom, the annual rate of all gun deaths per 100,000 population is

2011: 0.2311
2010: 0.26
2009: 0.24
2008: 0.28
2007: 0.21
2006: 0.35
2005: 0.27
2004: 0.26
2003: 0.27
2002: 0.28
2001: 0.26
2000: 0.40
1999: 0.36
1998: 0.34
1997: 0.32
1996: 0.42

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual homicides by any means total

2011/12: 65369 70 71 72 73
2010/11: 76574 70 71 72
2009/10: 712
2008/09: 765
2007/08: 879
2006/07: 85674 70 71 72 75
2005/06: 83274 70 71 72
2004/05: 958
2003/04: 914
2002/03: 1,11274 70 71 72 76
2001/02: 95874 70 77 72
2000/01: 919
1999/00: 82874 70 77 78

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

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

2011/12: 1.0311 72 73
2010/11: 1.2211 72
2009/10: 1.14
2008/09: 1.24
2007/08: 1.42
2006/07: 1.41
2005/06: 1.38
2004/05: 1.60
2003/04: 1.53
2002/03: 1.87
2001/02: 1.62
2000/01: 1.56
1999/00: 1.4111

Gun Homicides

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual firearm homicides total

2013: 2379
2012: 12
2011: 3820 21 22 79
2010: 3323 24 25 79
2009: 2627 28 29 79
2008: 4030 31 32 79
2007: 1533 34 35 79
2006: 6136 37 38 79
2005: 3839 40 41 79
2004: 3642 43 44 79
2003: 2945 46 47 79
2002: 3948 49 50 79
2001: 3851 52 53 79
2000: 7154 55 56
1999: 4557 58 59 79
1998: 3360 61 62 79
1997: 4563 64 65
1996: 8466 67 68

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2013: 0.0479
2012: 0.02
2011: 0.0611 79
2010: 0.05
2009: 0.04
2008: 0.06
2007: 0.02
2006: 0.10
2005: 0.06
2004: 0.06
2003: 0.05
2002: 0.07
2001: 0.06
2000: 0.12
1999: 0.08
1998: 0.06
1997: 0.0811
1996: 0.14

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

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

2011/12: 8%73

Handgun Homicides

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual handgun homicides total

2013: 179
2012: 1
2008: 430 31 79
2007: 234 79
2006: 336 37 79
2005: 340 79
2004: 243 79
2003: 346 79
2001: 152 79

Rate of Handgun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn the United Kingdom, the annual rate of handgun homicide per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.0079
2012: 0.00
2008: 0.0111 79
2007: 0.00
2006: 0.00
2005: 0.00
2004: 0.00
2003: 0.01
2001: 0.00

Long Gun Homicides

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual long gun homicides total

2013: 679
2012: 4
2011: 1020
2010: 623 79
2009: 427 28 79
2008: 430 31 79
2007: 633 34 35 79
2006: 836 37 38 79
2005: 639 40 41 79
2004: 1142 43 44 79
2003: 645 47 79
2002: 848 50 79
2001: 851 52 79

Rate of Long Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn the United Kingdom, the annual rate of long gun homicide per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.0179
2012: 0.01
2011: 0.0211 79
2010: 0.01
2009: 0.01
2008: 0.01
2007: 0.01
2006: 0.01
2005: 0.01
2004: 0.02
2003: 0.01
2002: 0.01
2001: 0.01

Gun Homicides (Other)

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual gun homicides (other) total

2013: 1679
2012: 7
2011: 2820 21 22 79
2010: 2723 24 25 79
2009: 2227 28 29 79
2008: 3230 31 32 79
2007: 734 35 79
2006: 5036 37 38 79
2005: 2939 40 41 79
2004: 2342 43 44 79
2003: 2045 46 47 79
2002: 3148 49 50 79
2001: 2951 53 79

Rate of Gun Homicide (Other) per 100,000 People

ChartIn the United Kingdom, the annual rate of gun homicide (other) per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.0379
2012: 0.01
2011: 0.0411 79
2010: 0.04
2009: 0.04
2008: 0.05
2007: 0.01
2006: 0.08
2005: 0.05
2004: 0.04
2003: 0.03
2002: 0.05
2001: 0.05

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual suicides by any means total

2011: 6,04580
2010: 5,608
2009: 5,675
2008: 5,706
2007: 5,377
2006: 5,554
2005: 5,671
2004: 5,850
2003: 5,731
2002: 5,826
2001: 5,932
2000: 6,124
1999: 6,255
1998: 6,354
1997: 5,816
1996: 5,877
1995: 6,083
1994: 6,045
1993: 6,212
1992: 6,378
1991: 6,317
1990: 6,437

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

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

2011: 11.880
2010: 11.1
2009: 11.3
2008: 11.4
2007: 10.8
2006: 11.3
2005: 11.5
2004: 12.0
2003: 11.8
2002: 12.1
2001: 12.4
2000: 12.9
1999: 13.2
1998: 13.5
1997: 12.4
1996: 12.4
1995: 13.0
1994: 12.8
1993: 13.3
1992: 13.7
1991: 13.6
1990: 13.9

Gun Suicides

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual firearm suicides total

2013: 10681
2012: 92
2011: 9320 21 22 81
2010: 10923 24 25 81
2009: 10127 28 29 81
2008: 12030 31 32 81
2007: 10033 34 35 81
2006: 13036 37 38 81
2005: 11139 40 41 81
2004: 10242 43 44 81
2003: 11745 46 47 81
2002: 10848 49 50 81
2001: 10751 52 53 81
2000: 13454 55 56
1999: 14057 58 59 81
1998: 13660 61 62 81
1997: 13763 64 65
1996: 13366 67 68
1995: 18482 83 84

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn the United Kingdom, the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.1781
2012: 0.14
2011: 0.1511 81
2010: 0.17
2009: 0.16
2008: 0.19
2007: 0.16
2006: 0.21
2005: 0.18
2004: 0.17
2003: 0.20
2002: 0.18
2001: 0.18
2000: 0.2311
1999: 0.2411 81
1998: 0.23
1997: 0.2311
1996: 0.23
1995: 0.32

Handgun Suicides

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual handgun suicides total

2013: 281
2012: 1
2011: 121 81
2010: 125 81
2008: 430 31 81
2007: 133 81
2006: 236 37 81
2005: 140 81
2003: 445 46 81
2002: 348 49 81
2001: 251 53 81

Rate of Handgun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn the United Kingdom, the annual rate of handgun suicide per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.0081
2012: 0.00
2011: 0.0011 81
2010: 0.00
2008: 0.01
2007: 0.00
2006: 0.00
2005: 0.00
2003: 0.01
2002: 0.01
2001: 0.00

Long Gun Suicides

ChartIn the United Kingdom, the number of long gun suicides is

2013: 5481
2012: 40
2011: 4320 21 22 81
2010: 5923 24 25 81
2009: 5527 28 29 81
2008: 6430 31 32 81
2007: 5233 34 35 81
2006: 7336 37 38 81
2005: 5639 40 41 81
2004: 5042 43 44 81
2003: 5945 46 47 81
2002: 5248 49 50 81
2001: 5951 52 53 81

Rate of Long Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn the United Kingdom, the annual rate of long gun suicide per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.0881
2012: 0.06
2011: 0.0711 81
2010: 0.09
2009: 0.09
2008: 0.10
2007: 0.08
2006: 0.12
2005: 0.09
2004: 0.08
2003: 0.10
2002: 0.09
2001: 0.10

Gun Suicides (Other)

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual gun suicides (other) total

2013: 5081
2012: 51
2011: 4920 21 22 81
2010: 4923 24 25 81
2009: 4627 28 29 81
2008: 5230 31 32 81
2007: 4733 34 35 81
2006: 5536 37 38 81
2005: 5439 40 41 81
2004: 5242 43 44 81
2003: 5445 46 47 81
2002: 5348 49 50 81
2001: 4651 52 53 81

Rate of Gun Suicide (Other) per 100,000 People

ChartIn the United Kingdom, the annual rate of gun suicide (other) per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.0881
2012: 0.08
2011: 0.0811 81
2010: 0.08
2009: 0.07
2008: 0.08
2007: 0.08
2006: 0.09
2005: 0.09
2004: 0.09
2003: 0.09
2002: 0.09
2001: 0.08

Unintentional Gun Deaths

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual unintentional shooting deaths total

2013: 585
2012: 6
2011: 220 22 85
2010: 823 85
2009: 1127 85
2008: 530 85
2007: 333 35 85
2006: 536 37 38 85
2005: 139 85
2004: 342 44 85
2003: 445 46 85
2002: 248 50 85
2001: 351 52 85
2000: 1254 55
1999: 657 85
1998: 785
1996: 267
1995: 1482 83

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn the United Kingdom, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.0185
2012: 0.01
2011: 0.0011 85
2010: 0.01
2009: 0.02
2008: 0.01
2007: 0.00
2006: 0.01
2005: 0.00
2004: 0.01
2003: 0.01
2002: 0.00
2001: 0.01
2000: 0.0211
1999: 0.0111 85
1998: 0.0185
1996: 0.0011
1995: 0.02

Unintentional Handgun Deaths

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual unintentional shooting deaths by handgun total

2013: 185
2006: 136 85
2000: 254

Rate of Unintentional Handgun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn the United Kingdom, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death by handgun per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.0085
2006: 0.0011
2000: 0.00

Unintentional Long Gun Deaths

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual unintentional shooting deaths by long gun total

2011: 122
2010: 323 85
2009: 527 85
2008: 330 85
2007: 135 85
2006: 237 38 85
2005: 139 85
2003: 245 46 85
2002: 248 50 85
2001: 151 85

Rate of Unintentional Long Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn the United Kingdom, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death by long gun per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.0085
2012: 0.00
2011: 0.0011 85
2010: 0.00
2009: 0.01
2008: 0.00
2007: 0.00
2006: 0.00
2005: 0.00
2003: 0.00
2002: 0.00
2001: 0.00

Unintentional Gun Deaths (Other)

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual unintentional shooting deaths by firearm (other) total

2013: 285
2012: 3
2011: 120 85
2010: 523 85
2009: 627 85
2008: 230 85
2007: 233 85
2006: 236 85
2005: 285
2004: 342 44 85
2003: 245 85
2002: 185
2001: 251 52 85

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death (Other) per 100,000 People

ChartIn the United Kingdom, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death by firearm (other) per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.0085
2012: 0.00
2011: 0.0011 85
2010: 0.01
2009: 0.01
2008: 0.00
2007: 0.00
2006: 0.00
2005: 0.00
2004: 0.01
2003: 0.00
2002: 0.00
2001: 0.00

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2013: 1086
2012: 13
2011: 1020 22 86
2010: 1123 25 86
2009: 827 86
2008: 730 86
2007: 1133 35 86
2006: 1336 38 86
2005: 1139 41 86
2004: 1542 44 86
2003: 1345 46 47 86
2002: 2048 50 86
2001: 851 53 86
2000: 1754 56
1999: 2157 58 59
1998: 2760 61 62
1997: 565
1996: 2866 67 68
1995: 3282 83

Rate of Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn the United Kingdom, the annual rate of unknown-cause shooting deaths per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.0286
2012: 0.02
2011: 0.0211 86
2010: 0.02
2009: 0.01
2008: 0.01
2007: 0.02
2006: 0.02
2005: 0.02
2004: 0.03
2003: 0.02
2002: 0.03
2001: 0.01
2000: 0.0311
1999: 0.04
1998: 0.05
1997: 0.01
1996: 0.05
1995: 0.06

Handgun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual deaths by handgun in which the cause remains undecided total

2013: 186
2004: 1
2003: 145 86
2002: 148
2001: 186

Rate of Handgun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn the United Kingdom, the annual rate of unknown-cause handgun deaths per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.0086
2004: 0.00
2003: 0.0011 86
2002: 0.0011
2001: 0.0086

Long Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual deaths by long gun in which the cause remains undecided total

2013: 386
2012: 6
2011: 620 22 86
2010: 623 25 86
2009: 427 86
2008: 330 86
2007: 233 35 86
2006: 436 38 86
2005: 739 41 86
2004: 842 44 86
2003: 545 47 86
2002: 1448 50 86
2001: 751 53 86

Rate of Long Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn the United Kingdom, the annual rate of unknown-cause long gun deaths per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.0086
2012: 0.01
2011: 0.0111 86
2010: 0.01
2009: 0.01
2008: 0.00
2007: 0.00
2006: 0.01
2005: 0.01
2004: 0.01
2003: 0.01
2002: 0.02
2001: 0.01

Gun Deaths (Other) from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual deaths by firearm (other) in which the cause remains undecided total

2013: 686
2012: 7
2011: 420 22 86
2010: 523 25 86
2009: 427 86
2008: 430 86
2007: 933 35 86
2006: 936 86
2005: 439 86
2004: 742 86
2003: 745 46 47 86
2002: 548 86
2001: 151 86

Rate of Gun Death (Other) from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn the United Kingdom, the annual rate of unknown-cause gun deaths (other) per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.0186
2012: 0.01
2011: 0.0111 86
2010: 0.01
2009: 0.01
2008: 0.01
2007: 0.01
2006: 0.01
2005: 0.01
2004: 0.01
2003: 0.01
2002: 0.01
2001: 0.00

Justifiable Gun Homicides

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual legal-intervention gun homicides total

2011: 320 21
2010: 423
2009: 427 28
2008: 230
2007: 134
2006: 236
2005: 139

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In the United Kingdom, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence87 88

Small Arms Manufacture - World Ranking

In a classification of the world's small, medium and major firearm manufacturers, the United Kingdom was ranked 'medium'89

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In the United Kingdom, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104

Firearm Exports (Number) - Manufacturers

The annual number of firearms exported from the United Kingdom is reported by manufacturers to be

2012: 126,391105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from the United Kingdom is reported by Customs to be US$112,052,237114 (2011)115 116 117

Small Arms Exports - World Ranking

In a comparison of the world's major/mid-level/minor/unknown small arms exporters, the United Kingdom was categorized as 'major'118 119 120

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In the United Kingdom, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law96 97 121 122 123 124 100 101 102 103

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to the United Kingdom is reported by Customs to be US$121,643,569114 (2011)125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132

Firearm Imports (Number) - Customs

The annual number of firearms imported to the United Kingdom is reported to be

2012: 3,206133

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in the United Kingdom is moderate134

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In the United Kingdom, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law135 136 137 138

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in the United Kingdom include99 139 95 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, the United Kingdom scored

2016: 19.75140
2014: 19.50141
2013: 19.25142
2012: 19.75143
2011: 20.00144
2010: 18.75145
2009: 19.00146
2008: 19.25147
2007: 16.00148
2006: 13.75149
2005: 16.50150
2004: 15.00151

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in the United Kingdom is categorised as restrictive152

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in the United Kingdom includes the Firearms Act 1968,153 the Export Control Act 2002,90 the Export Control Order 2008,92 the Import, Export and Customs Powers (Defence) Act 1939,96 the Import of Goods (Control) Order 1954,121 the European Council Directive of 18 June 1991 on Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Weapons,154 155 the European Union Firearms Regulation of 2012, the Common Position on the Control of Arms Brokering of 2003,156 and the Convention of 1 July 1969 on Reciprocal Recognition of Proofmarks on Small Arms157

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in the United Kingdom are regulated by the Chief Officer of the Police158 and the European Commission155

Right to Possess Firearms

In the United Kingdom, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law159 160 158

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In the United Kingdom, civilians are not allowed to possess semi automatic and automatic firearms, handguns and armour piercing ammunition161 162 163 164

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In the United Kingdom, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited161 162 163 164 73

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In the United Kingdom, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is prohibited161 162 165 166 164

Regulation of Handguns

In the United Kingdom, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is prohibited161 162 163 165 166 164 73

Law Regulates Long Guns

In the United Kingdom, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law167 161 73

Gun Ownership and Possession

In the United Kingdom, only licensed gun owners168 158 169 163 165 170 73 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in the United Kingdom are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example hunting, target shooting or collection158 167 171 172 173

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in the United Kingdom is 14 years for licence, 17 years for purchase, or 21 years to purchase shotguns174 173

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in the United Kingdom must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental health and addiction175 176 177 173 73 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In the United Kingdom, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are required178 177

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in the United Kingdom stipulates179 180 181 182 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In the United Kingdom, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required183 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In the United Kingdom, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every five years184 177 170

Licensing Records

In the United Kingdom, authorities maintain a record5 2 10 4 6 162 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in the United Kingdom are permitted to possess only an approved number of firearms158

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in the United Kingdom are permitted to possess only approved quantities of ammunition158 185

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In the United Kingdom, the law requires5 2 12 4 6 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 the United Kingdom, licensed firearm dealers are required186 162 187 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In the United Kingdom, licensed gun makers are required186 162 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Private Gun Sales

In the United Kingdom, the private sale and transfer of firearms is permitted87 188

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In the United Kingdom, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful87 189 190 166

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in the United Kingdom include191 192 177 193 194 195 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 the United Kingdom do not include183 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in the United Kingdom include196 197 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in the United Kingdom include198 192 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In the United Kingdom, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law199 200 201

Firearm Tracing

In the United Kingdom, state authorities carry out202 201 187 203 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Record of Firearms and Ammunition

In the United Kingdom, the ballistic characteristics of each civilian firearm and its ammunition are not204 recorded in a register

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In the United Kingdom, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is prohibited205 73

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In the United Kingdom, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is prohibited205 73

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In the United Kingdom, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm206 is five to 10 years in prison, depending on gun type207 194 195

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in the United Kingdom are known to have208 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

ChartIn the United Kingdom, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered in recent arms amnesty and collection programmes is reported to be

2003: 43,908209
1996: 23,000210

Small Arms Destroyed

ChartIn the United Kingdom, the number of firearms destroyed following amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be

2012: 2,167211
1997/99: 185,000212
1992/2007: 543,000208
1992-2001: 540,000212

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In the United Kingdom, it is state policy213 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

European Union

As a member of the European Union, the United Kingdom is bound by the provisions of the ‘EU Firearms Directive’ – the 2007 Legislative Resolution on Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Weapons of the European Parliament214 215

European Union Export Reporting

Under the European Union Common Position on Arms Exports, the United Kingdom is bound to declare its transfers of military technology and equipment. Independent monitoring provides detailed comparisons of arms export reporting compliance across EU member states, and records that the United Kingdom has submitted one or more national reports216 on its arms transfers

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, lists217 the United Kingdom 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 signed in 2006218 by the United Kingdom.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified219 by the United Kingdom

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, but not yet ratified220 by the United Kingdom

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, the United Kingdom 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 Aspects221

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored the United Kingdom against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 35222 223 224 225 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, the United Kingdom has submitted one or more national reports226 227 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In the United Kingdom, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated228 227

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In the United Kingdom, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated227

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of the United Kingdom submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was apparent229 228 227

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been donated227 by the United Kingdom to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, the United Kingdom has declared230 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, the United Kingdom has been a Member State of the United Nations since 1945231

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies lists232 the United Kingdom as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


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