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United Kingdom — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law

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StockpilesGun Numbers

Civilian Guns

Number of Privately Owned Firearms

ChartThe estimated total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in the United Kingdom is

2017: 2,452,2781 2 3
2010: 2,373,186
2009: 2,361,668
2006: 2,250,085
2005: 2,256,1191 2 3 4

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 3.795 6 3
2010: 3.78
2009: 3.80
2006: 3.70
2005: 3.745 6 3 4

Number of Privately Owned Rifles

In the United Kingdom, the number of rifles in civilian possession is reported to be 524,4897 8 9

Number of Privately Owned Shotguns

In the United Kingdom, the number of shotguns in civilian possession is reported to be 1,537,96710 11 8

Number of Privately Owned Handguns

In the United Kingdom, the number of handguns in civilian possession is reported to be 14,5018 12

Proportion of Households with Firearms

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

2005: 6.0%13
1999/2003: 3.0%
1995/98: 4.1%
1989: 5.2%

Proportion of Households with Handguns

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

2005: 0.4%13
1999/2003: 0.1%
1995/98: 0.4%
1989: 0.5%

Number of Licensed Firearm Owners

ChartThe number of licensed gun owners in the United Kingdom is reported to be

2017: 710,21114 15 16
2010: 859,47717 7 18 9 19
2009: 852,035
2008: 816,562

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

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

2017: 1.105
2010: 1.37
2009: 1.37
2008: 1.32

Number of Registered Firearms

ChartThe number of registered guns in the United Kingdom is reported to be

2017: 2,229,344 20 11 16
2010: 2,157,44317 7 21 9 19
2009: 2,146,971
2006: 2,045,532
2005: 2,051,017

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

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

2017: 3.445
2010: 3.44
2009: 3.45
2006: 3.36
2005: 3.40

Estimated Number of Illicit Firearms

ChartUnlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in the United Kingdom there are estimated to be

2017: 222,9341 22 3
2010: 215,743
2009: 214,697
2006: 204,553
2005: 205,102

Estimated Rate of Illicit Firearms per 100 Population

ChartUnlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in the United Kingdom the rate of illicit firearms per 100 people is estimated to be

2017: 0.345
2010: 0.34
2009: 0.35
2006: 0.34
2005: 0.34

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of the United Kingdom are reported to have 900,00023 24 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 Ireland25 26 27 28

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in the United Kingdom are reported to have 272,88429 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2013: 14430 31 32 33 34
2012: 123
2011: 137
2010: 155
2009: 15035 36 37
2008: 17438 39 40
2007: 13041 42 43
2006: 21144 45 46
2005: 16247 48 49
2004: 15650 51 52
2003: 16353 54 55
2002: 16956 57 58
2001: 15659 60 61
2000: 23462 63 64
1999: 21265 66 67
1998: 19668 69 70
1997: 18771 72 73
1996: 24774 75 76

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

2013: 0.2377
2012: 0.20
2011: 0.22
2010: 0.25
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

Total Number of Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual male deaths resulting from firearms total

2013: 13777
2012: 120
2011: 126
2010: 147

Total Number of Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual female deaths resulting from firearms total

2013: 777
2012: 3
2011: 11
2010: 8

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual homicides by any means total

2014: 59478
2013: 14577
2012: 147
2011: 191
2010: 180
2009: 765
2008: 879
2007: 85679 80 81 82 83
2006: 83279 80 81 82
2005: 958
2004: 914
2003: 1,11279 80 81 82 84
2002: 95879 80 85 82
2001: 919
1999: 82879 80 85 86

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

2014: 0.9278
2013: 0.2377
2012: 0.20
2011: 0.22
2010: 0.25
2009: 1.24
2008: 1.42
2007: 1.41
2006: 1.38
2005: 1.60
2004: 1.53
2003: 1.87
2002: 1.62
2001: 1.56
1999: 1.415

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual male homicides by any means total

2014: 38787
2013: 11177
2012: 99
2011: 139
2010: 126

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual female homicides by any means total

2014: 20787
2013: 3477
2012: 48
2011: 52
2010: 54

Gun Homicides

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual firearm homicides total

2013: 2330
2012: 12
2011: 32
2010: 27
2009: 2635 36 37 30
2008: 4038 39 40 30
2007: 1541 42 43 30
2006: 6144 45 46 30
2005: 3847 48 49 30
2004: 3650 51 52 30
2003: 2953 54 55 30
2002: 3956 57 58 30
2001: 3859 60 61 30
2000: 7162 63 64
1999: 4565 66 67 30
1998: 3368 69 70 30
1997: 4571 72 73
1996: 8474 75 76

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2013: 0.0477
2012: 0.02
2011: 0.05
2010: 0.04
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: 0.085
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

2012: 8%88

Male Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual male firearm homicides total

2013: 1877
2012: 10
2011: 28
2010: 21

Female Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual female firearm homicides total

2013: 577
2012: 2
2011: 4
2010: 6

Handgun Homicides

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual handgun homicides total

2013: 130
2012: 1
2008: 438 39 30
2007: 242 30
2006: 344 45 30
2005: 348 30
2004: 251 30
2003: 354 30
2001: 160 30

Rate of Handgun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2013: 0.0030
2012: 0.00
2008: 0.015 30
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: 630
2012: 4
2011: 1089
2010: 690 30
2009: 435 36 30
2008: 438 39 30
2007: 641 42 43 30
2006: 844 45 46 30
2005: 647 48 49 30
2004: 1150 51 52 30
2003: 653 55 30
2002: 856 58 30
2001: 859 60 30

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: 0.0130
2012: 0.01
2011: 0.025 30
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: 1630
2012: 7
2011: 2889 91 92 30
2010: 2790 93 94 30
2009: 2235 36 37 30
2008: 3238 39 40 30
2007: 742 43 30
2006: 5044 45 46 30
2005: 2947 48 49 30
2004: 2350 51 52 30
2003: 2053 54 55 30
2002: 3156 57 58 30
2001: 2959 61 30

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: 0.0330
2012: 0.01
2011: 0.045 30
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

2013: 4,82077
2012: 4,443
2011: 4,391
2010: 4,186
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

2013: 7.6077
2012: 7.05
2011: 7
2010: 6.71
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

Male Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual male suicides by any means total

2013: 3,82877
2012: 3,511
2011: 3,432
2010: 3,223

Female Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual female suicides by any means total

2013: 99277
2012: 932
2011: 959
2010: 963

Gun Suicides

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual firearm suicides total

2013: 10631
2012: 92
2011: 9389 91 92 31
2010: 10990 93 94 31
2009: 10135 36 37 31
2008: 12038 39 40 31
2007: 10041 42 43 31
2006: 13044 45 46 31
2005: 11147 48 49 31
2004: 10250 51 52 31
2003: 11753 54 55 31
2002: 10856 57 58 31
2001: 10759 60 61 31
2000: 13462 63 64
1999: 14065 66 67 31
1998: 13668 69 70 31
1997: 13771 72 73
1996: 13374 75 76
1995: 18495 96 97

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

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

2013: 0.1777
2012: 0.15
2011: 0.15
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: 0.235
1999: 0.245 31
1998: 0.23
1997: 0.235
1996: 0.23
1995: 0.32

Male Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual male firearm suicides total

2013: 10477
2012: 91
2011: 88
2010: 107

Female Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual female firearm suicides total

2013: 277
2012: 1
2011: 5
2010: 2

Handgun Suicides

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual handgun suicides total

2013: 231
2012: 1
2011: 191 31
2010: 194 31
2008: 438 39 31
2007: 141 31
2006: 244 45 31
2005: 148 31
2003: 453 54 31
2002: 356 57 31
2001: 259 61 31

Rate of Handgun Suicide per 100,000 People

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

2013: 0.0031
2012: 0.00
2011: 0.005 31
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: 5431
2012: 40
2011: 4389 91 92 31
2010: 5990 93 94 31
2009: 5535 36 37 31
2008: 6438 39 40 31
2007: 5241 42 43 31
2006: 7344 45 46 31
2005: 5647 48 49 31
2004: 5050 51 52 31
2003: 5953 54 55 31
2002: 5256 57 58 31
2001: 5959 60 61 31

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: 0.0831
2012: 0.06
2011: 0.075 31
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: 5031
2012: 51
2011: 4989 91 92 31
2010: 4990 93 94 31
2009: 4635 36 37 31
2008: 5238 39 40 31
2007: 4741 42 43 31
2006: 5544 45 46 31
2005: 5447 48 49 31
2004: 5250 51 52 31
2003: 5453 54 55 31
2002: 5356 57 58 31
2001: 4659 60 61 31

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: 0.0831
2012: 0.08
2011: 0.085 31
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: 532
2012: 6
2011: 289 92 32
2010: 890 32
2009: 1135 32
2008: 538 32
2007: 341 43 32
2006: 544 45 46 32
2005: 147 32
2004: 350 52 32
2003: 453 54 32
2002: 256 58 32
2001: 359 60 32
2000: 1262 63
1999: 665 32
1998: 732
1996: 275
1995: 1495 96

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: 0.0277
2012: 0.02
2011: 0.02
2010: 0.02
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: 0.025
1999: 0.015 32
1998: 0.0132
1996: 0.005
1995: 0.02

Unintentional Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual unintentional male shooting deaths total

2013: 577
2012: 6
2011: 1
2010: 8

Unintentional Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual unintentional female shooting deaths total

2013: 077
2012: 0
2011: 1
2010: 0

Unintentional Handgun Deaths

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

2013: 132
2006: 144 32
2000: 262

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: 0.0032
2006: 0.005
2000: 0.00

Unintentional Long Gun Deaths

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

2013: 232
2012: 3
2011: 192 32
2010: 390 32
2009: 535 32
2008: 338 32
2007: 143 32
2006: 245 46 32
2005: 147 32
2003: 253 54 32
2002: 256 58 32
2001: 159 32

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: 0.0032
2012: 0.00
2011: 0.005 32
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: 232
2012: 3
2011: 189 32
2010: 590 32
2009: 635 32
2008: 238 32
2007: 241 32
2006: 244 32
2005: 232
2004: 350 52 32
2003: 253 32
2002: 132
2001: 259 60 32

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: 0.0032
2012: 0.00
2011: 0.005 32
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: 1033
2012: 13
2011: 1089 92 33
2010: 1190 94 33
2009: 835 33
2008: 738 33
2007: 1141 43 33
2006: 1344 46 33
2005: 1147 49 33
2004: 1550 52 33
2003: 1353 54 55 33
2002: 2056 58 33
2001: 859 61 33
2000: 1762 64
1999: 2165 66 67
1998: 2768 69 70
1997: 573
1996: 2874 75 76
1995: 3295 96

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: 0.0233
2012: 0.02
2011: 0.025 33
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: 0.035
1999: 0.04
1998: 0.05
1997: 0.01
1996: 0.05
1995: 0.06

Male Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2013: 1077
2012: 13
2011: 9
2010: 11

Female Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2013: 077
2012: 0
2011: 1
2010: 0

Handgun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2013: 133
2004: 1
2003: 153 33
2002: 156
2001: 133

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: 0.0033
2004: 0.00
2003: 0.005 33
2002: 0.005
2001: 0.0033

Long Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2013: 333
2012: 6
2011: 689 92 33
2010: 690 94 33
2009: 435 33
2008: 338 33
2007: 241 43 33
2006: 444 46 33
2005: 747 49 33
2004: 850 52 33
2003: 553 55 33
2002: 1456 58 33
2001: 759 61 33

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: 0.0033
2012: 0.01
2011: 0.015 33
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: 633
2012: 7
2011: 489 92 33
2010: 590 94 33
2009: 435 33
2008: 438 33
2007: 941 43 33
2006: 944 33
2005: 447 33
2004: 750 33
2003: 753 54 55 33
2002: 556 33
2001: 159 33

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: 0.0133
2012: 0.01
2011: 0.015 33
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

Legal Intervention Gun Homicides

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

2013: 034
2012: 8
2011: 389 91
2010: 490
2009: 435 36
2008: 238
2007: 142
2006: 244
2005: 147

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 licence98 99 100

Small Arms Manufacture - World Ranking

In a classification of the world's small, medium and major firearm manufacturers, the United Kingdom was ranked 'medium'101

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In the United Kingdom, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law102 103 104 105 106

Firearm Exports (Number)

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

2017: 54,531107
2016: 36,071
2015: 101,546
2014: 87,652
2013: 98,511
2012: 131,894
2011: 27,513
2010: 67,029
2009: 59,969
2008: 277,551
2007: 255,847
2006: 358,904

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

ChartThe annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from the United Kingdom is reported by Customs to be US$

2016: 152,381,404108
2015: 159,670,011
2014: 203,075,850
2013: 188,134,307
2012: 174,266,049108 109 110
2011: 112,052,237111
2010: 79,000,000112
2001: 61,000,000109

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'113 114 115

Firearm Imports

In the United Kingdom, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law104 116 117 106

Firearm Imports (Number)

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

2017: 4,081107
2016: 4,467
2015: 1,104
2014: 2,666
2013: 30,061
2012: 4,246
2011: 3,573
2010: 7,734
2009: 39,211
2008: 26,791
2007: 59,436
2006: 519

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

ChartThe annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to the United Kingdom is reported by Customs to be US$

2016: 235,891,929108
2015: 224,924,468
2014: 245,788,887
2013: 208,130,096
2012: 227,816,473108 118 119 120 121
2011: 121,643,569111 122 123
2010: 180,000,000124
2001: 71,000,000118 125

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in the United Kingdom is moderate126 127

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In the United Kingdom, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law128 129 130 131

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in the United Kingdom include105 132 103 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

2017: 19.25133
2016: 19.75134
2014: 19.50135
2013: 19.25136
2012: 19.75137
2011: 20.00138
2010: 18.75139
2009: 19.00140
2008: 19.25141
2007: 16.00142
2006: 13.75143
2005: 16.50144
2004: 15.00145

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in the United Kingdom is categorised as restrictive146

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in the United Kingdom includes the Firearms Act 1968,147 the Export Control Act 2002,102 the Export Control Order 2008,148 the Import, Export and Customs Powers (Defence) Act 1939,104 the Import of Goods (Control) Order 1954,116 the European Council Directive of 18 June 1991 on Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Weapons,149 150 the European Union Firearms Regulation of 2012, the Common Position on the Control of Arms Brokering of 2003,151 and the Convention of 1 July 1969 on Reciprocal Recognition of Proofmarks on Small Arms152

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in the United Kingdom are regulated by the Chief Officer of the Police153 and the European Commission150

Right to Possess Firearms

In the United Kingdom, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law154 155 153

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In the United Kingdom, civilians are not allowed to possess semi automatic and automatic firearms, handguns and armour piercing ammunition156 157 158 159

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In the United Kingdom, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited156 157 158 159 88

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In the United Kingdom, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is prohibited156 157 160 161 159

Regulation of Handguns

In the United Kingdom, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is prohibited156 157 158 160 161 159 88

Law Regulates Long Guns

In the United Kingdom, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law162 156 88

Gun Ownership and Possession

In the United Kingdom, only licensed gun owners163 153 164 158 160 165 88 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 collection153 162 166 167 168

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 shotguns169 168

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 addiction170 171 172 168 88 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In the United Kingdom, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are required173 172

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in the United Kingdom stipulates174 175 176 177 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 required178 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 years179 172 165

Licensing Records

In the United Kingdom, authorities maintain a record17 7 18 9 19 157 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 firearms153

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in the United Kingdom are permitted to possess only approved quantities of ammunition153 180

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In the United Kingdom, the law requires181 17 7 21 9 19 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 required182 157 183 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 required182 100 157 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In the United Kingdom, State agencies are required184 181 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 the United Kingdom, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited without a permit to acquire98 185

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In the United Kingdom, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful98 186 187 161

Background Checks for Private Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm in a private sale in the United Kingdom is obliged171 to pass official background checks before taking possession

Background Checks for Dealer Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm from a licensed gun dealer in the United Kingdom is obliged171 to pass official background checks before taking possession

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in the United Kingdom include188 189 172 190 191 192 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 include178 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 include184 193 194 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in the United Kingdom include195 189 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 law100 117 181

Firearm Tracing

In the United Kingdom, state authorities carry out196 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 are197 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 prohibited198 88

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In the United Kingdom, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is prohibited198 88

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In the United Kingdom, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm199 is five to 10 years in prison, depending on gun type200 191 192

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in the United Kingdom are known to have201 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

2016: 850202
2003: 43,908203
1996: 23,000204

Firearms Surrendered and Seized

ChartIn the United Kingdom, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered, bought back or seized by authorities is reported to be

2016: 3,988202
2013: 406205
2009/14: 3,348206

Small Arms Destroyed

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

2017: 3,668207
2016: 2,063
2015: 9,837184
2013: 1,383208
2012: 2,167209
1997/99: 185,000210
1992/2007: 543,000201
1992-2001: 540,000210

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In the United Kingdom, it is state policy211 184 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 Parliament212 213

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 reports214 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, lists215 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 2006216 by the United Kingdom.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified217 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 ratified218 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 Aspects219

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. 35220 221 222 223 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 reports224 225 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 designated226 225

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In the United Kingdom, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated225

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 apparent227 226 225

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been donated225 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 declared228 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 1945229

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies lists230 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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