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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

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

2010: 2,373,1861 2 3
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

2010: 3.785 6 3
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 1,584,10810 8 11

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

2010: 859,47710 7 14 9 11
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

2010: 1.375
2009: 1.37
2008: 1.32

Number of Registered Firearms

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

2010: 2,157,44310 7 15 9 11
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

2010: 3.445
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

2010: 215,7431 16 3
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

2010: 0.345
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 900,00017 18 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 Ireland19 20 21 22

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in the United Kingdom are reported to have 272,88423 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2013: 14424 25 26 27
2012: 123
2011: 14628 29 30
2010: 16531 32 33 34
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: 0.225
2012: 0.19
2011: 0.23
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

2012: 65377 78 79 80 81
2011: 76582 78 79 80
2010: 712
2009: 765
2008: 879
2007: 85682 78 79 80 83
2006: 83282 78 79 80
2005: 958
2004: 914
2003: 1,11282 78 79 80 84
2002: 95882 78 85 80
2001: 919
1999: 82882 78 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

2012: 1.035 80 81
2011: 1.215 80
2010: 1.14
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

Gun Homicides

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual firearm homicides total

2013: 2324
2012: 12
2011: 3828 29 30 24
2010: 3331 32 33 24
2009: 2635 36 37 24
2008: 4038 39 40 24
2007: 1541 42 43 24
2006: 6144 45 46 24
2005: 3847 48 49 24
2004: 3650 51 52 24
2003: 2953 54 55 24
2002: 3956 57 58 24
2001: 3859 60 61 24
2000: 7162 63 64
1999: 4565 66 67 24
1998: 3368 69 70 24
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: 0.0424
2012: 0.02
2011: 0.065 24
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: 0.085
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%81

Handgun Homicides

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual handgun homicides total

2013: 124
2012: 1
2008: 438 39 24
2007: 242 24
2006: 344 45 24
2005: 348 24
2004: 251 24
2003: 354 24
2001: 160 24

Rate of Handgun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2013: 0.0024
2012: 0.00
2008: 0.015 24
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: 624
2012: 4
2011: 1028
2010: 631 24
2009: 435 36 24
2008: 438 39 24
2007: 641 42 43 24
2006: 844 45 46 24
2005: 647 48 49 24
2004: 1150 51 52 24
2003: 653 55 24
2002: 856 58 24
2001: 859 60 24

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: 0.0124
2012: 0.01
2011: 0.025 24
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: 1624
2012: 7
2011: 2828 29 30 24
2010: 2731 32 33 24
2009: 2235 36 37 24
2008: 3238 39 40 24
2007: 742 43 24
2006: 5044 45 46 24
2005: 2947 48 49 24
2004: 2350 51 52 24
2003: 2053 54 55 24
2002: 3156 57 58 24
2001: 2959 61 24

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: 0.0324
2012: 0.01
2011: 0.045 24
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: 6,04587
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: 11.887
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: 10625
2012: 92
2011: 9328 29 30 25
2010: 10931 32 33 25
2009: 10135 36 37 25
2008: 12038 39 40 25
2007: 10041 42 43 25
2006: 13044 45 46 25
2005: 11147 48 49 25
2004: 10250 51 52 25
2003: 11753 54 55 25
2002: 10856 57 58 25
2001: 10759 60 61 25
2000: 13462 63 64
1999: 14065 66 67 25
1998: 13668 69 70 25
1997: 13771 72 73
1996: 13374 75 76
1995: 18488 89 90

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

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

2013: 0.1725
2012: 0.14
2011: 0.155 25
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 25
1998: 0.23
1997: 0.235
1996: 0.23
1995: 0.32

Handgun Suicides

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual handgun suicides total

2013: 225
2012: 1
2011: 129 25
2010: 133 25
2008: 438 39 25
2007: 141 25
2006: 244 45 25
2005: 148 25
2003: 453 54 25
2002: 356 57 25
2001: 259 61 25

Rate of Handgun Suicide per 100,000 People

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

2013: 0.0025
2012: 0.00
2011: 0.005 25
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: 5425
2012: 40
2011: 4328 29 30 25
2010: 5931 32 33 25
2009: 5535 36 37 25
2008: 6438 39 40 25
2007: 5241 42 43 25
2006: 7344 45 46 25
2005: 5647 48 49 25
2004: 5050 51 52 25
2003: 5953 54 55 25
2002: 5256 57 58 25
2001: 5959 60 61 25

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: 0.0825
2012: 0.06
2011: 0.075 25
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: 5025
2012: 51
2011: 4928 29 30 25
2010: 4931 32 33 25
2009: 4635 36 37 25
2008: 5238 39 40 25
2007: 4741 42 43 25
2006: 5544 45 46 25
2005: 5447 48 49 25
2004: 5250 51 52 25
2003: 5453 54 55 25
2002: 5356 57 58 25
2001: 4659 60 61 25

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: 0.0825
2012: 0.08
2011: 0.085 25
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: 526
2012: 6
2011: 228 30 26
2010: 831 26
2009: 1135 26
2008: 538 26
2007: 341 43 26
2006: 544 45 46 26
2005: 147 26
2004: 350 52 26
2003: 453 54 26
2002: 256 58 26
2001: 359 60 26
2000: 1262 63
1999: 665 26
1998: 726
1996: 275
1995: 1488 89

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: 0.0126
2012: 0.01
2011: 0.005 26
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: 0.025
1999: 0.015 26
1998: 0.0126
1996: 0.005
1995: 0.02

Unintentional Handgun Deaths

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

2013: 126
2006: 144 26
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: 0.0026
2006: 0.005
2000: 0.00

Unintentional Long Gun Deaths

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

2013: 226
2012: 3
2011: 130 26
2010: 331 26
2009: 535 26
2008: 338 26
2007: 143 26
2006: 245 46 26
2005: 147 26
2003: 253 54 26
2002: 256 58 26
2001: 159 26

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: 0.0026
2012: 0.00
2011: 0.005 26
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: 226
2012: 3
2011: 128 26
2010: 531 26
2009: 635 26
2008: 238 26
2007: 241 26
2006: 244 26
2005: 226
2004: 350 52 26
2003: 253 26
2002: 126
2001: 259 60 26

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: 0.0026
2012: 0.00
2011: 0.005 26
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: 1027
2012: 13
2011: 1028 30 27
2010: 1131 33 27
2009: 835 27
2008: 738 27
2007: 1141 43 27
2006: 1344 46 27
2005: 1147 49 27
2004: 1550 52 27
2003: 1353 54 55 27
2002: 2056 58 27
2001: 859 61 27
2000: 1762 64
1999: 2165 66 67
1998: 2768 69 70
1997: 573
1996: 2874 75 76
1995: 3288 89

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: 0.0227
2012: 0.02
2011: 0.025 27
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

Handgun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2013: 127
2004: 1
2003: 153 27
2002: 156
2001: 127

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: 0.0027
2004: 0.00
2003: 0.005 27
2002: 0.005
2001: 0.0027

Long Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2013: 327
2012: 6
2011: 628 30 27
2010: 631 33 27
2009: 435 27
2008: 338 27
2007: 241 43 27
2006: 444 46 27
2005: 747 49 27
2004: 850 52 27
2003: 553 55 27
2002: 1456 58 27
2001: 759 61 27

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: 0.0027
2012: 0.01
2011: 0.015 27
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: 627
2012: 7
2011: 428 30 27
2010: 531 33 27
2009: 435 27
2008: 438 27
2007: 941 43 27
2006: 944 27
2005: 447 27
2004: 750 27
2003: 753 54 55 27
2002: 556 27
2001: 159 27

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: 0.0127
2012: 0.01
2011: 0.015 27
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: 328 29
2010: 431
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 licence91 92 93

Small Arms Manufacture - World Ranking

In a classification of the world's small, medium and major firearm manufacturers, the United Kingdom was ranked 'medium'94

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In the United Kingdom, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110

Firearm Exports (Number) - Manufacturers

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

2012: 126,391111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119

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$112,052,237120 (2011)121 122 123

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'124 125 126

Firearm Imports

In the United Kingdom, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law101 102 127 128 129 130 103 106 107 108 109

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$121,643,569120 (2011)131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138

Firearm Imports (Number) - Customs

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

2012: 3,206139

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in the United Kingdom is moderate140

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In the United Kingdom, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law141 142 143 144

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in the United Kingdom include105 145 100 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: 19.75146
2014: 19.50147
2013: 19.25148
2012: 19.75149
2011: 20.00150
2010: 18.75151
2009: 19.00152
2008: 19.25153
2007: 16.00154
2006: 13.75155
2005: 16.50156
2004: 15.00157

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in the United Kingdom is categorised as restrictive158

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in the United Kingdom includes the Firearms Act 1968,159 the Export Control Act 2002,95 the Export Control Order 2008,97 the Import, Export and Customs Powers (Defence) Act 1939,101 the Import of Goods (Control) Order 1954,127 the European Council Directive of 18 June 1991 on Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Weapons,160 161 the European Union Firearms Regulation of 2012, the Common Position on the Control of Arms Brokering of 2003,162 and the Convention of 1 July 1969 on Reciprocal Recognition of Proofmarks on Small Arms163

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in the United Kingdom are regulated by the Chief Officer of the Police164 and the European Commission161

Right to Possess Firearms

In the United Kingdom, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law165 166 164

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In the United Kingdom, civilians are not allowed to possess semi automatic and automatic firearms, handguns and armour piercing ammunition167 168 169 170

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In the United Kingdom, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited167 168 169 170 81

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In the United Kingdom, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is prohibited167 168 171 172 170

Regulation of Handguns

In the United Kingdom, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is prohibited167 168 169 171 172 170 81

Law Regulates Long Guns

In the United Kingdom, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law173 167 81

Gun Ownership and Possession

In the United Kingdom, only licensed gun owners174 164 175 169 171 176 81 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 collection164 173 177 178 179

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 shotguns180 179

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 addiction181 182 183 179 81 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In the United Kingdom, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are required184 183

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in the United Kingdom stipulates185 186 187 188 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 required189 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 years190 183 176

Licensing Records

In the United Kingdom, authorities maintain a record10 7 14 9 11 168 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 firearms164

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in the United Kingdom are permitted to possess only approved quantities of ammunition164 191

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In the United Kingdom, the law requires192 10 7 15 9 11 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 required193 168 194 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 required193 93 168 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 required195 192 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 acquire91 196

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In the United Kingdom, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful91 197 198 172

Background Checks for Private Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm in a private sale in the United Kingdom is obliged182 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 obliged182 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 include199 200 183 201 202 203 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 include189 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 include195 204 205 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in the United Kingdom include206 200 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 law207 93 103 192 208 209

Firearm Tracing

In the United Kingdom, state authorities carry out210 211 209 194 212 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 not213 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 prohibited214 81

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In the United Kingdom, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is prohibited214 81

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In the United Kingdom, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm215 is five to 10 years in prison, depending on gun type216 202 203

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in the United Kingdom are known to have217 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: 43,908218
1996: 23,000219

Firearms Surrendered and Seized

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

2013: 406220
2009/14: 3,348221

Small Arms Destroyed

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

2015: 9,837195
2013: 1,383222
2012: 2,167223
1997/99: 185,000224
1992/2007: 543,000217
1992-2001: 540,000224

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In the United Kingdom, it is state policy225 195 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 Parliament226 227

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 reports228 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, lists229 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 2006230 by the United Kingdom.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified231 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 ratified232 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 Aspects233

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. 35234 235 236 237 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 reports238 239 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 designated240 239

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In the United Kingdom, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated239

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 apparent241 240 239

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been donated239 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 declared242 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 1945243

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies lists244 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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