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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 Handguns

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

2004/05: 0.4%8
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 9 4 6

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

The rate of licensed firearm owners per 100 people in the United Kingdom is 1.3410

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in the United Kingdom is reported to be 2,149,3305 2 11 4 6

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in the United Kingdom is 3.4310

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of the United Kingdom are reported to have 900,00012 13 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 Ireland14 15 16 17

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in the United Kingdom are reported to have 272,88418 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2013: 14419 20 21 22
2012: 123
2011: 14623 24 25
2010: 16526 27 28 29
2009: 15030 31 32
2008: 17433 34 35
2007: 13036 37 38
2006: 21139 40 41
2005: 16242 43 44
2004: 15645 46 47
2003: 16348 49 50
2002: 16951 52 53
2001: 15654 55 56
2000: 23457 58 59
1999: 21260 61 62
1998: 19663 64 65
1997: 18766 67 68
1996: 24769 70 71

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: 0.2210
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

2011/12: 65372 73 74 75 76
2010/11: 76577 73 74 75
2009/10: 712
2008/09: 765
2007/08: 879
2006/07: 85677 73 74 75 78
2005/06: 83277 73 74 75
2004/05: 958
2003/04: 914
2002/03: 1,11277 73 74 75 79
2001/02: 95877 73 80 75
2000/01: 919
1999/00: 82877 73 80 81

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: 1.0310 75 76
2010/11: 1.2110 75
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: 1.4110

Gun Homicides

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual firearm homicides total

2013: 2319
2012: 12
2011: 3823 24 25 19
2010: 3326 27 28 19
2009: 2630 31 32 19
2008: 4033 34 35 19
2007: 1536 37 38 19
2006: 6139 40 41 19
2005: 3842 43 44 19
2004: 3645 46 47 19
2003: 2948 49 50 19
2002: 3951 52 53 19
2001: 3854 55 56 19
2000: 7157 58 59
1999: 4560 61 62 19
1998: 3363 64 65 19
1997: 4566 67 68
1996: 8469 70 71

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2013: 0.0419
2012: 0.02
2011: 0.0610 19
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: 0.0810
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%76

Handgun Homicides

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual handgun homicides total

2013: 119
2012: 1
2008: 433 34 19
2007: 237 19
2006: 339 40 19
2005: 343 19
2004: 246 19
2003: 349 19
2001: 155 19

Rate of Handgun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2013: 0.0019
2012: 0.00
2008: 0.0110 19
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: 619
2012: 4
2011: 1023
2010: 626 19
2009: 430 31 19
2008: 433 34 19
2007: 636 37 38 19
2006: 839 40 41 19
2005: 642 43 44 19
2004: 1145 46 47 19
2003: 648 50 19
2002: 851 53 19
2001: 854 55 19

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: 0.0119
2012: 0.01
2011: 0.0210 19
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: 1619
2012: 7
2011: 2823 24 25 19
2010: 2726 27 28 19
2009: 2230 31 32 19
2008: 3233 34 35 19
2007: 737 38 19
2006: 5039 40 41 19
2005: 2942 43 44 19
2004: 2345 46 47 19
2003: 2048 49 50 19
2002: 3151 52 53 19
2001: 2954 56 19

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: 0.0319
2012: 0.01
2011: 0.0410 19
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: 6,04582
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: 11.882
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: 10620
2012: 92
2011: 9323 24 25 20
2010: 10926 27 28 20
2009: 10130 31 32 20
2008: 12033 34 35 20
2007: 10036 37 38 20
2006: 13039 40 41 20
2005: 11142 43 44 20
2004: 10245 46 47 20
2003: 11748 49 50 20
2002: 10851 52 53 20
2001: 10754 55 56 20
2000: 13457 58 59
1999: 14060 61 62 20
1998: 13663 64 65 20
1997: 13766 67 68
1996: 13369 70 71
1995: 18483 84 85

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

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

2013: 0.1720
2012: 0.14
2011: 0.1510 20
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: 0.2310
1999: 0.2410 20
1998: 0.23
1997: 0.2310
1996: 0.23
1995: 0.32

Handgun Suicides

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual handgun suicides total

2013: 220
2012: 1
2011: 124 20
2010: 128 20
2008: 433 34 20
2007: 136 20
2006: 239 40 20
2005: 143 20
2003: 448 49 20
2002: 351 52 20
2001: 254 56 20

Rate of Handgun Suicide per 100,000 People

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

2013: 0.0020
2012: 0.00
2011: 0.0010 20
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: 5420
2012: 40
2011: 4323 24 25 20
2010: 5926 27 28 20
2009: 5530 31 32 20
2008: 6433 34 35 20
2007: 5236 37 38 20
2006: 7339 40 41 20
2005: 5642 43 44 20
2004: 5045 46 47 20
2003: 5948 49 50 20
2002: 5251 52 53 20
2001: 5954 55 56 20

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: 0.0820
2012: 0.06
2011: 0.0710 20
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: 5020
2012: 51
2011: 4923 24 25 20
2010: 4926 27 28 20
2009: 4630 31 32 20
2008: 5233 34 35 20
2007: 4736 37 38 20
2006: 5539 40 41 20
2005: 5442 43 44 20
2004: 5245 46 47 20
2003: 5448 49 50 20
2002: 5351 52 53 20
2001: 4654 55 56 20

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: 0.0820
2012: 0.08
2011: 0.0810 20
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: 521
2012: 6
2011: 223 25 21
2010: 826 21
2009: 1130 21
2008: 533 21
2007: 336 38 21
2006: 539 40 41 21
2005: 142 21
2004: 345 47 21
2003: 448 49 21
2002: 251 53 21
2001: 354 55 21
2000: 1257 58
1999: 660 21
1998: 721
1996: 270
1995: 1483 84

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: 0.0121
2012: 0.01
2011: 0.0010 21
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: 0.0210
1999: 0.0110 21
1998: 0.0121
1996: 0.0010
1995: 0.02

Unintentional Handgun Deaths

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

2013: 121
2006: 139 21
2000: 257

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: 0.0021
2006: 0.0010
2000: 0.00

Unintentional Long Gun Deaths

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

2013: 221
2012: 3
2011: 125 21
2010: 326 21
2009: 530 21
2008: 333 21
2007: 138 21
2006: 240 41 21
2005: 142 21
2003: 248 49 21
2002: 251 53 21
2001: 154 21

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: 0.0021
2012: 0.00
2011: 0.0010 21
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: 221
2012: 3
2011: 123 21
2010: 526 21
2009: 630 21
2008: 233 21
2007: 236 21
2006: 239 21
2005: 221
2004: 345 47 21
2003: 248 21
2002: 121
2001: 254 55 21

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: 0.0021
2012: 0.00
2011: 0.0010 21
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: 1022
2012: 13
2011: 1023 25 22
2010: 1126 28 22
2009: 830 22
2008: 733 22
2007: 1136 38 22
2006: 1339 41 22
2005: 1142 44 22
2004: 1545 47 22
2003: 1348 49 50 22
2002: 2051 53 22
2001: 854 56 22
2000: 1757 59
1999: 2160 61 62
1998: 2763 64 65
1997: 568
1996: 2869 70 71
1995: 3283 84

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: 0.0222
2012: 0.02
2011: 0.0210 22
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: 0.0310
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: 122
2004: 1
2003: 148 22
2002: 151
2001: 122

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: 0.0022
2004: 0.00
2003: 0.0010 22
2002: 0.0010
2001: 0.0022

Long Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2013: 322
2012: 6
2011: 623 25 22
2010: 626 28 22
2009: 430 22
2008: 333 22
2007: 236 38 22
2006: 439 41 22
2005: 742 44 22
2004: 845 47 22
2003: 548 50 22
2002: 1451 53 22
2001: 754 56 22

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: 0.0022
2012: 0.01
2011: 0.0110 22
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: 622
2012: 7
2011: 423 25 22
2010: 526 28 22
2009: 430 22
2008: 433 22
2007: 936 38 22
2006: 939 22
2005: 442 22
2004: 745 22
2003: 748 49 50 22
2002: 551 22
2001: 154 22

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: 0.0122
2012: 0.01
2011: 0.0110 22
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: 323 24
2010: 426
2009: 430 31
2008: 233
2007: 137
2006: 239
2005: 142

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 licence86 87 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

Firearm Exports

In the United Kingdom, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105

Firearm Exports (Number) - Manufacturers

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

2012: 126,391106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114

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$112,052,237115 (2011)116 117 118

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'119 120 121

Firearm Imports

In the United Kingdom, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law96 97 122 123 124 125 98 101 102 103 104

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$121,643,569115 (2011)126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133

Firearm Imports (Number) - Customs

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

2012: 3,206134

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in the United Kingdom is moderate135

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In the United Kingdom, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law136 137 138 139

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in the United Kingdom include100 140 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: 19.75141
2014: 19.50142
2013: 19.25143
2012: 19.75144
2011: 20.00145
2010: 18.75146
2009: 19.00147
2008: 19.25148
2007: 16.00149
2006: 13.75150
2005: 16.50151
2004: 15.00152

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in the United Kingdom is categorised as restrictive153

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in the United Kingdom includes the Firearms Act 1968,154 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 1954,122 the European Council Directive of 18 June 1991 on Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Weapons,155 156 the European Union Firearms Regulation of 2012, the Common Position on the Control of Arms Brokering of 2003,157 and the Convention of 1 July 1969 on Reciprocal Recognition of Proofmarks on Small Arms158

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in the United Kingdom are regulated by the Chief Officer of the Police159 and the European Commission156

Right to Possess Firearms

In the United Kingdom, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law160 161 159

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In the United Kingdom, civilians are not allowed to possess semi automatic and automatic firearms, handguns and armour piercing ammunition162 163 164 165

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In the United Kingdom, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited162 163 164 165 76

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In the United Kingdom, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is prohibited162 163 166 167 165

Regulation of Handguns

In the United Kingdom, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is prohibited162 163 164 166 167 165 76

Law Regulates Long Guns

In the United Kingdom, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law168 162 76

Gun Ownership and Possession

In the United Kingdom, only licensed gun owners169 159 170 164 166 171 76 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 collection159 168 172 173 174

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 shotguns175 174

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 addiction176 177 178 174 76 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In the United Kingdom, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are required179 178

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in the United Kingdom stipulates180 181 182 183 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 required184 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 years185 178 171

Licensing Records

In the United Kingdom, authorities maintain a record5 2 9 4 6 163 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 firearms159

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in the United Kingdom are permitted to possess only approved quantities of ammunition159 186

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In the United Kingdom, the law requires187 5 2 11 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 required188 163 189 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 required188 88 163 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 required190 187 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 acquire86 191

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In the United Kingdom, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful86 192 193 167

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in the United Kingdom include194 195 178 196 197 198 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 include184 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 include190 199 200 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in the United Kingdom include201 195 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 law202 88 98 187 203 204

Firearm Tracing

In the United Kingdom, state authorities carry out205 206 204 189 207 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 not208 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 prohibited209 76

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In the United Kingdom, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is prohibited209 76

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In the United Kingdom, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm210 is five to 10 years in prison, depending on gun type211 197 198

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in the United Kingdom are known to have212 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: 43,908213
1996: 23,000214

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: 406215
2009/14: 3,348216

Small Arms Destroyed

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

2015: 9,837190
2013: 1,383217
2012: 2,167218
1997/99: 185,000219
1992/2007: 543,000212
1992-2001: 540,000219

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In the United Kingdom, it is state policy220 190 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 Parliament221 222

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 reports223 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, lists224 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 2006225 by the United Kingdom.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified226 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 ratified227 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 Aspects228

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. 35229 230 231 232 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 reports233 234 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 designated235 234

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In the United Kingdom, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated234

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 apparent236 235 234

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been donated234 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 declared237 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 1945238

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies lists239 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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