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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

2011: 14619 20 21
2010: 16522 23 24 25
2009: 15026 27 28
2008: 17429 30 31
2007: 13032 33 34
2006: 21135 36 37
2005: 16238 39 40
2004: 15641 42 43
2003: 16344 45 46
2002: 16947 48 49
2001: 15650 51 52
2000: 23453 54 55
1999: 21256 57 58
1998: 19659 60 61
1997: 18762 63 64
1996: 24765 66 67

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: 0.2310
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: 65368 69 70 71 72
2010/11: 76573 69 70 71
2009/10: 712
2008/09: 765
2007/08: 879
2006/07: 85673 69 70 71 74
2005/06: 83273 69 70 71
2004/05: 958
2003/04: 914
2002/03: 1,11273 69 70 71 75
2001/02: 95873 69 76 71
2000/01: 919
1999/00: 82873 69 76 77

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 71 72
2010/11: 1.2210 71
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

2011: 3819 20 21
2010: 3322 23 24 78
2009: 2626 27 28 78
2008: 4029 30 31 78
2007: 1532 33 34 78
2006: 6135 36 37 78
2005: 3838 39 40 78
2004: 3641 42 43 78
2003: 2944 45 46 78
2002: 3947 48 49 78
2001: 3850 51 52 78
2000: 7153 54 55
1999: 4556 57 58 78
1998: 3359 60 61 78
1997: 4562 63 64
1996: 8465 66 67

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2011: 0.0610
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: 0.08
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%72

Handgun Homicides

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual handgun homicides total

2008: 429 30 78
2007: 233 78
2006: 335 36 78
2005: 339 78
2004: 242 78
2003: 345 78
2001: 151 78

Rate of Handgun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2008: 0.0110
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

2011: 1019
2010: 622 78
2009: 426 27 78
2008: 429 30 78
2007: 632 33 34 78
2006: 835 36 37 78
2005: 638 39 40 78
2004: 1141 42 43 78
2003: 644 46 78
2002: 847 49 78
2001: 850 51 78

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

2011: 0.0210
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

2011: 2819 20 21
2010: 2722 23 24 78
2009: 2226 27 28 78
2008: 3229 30 31 78
2007: 733 34 78
2006: 5035 36 37 78
2005: 2938 39 40 78
2004: 2341 42 43 78
2003: 2044 45 46 78
2002: 3147 48 49 78
2001: 2950 52 78

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

2011: 0.0410
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: 6,04579
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: 11.879
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

2011: 9319 20 21
2010: 10922 23 24 80
2009: 10126 27 28 80
2008: 12029 30 31 80
2007: 10032 33 34 80
2006: 13035 36 37 80
2005: 11138 39 40 80
2004: 10241 42 43 80
2003: 11744 45 46 80
2002: 10847 48 49 80
2001: 10750 51 52 80
2000: 13453 54 55
1999: 14056 57 58 80
1998: 13659 60 61 80
1997: 13762 63 64
1996: 13365 66 67
1995: 18481 82 83

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

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

2011: 0.1510
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: 0.23
1999: 0.24
1998: 0.23
1997: 0.23
1996: 0.23
1995: 0.32

Handgun Suicides

ChartIn the United Kingdom, annual handgun suicides total

2011: 120
2010: 124 80
2008: 429 30 80
2007: 132 80
2006: 235 36 80
2005: 139 80
2003: 444 45 80
2002: 347 48 80
2001: 250 52 80

Rate of Handgun Suicide per 100,000 People

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

2011: 0.0010
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

2011: 4319 20 21
2010: 5922 23 24 80
2009: 5526 27 28 80
2008: 6429 30 31 80
2007: 5232 33 34 80
2006: 7335 36 37 80
2005: 5638 39 40 80
2004: 5041 42 43 80
2003: 5944 45 46 80
2002: 5247 48 49 80
2001: 5950 51 52 80

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

2011: 0.0710
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

2011: 4919 20 21
2010: 4922 23 24 80
2009: 4626 27 28 80
2008: 5229 30 31 80
2007: 4732 33 34 80
2006: 5535 36 37 80
2005: 5438 39 40 80
2004: 5241 42 43 80
2003: 5444 45 46 80
2002: 5347 48 49 80
2001: 4650 51 52 80

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

2011: 0.0810
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

2011: 219 21
2010: 822 84
2009: 1126 84
2008: 529 84
2007: 332 34 84
2006: 535 36 37 84
2005: 138 84
2004: 341 43 84
2003: 444 45 84
2002: 247 49 84
2001: 350 51 84
2000: 1253 54
1999: 656 84
1998: 784
1996: 266
1995: 1481 82

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

2011: 0.0010
2010: 0.0110 84
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 84
1998: 0.0184
1996: 0.0010
1995: 0.02

Unintentional Handgun Deaths

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

2006: 135 84
2000: 253

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

2006: 0.0010
2000: 0.00

Unintentional Long Gun Deaths

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

2011: 121
2010: 322 84
2009: 526 84
2008: 329 84
2007: 134 84
2006: 236 37 84
2005: 138 84
2003: 244 45 84
2002: 247 49 84
2001: 150 84

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

2011: 0.0010
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

2011: 119
2010: 522 84
2009: 626 84
2008: 229 84
2007: 232 84
2006: 235 84
2005: 284
2004: 341 43 84
2003: 244 84
2002: 184
2001: 250 51 84

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

2011: 0.0010
2010: 0.01
2009: 0.01
2008: 0.00
2007: 0.00
2006: 0.00
2005: 0.0084
2004: 0.0110
2003: 0.00
2002: 0.0084
2001: 0.0010

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2011: 1019 21
2010: 1122 24 85
2009: 826 85
2008: 729 85
2007: 1132 34 85
2006: 1335 37 85
2005: 1138 40 85
2004: 1541 43 85
2003: 1344 45 46 85
2002: 2047 49 85
2001: 850 52 85
2000: 1753 55
1999: 2156 57 58
1998: 2759 60 61
1997: 564
1996: 2865 66 67
1995: 3281 82

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

2011: 0.0210
2010: 0.0210 85
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

2004: 185
2003: 144 85
2002: 147
2001: 185

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

2004: 0.0085
2003: 0.0010 85
2002: 0.0010
2001: 0.0085

Long Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2011: 619 21
2010: 622 24 85
2009: 426 85
2008: 329 85
2007: 232 34 85
2006: 435 37 85
2005: 738 40 85
2004: 841 43 85
2003: 544 46 85
2002: 1447 49 85
2001: 750 52 85

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

2011: 0.0110
2010: 0.0110 85
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

2011: 419 21
2010: 522 24 85
2009: 426 85
2008: 429 85
2007: 932 34 85
2006: 935 85
2005: 438 85
2004: 741 85
2003: 744 45 46 85
2002: 547 85
2001: 150 85

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

2011: 0.0110
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: 319 20
2010: 422
2009: 426 27
2008: 229
2007: 133
2006: 235
2005: 138

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

Small Arms Manufacture - World Ranking

In a classification of the world's small, medium and major firearm manufacturers, the United Kingdom was ranked 'medium'88

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In the United Kingdom, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103

Firearm Exports (Number) - Manufacturers

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

2012: 126,391104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112

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$112,052,237113 (2011)114 115 116

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'117 118 119

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In the United Kingdom, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law95 96 120 121 122 123 99 100 101 102

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$121,643,569113 (2011)124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131

Firearm Imports (Number) - Customs

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

2012: 3,206132

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in the United Kingdom is moderate133

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In the United Kingdom, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law134 135 136 137

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in the United Kingdom include98 138 94 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

2014: 19.50139
2013: 19.25140
2012: 19.75141
2011: 20.00142
2010: 18.75143
2009: 19.00144
2008: 19.25145
2007: 16.00146
2006: 13.75147
2005: 16.50148
2004: 15.00149

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in the United Kingdom is categorised as restrictive150

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in the United Kingdom includes the Firearms Act 1968,151 the Export Control Act 2002,89 the Export Control Order 2008,91 the Import, Export and Customs Powers (Defence) Act 1939,95 the Import of Goods (Control) Order 1954,120 the European Council Directive of 18 June 1991 on Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Weapons,152 153 the European Union Firearms Regulation of 2012, the Common Position on the Control of Arms Brokering of 2003,154 and the Convention of 1 July 1969 on Reciprocal Recognition of Proofmarks on Small Arms155

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in the United Kingdom are regulated by the Chief Officer of the Police156 and the European Commission153

Right to Possess Firearms

In the United Kingdom, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law157 158 156

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In the United Kingdom, civilians are not allowed to possess semi automatic and automatic firearms, handguns and armour piercing ammunition159 160 161 162

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In the United Kingdom, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited159 160 161 162 72

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In the United Kingdom, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is prohibited159 160 163 164 162

Regulation of Handguns

In the United Kingdom, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is prohibited159 160 161 163 164 162 72

Law Regulates Long Guns

In the United Kingdom, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law165 159 72

Gun Ownership and Possession

In the United Kingdom, only licensed gun owners166 156 167 161 163 168 72 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 collection156 165 169 170 171

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 shotguns172 171

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 addiction173 174 175 171 72 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In the United Kingdom, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are required176 175

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in the United Kingdom stipulates177 178 179 180 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 required181 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 years182 175 168

Licensing Records

In the United Kingdom, authorities maintain a record5 2 9 4 6 160 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 firearms156

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in the United Kingdom are permitted to possess only approved quantities of ammunition156 183

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In the United Kingdom, the law requires5 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 required184 160 185 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 required184 160 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 permitted86 186

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 187 188 164

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in the United Kingdom include189 190 175 191 192 193 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 include181 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 include194 195 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in the United Kingdom include196 190 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 law197 198 199

Firearm Tracing

In the United Kingdom, state authorities carry out200 199 185 201 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 not202 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 prohibited203 72

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In the United Kingdom, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is prohibited203 72

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In the United Kingdom, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm204 is five to 10 years in prison, depending on gun type205 192 193

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in the United Kingdom are known to have206 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: 43,908207
1996: 23,000208

Small Arms Destroyed

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

2012: 2,167209
1997/99: 185,000210
1992/2007: 543,000206
1992-2001: 540,000210

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In the United Kingdom, it is state policy211 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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