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Uruguay — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law

StockpilesGun Numbers

Civilian Guns

Number of Privately Owned Firearms

The estimated total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in Uruguay is 1,100,0001 2 3

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in Uruguay is 31.83 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Uruguay ranked at No. 464

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Uruguay ranked at No. 93

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in Uruguay is reported to be 580,0005 6

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in Uruguay is 17.407

Estimated Number of Illicit Firearms

Unlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Uruguay there are estimated to be 500,0002 8

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Uruguay are reported to have 61,0002 9 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Uruguay are reported to have 30,0002 10 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Uruguay, annual homicides by any means total

2011: 19911
2010: 20512 11
2009: 226
2008: 221
2007: 194
2006: 203
2005: 188
2004: 200
2003: 197
2002: 231
2001: 218
2000: 214
1999: 13613
1998: 122

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

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

2011: 5.911
2010: 6.1
2009: 6.7212 11
2008: 6.60
2007: 5.81
2006: 6.09
2005: 5.66
2004: 6.02
2003: 5.93
2002: 6.95
2001: 6.56
2000: 6.45
1999: 4.1113 11
1998: 3.71
1997: 4.711
1996: 4.4
1995: 4.7

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Uruguay, annual firearm homicides total

2004: 9311 14
2003: 87
2002: 10911 15
2001: 182
2000: 8411 13
1999: 8713
1998: 75

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2009: 3.4312
2008: 3.36
2007: 2.96
2006: 3.11
2005: 2.88
2004: 2.811 12
2003: 2.6
2002: 3.3
2001: 5.5
2000: 2.5
1999: 2.6313
1998: 2.28

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Uruguay, annual suicides by any means total

2010: 61516
2009: 548
2008: 566
2007: 598
2006: 555
2005: 491
2004: 528
2003: 647
2002: 673
2001: 550
2000: 586
1990: 31817

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

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

2006: 16.7016
2004: 15.80
1990: 9.3117

Gun Suicides

In Uruguay, annual firearm suicides total 2000: 24017

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

In Uruguay, the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is 2000: 7.0317

Unintentional Gun Deaths

In Uruguay, annual unintentional shooting deaths total 2000: 11817

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

In Uruguay, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death per 100,000 population is 2000: 3.4617

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

In Uruguay, annual shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total 2000: 317

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

In Uruguay, the annual rate of unknown-cause shooting deaths per 100,000 population is 2000: 0.097

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In Uruguay, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law18 19

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Uruguay is reported by Customs to be US$46,10620 (2010)

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In Uruguay, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law18 19

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Uruguay is reported by Customs to be US$2,359,22920 (2011)

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Uruguay, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law19

MeasuresGun Regulation

Gun Ownership and Possession

Gun Licence Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Uruguay must pass a background check which considers mental5 records

Firearm Safety Training

In Uruguay, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is required5 for a firearm licence

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Uruguay, the law requires18 that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Uruguay, State agencies are required21 to maintain records of the storage and movement of all firearms and ammunition under their control

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Uruguay, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law22

Firearm Tracing

In Uruguay, state authorities carry out18 23 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Uruguay, the maximum penalty for illicit firearm possession is 12 years prison5

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Uruguay are known to have8 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Small Arms Destroyed

In Uruguay, the total number of firearms destroyed following recent amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be 19,6978 (1998-2006)

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

Organization of American States

On 14 November 1997, as a member of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Uruguay adopted the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Explosives, Ammunition and Other Related Materials (CIFTA), a legally binding multilateral treaty of which the OAS is depository. The CIFTA Convention has since been signed and ratified24 25 by Uruguay

United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

At the resumption of the most recent session of the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (UNCCPCJ), a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council mandated to promote action to prevent national and transnational crime, Uruguay was listed as an elected member for a three-year term of office26

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 not signed27 by Uruguay.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed, but not yet ratified28 by Uruguay

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 and ratified29 by Uruguay

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Uruguay 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 Aspects30

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Uruguay has submitted one or more national reports31 23 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Uruguay, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated32 23

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Uruguay, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated32 23

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated23 by Uruguay to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Uruguay has not declared33 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Uruguay has been a Member State of the United Nations since 194534

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list35 Uruguay as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


Short References

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Karp, Aaron.2009.‘Country Summaries – Uruguay.’ Surplus Arms in South America: A Survey.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,1 August. (Q5315)Full Citation

2.

Karp, Aaron.2009.‘Estimated Total Small Arms, Firearms, and Surpluses in Uruguay, Rounded.’ Surplus Arms in South America: A Survey.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,1 August. (Q5316)Full Citation

3.

Karp, Aaron.2007.‘Completing the Count: Civilian firearms - Annexe online.’ Small Arms Survey 2007: Guns and the City.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,27 August. (Q5)Full Citation

4.

Karp, Aaron.2007.‘Completing the Count: Civilian firearms.’ Small Arms Survey 2007: Guns and the City.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,27 August. (Q4)Full Citation

5.

Diario UNO de Entre Rios (Argentina). 2014. ‘Uno De Cada Seis Uruguayos Tiene Un Arma En Su Casa.’ 11 March. (N322) Full Citation

6.

OAS Observatory on Citizen Security.2011.‘Civilian Firearms Legally Registered.’ Report on Citizen Security in the Americas 2011.Washington, DC:Organisation of American States,1 January. (Q5679)Full Citation

7.

GunPolicy.org.2011.‘Calculated Rates – Uruguay.’ Historical Population Data – USCB International Data Base.Suitland, MD:US Census Bureau Population Division,17 March. (Q4294)Full Citation

8.

Karp, Aaron.2009.‘Country Summaries – Uruguay.’ Surplus Arms in South America: A Survey.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,1 August. (Q5317)Full Citation

9.

Karp, Aaron.2006.‘Trickle and Torrent: State stockpiles.’ Small Arms Survey 2006: Unfinished Business.Oxford:Oxford University Press,1 July. (Q6)Full Citation

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Karp, Aaron.2006.‘Trickle and Torrent: State stockpiles.’ Small Arms Survey 2006: Unfinished Business.Oxford:Oxford University Press,1 July. (Q7)Full Citation

11.

UNODC.2013.‘Homicide in 207 Countries - Uruguay.’ Global Study on Homicide 2011: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,26 June. (Q6328)Full Citation

12.

OAS Observatory on Citizen Security.2011.‘Intentional Homicide.’ Report on Citizen Security in the Americas 2011.Washington, DC:Organisation of American States,1 January. (Q5678)Full Citation

13.

UNODC.2004.‘Recorded Intentional Homicide, Completed.’ Seventh United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (1998-2000).Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,19 March. (Q91)Full Citation

14.

UNODC.2006.‘Reported Overall Homicide Numbers and Rates per 100,000 Population for 64 Countries, 2003-04.’ Ninth United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (2003 – 2004).Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,10 December. (Q9)Full Citation

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UNODC.2005.‘Recorded Homicide and Firearm Homicide in 53 Countries, Completed or Attempted.’ Eighth United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (2001-2002).Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,15 April. (Q1077)Full Citation

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OAS Observatory on Citizen Security.2011.‘Suicide.’ Report on Citizen Security in the Americas 2011.Washington, DC:Organisation of American States,1 January. (Q5680)Full Citation

17.

Jackson, Thomas.2005.‘Global Gun Deaths.’ NISAT Firearm Mortality Database 2005.Oslo:Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers,1 January. (Q12)Full Citation

18.

Uruguay.2008.‘Registration.’ National Report of Uruguay on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York:Permanent Mission of Uruguay to the United Nations,31 March. (Q4643)Full Citation

19.

IANSA.2006.‘Reviewing Action on Small Arms 2006: Assessing the first five years of the UN Programme of Action.’ Biting the Bullet 'Red Book' 2006.New York:International Action Network on Small Arms and the Biting the Bullet project,26 June. (Q82)Full Citation

20.

Marsh, Nicholas.2013.‘Database of Authorised Transfers of Small Arms and Light Weapons.’ NISAT Small Arms Trade Database.Oslo:Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers,14 February. (Q16)Full Citation

21.

Uruguay.2010.‘State Firearms (Armas del Estado).’ National Report of Uruguay on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York:Permanent Mission of Uruguay to the United Nations,10 March. (Q4641)Full Citation

22.

Uruguay.2008.‘Marking.’ National Report of Uruguay on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York:Permanent Mission of Uruguay to the United Nations,31 March. (Q4642)Full Citation

23.

UNODA.2009.‘PoA-ISS Country Profiles.’ UN small arms Programme of Action (UNPoA) – Implementation Support System.New York:United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs,29 October. (Q1309)Full Citation

24.

OAS / UNODA.1997.‘Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Explosives, Ammunition and Other Related Materials / CIFTA.’ United Nations Programme of Action Implementation Support System: Regional Organisations.New York:Organization of American States / United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,14 November. (Q3244)Full Citation

25.

OAS.1997.‘Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Explosives, Ammunition and Other Related Materials (CIFTA): Signatures and Ratifications.’ Organization of American States, Department of International Law.Washington DC:Organization of American States,14 November. (Q3262)Full Citation

26.

UNCCPCJ / UNODC.1991.‘Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.’ United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.Vienna:United Nations Economic and Social Council / United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,1 January. (Q3222)Full Citation

27.

GDAV.2006.‘Geneva Declaration.’ Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development.Geneva:Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development Secretariat,7 June. (Q7162)Full Citation

28.

UNODA.2013.‘Towards Entry Into Force.’ Arms Trade Treaty.New York NY:United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,2 April. (Q7226)Full Citation

29.

UNGA.2001.‘United Nations Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition.’ UN General Assembly Resolution 55/255.New York:UN General Assembly,31 May. (Q17)Full Citation

30.

UNGA.2001.‘Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.’ United Nations General Assembly.New York:UN General Assembly,20 July. (Q18)Full Citation

31.

Cattaneo, Silvia and Sarah Parker.2008.‘Reporting, NPCs and NCAs, 2002 to 2008.’ Implementing the United Nations Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons: Analysis of the National Reports submitted by States from 2002 to 2008.Geneva:United Nations Development Programme,1 November. (Q20)Full Citation

32.

IANSA.2006.‘Reviewing Action on Small Arms 2006: Assessing the first five years of the UN Programme of Action.’ Biting the Bullet 'Red Book' 2006.New York:International Action Network on Small Arms and the Biting the Bullet project,26 June. (Q166)Full Citation

33.

UNODA.2011.‘National Reports on Small Arms Exports.’ United Nations Register of Conventional Arms - The Global Reported Arms Trade.New York:United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,21 October. (Q14)Full Citation

34.

UN.2013.‘Member States of the United Nations.’ UN.org Web Site.New York:United Nations General Assembly,7 April. (Q290)Full Citation

35.

Wassenaar Arrangement.1996.‘Introduction: Participating States.’ Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies.Vienna:Wassenaar Secretariat,12 July. (Q19)Full Citation