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Uruguay — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law

StockpilesGun Numbers

Civilian Guns

Number of Privately Owned Firearms

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

2017: 1,198,0001
2012: 1,100,0002 3 4 5

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 34.701
2012: 32.62 5

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Uruguay ranked at No. 466

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Uruguay ranked at No. 95

Number of Licensed Firearm Owners

ChartThe number of licensed gun owners in Uruguay is reported to be

2010: 1,1867
2009: 4,727
2008: 4,435

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

ChartThe rate of licensed firearm owners per 100 people in Uruguay is

2010: 0.048
2009: 0.14
2008: 0.13

Number of Registered Firearms

ChartThe number of registered guns in Uruguay is reported to be

2017: 605,3131
2015: 604,6329
2014: 580,00010
2010: 450,00011 12
2005: 593,02313 4 14

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

ChartThe rate of registered guns per 100 people in Uruguay is

2015: 18.098
2014: 17.40
2010: 13.3511
2005: 18.168

Estimated Number of Illicit Firearms

ChartUnlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Uruguay there are estimated to be

2017: 592,6871
2009: 500,0004 13

Estimated Rate of Illicit Firearms per 100 Population

Unlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Uruguay the rate of illicit firearms per 100 people is estimated to be 15.318

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Uruguay are reported to have 77,00015 4 16 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Uruguay are reported to have 11,00015 4 17 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

ChartIn Uruguay, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2014: 34218
2013: 342
2012: 378
2010: 31319
2009: 30920
2000: 44521 22

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

ChartIn Uruguay, the annual rate of all gun deaths per 100,000 population is

2014: 10.2618
2013: 10.29
2012: 11.40
2010: 9.48
2009: 9.388
2000: 13.82

Total Number of Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn Uruguay, annual male deaths resulting from firearms total

2014: 29418
2013: 297
2012: 327
2010: 272

Total Number of Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn Uruguay, annual female deaths resulting from firearms total

2014: 4818
2013: 45
2012: 51
2010: 41

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Uruguay, annual homicides by any means total

2015: 28923
2014: 22218
2013: 219
2012: 223
2011: 19924 25 21 26
2010: 180
2009: 226
2008: 221
2007: 194
2006: 203
2005: 188
2004: 194
2003: 197
2002: 231
2001: 218
2000: 214
1999: 13627
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

2015: 8.4223
2014: 10.2618
2013: 10.29
2012: 11.40
2011: 5.88
2010: 9.48
2009: 6.7624 25 21 26 28
2008: 6.63
2007: 5.84
2006: 6.13
2005: 5.69
2004: 5.88
2003: 5.96
2002: 6.98
2001: 6.59
2000: 6.48
1999: 4.1127 21
1998: 3.71
1997: 4.721
1996: 4.4
1995: 4.7

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Uruguay, annual male homicides by any means total

2015: 23929
2014: 18518
2013: 177
2012: 193
2011: 158
2010: 146

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Uruguay, annual female homicides by any means total

2015: 5029
2014: 3618
2013: 42
2012: 30
2011: 40.99
2010: 34

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Uruguay, annual firearm homicides total

2014: 13918
2013: 126
2012: 131
2011: 9723
2010: 8519
2009: 8720
2006: 4714
2005: 10730
2004: 9321 30 31
2003: 87
2002: 10921 30 32
2001: 182
2000: 8421 30 27
1999: 8727
1998: 75

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2014: 4.1718
2013: 3.79
2012: 3.95
2011: 2.96
2010: 2.57
2009: 2.648 28
2008: 3.3628
2007: 2.96
2006: 3.11
2005: 3.230 28
2004: 2.821 30 28
2003: 2.6
2002: 3.3
2001: 5.5
2000: 2.5
1999: 2.6327
1998: 2.28

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

ChartIn Uruguay, the percentage of homicides committed with a firearm is reported to be

2013: 61%24
2012: 60%
2011: 49%24 25
2009: 51%20
2004: 46.5%21
2003: 44.2%
2002: 47.2%
2001: 83.5%
2000: 39.3%

Male Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn Uruguay, annual male firearm homicides total

2015: 12418
2014: 124
2013: 115
2012: 122
2010: 78

Female Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn Uruguay, annual female firearm homicides total

2015: 1518
2014: 15
2013: 11
2012: 9
2010: 7

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Uruguay, annual suicides by any means total

2014: 60118
2013: 555
2012: 604
2010: 550
2009: 54833 34
2008: 608
2007: 598
2006: 553
2005: 491
2004: 522
2003: 647
2002: 673
2001: 550
2000: 586
1990: 31822

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

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

2014: 18.0318
2013: 16.69
2012: 18.21
2010: 16.66
2009: 16.433 8
2008: 18.2
2007: 18.0
2006: 16.7
2005: 14.9
2004: 15.8
2003: 19.6
2002: 20.3
2001: 16.6
2000: 17.8
1990: 9.3122

Male Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Uruguay, annual male suicides by any means total

2014: 46618
2013: 431
2012: 481
2010: 424

Female Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Uruguay, annual female suicides by any means total

2014: 13518
2013: 124
2012: 123
2010: 126

Gun Suicides

ChartIn Uruguay, annual firearm suicides total

2014: 12418
2013: 125
2012: 158
2010: 14319
2009: 15420
2000: 24022

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

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

2014: 3.7218
2013: 3.76
2012: 4.76
2010: 4.33
2009: 4.6835
2000: 7.0322

Male Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn Uruguay, annual male firearm suicides total

2014: 9918
2013: 102
2012: 127
2010: 118

Female Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn Uruguay, annual female firearm suicides total

2014: 2518
2013: 23
2012: 31
2010: 25

Unintentional Gun Deaths

ChartIn Uruguay, annual unintentional shooting deaths total

2014: 7418
2013: 90
2012: 89
2010: 8419
2009: 6620
2000: 11822

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Uruguay, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death per 100,000 population is

2014: 0.1518
2013: 0.03
2012: 0
2010: 0.03
2009: 2.00
2000: 3.4622

Unintentional Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn Uruguay, annual unintentional male shooting deaths total

2014: 6718
2013: 79
2012: 78
2010: 75

Unintentional Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn Uruguay, annual unintentional female shooting deaths total

2014: 718
2013: 11
2012: 11
2010: 9

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2014: 518
2013: 1
2012: 0
2010: 119
2009: 220
2000: 322

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

ChartIn Uruguay, the annual rate of unknown-cause shooting deaths per 100,000 population is

2010: 0.038
2009: 0.06
2000: 0.09

Male Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2014: 418
2013: 1
2012: 0
2010: 1

Female Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2014: 118
2013: 0
2012: 0
2010: 0

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Uruguay, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence,36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 but is not conducted in practice44 45

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Uruguay, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law46 47 48 49 50 51 52

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Uruguay is reported by Customs to be US$46,10653 (2010)

Firearm Imports

In Uruguay, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law54 55 56 46 47 48 43 57 50 58 51 52

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Uruguay is reported by Customs to be US$2,359,22953 (2011)

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Uruguay, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law59 52

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Uruguay include40 49 56 60 certification of the intended end user of any small arms or ammunition transfer, and/or a written declaration of its intended end use

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Uruguay is categorised as restrictive61

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Uruguay includes the Decree-Law No. 10415 of 1943,42 Decree No. 2605/943,57 Decree No. 365/969,62 Decree No. 652/970,63 and several other laws

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Uruguay are regulated by the Ministry of National Defence37 and the Material and Weapons Service64 65 38

Right to Possess Firearms

In Uruguay, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law66 67

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Uruguay, civilians are not allowed to possess firearms intended for the exclusive use of the military, navy, air force and police,68 69 70 such as all long guns for centre-fire cartridges and bullets with a calibre superior to 6.5 mm, automatic pistols of any brand or class whose calibre exceeds 7.65 mm and semi-automatic pistols of any brand or class whose calibre is above 9 mm,57 and incendiary, explosive ammunition or dum-dum bullets71 65

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Uruguay, private possession of fully automatic weapons is permitted under licence, except automatic pistols whose calibre exceeds 7.65 mm65 57

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Uruguay, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is permitted under licence, except semi-automatic pistols whose calibre is above 9 mm65 57

Regulation of Handguns

In Uruguay, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence, except automatic pistols whose calibre exceeds 7.65 mm and semi-automatic pistols whose calibre is above 9 mm65 57

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Uruguay, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law65 57

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Uruguay, only licensed gun owners72 73 74 65 75 76 77 78 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Uruguay is 18 years79 80

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Uruguay must pass a background check which considers criminal,63 health76 and mental health10 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Uruguay, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required81

Partner to be Advised or Interviewed

In Uruguay, licensing authorities are not required81 to conduct interviews with, or to advise an applicant's spouse, partner, or next of kin before issuing a gun licence

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Uruguay stipulates82 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Uruguay, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is required76 10 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Uruguay, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every five years for the Competency Certificate for the Acquisition and Possession of Firearms,83 every ten years for the firearm possession certificate,84 and each year for the Permit to Carry Firearms85

Licensing Records

In Uruguay, authorities maintain a record64 86 78 75 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Uruguay are permitted to possess any number of firearms81

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Uruguay are permitted to possess any quantity of ammunition81

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Uruguay, the law requires64 86 75 87 88 51 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 Uruguay, licensed firearm dealers are required89 90 91 92 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In Uruguay, licensed gun makers are required43 41 44 45 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Uruguay, State agencies are required69 93 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 Uruguay, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited unless registered in the National Firearm Register87 and conducted by the Material and Weapons Service88 94

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Uruguay, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful91 95 96 78 97 88 43 92 79 80 62

Background Checks for Private Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm in a private sale in Uruguay is obliged63 76 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 Uruguay is obliged63 76 to pass official background checks before taking possession

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In Uruguay, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined81

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Uruguay, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated81 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Uruguay include78 98 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 Uruguay include99 97 78 41 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Uruguay include69 100 101 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Uruguay include97 102 91 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Uruguay, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law103 104 105 106 107 108 44 58 109

Firearm Tracing

In Uruguay, state authorities carry out110 105 111 51 112 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Record of Firearms and Ammunition

In Uruguay, the ballistic characteristics of each civilian firearm and its ammunition are not81 recorded in a register

Carrying Guns

Law Regulates Firearms in Public

In Uruguay, carrying a gun in a public place is regulated by law113 85 114 102 115

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Uruguay, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is prohibited102

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Uruguay, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is prohibited102

Gun Free Zones

In Uruguay, private guns are prohibited in electoral events, meetings, protests, indoor or outdoor games or entertainment events, cabaret, nightclubs, wineries, public dances, or where special provisions prohibit it115 70

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Uruguay, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm116 is six years in prison117 118 119 10 74 120 121 122 123 73

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Uruguay are known to have13 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Firearms Surrendered and Seized

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

2015: 200124
2013: 2,640125

Small Arms Destroyed

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

2015: 3,000126
2009: 2,352127 128
2008: 9,766127
2007: 7,857127 14
2006: 2,103127 13 14
2005: 1,512127 13
2004: 2,564
2003: 3,203
2002: 1,611
2001: 1,346
2000: 1,837
1999: 2,930
1998: 2,592

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Uruguay, it is state policy129 130 128 131 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

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 ratified132 133 by Uruguay

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 signed134 by Uruguay.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified135 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 ratified136 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 Aspects137

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Uruguay against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 71138 139 140 141 among 159 Member States

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 reports142 112 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 designated143 112

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Uruguay, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated112

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Uruguay submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was apparent112

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated112 by Uruguay to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Uruguay has not declared144 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 1945145

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list146 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


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