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Vanuatu — 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 Vanuatu is 4,7001

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) per 100 people in Vanuatu is 2.271

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in Vanuatu is reported to be 4,7001

Government Guns

Routine Arming of Police

In Vanuatu, police officers on routine patrol do not carry a firearm2

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Vanuatu are reported to have 923 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Vanuatu, annual homicides by any means total

2012: 74
2008: 25

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

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

2012: 2.94
2008: 0.95
2004: 1.186
2002: 1.30

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Vanuatu, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is prohibited7 8

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Vanuatu, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law9 10 11

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Vanuatu is reported by Customs to be US$2,18512 (2011)

Firearm Imports

In Vanuatu, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law13 14 15 9 10 11

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Vanuatu is reported by Customs to be US$374,82112 (2011)

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Vanuatu, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law16 17

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Vanuatu include10 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 Vanuatu is categorised as restrictive18

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Vanuatu includes the Firearms Act 198819

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Vanuatu are regulated by the Commissioner of Police and Licensing Officers appointed by the Commissioner20

Right to Possess Firearms

In Vanuatu, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law21 22 23

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Vanuatu, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic firearms,24 semi-automatic firearms, all handguns, pistols or revolvers, any firearms and ammunition of calibre .300, .303, .38, .45 inches, and 7.62 and 9mm,13 or air guns25

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Vanuatu, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited13 24 26

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Vanuatu, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is prohibited13

Regulation of Handguns

In Vanuatu, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is prohibited13 26

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Vanuatu, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law26

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Vanuatu, only licensed gun owners27 28 26 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Vanuatu are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example farming28 29

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Vanuatu is 18 years30

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Vanuatu must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental health, addiction, and other various28 31 26 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Vanuatu, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required23

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Vanuatu does not stipulate23 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Vanuatu, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required23 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Vanuatu, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every one year28 32 15

Licensing Records

In Vanuatu, authorities maintain a record32 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Vanuatu are permitted to possess only the types of firearm specified on the firearm licence28

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Vanuatu are permitted to possess only the quantity and type of ammunition specific on the firearm licence28

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Vanuatu, the law require33 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 Vanuatu, licensed firearm dealers are required32 34 15 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Vanuatu, State agencies are required33 35 to maintain records of the storage and movement of all firearms and ammunition under their control

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Vanuatu, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful7 32

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Vanuatu include28 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 Vanuatu include32 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Vanuatu include35 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Vanuatu do not include23 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Vanuatu, a unique identifying mark on each firearm required by law33 36

Firearm Tracing

In Vanuatu, state authorities do not carry out23 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Record of Firearms and Ammunition

In Vanuatu, the ballistic characteristics of each civilian firearm and its ammunition are not23 recorded in a register

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Vanuatu, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is prohibited37 26

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Vanuatu, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is prohibited37 26

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Vanuatu, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm38 is six months in prison39

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Firearms Surrendered and Seized

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

2016: 2440

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Vanuatu, it is state policy41 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

Pacific Islands Forum

As a member of the Pacific Islands Forum, Vanuatu adopted the March, 2000 Nadi Framework agreement, which aims to harmonise small arms-related legislation across Oceania. In August 2003, the Nadi Framework’s draft model Weapons Control Bill was unanimously accepted for consideration by all 16 member states of the Pacific Islands Forum42 43

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 200844 by Vanuatu.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed, but not yet ratified45 by Vanuatu

United Nations Firearms Protocol

The United Nations Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition has not been signed46 by Vanuatu

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Vanuatu 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 Aspects47

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Vanuatu has yet to submit a national report48 49 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Vanuatu, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated50 49

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Vanuatu, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated50 49

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Vanuatu submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was not apparent50 49

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated49 by Vanuatu to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided49 to Vanuatu by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Vanuatu has not declared51 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Vanuatu has been a Member State of the United Nations since 198152

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list53 Vanuatu as a Participating State


Short References

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15.

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20.

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24.

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25.

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