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Venezuela — 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 Venezuela is 3,250,0001 2 3 4 5

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) per 100 people in Venezuela is 11.21 5

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Venezuela ranked at No. 276

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Venezuela ranked at No. 595

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in Venezuela is reported to be between 500,000 and 1,500,0003 7

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in Venezuela is between 1.98 and 5.948

Estimated Number of Illicit Firearms

Unlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Venezuela there are estimated to be between 1,100,000 and 2,700,0003 4

Estimated Rate of Illicit Firearms per 100 Population

Unlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Venezuela the rate of illicit firearms per 100 people is estimated to be between 4.35 and 10.688

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Venezuela are reported to have 170,0009 3 firearms

Routine Arming of Police

In Venezuela, police officers on routine patrol carry one or more firearms10

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Venezuela are reported to have 120,0009 3 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

ChartIn Venezuela, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2013: 14,62211
2012: 15,681
2011: 13,831
2010: 13,802
2009: 15,024
2008: 15,212
2007: 13,81512 13 14
2006: 12,41712 13
2005: 10,688
2004: 11,323
2003: 13,324
2002: 10,913
2001: 9,140
2000: 9,04112 13 15
1999: 6,27912 13
1998: 4,560
1997: 4,244
1996: 5,007
1995: 4,410
1994: 4,863
1993: 4,186
1992: 3,231
1991: 2,276
1990: 2,234
1989: 2,422
1988: 1,508
1987: 1,474
1986: 1,408
1985: 1,577
1984: 1,607
1983: 1,926
1982: 1,616
1981: 1,311
1980: 1,439

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

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

2013: 49.2211
2012: 53.52
2011: 47.87
2010: 48.46
2009: 56.038 16
2008: 57.59
2007: 53.09
2006: 48.43
2005: 42.29
2004: 45.46
2003: 54.28
2002: 45.11
2001: 38.33
2000: 38.48
1999: 27.15
1998: 20.04
1997: 18.98
1996: 22.80
1995: 20.46
1994: 23.02
1993: 20.23
1992: 15.96
1991: 11.50
1990: 11.56
1989: 12.85
1988: 8.21
1987: 8.23
1986: 8.07
1985: 9.28
1984: 9.71
1983: 11.97
1982: 10.35
1981: 8.64
1980: 9.74

Total Number of Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn Venezuela, annual male deaths resulting from firearms total

2013: 13,96411
2012: 14,968
2011: 13,221
2010: 13,152

Total Number of Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn Venezuela, annual female deaths resulting from firearms total

2013: 65811
2012: 713
2011: 610
2010: 650

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Venezuela, annual homicides by any means total

2015: 17,77817
2014: 19,030
2013: 8,84411
2012: 9,945
2011: 8,875
2010: 9,042
2009: 9,59518 19 20 21 22
2008: 10,48718 19 20 21
2007: 9,470
2006: 8,805
2005: 7,603
2004: 7,348
2003: 8,790
2002: 7,482
2001: 6,568
2000: 6,369
1999: 4,01718 20 23
1998: 2,817
1997: 2,86318 20
1996: 3,329
1995: 3,130
1994: 3,35318
1993: 3,093
1992: 2,705
1991: 2,089
1990: 2,540
1989: 2,291
1988: 1,627
1987: 1,400

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

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

2013: 49.2211
2012: 53.52
2011: 47.87
2010: 48.46
2009: 35.78
2008: 39.70
2007: 36.39
2006: 34.348 19 20 24
2005: 30.09
2004: 29.508 19 20
2003: 35.81
2002: 30.93
2001: 27.55
2000: 27.11
1999: 17.378 20
1998: 12.38
1997: 12.80
1996: 15.16
1995: 14.53
1994: 15.878
1993: 14.95
1992: 13.36
1991: 10.56
1990: 13.14
1989: 12.15
1988: 8.85
1987: 7.81

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Venezuela, annual male homicides by any means total

2013: 8,35111
2012: 9,362
2011: 8,368
2010: 8,498

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Venezuela, annual female homicides by any means total

2013: 49311
2012: 583
2011: 507
2010: 544

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Venezuela, annual firearm homicides total

2013: 7,86511
2012: 8,903
2011: 7,868
2010: 8,050
2009: 8,56325 20
2007: 8,42114
2000: 5,40815
:

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2013: 26.4811
2012: 30.39
2011: 27.23
2010: 28.26
2009: 31.925 8
2007: 32.368
2000: 23.018 15

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

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

2011: 90.2%26
2010: 90.7%26 27 28
2009: 79.5%20
2007: 89%14
2004: 86%24

Male Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn Venezuela, annual male firearm homicides total

2013: 7,49011
2012: 8,466
2011: 7,503
2010: 7,638

Female Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn Venezuela, annual female firearm homicides total

2013: 37511
2012: 437
2011: 365
2010: 412

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Venezuela, annual suicides by any means total

2013: 61611
2012: 729
2011: 763
2010: 775
2008: 96129 30
2007: 618
2006: 757
2005: 909
2004: 1,019
2003: 1,142
2002: 1,299
2001: 1,382
2000: 1,264
1994: 1,08915

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

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

2013: 2.0711
2012: 2.49
2011: 2.64
2010: 2.72
2008: 3.429 30
2007: 2.3
2006: 2.8
2005: 3.4
2004: 3.9
2003: 4.5
2002: 5.2
2001: 5.6
2000: 5.2
1994: 4.2415

Male Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Venezuela, annual male suicides by any means total

2013: 50011
2012: 600
2011: 643
2010: 628

Female Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Venezuela, annual female suicides by any means total

2013: 11611
2012: 129
2011: 120
2010: 147

Gun Suicides

ChartIn Venezuela, annual firearm suicides total

2013: 4311
2012: 48
2011: 53
2010: 74
2009: 7725
2007: 12514
2000: 28315

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

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

2013: 0.1411
2012: 0.16
2011: 0.18
2010: 0.26
2009: 0.325
2007: 0.488
2000: 1.1015

Male Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn Venezuela, annual male firearm suicides total

2013: 4011
2012: 41
2011: 49
2010: 71

Female Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn Venezuela, annual female firearm suicides total

2013: 311
2012: 7
2011: 4
2010: 3

Unintentional Gun Deaths

ChartIn Venezuela, annual unintentional shooting deaths total

2013: 7811
2012: 46
2011: 35
2010: 29
2009: 5425
2007: 4514
2000: 10315

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

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

2013: 22.3411
2012: 22.81
2011: 20.34
2010: 19.83
2009: 0.208
2007: 0.17
2000: 0.4015

Unintentional Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn Venezuela, annual unintentional male shooting deaths total

2013: 6711
2012: 42
2011: 32
2010: 25

Unintentional Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn Venezuela, annual unintentional female shooting deaths total

2013: 1111
2012: 4
2011: 3
2010: 4

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2013: 6,63611
2012: 6,684
2011: 5,875
2010: 5,649
2009: 6,14925
2007: 5,07014
2000: 2,58115

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

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

2009: 22.938
2007: 19.48
2000: 10.0415

Male Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2013: 6,36711
2012: 6,419
2011: 5,637
2010: 5,418

Female Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2013: 26911
2012: 265
2011: 238
2010: 231

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Venezuela, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence31 32 33 34 35 36

Small Arms Manufacture - World Ranking

In a classification of the world's small, medium and major firearm manufacturers, Venezuela was ranked 'small'37

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Venezuela, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law31 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 32 34

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Venezuela is reported by Customs to be US$2,78246 (2011)

Firearm Imports

In Venezuela, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law31 38 33 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 32 34 35 47

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Venezuela is reported by Customs to be US$6,332,69046 (2011)48 49

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Venezuela, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law50 51

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Venezuela include38 40 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 Venezuela is categorised as restrictive52

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Venezuela includes the Act on the Disarmament and Control of Arms and Ammunition of 201353, Decree No. 881 of 2014, promulgating Regulations for the Law on Disarmament and Control of Firearms and Ammunition54 and the Criminal Code35

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Venezuela are regulated by the Bolivarian National Armed Forces for the control of arms31 34

Right to Possess Firearms

In Venezuela, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law55 56

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Venezuela, civilians are not allowed to possess weapons of war, which are not specifically defined in law. Private possession of assault rifles and machine guns seems to be at the discretion of authorities57 58 59

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Venezuela, private possession of fully automatic weapons is not specifically prohibited in law and could be open to official discretion58

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Venezuela, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is not specifically prohibited in law and could be open to official discretion58

Regulation of Handguns

In Venezuela, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence58

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Venezuela, only licensed gun owners60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 35 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Venezuela are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example self-defence,65 66 78 hunting69 70 and sport71 72 79

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Venezuela is 25 years62 64

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Venezuela must pass a background check which considers physical, mental health and criminal62 64 80 79 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Venezuela, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are required68

Partner to be Advised or Interviewed

In Venezuela, licensing authorities are not required50 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 Venezuela does not stipulate50 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Venezuela, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is required81 62 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Venezuela, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every year for a licence to carry firearms for the protection of persons,73 every two years for a licence to carry firearms for hunting,69 70 sporting purposes,71 72 and for personal defence,65 and every three years for a licence for in-house ownership of firearms67

Licensing Records

In Venezuela, authorities maintain a record82 83 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Venezuela are permitted to possess one firearm (with a licence to carry firearms for the protection of persons)73

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Venezuela are permitted to possess ammunition only for those firearms for which the purchaser is licensed84 85

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Venezuela, the law requires82 83 86 87 88 89 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 Venezuela, licensed firearm dealers are required90 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In Venezuela, licensed gun makers are required31 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Venezuela, State agencies are required91 92 58 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 Venezuela, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited without authorisation from the Bolivarian National Armed Forces93 94 95 96

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Venezuela, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful31 87 97 86 32 35

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In Venezuela, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined50

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Venezuela, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated50 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Venezuela include98 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 Venezuela do not include50 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Venezuela include99 100 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Venezuela include101 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Venezuela, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law102 44 103 89

Firearm Tracing

In Venezuela, state authorities carry out104 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Record of Firearms and Ammunition

In Venezuela, the ballistic characteristics of each civilian firearm and its ammunition are105 62 recorded in a register

Carrying Guns

Law Regulates Firearms in Public

In Venezuela, carrying a gun in a public place is regulated by law106 98

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Venezuela, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is prohibited106 98

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Venezuela, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit (for all lawful firearms)106 98

Gun Free Zones

In Venezuela, private guns are prohibited in public events, sporting events, civil work under construction, electoral or referendum processes, educational institutions, health or religious centres, transport terminals, public transport units (airports, ports included), places where alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed,107 108 National Parks, National Monuments, wildlife sanctuaries, wildlife reserves, forest reserves, fishing reserves, and private properties without the written authorisation of their owners109

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Venezuela, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm110 is six years in prison111 112 113 114 115 35

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Venezuela are known to have116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 28 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 Venezuela, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered, bought back or seized by authorities is reported to be

2016: 12,772124
2011: 130,14528

Small Arms Destroyed

In Venezuela, the number of firearms destroyed following amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be 372,000 (2003-13)122 2 125 126

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Venezuela, it is state policy127 128 129 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), Venezuela 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 ratified130 131 by Venezuela

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 signed132 by Venezuela.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed133 by Venezuela

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 ratified134 by Venezuela

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Venezuela 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 Aspects135

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Venezuela against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 65136 137 138 139 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Venezuela has submitted one or more national reports140 141 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Venezuela, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated142 141

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Venezuela, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated142 141

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Venezuela submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was not apparent141

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated141 by Venezuela to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Venezuela has not declared143 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Venezuela has been a Member State of the United Nations since 1945144

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list145 Venezuela as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


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