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Vietnam — 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 Vietnam is 1,100,0001

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in Vietnam is 1.71 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Shotguns

In Vietnam, the number of shotguns in civilian possession is reported to be 70,0002

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Vietnam ranked at No. 463

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Vietnam ranked at No. 1281

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Vietnam are reported to have 8,000,0004 - 9,849,6005 6 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Vietnam are reported to have 290,0007 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

In Vietnam, annual homicides by any means total 2008: 1,3468

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

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

2008: 1.68
2006: 1.909
2005: 1.70
2004: 2.45
2002: 4.20
2000: 1.08
1999: 1.49
1996: 1.57

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Vietnam, annual firearm homicides total

2006: 8348
2005: 770

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2006: 1.08
2005: 0.9

Gun Suicides

In Vietnam, annual firearm suicides total 1995: 1610

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

In Vietnam, the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is 1995: 0.0210

Unintentional Gun Deaths

In Vietnam, annual unintentional shooting deaths total 1995: 3010

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

In Vietnam, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death per 100,000 population is 1995: 0.0410

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Vietnam, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence, but is not conducted in practice2

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In Vietnam, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law2

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Vietnam is reported by Customs to be US$641,89911 (2011)

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In Vietnam, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law12

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Vietnam is reported by Customs to be US$886,80011 (2011)

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Vietnam is high13

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Vietnam is categorised as restrictive14

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Vietnam includes the Governmental Decree No 47/CP August 12th 1996 on management of weapons, explosive materials and support devices15

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Vietnam, civilians are not allowed to possess any firearms other than shotguns16 2

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Vietnam, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited16

Regulation of Handguns

In Vietnam, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is prohibited16 2

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Vietnam, only licensed gun owners (for shotguns)16 2 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Vietnam are required to prove genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example, hunting2

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Vietnam is 18 years2

Gun Licence Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Vietnam must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental and domestic violence2 records

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Vietnam stipulates17 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Vietnam include2 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of private firearms and ammunition by licensed gun owners

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Vietnam include2 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Vietnam, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law18

MeasuresInternational Controls

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 signed19 by Vietnam.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed20 by Vietnam

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 signed21 by Vietnam

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Vietnam 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 Aspects22

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Vietnam has submitted one or more national reports23 24 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Vietnam, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated25 24

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Vietnam, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated25 24

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Vietnam submitted to the UN, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities is apparent24

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated24 by Vietnam to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Vietnam has not declared26 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Vietnam has been a Member State of the United Nations since 197727

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list28 Vietnam as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


Short References

1.

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

2.

United Nations.1999.‘Analysis of Country Responses.’ United Nations International Study on Firearm Regulation.Vienna:UN Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division,30 August. (Q1)Full Citation

3.

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

4.

Karp, Aaron.2013.‘Table 4: Twenty Largest Military Small Arms Inventories.’ Armed Actors - Data Sources and the Estimation of Military-Owned Small Arms.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,1 September. (Q8186)Full Citation

5.

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

6.

Karp, Aaron.2006.‘Trickle and Torrent: State stockpiles: The largest military inventories.’ Small Arms Survey 2006: Unfinished Business.Oxford:Oxford University Press,1 July. (Q87)Full Citation

7.

Karp, Aaron.2012.‘Table 1 - Estimated Law Enforcement Firearms in 20 Selected Countries.’ Armed Actors - Estimating Law Enforcement Firearms.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,1 December. (Q6544)Full Citation

8.

UNODC.2013.‘Homicide in 207 Countries - Vietnam.’ Global Study on Homicide 2011: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,26 June. (Q6306)Full Citation

9.

Petrini, Benjamin.2011.‘East Asia and the Pacific, 1995-2008, Total Recorded Intentional Homicide, Completed, Rate per 100,000 Population.’ World Bank Homicide Rate Dataset 1995-2008.Washington DC:Social Development Department, World Bank,10 February. (Q3814)Full Citation

10.

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

11.

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

12.

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

13.

Bedeski, Robert, Andrew Andersen and Santo Darmosumarto.1998.‘South East Asia and the Russian Far East.’ Small Arms Trade and Proliferation in East Asia.Vancouver:Institute of International Relations, University of British Columbia,1 September. (Q1292)Full Citation

14.

Newton, George D and Franklin E Zimring.1969.‘Firearm Licensing: Permissive v Restrictive.’ Firearms & Violence in American Life: A staff report submitted to the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence.Washington, DC:US Government Printing Office,1 January. (Q22)Full Citation

15.

Vietnam.2006.‘National Coordinating Agency.’ National Report of Vietnam 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).Hanoi:Permanent Mission of Vietnam to the United Nations,1 June. (Q1507)Full Citation

16.

Vietnam.2008.‘Civilian Possession.’ Statement at the Third Biennial Meeting of States to Consider the Implementation of the 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 Viet Nam to the United Nations,1 July. (Q1290)Full Citation

17.

Kramer, Katherine.2001.‘Licensing Criteria.’ Legal Controls on Small Arms and Light Weapons in South East Asia.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and Nonviolence International South East Asia,1 July. (Q1932)Full Citation

18.

Vietnam.2008.‘Marking Requirements.’ Statement at the Third Biennial Meeting of States to Consider the Implementation of the 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 Viet Nam to the United Nations,1 July. (Q1291)Full Citation

19.

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

20.

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

21.

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

22.

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

23.

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

24.

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

25.

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

26.

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

27.

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

28.

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