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Virgin Islands (UK) — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law

StockpilesGun Numbers

Civilian Guns

Number of Privately Owned Rifles

In the Virgin Islands (UK), the number of rifles in civilian possession is reported to be 21

Number of Privately Owned Shotguns

In the Virgin Islands (UK), the number of shotguns in civilian possession is reported to be 281

Number of Privately Owned Handguns

In the Virgin Islands (UK), the number of handguns in civilian possession is reported to be 181

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in the Virgin Islands (UK) is reported to be

2016: 481

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in the Virgin Islands (UK) is

2016: 0.142

Government Guns

Routine Arming of Police

In the Virgin Islands (UK), police officers on routine patrol do not carry a firearm3

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn the Virgin Islands (UK), annual homicides by any means total

2006: 24 5
2004: 4
2003: 2
2002: 1
2001: 1
2000: 0
1999: 15
1998: 0
1997: 0
1996: 2

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

ChartIn the Virgin Islands (UK), the annual rate of homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2006: 8.44 5
2004: 17.8
2003: 9.0
2002: 4.6
2001: 4.7
2000: 0.0
1999: 5.05
1998: 0.0
1997: 0.0
1996: 10.8
1995: 10.5

Gun Homicides

ChartIn the Virgin Islands (UK), annual firearm homicides total

2015: 26
2014: 3
2013: 1
2012: 2
2011: 1
2010: 1
2009: 1
2008: 9
2007: 6
2006: 4
2005: 3

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn the Virgin Islands (UK), the annual rate of firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2015: 5.982
2014: 9.18
2013: 3.13
2012: 6.42
2011: 3.29
2010: 3.37
2009: 3.46
2008: 31.94
2007: 21.85
2006: 15.00
2005: 11.60

Suicides (any method)

In the Virgin Islands (UK), annual suicides by any means total

2001: 47

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

In the Virgin Islands (UK), the annual rate of suicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2001: 3.607

Gun Suicides

In the Virgin Islands (UK), annual firearm suicides total

2001: 27

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

In the Virgin Islands (UK), the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

2001: 1.807

Unintentional Gun Deaths

In the Virgin Islands (UK), annual unintentional shooting deaths total

1999: 27

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

In the Virgin Islands (UK), the annual rate of unintentional shooting death per 100,000 population is

1999: 1.807

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In the Virgin Islands (UK), the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence8 9 10

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In the Virgin Islands (UK), firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law8

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from the Virgin Islands (UK) is reported by Customs to be US$011 (1995)

Firearm Imports

In the Virgin Islands (UK), firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law12 13

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to the Virgin Islands (UK) is reported by Customs to be US$6,22811 (2011)

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In the Virgin Islands (UK), the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law14

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in the Virgin Islands (UK) do not include14 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 the Virgin Islands (UK) is categorised as restrictive15

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in the Virgin Islands (UK) includes the Firearms Ordinance of 1957,16 the Firearms (Amendment) Act of 2007,17 the Domestic Violence Act of 201118 and the Firearms and Air Guns (Amendment) Act of 201519

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in the Virgin Islands (UK) are regulated by the Licensing Authority9 20 and the Police21

Right to Possess Firearms

In the Virgin Islands (UK), the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law22 23

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In the Virgin Islands (UK), civilians are not allowed to possess machine guns, sub-machine guns, automatic firearms and firearms disguised as other objects24 25

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In the Virgin Islands (UK), private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited24 25

Law Regulates Handguns

In the Virgin Islands (UK), civilian possession of handguns is regulated by law24 25

Law Regulates Long Guns

In the Virgin Islands (UK), civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law24 25 26

Gun Ownership and Possession

In the Virgin Islands (UK), only licensed gun owners13 10 27 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in the Virgin Islands (UK) is 18 years21 28

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in the Virgin Islands (UK) must pass a background check which considers criminal, health and mental health21 28 29 30 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In the Virgin Islands (UK), third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required14

Partner to be Advised or Interviewed

In the Virgin Islands (UK), licensing authorities are not required14 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 the Virgin Islands (UK) stipulates31 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In the Virgin Islands (UK), an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required14 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In the Virgin Islands (UK), gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every year32

Licensing Records

In the Virgin Islands (UK), authorities maintain a record20 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in the Virgin Islands (UK) are permitted to possess any number of firearms14

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in the Virgin Islands (UK) are permitted to possess a limited quantity of ammunition21

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In the Virgin Islands (UK), the law requires20 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 the Virgin Islands (UK), licensed firearm dealers are required33 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In the Virgin Islands (UK), licensed gun makers are required33 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Private Gun Sales

In the Virgin Islands (UK), the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited without the approval of the Licensing Authority and unless registered within fourteen days34 35

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In the Virgin Islands (UK), dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful8 9 34 35 10 36

Background Checks for Private Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm in a private sale in the Virgin Islands (UK) is obliged35 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 the Virgin Islands (UK) is obliged35 to pass official background checks before taking possession

Regulation of Gun Shows

In the Virgin Islands (UK), gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated14 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in the Virgin Islands (UK) include1 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 the Virgin Islands (UK) include33 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in the Virgin Islands (UK) do not include14 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In the Virgin Islands (UK), a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law20 37

Firearm Tracing

In the Virgin Islands (UK), state authorities carry out20 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Record of Firearms and Ammunition

In the Virgin Islands (UK), the ballistic characteristics of each civilian firearm and its ammunition are not14 recorded in a register

Carrying Guns

Law Regulates Firearms in Public

In the Virgin Islands (UK), carrying a gun in a public place is regulated by law38 39 10

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In the Virgin Islands (UK), the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm40 is at least eight years in prison and a fine41 25 26 38 39 36 33 37 42

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in the Virgin Islands (UK) are known to have26 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Surrendered in Gun Amnesty

In the Virgin Islands (UK), the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered in recent arms amnesty and collection programmes is reported to be

2015: 1143

MeasuresInternational Controls

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, the Virgin Islands (UK) are not a Member State of the United Nations44

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list45 the Virgin Islands (UK) as a Participating State


Short References

1.

Virgin Islands (UK).2016.‘Number of Registered Firearms and Details on Gun Storage.’ E-mail from the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force.Road Town:Organisational Review and Development, Royal Virgin Islands Police Force,29 February. (Q11643)Full Citation

2.

GunPolicy.org.2016.‘Calculated Rates - Virgin Islands (UK).’ Historical Population Data - USCB International Data Base.Suitland, MD:US Census Bureau Population Division,29 March. (Q11395)Full Citation

3.

BVI Beacon (British Virgin Islands). 2011. ‘Time to Get Guns Under Control.’ 23 March. (N423) Full Citation

4.

UNODC.2014.‘Homicides in the Virgin Islands (UK).’ Global Study on Homicide 2013: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC),10 April. (Q10101)Full Citation

5.

UNODC.2013.‘Homicide in 207 Countries - British Virgin Islands.’ Global Study on Homicide 2011: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,26 June. (Q6368)Full Citation

6.

Virgin Islands (UK).2015.‘Number of Homicide Victims.’ E-mail from the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force.Road Town:Organisational Review and Development, Royal Virgin Islands Police Force,18 December. (Q11360)Full Citation

7.

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

8.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘All Firearms Dealers to be Licensed.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11368)Full Citation

9.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Application for Licence to Deal In Firearms.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11369)Full Citation

10.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Classes of Licences.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11374)Full Citation

11.

Marsh, Nicholas.2014.‘Database of Authorised Transfers of Small Arms and Light Weapons.’ NISAT Small Arms Trade Database.Oslo:Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers,22 December. (Q16)Full Citation

12.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Importation of Firearms.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11367)Full Citation

13.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Firearms to Be Licensed.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11371)Full Citation

14.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Short Title.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q12077)Full Citation

15.

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

16.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Short Title.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11366)Full Citation

17.

Virgin Islands (UK).2007.‘Citation.’ Firearms (Amendment) Act, 2007.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,5 July. (Q11383)Full Citation

18.

Virgin Islands (UK).2011.‘Enactment.’ Domestic Violence Act, 2011.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,20 October. (Q11365)Full Citation

19.

Virgin Islands (UK).2015.‘Short Title.’ Firearms and Air Guns (Amendment) Act, 2015.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,11 May. (Q11391)Full Citation

20.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Marking - Registrar of Firearms.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11372)Full Citation

21.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Certificate of Fitness to Keep or Use Firearms.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11375)Full Citation

22.

Sherman, Amy and Tom Ginsburg.2014.‘Gun Rights in National Constitutions.’ Marco Rubio Says Second Amendment Is Unique in Speech to NRA.Miami, FL:Miami Herald (PolitiFact Florida),29 April. (Q8507)Full Citation

23.

Zachary Elkins, Tom Ginsburg and James Melton. 2013. ‘U.S. Gun Rights Truly Are American Exceptionalism.’ Bloomberg (USA). 7 March. (N422) Full Citation

24.

Virgin Islands (UK).2015.‘Third Schedule: Prohibited Firearm or Air Gun [Amendments].’ Firearms and Air Guns (Amendment) Act, 2015.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,11 May. (Q11392)Full Citation

25.

Virgin Islands (UK).2015.‘Prohibited Firearms or Ammunition [Amendments].’ Firearms and Air Guns (Amendment) Act, 2015.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,11 May. (Q11390)Full Citation

26.

BVI News. 2015. ‘Amnesty Announced for Guns, Prohibited Weapons.’ 7 January. (N424) Full Citation

27.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Licence Not Transferable.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11378)Full Citation

28.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Restricted Persons.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11377)Full Citation

29.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Persons Convicted of Certain Offences Not to Be Granted Licence.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11381)Full Citation

30.

Virgin Islands (UK).2007.‘Firearms Advisory Committee [Amendments].’ Firearms (Amendment) Act, 2007.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,5 July. (Q11384)Full Citation

31.

Virgin Islands (UK).2011.‘Seizure of Firearm and Dangerous Weapons.’ Domestic Violence Act, 2011.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,20 October. (Q11386)Full Citation

32.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Licence to Expire Yearly and to Be Renewed within 14 Days After such Expiry.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11376)Full Citation

33.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Books to Be Kept by Firearms Dealer.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11370)Full Citation

34.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Permission to Sell or Dispose of Firearm.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11373)Full Citation

35.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Intoxicated, Insane or Convicted Persons.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11380)Full Citation

36.

Virgin Islands (UK).2015.‘Penalty for Trading as a Firearm or Air Gun Dealer without a Licence [Amendments].’ Firearms and Air Guns (Amendment) Act, 2015.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,11 May. (Q11387)Full Citation

37.

Virgin Islands (UK).2015.‘Penalties for Altering etc. the Identifying Mark of a Firearm [Amendments].’ Firearms and Air Guns (Amendment) Act, 2015.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,11 May. (Q11389)Full Citation

38.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Carrying Firearms Outside Dwelling-house Without Licence Forbidden.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11379)Full Citation

39.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Prohibited Carrying of Firearms.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11382)Full Citation

40.

GunPolicy.org. 2015. ‘Penalty for Unlawful Firearm Possession.’ Definition and Selection Criteria.
Sydney School of Public Health, 22 January.
(G93) Full Citation

41.

Virgin Islands (UK).2015.‘Firearms to Be Licensed [Amendments].’ Firearms and Air Guns (Amendment) Act, 2015.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,11 May. (Q11388)Full Citation

42.

Virgin Islands (UK).2015.‘Custodial Sentence for Certain Offences Involving Firearms [Amendments].’ Firearms and Air Guns (Amendment) Act, 2015.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,11 May. (Q11393)Full Citation

43.

BVI News (British Virgin Islands). 2015. ‘11 Guns Handed Over During Amnesty.’ 10 August. (N425) Full Citation

44.

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

45.

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