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

StockpilesGun Numbers

Civilian Guns

Proportion of Adults Living in a Home With a Gun

In the Virgin Islands (US), the percentage of adults living in a household with a firearm is reported to be 2001: 8.3%1

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

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

2007: 432
2006: 43
2005: 35
2004: 37
2003: 31
2002: 41
2001: 28
2000: 24
1999: 27

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

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

2007: 39.22
2006: 39.2
2005: 31.9
2004: 33.8
2003: 28.32 3
2002: 37.62
2001: 25.7
2000: 22.1
1999: 24.9
1998: 22.9
1997: 27.6

Handgun Homicides

ChartIn the Virgin Islands (US), annual handgun homicides total

2012: 284 5
2011: 27
2010: 36

Long Gun Homicides

ChartIn the Virgin Islands (US), annual long gun homicides total

2012: 34 5
2011: 0
2010: 1

Gun Homicides (Other)

ChartIn the Virgin Islands (US), annual gun homicides (other) total

2012: 114 5
2011: 4
2010: 4

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In the Virgin Islands (US), the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence6 7 8 9

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from the Virgin Islands (US) is reported by Customs to be US$31810 (1997)

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In the Virgin Islands (US), firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law11 12

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in the Virgin Islands (US) is categorised as restrictive13

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in the Virgin Islands (US) includes the Virgin Islands (US) Code14

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in the Virgin Islands (US) are regulated by the Commissioner of Police15

Right to Possess Firearms

In the Virgin Islands (US), the right to private gun ownership is conditionally guaranteed by the US Constitution,16 as limited by federal law17 and state law18

Gun Ownership and Possession

In the Virgin Islands (US), only licensed gun owners6 19 20 21 22 15 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in the Virgin Islands (US) are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example hunting and self-defence6

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in the Virgin Islands (US) is 16 years21

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in the Virgin Islands (US) must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental, and addiction23 21 24 25 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In the Virgin Islands (US), third party character references for each gun licence applicant are required6

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in the Virgin Islands (US) stipulates24 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In the Virgin Islands (US), gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every three years (maximum)22

Licensing Records

In the Virgin Islands (US), authorities maintain a record26 27 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In the Virgin Islands (US), the law requires26 27 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 (US), licensed firearm dealers are required7 12 28 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 (US), licensed gun makers are required7 12 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 (US), the private sale and transfer of firearms is permitted12 28

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In the Virgin Islands (US), dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful6 29 9 7 30 8

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In the Virgin Islands (US), the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is 48 hours30

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in the Virgin Islands (US) include31 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 (US) include7 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In the Virgin Islands (US), a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law26 32

Carrying Guns

Reciprocity for Hidden Handgun Permit Holders

In the Virgin Islands (US), gun owners with a permit to carry hidden handguns issued in another jurisdiction are granted (to those state that meet Virgin Islands (US) requirements)33 reciprocal rights

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In the Virgin Islands (US), the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm34 is 7 years prison35 36 37 38 39 40

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In the Virgin Islands (US), it is state policy41 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, the Virgin Islands (US) are not a Member State of the United Nations42

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list43 the Virgin Islands (US) as a Participating State


Short References

1.

North Carolina State Center for Health Statistics.2002.‘Question: Are any firearms now kept in or around your home? Include those kept in a garage, outdoor storage area, car, truck, or other motor vehicle.’ BRFSS Survey Results 2001 for Nationwide.Atlanta, GA:Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System / BRFSS, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / CDC,2 September. (Q8391)Full Citation

2.

UNODC.2013.‘Homicide in 207 Countries - US Virgin Islands.’ Global Study on Homicide 2011: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,26 June. (Q6351)Full Citation

3.

Petrini, Benjamin.2011.‘Latin America and the Caribbean, 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. (Q3817)Full Citation

4.

FBI.2013.‘Crime in the United States / CIUS.’ Uniform Crime Reports / UCR.Washington, DC:US Federal Bureau of Investigation,29 January. (Q1978)Full Citation

5.

Rokaw, William M., James A. Mercy and Jack C. Smith.1990.‘Comparing Death Certificate Data with FBI Crime Reporting Statistics on US Homicides.’ Public Health Reports.Atlanta, GA:Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),1 September. (Q6535)Full Citation

6.

Virgin Islands (US).1968.‘Persons Who May Be Licensed to Carry Firearms.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),11 July. (Q9055)Full Citation

7.

Virgin Islands (US).1968.‘Conditions for Dealers' Operations; Records of Transactions.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),11 July. (Q9056)Full Citation

8.

Virgin Islands (US).1968.‘Selling Firearms and Ammunition Without a License.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),11 July. (Q9058)Full Citation

9.

Virgin Islands (US).1968.‘Qualifications of Dealer or Gunsmith.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),11 July. (Q9065)Full Citation

10.

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

11.

Virgin Islands (US).2001.‘Importation of Firearms Without a License.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),29 December. (Q9076)Full Citation

12.

Virgin Islands (US).1994.‘License to Sell Firearms and/or Ammunition; Gunsmiths; Report of Transactions; Private Transfer Sales to Minors or Aliens.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),6 April. (Q9071)Full Citation

13.

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

14.

Virgin Islands (US).1957.‘General Provisions.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),1 September. (Q9053)Full Citation

15.

Virgin Islands (US).2003.‘Application for License; Form, Oath; Fees.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),14 July. (Q9079)Full Citation

16.

USA.1970.‘Second Amendment to the Constitution.’ Constitution of the United States, The Bill of Rights.Washington, DC:Congress of the United States of America,1 January. (Q1954)Full Citation

17.

Scalia, J.2008.‘District of Columbia et al. v. Heller.’ Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.Washington, DC:Supreme Court of the United States,26 June. (Q8502)Full Citation

18.

Virgin Islands (US).1957.‘General Provisions.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),1 September. (Q9084)Full Citation

19.

Virgin Islands (US).1968.‘Persons Who May Lawfully Carry Firearms.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),11 July. (Q9054)Full Citation

20.

Virgin Islands (US).1968.‘Applicability of Chapter.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),11 July. (Q9062)Full Citation

21.

Virgin Islands (US).1969.‘Qualifications of Applicant.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),19 November. (Q9063)Full Citation

22.

Virgin Islands (US).1984.‘Contents of License.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),15 June. (Q9070)Full Citation

23.

Virgin Islands (US).1984.‘Grounds for Refusing to Issue License.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),15 June. (Q9068)Full Citation

24.

Virgin Islands (US).2005.‘Persons Ineligible to Possess or Carry Firearms or Ammunition.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),5 March. (Q9080)Full Citation

25.

Virgin Islands (US).1984.‘Psychological Tests.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),14 June. (Q9067)Full Citation

26.

Virgin Islands (US).1968.‘Firearms Register.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),11 July. (Q9059)Full Citation

27.

Virgin Islands (US).1996.‘Report of Firearms Purchased Outside or Brought into the Virgin Islands.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),22 November. (Q9074)Full Citation

28.

Virgin Islands (US).1996.‘Registration of Firearms Upon Purchase from Dealer; Registration of Firearms Transferred from Non-dealer.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),22 November. (Q9075)Full Citation

29.

Virgin Islands (US).1994.‘Application for Dealer's or Gunsmith's License.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),6 April. (Q9072)Full Citation

30.

Virgin Islands (US).1968.‘Sales of Weapons and Ammunition Without Licenses Prohibited; Sales Slips.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),11 July. (Q9057)Full Citation

31.

Virgin Islands (US).2002.‘Safe Storage of Firearms; Penalties.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),17 June. (Q9078)Full Citation

32.

Virgin Islands (US).1968.‘Alteration of Identifying Marks of Weapons Prohibited.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),11 July. (Q9060)Full Citation

33.

Virgin Islands (US).1968.‘Reciprocal Recognition of Out-of-State Licenses.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),11 July. (Q9064)Full Citation

34.

GunPolicy.org. 2015. ‘Penalty for Unlawful Firearm Possession.’ Definition and Selection Criteria.
Sydney School of Public Health, 23 January.
(G93) Full Citation

35.

Virgin Islands (US).2010.‘Possession or Sale of Ammunition.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),20 August. (Q9082)Full Citation

36.

Virgin Islands (US).2001.‘General Penalty Section.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),29 December. (Q9077)Full Citation

37.

Virgin Islands (US).1968.‘Illegal Use of License; Penalty.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),11 July. (Q9061)Full Citation

38.

Virgin Islands (US).1984.‘Confiscation of Illegally Held Weapons.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),1 June. (Q9066)Full Citation

39.

Virgin Islands (US).1996.‘Minimum Sentences; No Probation or Parole.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),22 November. (Q9073)Full Citation

40.

Virgin Islands (US).2013.‘Carrying of Firearms; Openly or Concealed; Evidence of Intent to Commit Crime of Violence; Definitions.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),15 October. (Q9083)Full Citation

41.

Virgin Islands (US).1984.‘Seizure and Forfeiture.’ Virgin Islands (US) Code.Charlotte Amalie:Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands (US),15 June. (Q9069)Full Citation

42.

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

43.

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