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Zimbabwe — 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 Zimbabwe is 400,0001 2 3

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in Zimbabwe is 3.444 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Zimbabwe ranked at No. 895

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Zimbabwe ranked at No. 1061

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Zimbabwe are reported to have 141,7406 firearms

Routine Arming of Police

In Zimbabwe, police officers on routine patrol carry one or more firearms7

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Zimbabwe are reported to have 30,5208 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Zimbabwe, annual homicides by any means total

2008: 1,7759
2007: 645
2006: 921
2005: 1,089
2004: 1,09210
2003: 1,028
2000: 91211
1999: 873
1998: 778

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

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

2008: 14.39
2007: 5.2
2006: 7.4
2005: 8.7
2004: 8.79 12
2003: 8.2
2002: 11.3012
2000: 7.2411 9
1999: 7.04
1998: 6.38
1997: 6.89
1996: 6.4
1995: 6.5

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Zimbabwe, annual firearm homicides total

2007: 199
2006: 19
2005: 19
2004: 20
2000: 59811
1999: 596
1998: 562

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2007: 0.39
2006: 0.3
2005: 0.3
2004: 0.3
2000: 4.7511
1999: 4.81
1998: 4.61

Suicides (any method)

In Zimbabwe, annual suicides by any means total 1990: 76813

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

In Zimbabwe, the annual rate of suicide by any means per 100,000 population is 1990: 7.564

Gun Suicides

In Zimbabwe, annual firearm suicides total 1995: 1214

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

In Zimbabwe, the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is 1995: 0.0914

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Zimbabwe, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is prohibited without Government permission15 16 17 18 19

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In Zimbabwe, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law20 21

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Zimbabwe is reported by Customs to be US$14,28122 (2011)

Small Arms Exports - World Ranking

In a comparison of the world's major/mid-level/minor/unknown small arms exporters, Zimbabwe is categorized as 'unknown'23

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In Zimbabwe, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law17 24

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Zimbabwe is reported by Customs to be US$392,58222 (2011)

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Zimbabwe, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law25

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Zimbabwe include20 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 Zimbabwe is categorised as restrictive26

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Zimbabwe includes the Firearms Act, Chapter 10:0927 28

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Zimbabwe are regulated by the Minister of Home Affairs29

Right to Possess Firearms

In Zimbabwe, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law30 31

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Zimbabwe, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic firearms32

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Zimbabwe, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited32

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Zimbabwe, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is permitted under licence33

Regulation of Handguns

In Zimbabwe, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence33

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Zimbabwe, only licensed gun owners31 34 28 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Zimbabwe are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm34 24

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Zimbabwe is 14 years35

Gun Licence Background Check

An applicant for a firearm licence in Zimbabwe must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental and addiction34 28 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Zimbabwe, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required33

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Zimbabwe does not stipulate33 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Zimbabwe, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required33 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Zimbabwe gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every three years34

Licensing Records

In Zimbabwe, authorities maintain a record36 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Zimbabwe are permitted to possess 1 firearm per firearm certificate34

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Zimbabwe are permitted to possess the quantity of ammunition specified in the firearm certificate34

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Zimbabwe, the law requires36 17 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 Zimbabwe, licensed firearm dealers are required37 17 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In Zimbabwe, licensed gun makers are required17 38 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Zimbabwe, State agencies are required17 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 Zimbabwe, the private sale and transfer of firearms is permitted39

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Zimbabwe, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful40 41

Limit on Gun Dealer Sales

In Zimbabwe, the number and type of firearms which can be sold by a licensed gun dealer to a single gun owner is limited to 1 firearm per firearm certificate31 34

Number of Licensed Gun Dealers

The number of licensed firearm dealers in Zimbabwe is reported to be 2003: 1252

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In Zimbabwe, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined33

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Zimbabwe, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated33 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Zimbabwe include42 43 44 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 Zimbabwe include45 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Zimbabwe include46 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Zimbabwe include47 48 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Zimbabwe, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is not required by law17 28

Firearm Tracing

In Zimbabwe, state authorities carry out49 50 51 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Zimbabwe, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm52 is 5 years prison and/or a fine53

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Zimbabwe are known to have2 28 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Firearms Collected and Seized

In Zimbabwe, firearms voluntarily surrendered for destruction, collected or seized in routine policing are reported to number 2003 (2003)

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Zimbabwe, it is state policy17 54 28 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

African Union

In June 2006, as a member of the African Union, Zimbabwe adopted an African Common Position to take to the Conference to Review the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA), held in June 200655

Southern African Development Community

As a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Zimbabwe signed the SADC Declaration Concerning Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials in March 2001. This laid the ground for the August, 2001 adoption of the legally binding SADC Protocol on Control of Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials56

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 200757 by Zimbabwe.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed58 by Zimbabwe

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 signed59 by Zimbabwe

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Zimbabwe 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 Aspects60

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Zimbabwe against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 8061 62 63 64 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Zimbabwe has submitted one or more national reports65 66 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Zimbabwe, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated67 66

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Zimbabwe, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated67

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Zimbabwe submitted to the UN, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities is apparent67 68

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated66 by Zimbabwe to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Zimbabwe has not declared69 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Zimbabwe has been a Member State of the United Nations since 198070

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list71 Zimbabwe as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


Short References

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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

6.

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

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Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace.2004.‘Routine Arming of Police - Zimbabwe.’ Hide and Seek: Taking Account of Small Arms in Southern Africa.Pretoria:Institute for Security Studies,1 October. (Q8830)Full Citation

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18.

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19.

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21.

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25.

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28.

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29.

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31.

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32.

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33.

Zimbabwe.1957.‘Arrangement of Sections, Preliminary, Short Title and Interpretation.’ Firearms Act, Chapter 10:09.Harare:Republic of Zimbabwe,1 January. (Q4366)Full Citation

34.

Zimbabwe.1957.‘Grant of Firearm Certificate.’ Firearms Act, Chapter 10:09.Harare:Republic of Zimbabwe,1 January. (Q2434)Full Citation

35.

Zimbabwe.1957.‘Restrictions on Possession of Firearms and Ammunition by Young Persons.’ Firearms Act, Chapter 10:09.Harare:Republic of Zimbabwe,1 January. (Q2444)Full Citation

36.

Zimbabwe.1957.‘Keeping of Central Register.’ Firearms Act, Chapter 10:09.Harare:Republic of Zimbabwe,1 January. (Q2448)Full Citation

37.

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38.

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41.

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42.

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43.

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44.

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45.

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