Citation(s) from the literature library

Karp, Aaron. 2012 ‘Country Analyses: Bolivia.’ Measurement and Use of Statistical Data to Analyze Small Arms in the Caribbean and Latin America; Section IV, p. 17. Mexico City: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Center of Excellence, National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI). 28 April

Relevant contents


One of the most mysterious countries in Latin American gun policy is Bolivia, where virtually nothing is known because until recently there was no legal system. While export and import trade in all military equipment is regulated, including small arms, public ownership was virtually unregulated.

Bolivia became the last country in the region to create a modern registration system in 2009, when it passed its first gun law. The law came after ten years of paralysis caused by unresolved tension between the army and police over responsibility for implementation. Under the 2009 bargain, the military regulates production and the police register civilian ownership.(22)

While waiting for the 2009 law to have an effect and generate statistics, Bolivian firearms data are improvised here based on extrapolation from countries with comparable wealth and population. That makes this among the weakest numbers in this set. Military and law enforcement small arms estimates are stronger, reflecting known manpower and typical arming rates.


22) G. Arancibia and R. Méndez, "Proyecto de ley castiga tenencia, portación y uso ilegal de armas: también sancionará el tráfico irregular de material bélico", El Deber, 9 January 2009.

ID: Q10526

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