Citation(s) from the literature library

Florquin, Nicolas, Dauren Aben and Takhmina Karimova. 2012 ‘Civilian Holdings.’ Blue Skies and Dark Clouds: Kazakhstan and Small Arms; Occasional Paper No. 29, pp. 14-15. Geneva: Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 1 May

Relevant contents

Civilian Holdings

General population

About 4.4 per cent of household survey respondents said that someone in their household owned at least one firearm, with an average of five firearms for every 100 households (CIOM, 2010). The types of firearms most frequently owned were hunting rifles (61 per cent of gun-owning households), pistols or revolvers (22 per cent), air pistols (6 per cent), gas pistols (4 per cent),and air guns (4 per cent); the remaining holdings were identified as other firearms (1 per cent) and unspecified firearms (2 per cent) (CIOM, 2010).

Applied nationally to Kazakh stan's 4.15 million households, this finding suggests that there are 207,500 privately owned firearms in the country or, taking into account the survey's confidence interval, a range of roughly 190,000–225,000 civilian firearms(11). This translates into fewer than 1.3 firearms for every 100 Kazakhs, a low rate that places Kazakhstan at 142nd position in international rankings (Small Arms Survey, 2007).

Although household survey respondents can be expected to under-report sensitive issues such as firearm ownership, other sources suggest that 190,000–225,000 is a plausible estimate of the number of firearms in civilian hands in Kazakhstan. Previous studies also found that Kazakhstan's population of 16.6 million is relatively poorly armed by international standards.

An earlier estimate offered a range of 100,000–300,000 firearms (Small Arms Survey, 2007). In 2010, the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) reportedly inspected more than 139,000 firearm owners (MIA, 2010a)(12).

[CIOM = Center for the Study of Public Opinion]

Sources cited:

11) The confidence interval is increased from 2.5 to 3 to take into account the low response rate to this question.

12) In spite of several official requests to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, it was not possible to obtain updated official statistics on registered privately held firearms, which the Ministry considers a confidential matter. Author correspondence with Kazakh Ministry of Internal Affairs, 2 August 2011.

ID: Q6565

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