Citation(s) from the literature library

Duquet, Nils and Maarten Van Alstein. 2012 ‘Registered Guns.’ Gun Ownership in Belgium; Section 2.2 (Table 2), pp. 6-9. Brussels: Flemish Peace Institute. 19 September

Relevant contents

Registered Guns

In March 2010, the CWR [Central Weapons Registry] listed 740,444 'active' guns. This amounts to approximately 70 legal guns per 1,000 Belgians…

Table 2: Number of registered active guns in the Central Weapons Registry, October 2006 and March 2010

Type of licence/authorization: 2006 - 2010

Authorized arms dealer: 314 - 5
Authorized collector: 13,671 - 22,118
Licensed 'defence gun'/'military firearm': 580,243 - 362,400
Transfer of 'hunting/sporting rifle': 187,471 - 95,274
Licensed 'found' gun: 8 - 40
Confiscated gun: 1 - 4
One-year licence under new Weapons Act(a): 71 - 857
Licence under new Weapons Act: 202 - 104,893
Hunting permit: 5,874 - 115,757
Target shooter's licence: 3 - 27,000
Special hunting guard permit: N/A - 461
Historic/folkloric events: N/A - 289
Licence without ammunition: N/A - 11,346

Total: 787,858 - 740,444

Source: Federal Police, Central Weapons Registry (statistics for October 2006 and March 2010)…

CWR statistics show that the number of legally owned guns in Belgium has decreased over recent years.

On the one hand the figure of 740,444 can be said to be an overestimate of the number of registered firearms in Belgium, given the possible errors in the CWR and the fact that a number of registered guns have not been regularized by their owners.

On the other hand, this figure is an underestimate of the total number of firearms in civilian hands in Belgium, given the significant 'hidden' number of non-registered guns (in legal and illegal possession).


a) The transitional measures as outlined in the Weapons Act of 8 June 2006 stipulated that a temporary one-year licence could be granted for guns that became subject to an authorization as a consequence of the new law, but which had been purchased after January 1st, 2006 (see article 44, §2, 3rd section, Weapons Act). The legislator considered the period after January 1st, 2006 to be a risk period, because hunting rifles and sporting rifles (freely obtainable under the old law of 1933) might have been acquired during this period by individuals aware of the fact that a draft for a stricter law had been tabled in parliament.

ID: Q8894

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