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Afghanistan — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law

StockpilesGun Numbers

Civilian Guns

Number of Privately Owned Firearms

ChartThe estimated total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in Afghanistan is

2017: 4,270,0001
2007: 1,000,0002

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

ChartThe estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) per 100 people in Afghanistan is

2017: 12.51
2007: 4.42

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Afghanistan ranked at No. 463

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Afghanistan ranked at No. 1062

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Afghanistan are reported to have 331,1704 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Afghanistan are reported to have 239,0005 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Afghanistan, annual homicides by any means total

2012: 1,9486
2011: 1,231
2010: 983
2009: 1,1157
2008: 7128

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

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

2012: 6.406
2011: 4.14
2010: 3.38
2009: 3.91
2008: 2.408
2004: 3.409

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Afghanistan, annual male homicides by any means total

2012: 1,85610
2010: 85510

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

In Afghanistan, the annual rate of male homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2012: 11.7610

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Afghanistan, annual female homicides by any means total

2012: 9210
2010: 128

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

In Afghanistan, the annual rate of female homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2012: 0.6210

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Afghanistan is reported by Customs to be US$6,68311 (2009)

Firearm Imports

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Afghanistan is reported by Customs to be US$64,016,65011 (2011)12 13 14 15

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

Law Regulates Civilian Access to Firearms

In Afghanistan, civilian possession of guns is regulated by law16

Right to Possess Firearms

In Afghanistan, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law17 18

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

Law Regulates Handguns

In Afghanistan, civilian possession of handguns is regulated by law16

Gun Ownership and Possession

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Afghanistan must pass a background check which considers undefined16 records

Firearm Safety Training

In Afghanistan, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is required19 for a firearm licence

Carrying Guns

Law Regulates Firearms in Public

In Afghanistan, carrying a gun in a public place is regulated by law16

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Afghanistan, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit19

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Surrendered in Gun Amnesty

In Afghanistan, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered in recent arms amnesty and collection programmes is reported to be 131,81120 (2003)

MeasuresInternational Controls

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 200621 by Afghanistan.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed22 by Afghanistan

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 signed23 by Afghanistan

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Afghanistan 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 Aspects24

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Afghanistan has yet to submit a national report25 26 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Afghanistan, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated26

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Afghanistan, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated26

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Afghanistan submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was not apparent26

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated26 by Afghanistan to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided26 to Afghanistan by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Afghanistan has not declared27 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Afghanistan has been a Member State of the United Nations since 194628

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list29 Afghanistan as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


Short References

1.

Karp, Aaron.2018.‘Civilian Firearms Holdings, 2017.’ Estimating Global Civilian-Held Firearms Numbers.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,18 June. (Q13434)Full Citation

2.

Karp, Aaron.2007.‘Completing the Count: Civilian firearms - Annexe online.’ Small Arms Survey 2007: Guns and the City.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,27 August. (Q5)Full Citation

3.

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

4.

Karp, Aaron.2018.‘Military Firearms Holdings, 2017.’ Estimating Global Military-Owned Firearms Numbers.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,18 June. (Q13436)Full Citation

5.

Karp, Aaron.2018.‘Law Enforcement Firearms Holdings, 2017.’ Estimating Global Law Enforcement Firearms Numbers.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,18 June. (Q13435)Full Citation

6.

UNODC.2017.‘Intentional Homicide Victims.’ Crime and Drugs Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,19 May. (Q13355)Full Citation

7.

UNODC.2014.‘Homicides in Afghanistan.’ Global Study on Homicide 2013: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC),10 April. (Q10273)Full Citation

8.

UNODC.2013.‘Homicide in 207 Countries - Afghanistan.’ Global Study on Homicide 2011: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,26 June. (Q6226)Full Citation

9.

Petrini, Benjamin.2011.‘South Asia, 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. (Q3815)Full Citation

10.

UNODC.2017.‘Intentional Homicide Victims by Sex.’ Crime and Drugs Data.Vienna:UNODC,19 May. (Q13356)Full Citation

11.

Marsh, Nicholas.2014.‘Database of Authorised Transfers of Small Arms and Light Weapons.’ NISAT Small Arms Trade Database.Oslo:Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers,22 December. (Q16)Full Citation

12.

Holtom, Paul and Christelle Rigual.2015.‘Importers of Small Arms Based on UN Comtrade, 2012.’ Small Arms Survey 2015: Weapons and the World.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press and the Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,1 June. (Q11070)Full Citation

13.

Rigual, Christelle.2015.‘Annexe 4.2: Major Importers.’ Small Arms Survey 2015: Weapons and the World.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press and the Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,1 June. (Q11078)Full Citation

14.

Holtom, Paul, Irene Pavesi and Christelle Rigual.2014.‘Importers of Small Arms Based on UN Comtrade, 2011.’ Small Arms Survey 2014: Women and Guns.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press and the Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,16 June. (Q11041)Full Citation

15.

Pavesi, Irene and Christelle Rigual.2013.‘Annexes 8.2: Major Importers.’ Small Arms Survey 2013: Everyday Dangers.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press and the Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,2 July. (Q8486)Full Citation

16.

Butchart, Alexander, Christopher Mikton and Etienne Krug.2014.‘Country Profile: Afghanistan.’ Global Status Report on Violence Prevention 2014.Geneva:World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),10 December. (Q9632)Full Citation

17.

Sherman, Amy and Tom Ginsburg.2014.‘Gun Rights in National Constitutions.’ Marco Rubio Says Second Amendment Is Unique in Speech to NRA.Miami, FL:Miami Herald (PolitiFact Florida),29 April. (Q8507)Full Citation

18.

Zachary Elkins, Tom Ginsburg and James Melton. 2013. ‘U.S. Gun Rights Truly Are American Exceptionalism.’ Bloomberg (USA). 7 March. (N422) Full Citation

19.

United Nations.1999.‘Analysis of Country Responses.’ United Nations International Study on Firearm Regulation.Vienna:UN Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division,30 August. (Q1)Full Citation

20.

Karp, Aaron.2009.‘Summary of Disarmament Outcomes in 45 DDR Programmes.’ Small Arms Survey 2009: Shadows of War.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,9 July. (Q2941)Full Citation

21.

GDAV.2006.‘Geneva Declaration.’ Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development.Geneva:Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development Secretariat,7 June. (Q7162)Full Citation

22.

UNODA.2013.‘Towards Entry Into Force.’ Arms Trade Treaty.New York, NY:United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,2 April. (Q7226)Full Citation

23.

UNGA.2001.‘United Nations Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition.’ UN General Assembly Resolution 55/255.New York, NY:UN General Assembly,31 May. (Q17)Full Citation

24.

UNGA.2001.‘Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.’ United Nations General Assembly.New York, NY:UN General Assembly,20 July. (Q18)Full Citation

25.

Cattaneo, Silvia and Sarah Parker.2008.‘Reporting, NPCs and NCAs, 2002 to 2008.’ Implementing the United Nations Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons: Analysis of the National Reports submitted by States from 2002 to 2008.Geneva:United Nations Development Programme,1 November. (Q20)Full Citation

26.

UNODA.2018.‘PoA-ISS Country Profiles.’ UN small arms Programme of Action (UNPoA) - Implementation Support System.New York, NY:United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs,23 July. (Q1309)Full Citation

27.

UNODA.2011.‘National Reports on Small Arms Exports.’ United Nations Register of Conventional Arms - The Global Reported Arms Trade.New York, NY:United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,21 October. (Q14)Full Citation

28.

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

29.

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