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Belgium — 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 Belgium is

2017: 1,451,0001
2015: 776,8662 3 4
2010: 888,533
2006: 2,000,0005 6 7 8
2005: 1,800,0009

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 12.701
2015: 6.8610 11 4
2010: 8.18
2006: 18.9810
2005: 17.29

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Belgium ranked at No. 3912

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Belgium ranked at No. 349

Proportion of Adults Living in a Home With a Gun

In Belgium, the percentage of adults living in a household with a firearm is reported to be

2015: 3%13

Proportion of Households with Firearms

ChartIn Belgium, the percentage of households with one or more guns is reported to be

2010: 5.1%14
2005: 11.4%15 14
1999/2003: 11.4%15 14
1992: 16.5%16
1992/94: 15.6%15 14
1989: 16.5%15 14

Proportion of Households with Rifles

In Belgium, the percentage of households with one or more rifles is reported to be

1992: 5.0%16

Proportion of Households with Shotguns

In Belgium, the percentage of households with one or more shotguns is reported to be

1992: 7.7%16

Proportion of Households with Handguns

ChartIn Belgium, the percentage of households with one or more handguns is reported to be

2005: 5.2%15
1999/2003: 4.3%
1992/94: 6.7%15 16
1989: 6.4%15

Number of Licensed Firearm Owners

ChartThe number of licensed gun owners in Belgium is reported to be

2010: 409,06217
2006: 393,704
1999: 458,16218

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

ChartThe rate of licensed firearm owners per 100 people in Belgium is

2010: 3.7610
2006: 3.74
1999: 4.48

Number of Registered Firearms

ChartThe number of registered guns in Belgium is reported to be

2017: 426,9391
2015: 647,38819
2010: 740,44420
2006: 787,85820 19
2005: 641,7816 9

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

ChartThe rate of registered guns per 100 people in Belgium is

2015: 5.7210
2010: 6.81
2006: 7.48
2005: 6.13

Estimated Number of Unregistered and Illicit Firearms

ChartUnregistered and unlawfully held guns cannot be counted,21 but in Belgium there are estimated to be

2017: 1,024,0611
2015: 129,4782 21 4
2010: 148,089
2006: 630,000 to 1,100,0008

Estimated Rate of Unregistered and Illicit Firearms per 100 Population

ChartUnregistered and unlawfully held guns cannot be counted,21 but in Belgium the rate of such firearms per 100 people is estimated to be

2015: 1.1410
2010: 1.36
2006: 5.98

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Belgium are reported to have 80,88022 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Belgium are reported to have 78,00023 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

ChartIn Belgium, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2015: 15924
2014: 165
2013: 13825 26 27 28
2012: 20225 26 28
2011: 20325 26 27 28
2010: 19729 25 26 27 28 30
2009: 190
2008: 231
2007: 210
2006: 25629 31
2005: 31529 25 26 27 28
2004: 30929 25 26 28
2003: 33029
1999: 33725 26 27 28
1998: 371
1997: 39025 26 27
1996: 370
1995: 37925 26 27 32
1994: 38725 26 27
1993: 392

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

ChartIn Belgium, the annual rate of all gun deaths per 100,000 population is

2015: 1.4024
2014: 1.47
2013: 1.24
2012: 1.83
2011: 1.85
2010: 1.81
2009: 1.76
2008: 2.16
2007: 1.98
2006: 2.4310 31
2005: 3.0110
2004: 2.97
2003: 3.18
1999: 3.29
1998: 3.63
1997: 3.82
1996: 3.63
1995: 3.73
1994: 3.82
1993: 3.89

Total Number of Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn Belgium, annual male deaths resulting from firearms total

2015: 13824
2014: 150
2013: 12424
2012: 183
2011: 184
2010: 180
2009: 170
2008: 211
2007: 178

Rate of Male Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Belgium, the annual rate of male gun death per 100,000 population is

2015: 2.4824
2014: 2.72
2013: 2.26
2012: 3.37
2011: 3.42
2010: 3.38
2009: 3.22
2008: 4.03
2007: 3.42

Total Number of Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn Belgium, annual female deaths resulting from firearms total

2015: 2124
2014: 15
2013: 1424
2012: 19
2011: 19
2010: 17
2009: 20
2008: 20
2007: 32

Rate of Female Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Belgium, the annual rate of female gun death per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.3624
2014: 0.26
2013: 0.25
2012: 0.34
2011: 0.34
2010: 0.31
2009: 0.36
2008: 0.37
2007: 0.59

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Belgium, annual homicides by any means total

2015: 11924
2014: 114
2013: 110
2012: 130
2011: 146
2010: 117
2009: 134
2008: 128
2007: 157
2006: 146
2005: 163
2004: 178
2003: 144
2002: 31933 34
2001: 282
2000: 212
1999: 17235
1998: 218
1997: 14535 34
1996: 118
1995: 142

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

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

2015: 1.0524
2014: 1.01
2013: 0.99
2012: 1.18
2011: 1.33
2010: 1.08
2009: 1.24
2008: 1.20
2007: 1.48
2006: 1.39
2005: 1.56
2004: 1.71
2003: 1.39
2002: 3.133 34
2001: 2.7
2000: 2.1
1999: 1.6810 34
1998: 2.13
1997: 1.42
1996: 1.16
1995: 1.434 36
1990: 1.4137

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Belgium, annual male homicides by any means total

2015: 6524
2014: 70
2013: 57
2012: 81
2011: 83
2010: 74
2009: 80
2008: 83
2007: 92

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

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

2015: 1.1724
2014: 1.27
2013: 1.04
2012: 1.49
2011: 1.54
2010: 1.39
2009: 1.51
2008: 1.58
2007: 1.77

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Belgium, annual female homicides by any means total

2015: 5424
2014: 44
2013: 53
2012: 49
2011: 63
2010: 43
2009: 54
2008: 45
2007: 65

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

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

2015: 0.9424
2014: 0.77
2013: 0.93
2012: 0.87
2011: 1.13
2010: 0.78
2009: 0.98
2008: 0.83
2007: 1.20

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Belgium, annual firearm homicides total

2015: 2824
2014: 29
2013: 1625
2012: 25
2011: 34
2010: 3629 25 30
2009: 3329 25
2008: 29
2007: 35
2006: 31
2005: 46
2004: 5929 25 34
2003: 5329
1999: 7025
1998: 73
1997: 78
1996: 75
1995: 5925 34
1994: 7625
1993: 95

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2015: 0.2524
2014: 0.26
2013: 0.14
2012: 0.23
2011: 0.31
2010: 0.33
2009: 0.31
2008: 0.27
2007: 0.33
2006: 0.29
2005: 0.44
2004: 0.5710 25 34
2003: 0.5110
1999: 0.6825
1998: 0.72
1997: 0.77
1996: 0.74
1995: 0.5825 34
1994: 0.7525
1993: 0.94
1990: 0.6038

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

ChartIn Belgium, the percentage of homicides committed with a firearm is reported to be

2011: 10%39
2004: 39.5%34
1995: 37.3%

Male Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn Belgium, annual male firearm homicides total

2015: 1824
2014: 23
2013: 1024
2012: 15
2011: 27
2010: 27
2009: 24
2008: 23
2007: 21

Rate of Male Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2015: 0.3224
2014: 0.42
2013: 0.18
2012: 0.28
2011: 0.50
2010: 0.51
2009: 0.45
2008: 0.44
2007: 0.40

Female Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn Belgium, annual female firearm homicides total

2015: 1024
2014: 6
2013: 624
2012: 10
2011: 7
2010: 9
2009: 9
2008: 6
2007: 14

Rate of Female Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2015: 0.1724
2014: 0.11
2013: 0.11
2012: 0.18
2011: 0.13
2010: 0.16
2009: 0.16
2008: 0.11
2007: 0.26

Handgun Homicides

ChartIn Belgium, annual handgun homicides total

2013: 325
2012: 1
2011: 1
2009: 2
2005: 2
2004: 2
1999: 6
1998: 11

Rate of Handgun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Belgium, the annual rate of handgun homicide per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.0325
2012: 0.01
2011: 0.01
2009: 0.02
2005: 0.02
2004: 0.02
1999: 0.06
1998: 0.11

Long Gun Homicides

ChartIn Belgium, annual long gun homicides total

2013: 125
2012: 2
2011: 2
2010: 2
2009: 1
2008: 1
2007: 1
2005: 3
2004: 4
1999: 6
1998: 6

Rate of Long Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Belgium, the annual rate of long gun homicide per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.0125
2012: 0.02
2011: 0.02
2010: 0.02
2009: 0.01
2008: 0.01
2007: 0.01
2005: 0.03
2004: 0.04
1999: 0.06
1998: 0.06

Gun Homicides (Other)

ChartIn Belgium, annual gun homicides (other) total

2013: 1225
2012: 22
2011: 31
2010: 34
2009: 30
2008: 28
2007: 34
2006: 31
2005: 41
2004: 53
1999: 58
1998: 56

Rate of Gun Homicide (Other) per 100,000 People

ChartIn Belgium, the annual rate of gun homicide (other) per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.1125
2012: 0.20
2011: 0.28
2010: 0.31
2009: 0.28
2008: 0.26
2007: 0.32
2006: 0.29
2005: 0.39
2004: 0.51
1999: 0.57
1998: 0.55

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Belgium, annual suicides by any means total

2015: 1,86624
2014: 1,898
2013: 1,89524
2012: 2,023
2011: 2,086
2010: 2,01129
2009: 2,013
2008: 2,000
2007: 1,856
2006: 1,934
2005: 2,02840 29
2004: 1,986
2003: 2,09129
1999: 2,00540
1998: 2,022
1995: 2,15532

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

ChartIn Belgium, the annual rate of suicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2015: 16.4824
2014: 16.89
2013: 17
2012: 18.29
2011: 19.03
2010: 18.51
2009: 18.68
2008: 18.70
2007: 17.49
2006: 18.36
2005: 19.37
2004: 19.07
2003: 20.17
1999: 19.59
1998: 19.79
1995: 20.8932
1990: 19.0441

Male Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Belgium, annual male suicides by any means total

2015: 1,31424
2014: 1,338
2013: 1,36324
2012: 1,484
2011: 1,487
2010: 1,449
2009: 1,459
2008: 1,453
2007: 1,319

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

ChartIn Belgium, the annual rate of male suicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2015: 23.5924
2014: 24.22
2013: 24.88
2012: 27.33
2011: 27.64
2010: 27.19
2009: 27.61
2008: 27.72
2007: 25.37

Female Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Belgium, annual female suicides by any means total

2015: 55224
2014: 560
2013: 53224
2012: 539
2011: 599
2010: 562
2009: 554
2008: 547
2007: 537

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

ChartIn Belgium, the annual rate of female suicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2015: 9.5924
2014: 9.80
2013: 9.38
2012: 9.58
2011: 10.73
2010: 10.15
2009: 10.09
2008: 10.03
2007: 9.92

Gun Suicides

ChartIn Belgium, annual firearm suicides total

2015: 12324
2014: 115
2013: 11526
2012: 159
2011: 161
2010: 14429 26 30
2009: 15329 26
2008: 189
2007: 165
2006: 207
2005: 240
2004: 234
2003: 26129
1999: 24526
1998: 280
1997: 310
1996: 288
1995: 289
1994: 307
1993: 293

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Belgium, the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

2015: 1.0924
2014: 1.02
2013: 1.03
2012: 1.44
2011: 1.47
2010: 1.33
2009: 1.42
2008: 1.77
2007: 1.56
2006: 1.96
2005: 2.29
2004: 2.25
2003: 2.5210
1999: 2.4026
1998: 2.74
1997: 3.05
1996: 2.84
1995: 2.85
1994: 3.03
1993: 2.91
1990: 2.5642

Male Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn Belgium, annual male firearm suicides total

2015: 11424
2014: 110
2013: 10824
2012: 154
2011: 150
2010: 140
2009: 142
2008: 177
2007: 148

Rate of Male Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Belgium, the annual rate of male firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

2015: 2.0524
2014: 1.99
2013: 1.97
2012: 2.84
2011: 2.79
2010: 2.63
2009: 2.69
2008: 3.38
2007: 2.85

Female Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn Belgium, annual female firearm suicides total

2015: 924
2014: 5
2013: 724
2012: 5
2011: 11
2010: 4
2009: 11
2008: 12
2007: 17

Rate of Female Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Belgium, the annual rate of female firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.1624
2014: 0.09
2013: 0.12
2012: 0.09
2011: 0.20
2010: 0.07
2009: 0.20
2008: 0.22
2007: 0.31

Handgun Suicides

ChartIn Belgium, annual handgun suicides total

2013: 1526
2012: 16
2011: 8
2010: 4
2009: 13
2008: 9
2007: 9
2006: 13
2005: 13
2004: 18
1999: 45
1998: 25

Rate of Handgun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Belgium, the annual rate of handgun suicide per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.1326
2012: 0.14
2011: 0.07
2010: 0.04
2009: 0.12
2008: 0.08
2007: 0.08
2006: 0.12
2005: 0.12
2004: 0.17
1999: 0.44
1998: 0.25

Long Gun Suicides

ChartIn Belgium, the number of long gun suicides is

2013: 1126
2012: 16
2011: 27
2010: 15
2009: 15
2008: 21
2007: 27
2006: 26
2005: 35
2004: 31
1999: 35
1998: 49

Rate of Long Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Belgium, the annual rate of long gun suicide per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.1026
2012: 0.14
2011: 0.25
2010: 0.14
2009: 0.14
2008: 0.20
2007: 0.25
2006: 0.25
2005: 0.33
2004: 0.30
1999: 0.34
1998: 0.48

Gun Suicides (Other)

ChartIn Belgium, annual gun suicides (other) total

2013: 8926
2012: 127
2011: 126
2010: 125
2009: 125
2008: 159
2007: 129
2006: 168
2005: 192
2004: 185
1999: 165
1998: 206

Rate of Gun Suicide (Other) per 100,000 People

ChartIn Belgium, the annual rate of gun suicide (other) per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.8026
2012: 1.14
2011: 1.15
2010: 1.15
2009: 1.16
2008: 1.48
2007: 1.21
2006: 1.59
2005: 1.83
2004: 1.78
1999: 1.61
1998: 2.02

Unintentional Gun Deaths

ChartIn Belgium, annual unintentional shooting deaths total

2015: 524
2014: 2
2013: 127
2012: 0
2011: 3
2010: 227 30
2009: 127
2008: 1
2007: 1
2006: 1
2005: 7
1999: 5
1998: 2
1997: 2
1996: 7
1995: 2
1994: 4
1993: 4

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Belgium, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.0424
2014: 0.02
2013: 0.01
2012: 0.16
2011: 0.03
2010: 0.02
2009: 0.01
2008: 0.01
2007: 0.01
2006: 0.01
2005: 0.07
1999: 0.05
1998: 0.02
1997: 0.02
1996: 0.07
1995: 0.02
1994: 0.04
1993: 0.04
1990: 0.0643

Unintentional Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn Belgium, annual unintentional male shooting deaths total

2015: 424
2014: 2
2013: 124
2012: 0
2011: 3
2010: 2
2009: 1
2007: 1

Rate of Unintentional Male Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Belgium, the annual rate of unintentional male shooting death per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.0724
2014: 0.04
2013: 0.02
2011: 0.06
2010: 0.04
2009: 0.02
2007: 0.02

Unintentional Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn Belgium, annual unintentional female shooting deaths total

2015: 124
2013: 024
2012: 0
2011: 0
2010: 0
2008: 1

Rate of Unintentional Female Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Belgium, the annual rate of unintentional female shooting death per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.0224
2008: 0.02

Unintentional Long Gun Deaths

ChartIn Belgium, annual unintentional shooting deaths by long gun total

2011: 227
1999: 2

Rate of Unintentional Long Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Belgium, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death by long gun per 100,000 population is

2011: 0.0227
1999: 0.02

Unintentional Gun Deaths (Other)

ChartIn Belgium, annual unintentional shooting deaths by firearm (other) total

2013: 127
2011: 1
2010: 2
2009: 1
2008: 1
2007: 1
2006: 1
2005: 7
1999: 3
1998: 2

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death (Other) per 100,000 People

ChartIn Belgium, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death by firearm (other) per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.0127
2011: 0.01
2010: 0.02
2009: 0.01
2008: 0.01
2007: 0.01
2006: 0.01
2005: 0.07
1999: 0.03
1998: 0.02

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Belgium, annual shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2015: 324
2014: 19
2013: 628
2012: 18
2011: 5
2010: 1528 30
2009: 228
2008: 12
2007: 9
2006: 17
2005: 22
2004: 16
1999: 17
1998: 16
1995: 2932

Rate of Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn Belgium, the annual rate of unknown-cause shooting deaths per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.0324
2014: 0.17
2013: 0.05
2012: 0.16
2011: 0.05
2010: 0.14
2009: 0.02
2008: 0.11
2007: 0.08
2006: 0.16
2005: 0.21
2004: 0.15
1999: 0.17
1998: 0.16
1995: 0.2832
1990: 0.2644
:

Male Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Belgium, annual male shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2015: 224
2014: 15
2013: 524
2012: 14
2011: 4
2010: 11
2009: 2
2008: 11
2007: 8

Rate of Male Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn Belgium, the annual rate of unknown-cause male shooting deaths per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.0424
2014: 0.27
2013: 0.09
2012: 0.26
2011: 0.07
2010: 0.21
2009: 0.04
2008: 0.21
2007: 0.15

Female Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Belgium, annual female shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2015: 124
2014: 4
2013: 124
2012: 4
2011: 1
2010: 4
2008: 1
2007: 1

Rate of Female Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn Belgium, the annual rate of unknown-cause female shooting deaths per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.0224
2014: 0.07
2013: 0.02
2012: 0.07
2011: 0.02
2010: 0.07
2008: 0.02
2007: 0.02

Handgun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Belgium, annual deaths by handgun in which the cause remains undecided total

2008: 128
2006: 1
2005: 1
1999: 1

Rate of Handgun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn Belgium, the annual rate of unknown-cause handgun deaths per 100,000 population is

2008: 0.0128
2006: 0.01
2005: 0.01
1999: 0.01

Long Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Belgium, annual deaths by long gun in which the cause remains undecided total

2012: 228
2008: 1
2006: 2
1999: 2

Rate of Long Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn Belgium, the annual rate of unknown-cause long gun deaths per 100,000 population is

2012: 0.0228
2008: 0.09
2006: 0.02
1999: 0.02

Gun Deaths (Other) from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Belgium, annual deaths by firearm (other) in which the cause remains undecided total

2013: 628
2012: 16
2011: 5
2010: 15
2009: 2
2008: 10
2007: 9
2006: 14
2005: 21
2004: 16
1999: 14
1998: 16

Rate of Gun Death (Other) from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn Belgium, the annual rate of unknown-cause gun deaths (other) per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.0528
2012: 0.14
2011: 0.05
2010: 0.14
2009: 0.02
2008: 0.09
2007: 0.08
2006: 0.13
2005: 0.20
2004: 0.15
1999: 0.14
1998: 0.16

Legal Intervention Gun Homicides

In Belgium, annual legal-intervention gun homicides total

2009: 124

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Belgium, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence45 46 18

Small Arms Manufacture - World Ranking

In a classification of the world's small, medium and major firearm manufacturers, Belgium was ranked 'medium'47

Home-made Guns

In Belgium, the prevalence of illicit craft, or 'home-made' firearm manufacture is reported to be low48

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Belgium, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57

Firearm Exports (Number)

The annual number of firearms exported from Belgium is reported by manufacturers to be

2018: 1,21058

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

ChartThe annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Belgium is reported by Customs to be US$

2016: 128,135,89759
2015: 155,508,880
2014: 149,5247,64
2013: 160,616,754
2012: 141,458,63759 60 61
2011: 73,464,90662
2010: 128,000,00063
2001: 271,000,00060 64 65

Small Arms Exports - World Ranking

In a comparison of the world's major/mid-level/minor/unknown small arms exporters, Belgium was categorized as 'major'66 67 68 69 65 70

Firearm Imports

In Belgium, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law50 51 52 46 53 54 55 56

Firearm Imports (Number)

The annual number of firearms imported to Belgium is reported to be

2018: 14,10858

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

ChartThe annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Belgium is reported by Customs to be US$

2016: 40,890,94559
2015: 49,794,883
2014: 56,679,513
2013: 58,633,332
2012: 55,910,17359 71 72
2011: 49,436,95862 73
2010: 63,000,00074

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Belgium is moderate75 76 77 78 79 80

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Belgium, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law81 82 83 84 85

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Belgium include52 86 certification of the intended end user of any small arms or ammunition transfer, and/or a written declaration of its intended end use

Transparency of Small Arms Transfers

ChartIn its annual Small Arms Trade Transparency Barometer, the Small Arms Survey compares public reporting among major arms exporting nations on a scale from strong to weak (25 to zero). In recent years, Belgium scored

2018: 17.7587
2016: 16.7588
2014: 16.0089
2013: 16.0090
2012: 17.0091
2011: 17.7592
2010: 14.7593
2009: 14.5094
2008: 14.2595
2007: 14.5096
2006: 14.0097
2005: 9.0098
2004: 10.2599

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Belgium is categorised as restrictive100

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Belgium includes the Act regulating economic and individual activities related to firearms (also referred to as the 'Firearms Act') of June 8, 2006,46 101 the Royal Decree of May 2013,102 the Council Directive of 18 June 1991 on Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Weapons as amended by Directive 2008/51/EC,103 104 105 the European Union Firearms Regulation of 2012, the Common Position on the Control of Arms Brokering of 2003106 and the Convention of 1 July 1969 on Reciprocal Recognition of Proofmarks on Small Arms107

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Belgium are regulated by the Federal Service for Weapons,108 the National Police18 and the European Commission104

Right to Possess Firearms

In Belgium, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law109 110

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Belgium, civilians are not allowed to possess military weapons, automatic firearms, and their ammunition, concealable firearms, silencers, laser sights, and high capacity cartridges111 112 113

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Belgium, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited111 112 113 39

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Belgium, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is permitted only with special authorisation114 115 113

Regulation of Handguns

In Belgium, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted only with special authorisation112 114 115 113 39

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Belgium, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law39

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Belgium, only licensed gun owners116 117 118 119 120 112 114 39 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Belgium are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example hunting, target shooting, collection, personal protection, security121 117 122 123

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Belgium is 18 years124 117 123

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Belgium must pass a background check which considers criminal and various other117 122 123 39 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Belgium, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required18

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Belgium does not stipulate18 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Belgium, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is required117 18 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Belgium, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every three years for permits to carry weapons. General licences for firearm possession are issued for an undetermined period.125 122

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Belgium are permitted to possess 1 firearm per authorisation117

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Belgium are permitted to possess a limited quantity of ammunition126 127

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Belgium, the law requires128 129 46 130 131 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 Belgium, licensed firearm dealers are required132 46 133 131 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In Belgium, licensed gun makers are required134 132 45 46 133 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Belgium, State agencies are required135 128 136 130 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 Belgium, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited124

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Belgium, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful81 124 118 119 137 115

Number of Licensed Gun Dealers

ChartThe number of licensed firearm dealers in Belgium is reported to be

2014: 534138
2006: 600

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Belgium, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are regulated124 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Belgium include126 139 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 Belgium include139 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Belgium include140 139 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Belgium include141 18 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Belgium, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law in some cases142 143 133 144 105 145

Firearm Tracing

In Belgium, state authorities carry out133 146 46 145 131 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Record of Firearms and Ammunition

In Belgium, the ballistic characteristics of each civilian firearm and its ammunition are not147 recorded in a register

Carrying Guns

Law Regulates Firearms in Public

In Belgium, carrying a gun in a public place is regulated by law39

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Belgium, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit18

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Belgium, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm148 is five years in prison and/or a fine of 25,000 Euros149 150

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Belgium are known to have151 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Surrendered in Gun Amnesty

ChartIn Belgium, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered in recent arms amnesty and collection programmes is reported to be

2008: 56,572152
2007: 79,892
2006: 61,999

Firearms Surrendered and Seized

ChartIn Belgium, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered, bought back or seized by authorities is reported to be

2015/16: 6,928153
2008: 56,572152
2007: 79,892
2006: 200,000154 152

Small Arms Destroyed

ChartIn Belgium, the number of firearms destroyed following amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be

2015/16: 67,766155
2006/16: 125,00019
2006: 200,000154 151

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Belgium, it is state policy156 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

European Union

As a member of the European Union, Belgium is bound by the provisions of the ‘EU Firearms Directive’ – the 2007 Legislative Resolution on Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Weapons of the European Parliament157 158

European Union Export Reporting

Under the European Union Common Position on Arms Exports, Belgium is bound to declare its transfers of military technology and equipment. Independent monitoring provides detailed comparisons of arms export reporting compliance across EU member states, and records that Belgium has submitted one or more national reports159 on its arms transfers

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 2011160 by Belgium.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified161 by Belgium

United Nations Firearms Protocol

The United Nations Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition has been signed and ratified162 by Belgium

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Belgium 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 Aspects163

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Belgium against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 72164 165 166 167 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Belgium has submitted one or more national reports168 169 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Belgium, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated170 169

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Belgium, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated170

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Belgium submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was apparent169

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been donated169 by Belgium to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Belgium has declared171 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Belgium has been a Member State of the United Nations since 1945172

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies lists173 Belgium as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


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