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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 Illicit Firearms

ChartUnlawfully held guns cannot be counted, 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 Illicit Firearms per 100 Population

ChartUnlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Belgium the rate of illicit 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

2013: 13824 25 26 27
2012: 20224 25 27
2011: 20324 25 26 27
2010: 19728 24 25 26 27 29
2009: 18928 24 25 26 27
2008: 231
2007: 210
2006: 25628 30
2005: 31528 24 25 26 27
2004: 30928 24 25 27
2003: 33028
1999: 33724 25 26 27
1998: 371
1997: 39024 25 26
1996: 370
1995: 37924 25 26 31
1994: 38724 25 26
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

2013: 1.2432
2012: 1.83
2011: 1.85
2010: 1.81
2009: 1.7510
2008: 2.16
2007: 1.98
2006: 2.4310 30
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

2013: 12432
2012: 183
2011: 184
2010: 180

Total Number of Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn Belgium, annual female deaths resulting from firearms total

2013: 1432
2012: 19
2011: 19
2010: 17

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Belgium, annual homicides by any means total

2015: 22033
2014: 208
2013: 11032
2012: 130
2011: 146
2010: 117
2009: 134
2008: 128
2007: 157
2006: 146
2005: 163
2004: 178
2003: 144
2002: 31934 35
2001: 282
2000: 212
1999: 17236
1998: 218
1997: 14536 35
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: 1.9533
2014: 1.85
2013: 1.2432
2012: 1.83
2011: 1.85
2010: 1.81
2009: 1.24
2008: 1.20
2007: 1.48
2006: 1.39
2005: 1.56
2004: 1.71
2003: 1.39
2002: 3.134 35
2001: 2.7
2000: 2.1
1999: 1.6810 35
1998: 2.13
1997: 1.42
1996: 1.16
1995: 1.435 37
1990: 1.4138

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Belgium, annual male homicides by any means total

2013: 5732
2012: 81
2011: 83
2010: 74

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Belgium, annual female homicides by any means total

2013: 5332
2012: 49
2011: 63
2010: 43

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Belgium, annual firearm homicides total

2013: 1624
2012: 25
2011: 34
2010: 3628 24 29
2009: 3328 24
2008: 29
2007: 35
2006: 31
2005: 46
2004: 5928 24 35
2003: 5328
1999: 7024
1998: 73
1997: 78
1996: 75
1995: 5924 35
1994: 7624
1993: 95

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2013: 0.1432
2012: 0.23
2011: 0.31
2010: 0.33
2009: 0.3110 24
2008: 0.27
2007: 0.33
2006: 0.29
2005: 0.44
2004: 0.5710 24 35
2003: 0.5110
1999: 0.6824
1998: 0.72
1997: 0.77
1996: 0.74
1995: 0.5824 35
1994: 0.7524
1993: 0.94
1990: 0.6039

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

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

2011: 10%40
2004: 39.5%35
1995: 37.3%

Male Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn Belgium, annual male firearm homicides total

2013: 1032
2012: 15
2011: 27
2010: 27

Female Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn Belgium, annual female firearm homicides total

2013: 632
2012: 10
2011: 7
2010: 9

Handgun Homicides

ChartIn Belgium, annual handgun homicides total

2013: 324
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: 0.0324
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: 124
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: 0.0124
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: 1224
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: 0.1124
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

2013: 1,89532
2012: 2,023
2011: 2,086
2010: 2,01128
2009: 2,013
2008: 2,000
2007: 1,856
2006: 1,934
2005: 2,02841 28
2004: 1,986
2003: 2,09128
1999: 2,00541
1998: 2,022
1995: 2,15531

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

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

2013: 1732
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: 20.8931
1990: 19.0442

Male Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Belgium, annual male suicides by any means total

2013: 1,36332
2012: 1,484
2011: 1,487
2010: 1,449

Female Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Belgium, annual female suicides by any means total

2013: 53232
2012: 539
2011: 599
2010: 562

Gun Suicides

ChartIn Belgium, annual firearm suicides total

2013: 11525
2012: 159
2011: 161
2010: 14428 25 29
2009: 15328 25
2008: 189
2007: 165
2006: 207
2005: 240
2004: 234
2003: 26128
1999: 24525
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

2013: 1.0332
2012: 1.44
2011: 1.47
2010: 1.33
2009: 1.4210 25
2008: 1.77
2007: 1.56
2006: 1.96
2005: 2.29
2004: 2.25
2003: 2.5210
1999: 2.4025
1998: 2.74
1997: 3.05
1996: 2.84
1995: 2.85
1994: 3.03
1993: 2.91
1990: 2.5643

Male Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn Belgium, annual male firearm suicides total

2013: 10832
2012: 154
2011: 150
2010: 140

Female Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn Belgium, annual female firearm suicides total

2013: 732
2012: 5
2011: 11
2010: 4

Handgun Suicides

ChartIn Belgium, annual handgun suicides total

2013: 1525
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: 0.1325
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: 1125
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: 0.1025
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: 8925
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: 0.8025
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

2013: 126
2012: 0
2011: 3
2010: 226 29
2009: 126
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

2013: 0.0532
2012: 0.16
2011: 0.05
2010: 0.14
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: 0.0644

Unintentional Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn Belgium, annual unintentional male shooting deaths total

2013: 132
2012: 0
2011: 3
2010: 2

Unintentional Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn Belgium, annual unintentional female shooting deaths total

2013: 032
2012: 0
2011: 0
2010: 0

Unintentional Long Gun Deaths

ChartIn Belgium, annual unintentional shooting deaths by long gun total

2011: 226
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: 0.0226
1999: 0.02

Unintentional Gun Deaths (Other)

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

2013: 126
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: 0.0126
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

2013: 627
2012: 18
2011: 5
2010: 1527 29
2009: 227
2008: 12
2007: 9
2006: 17
2005: 22
2004: 16
1999: 17
1998: 16
1995: 2931

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

2013: 0.0527
2012: 0.16
2011: 0.05
2010: 0.14
2009: 0.2
2008: 0.11
2007: 0.08
2006: 0.16
2005: 0.21
2004: 0.15
1999: 0.17
1998: 0.16
1995: 0.2831
1990: 0.2645
:

Male Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2013: 532
2012: 14
2011: 4
2010: 11

Female Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2013: 132
2012: 4
2011: 1
2010: 4

Handgun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2008: 127
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: 0.0127
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: 227
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: 0.0227
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: 627
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: 0.0527
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

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 licence18 46

Small Arms Manufacture - World Ranking

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

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Belgium, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55

Firearm Exports (Number)

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

2017: 4,92156
2016: 2,689
2015: 901
2014: 2,367
2013: 1,356
2012: 3,448
2011: 1,762
2010: 4,385
2009: 2,977
2008: 1,981
2007: 38,408
2006: 480

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

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

2016: 128,135,89757
2015: 155,508,880
2014: 149,5247,64
2013: 160,616,754
2012: 141,458,63757 58 59
2011: 73,464,90660
2010: 128,000,00061
2001: 271,000,00058 62 63

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'64 65 66 67 63 68

Firearm Imports

In Belgium, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law49 50 46 51 52 53 54

Firearm Imports (Number)

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

2017: 29,74656
2016: 28,894
2015: 29,018
2014: 1,334
2013: 23,449
2012: 21,767
2011: 19,368
2010: 291
2009: 945
2008: 120
2007: 139
2006: 276

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

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

2016: 40,890,94557
2015: 49,794,883
2014: 56,679,513
2013: 58,633,332
2012: 55,910,17357 69 70
2011: 49,436,95860 71
2010: 63,000,00072

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Belgium is moderate73 74 75 76 77

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Belgium, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law78 79 80 81

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Belgium include82 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: 17.7583
2016: 16.7584
2014: 16.0085
2013: 16.0086
2012: 17.0087
2011: 17.7588
2010: 14.7589
2009: 14.5090
2008: 14.2591
2007: 14.5092
2006: 14.0093
2005: 9.0094
2004: 10.2595

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Belgium is categorised as restrictive96

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 97 the Royal Decree of May 2013,98 the Council Directive of 18 June 1991 on Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Weapons as amended by Directive 2008/51/EC,99 100 101 the European Union Firearms Regulation of 2012, the Common Position on the Control of Arms Brokering of 2003102 and the Convention of 1 July 1969 on Reciprocal Recognition of Proofmarks on Small Arms103

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Belgium are regulated by the Federal Service for Weapons,104 the National Police18 and the European Commission100

Right to Possess Firearms

In Belgium, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law105 106

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 cartridges107 108 109

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Belgium, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited107 108 109 40

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Belgium, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is permitted only with special authorisation110 111 109

Regulation of Handguns

In Belgium, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted only with special authorisation108 110 111 109 40

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Belgium, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law40

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Belgium, only licensed gun owners112 113 114 115 116 108 110 40 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, security117 113 118 119

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Belgium is 18 years120 113 119

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Belgium must pass a background check which considers criminal and various other113 118 119 40 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 required113 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.121 118

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Belgium are permitted to possess 1 firearm per authorisation113

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Belgium are permitted to possess a limited quantity of ammunition122 123

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Belgium, the law requires124 125 46 126 127 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 required128 46 129 127 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 required130 128 46 129 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Belgium, State agencies are required131 124 132 126 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 prohibited120

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Belgium, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful78 120 114 115 133 111

Number of Licensed Gun Dealers

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

2014: 534134
2006: 600

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Belgium, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are regulated120 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Belgium include122 135 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 include135 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 include135 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Belgium include136 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 cases137 138 129 139 101 140

Firearm Tracing

In Belgium, state authorities carry out129 141 46 140 127 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 not142 recorded in a register

Carrying Guns

Law Regulates Firearms in Public

In Belgium, carrying a gun in a public place is regulated by law40

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 firearm143 is five years in prison and/or a fine of 25,000 Euros144 145

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Belgium are known to have146 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: 56,572147
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

2008: 56,572147
2007: 79,892
2006: 200,000148 147

Small Arms Destroyed

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

2006/16: 125,00019
2006: 200,000148 146

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Belgium, it is state policy149 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 Parliament150 151

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 reports152 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 2011153 by Belgium.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified154 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 ratified155 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 Aspects156

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. 72157 158 159 160 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 reports161 162 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 designated163 162

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Belgium, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated163

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 apparent162

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been donated162 by Belgium to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Belgium has declared164 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 1945165

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies lists166 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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