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Benin — 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 Benin is

2017: 33,0001
2007: 120,0002

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 0.31
2007: 1.42

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Benin ranked at No. 1333

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Benin ranked at No. 1372

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Benin are reported to have 8,7004 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Benin are reported to have 26,0005 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Benin, annual homicides by any means total

2015: 653.896
2012: 8487
2010: 604.21
2008: 1,2628

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

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

2015: 6.266
2012: 8.47
2010: 6.67
2008: 15.18
2004: 12.709
2002: 10.00
1998: 5.12
1997: 4.38
1996: 3.70

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Benin, annual male homicides by any means total

2015: 52710
2010: 43010

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

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

2015: 1010

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Benin, annual female homicides by any means total

2015: 12710
2010: 175

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

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

2015: 2.3910

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Benin, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence11

Home-made Guns

In Benin, the prevalence of illicit craft, or 'home-made' firearm manufacture is reported to be moderate12

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Benin, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law13

Firearm Exports (Number)

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

2018: 014

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Benin is reported by Customs to be US$015 (2010)

Firearm Imports

In Benin, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law13 16

Firearm Imports (Number)

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

2018: 2,87014

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Benin is reported by Customs to be US$47,41615 (2011)

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Benin is low17 18

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Benin, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law19 16

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Benin include13 certification of the intended end user of any small arms or ammunition transfer, and/or a written declaration of its intended end use

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

Law Regulates Civilian Access to Firearms

In Benin, civilian possession of guns is regulated by law20

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Benin includes the Decree No. 61/39/PR/MI of February 7, 1961, establishing the arms and ammunition regime in Benin11 16

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Benin are regulated by the Home Office16

Right to Possess Firearms

In Benin, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law21 22

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

Law Regulates Automatic Weapons

In Benin, civilian possession of automatic weapons is regulated by law20

Law Regulates Handguns

In Benin, civilian possession of handguns is regulated by law20

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Benin, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law20

Gun Ownership and Possession

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Benin must pass a background check which considers undefined20 records

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Benin, the law requires23 that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In Benin, licensed gun makers are required11 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Benin, State agencies are required24 to maintain records of the storage and movement of all firearms and ammunition under their control

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Benin include25 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Benin, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law11 13 23

Firearm Tracing

In Benin, state authorities carry out26 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Carrying Guns

Law Regulates Firearms in Public

In Benin, carrying a gun in a public place is regulated by law20

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Benin are known to have27 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

African Union

In June 2006, as a member of the African Union, Benin adopted an African Common Position to take to the Conference to Review the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA), held in June 200628 29

Economic Community of West African States

In June 2006, as a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Benin adopted the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Ammunition and other Related Materials. This stipulates strict controls on the transfer, manufacture, possession and security of small arms and light weapons30

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 200731 by Benin.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified32 by Benin

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 ratified33 by Benin

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Benin 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 Aspects34

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Benin against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 5235 36 37 38 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Benin has submitted one or more national reports39 40 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Benin, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated41 40

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Benin, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated41 40

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Benin submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was apparent41 40

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated40 by Benin to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Benin has not declared42 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Benin has been a Member State of the United Nations since 196043

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list44 Benin as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

To see where Benin 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 Benin.’ Global Study on Homicide 2013: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC),10 April. (Q9996)Full Citation

8.

UNODC.2013.‘Homicide in 207 Countries - Benin.’ Global Study on Homicide 2011: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,26 June. (Q6386)Full Citation

9.

Petrini, Benjamin.2011.‘Sub-Saharan Africa, 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. (Q3812)Full Citation

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

11.

Benin.2016.‘Manufacture (Fabrication).’ National Report of Benin on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York NY:Permanent Mission of Benin to the United Nations,31 March. (Q12445)Full Citation

12.

Benin.2018.‘Manufacture.’ National Report of Benin on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York NY:Permanent Mission of Benin to the United Nations,1 January. (Q13640)Full Citation

13.

Benin.2016.‘International Transfers (Transferts internationaux).’ National Report of Benin on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York NY:Permanent Mission of Benin to the United Nations,31 March. (Q12446)Full Citation

14.

Arms Trade Treaty Secretariat.2017.‘National Reports on Small Arms Exports and Imports.’ Arms Trade Treaty Annual Report.Geneva:Arms Trade Treaty Secretariat,1 January. (Q13951)Full Citation

15.

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

16.

Moreau, Virginie, Cédric Poitevin and Jihan Seniora.2010.‘Comparison of the Main Regulatory Aspects Examined - Benin.’ Arms Transfer Controls: The Example of French-Speaking States in Sub-Saharan Africa.Brussels:Groupe de Recherche et d'Information sur la Paix et la Sécurité (GRIP),1 May. (Q4001)Full Citation

17.

Benin.2018.‘International Transfers.’ National Report of Benin on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York NY:Permanent Mission of Benin to the United Nations,1 January. (Q13641)Full Citation

18.

AEFJN.2010.‘Countries that Send Arms to Embargoed Territories.’ Arms Exports and Transfers: From Sub-Saharan Africa to Sub-Saharan Africa.Brussels:Africa Europe Faith and Justice Network,1 December. (Q5101)Full Citation

19.

Benin.2016.‘Brokering (Courtage).’ National Report of Benin on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York NY:Permanent Mission of Benin to the United Nations,31 March. (Q12447)Full Citation

20.

Butchart, Alexander, Christopher Mikton and Etienne Krug.2014.‘Country Profile: Benin.’ 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. (Q9705)Full Citation

21.

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

22.

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

23.

Benin.2016.‘Marking and Record-keeping (Marquage et conservation des informations).’ National Report of Benin on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York NY:Permanent Mission of Benin to the United Nations,31 March. (Q12450)Full Citation

24.

Benin.2018.‘Marking and Record-keeping.’ National Report of Benin on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York NY:Permanent Mission of Benin to the United Nations,1 January. (Q13642)Full Citation

25.

Benin.2018.‘Stockpile Management.’ National Report of Benin on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York NY:Permanent Mission of Benin to the United Nations,1 January. (Q13643)Full Citation

26.

Benin.2016.‘International Tracing (Traçage international).’ National Report of Benin on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York NY:Permanent Mission of Benin to the United Nations,31 March. (Q12451)Full Citation

27.

Benin.2016.‘Collection (Collecte).’ National Report of Benin on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York NY:Permanent Mission of Benin to the United Nations,31 March. (Q12449)Full Citation

28.

African Union / UNODA.2005.‘Windhoek Common Position.’ United Nations Programme of Action Implementation Support System: Regional Organisations.New York, NY:African Union / United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,14 December. (Q3216)Full Citation

29.

African Union.2015.‘Member States.’ African Union: A United and Strong Africa.Addis Ababa:African Union,10 August. (Q10548)Full Citation

30.

ECOWAS / UNODA.2006.‘Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Ammunition and other Related Materials.’ United Nations Programme of Action Implementation Support System: Regional Organisations.New York, NY:Economic Community of West African States Secretariat / United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,14 June. (Q3219)Full Citation

31.

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

32.

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33.

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34.

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Parker, Sarah and Katherine Green.2012.‘Point Allocation System.’ The Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (Phase 1): Assessing Reported Progress.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,1 August. (Q8754)Full Citation

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39.

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

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41.

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42.

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43.

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44.

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