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Bhutan — 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 Bhutan is

2017: 6,0001
2007: 22,0002

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 0.81
2007: 3.52

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Bhutan ranked at No. 1633

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Bhutan ranked at No. 1152

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in Bhutan is reported to be

2017: 4,3091

Estimated Number of Unregistered and Illicit Firearms

Unregistered and unlawfully held guns cannot be counted,4 but in Bhutan there are estimated to be

2017: 1,6911

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Bhutan are reported to have 15,2005 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Bhutan are reported to have 4,0006 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Bhutan, annual homicides by any means total

2016: 97
2015: 12
2014: 217
2013: 24
2012: 33
2011: 32
2010: 16
2009: 16
2008: 18
2007: 14
2006: 9
2005: 11
2004: 15
2003: 5
2002: 19
2001: 19
2000: 18

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

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

2016: 1.207
2015: 1.62
2014: 2.75
2013: 3.31
2012: 4.60
2011: 4.52
2010: 2.29
2009: 2.32
2008: 2.64
2007: 2.08
2006: 1.48 9 10
2005: 1.7
2004: 2.4
2003: 0.8
2002: 3.2
2001: 3.3
2000: 3.28 9

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Bhutan, annual male homicides by any means total

2016: 511
2015: 10
2010: 911

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

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

2016: 1.1811
2015: 2.39

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Bhutan, annual female homicides by any means total

2016: 411
2015: 2
2010: 511

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

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

2016: 1.0711
2015: 0.54

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Imports

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Bhutan is reported by Customs to be US$35,45512 (2011)

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

Law Regulates Civilian Access to Firearms

In Bhutan, civilian possession of guns is regulated by law13

Right to Possess Firearms

In Bhutan, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law14 15

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

Law Regulates Automatic Weapons

In Bhutan, civilian possession of automatic weapons is regulated by law13

Law Regulates Handguns

In Bhutan, civilian possession of handguns is regulated by law13

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Bhutan, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law13

Gun Ownership and Possession

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Bhutan must pass a background check which considers undefined13 records

Carrying Guns

Law Regulates Firearms in Public

In Bhutan, carrying a gun in a public place is regulated by law13

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 not signed16 by Bhutan.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed17 by Bhutan

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 signed18 by Bhutan

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Bhutan 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 Aspects19

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Bhutan has yet to submit a national report20 21 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Bhutan, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated21

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Bhutan, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated21

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Bhutan submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was not apparent21

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated21 by Bhutan to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Bhutan has not declared22 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Bhutan has been a Member State of the United Nations since 194523

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list24 Bhutan as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

To see where Bhutan 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.

GunPolicy.org. 2019. ‘Estimated Number of Illicit Firearms.’ Definition and Selection Criteria.
Sydney School of Public Health, 24 January.
(G14) Full Citation

5.

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

6.

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

7.

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

8.

UNODC.2014.‘Homicides in Bhutan.’ Global Study on Homicide 2013: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC),10 April. (Q10275)Full Citation

9.

UNODC.2013.‘Homicide in 207 Countries - Bhutan.’ Global Study on Homicide 2011: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,26 June. (Q6270)Full Citation

10.

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

11.

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

12.

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

13.

Butchart, Alexander, Christopher Mikton and Etienne Krug.2014.‘Country Profile: Bhutan.’ 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. (Q9706)Full Citation

14.

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

15.

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

16.

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

17.

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

18.

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

19.

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

20.

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

21.

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

22.

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

23.

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

24.

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