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Bulgaria — 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 Bulgaria is

2017: 590,0001
2007: 480,0002 3

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 8.401
2007: 6.22

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Bulgaria ranked at No. 844

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Bulgaria ranked at No. 882

Proportion of Adults Living in a Home With a Gun

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

2015: 7%5

Proportion of Households with Firearms

In Bulgaria, the percentage of households with one or more guns is reported to be

2005: 9.7%6

Proportion of Households with Handguns

In Bulgaria, the percentage of households with one or more handguns is reported to be

2005: 6.6%6

Number of Licensed Firearm Owners

The number of licensed gun owners in Bulgaria is reported to be

2014: 211,4863

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

The rate of licensed firearm owners per 100 people in Bulgaria is

2014: 2.937

Number of Registered Firearms

ChartThe number of registered guns in Bulgaria is reported to be

2017: 345,7331
2014: 300,5833
2005: 300,0002

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

ChartThe rate of registered guns per 100 people in Bulgaria is

2014: 4.167
2005: 3.94

Estimated Number of Unregistered and Illicit Firearms

ChartUnregistered and unlawfully held guns cannot be counted,8 but in Bulgaria there are estimated to be

2017: 244,2671
2006: 93,2069

Estimated Rate of Unregistered and Illicit Firearms per 100 Population

Unregistered and unlawfully held guns cannot be counted,8 but in Bulgaria the rate of such firearms per 100 people is estimated to be 1.227

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Bulgaria are reported to have 176,64010 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Bulgaria are reported to have 59,40011 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

ChartIn Bulgaria, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2014: 10912
2013: 12613 14 15 16
2012: 12013 14 15 16 17
2011: 9918
2010: 10713 14 15 16
2009: 170
2008: 136
2007: 107
2006: 135
2005: 139
2004: 12813 14 15
2003: 155
2002: 148
2001: 153
2000: 154
1999: 13313 14 15 19
1998: 19413 14 15

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

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

2014: 1.5112
2013: 1.73
2012: 1.64
2011: 1.35
2010: 1.45
2009: 2.29
2008: 1.82
2007: 1.42
2006: 1.79
2005: 1.83
2004: 1.67
2003: 2.01
2002: 1.90
2001: 1.95
2000: 1.95
1999: 1.67
1998: 2.41

Total Number of Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn Bulgaria, annual male deaths resulting from firearms total

2014: 10012
2013: 11412
2012: 112
2011: 93
2010: 97
2009: 155
2008: 119
2007: 102

Total Number of Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn Bulgaria, annual female deaths resulting from firearms total

2014: 912
2013: 1212
2012: 8
2011: 6
2010: 10
2009: 15
2008: 17
2007: 5

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Bulgaria, annual homicides by any means total

2016: 8120
2015: 129
2014: 9612
2013: 90
2012: 110
2011: 97
2010: 113
2009: 150
2008: 129
2007: 145
2006: 186
2005: 199
2004: 244
2003: 247
2002: 25521
2001: 308
2000: 332
1999: 327
1998: 381
1997: 398
1996: 438
1995: 494

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

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

2016: 1.1320
2015: 1.79
2014: 1.3312
2013: 1.24
2012: 1.51
2011: 1.32
2010: 1.53
2009: 2.02
2008: 1.73
2007: 1.93
2006: 2.4
2005: 2.6
2004: 3.2
2003: 3.2
2002: 3.221 22
2001: 3.9
2000: 4.1
1999: 4.1
1998: 4.7
1997: 4.9
1996: 5.3
1995: 5.9

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Bulgaria, annual male homicides by any means total

2016: 5923
2015: 100
2014: 6412
2013: 59
2012: 83
2011: 69
2010: 79
2009: 110
2008: 84
2007: 112

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

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

2016: 1.7023
2015: 2.87
2014: 2.56
2013: 2.12
2012: 2.92
2011: 2.74
2010: 3.36
2009: 3.17
2008: 3.72
2007: 3.77

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Bulgaria, annual female homicides by any means total

2016: 2223
2015: 29
2014: 3212
2013: 31
2012: 27
2011: 28
2010: 34
2009: 40
2008: 45
2007: 33

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

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

2016: 0.6023
2015: 0.79
2014: 0.70
2013: 0.91
2012: 0.99
2011: 0.79
2010: 0.71
2009: 0.91
2008: 0.93
2007: 0.98

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Bulgaria, annual firearm homicides total

2014: 1212
2013: 2513
2012: 2513 24 17
2011: 17
2010: 31
2009: 47
2008: 2813 24 21
2007: 33
2006: 27
2005: 49
2004: 5913 21
2003: 74
2002: 6513
2001: 73
2000: 7013 21
1999: 51
1998: 88
1997: 11021
1996: 105
1995: 107

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2014: 0.1712
2013: 0.34
2012: 0.34
2011: 0.23
2010: 0.42
2009: 0.63
2008: 0.38
2007: 0.44
2006: 0.35
2005: 0.63
2004: 0.7613 21
2003: 0.95
2002: 0.8313
2001: 0.92
2000: 0.8613 21
1999: 0.62
1998: 1.07
1997: 0.521
1996: 0.5
1995: 0.5

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

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

2012: 18%24
2011: 32%24 25
2010: 22%24
2009: 29%
2008: 30%
2007: 31%
2006: 24%
2005: 22%
2004: 18.8%21
2003: 20.6%
2000: 19.0%
1999: 20.8%
1998: 14.2%
1997: 27.6%
1996: 24.0%
1995: 21.7%

Male Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn Bulgaria, annual male firearm homicides total

2014: 1012
2013: 1712
2012: 22
2011: 15
2010: 25
2009: 37
2008: 19
2007: 30

Female Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn Bulgaria, annual female firearm homicides total

2014: 212
2013: 812
2012: 3
2011: 2
2010: 6
2009: 10
2008: 9
2007: 3

Handgun Homicides

ChartIn Bulgaria, annual handgun homicides total

2013: 1713
2012: 17
2011: 11
2010: 22
2009: 22
2008: 1413
2007: 20
2006: 10
2005: 29

Rate of Handgun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2013: 0.2313
2012: 0.23
2011: 0.15
2010: 0.29
2009: 0.29
2008: 0.1813
2007: 0.26
2006: 0.13
2005: 0.37

Long Gun Homicides

ChartIn Bulgaria, annual long gun homicides total

2013: 213
2012: 4
2011: 3
2010: 1
2009: 4
2008: 513
2007: 3
2006: 1

Rate of Long Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2013: 0.0313
2012: 0.05
2011: 0.04
2010: 0.01
2009: 0.05
2008: 0.0713
2007: 0.04
2006: 0.01

Gun Homicides (Other)

ChartIn Bulgaria, annual gun homicides (other) total

2013: 613
2012: 4
2011: 3
2010: 8
2009: 21
2008: 913
2007: 10
2006: 16
2005: 20

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

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

2013: 0.0813
2012: 0.05
2011: 0.04
2010: 0.11
2009: 0.28
2008: 0.1213
2007: 0.13
2006: 0.21
2005: 0.26

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Bulgaria, annual suicides by any means total

2014: 72212
2013: 72012
2012: 872
2011: 763
2010: 859
2009: 868
2008: 939
2007: 902
1999: 1,30719

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

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

2014: 9.9912
2013: 9.91
2012: 11.93
2011: 10.38
2010: 11.62
2009: 11.69
2008: 12.58
2007: 12.01
1999: 16.5519

Male Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Bulgaria, annual male suicides by any means total

2014: 55112
2013: 57212
2012: 673
2011: 605
2010: 649
2009: 662
2008: 694
2007: 663

Female Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Bulgaria, annual female suicides by any means total

2014: 17112
2013: 14812
2012: 199
2011: 158
2010: 210
2009: 206
2008: 245
2007: 239

Gun Suicides

ChartIn Bulgaria, annual firearm suicides total

2014: 5312
2013: 7314
2012: 7114 17
2011: 6414
2010: 58
2009: 83
2008: 71
2007: 57
2006: 75
2005: 55
2004: 57
2003: 65
2002: 73
2001: 64
2000: 70
1999: 55
1998: 87

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

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

2014: 0.7312
2013: 1
2012: 0.97
2011: 0.87
2010: 0.78
2009: 1.12
2008: 0.95
2007: 0.76
2006: 0.97
2005: 0.71
2004: 0.73
2003: 0.83
2002: 0.93
2001: 0.81
2000: 0.86
1999: 0.67
1998: 1.05

Male Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn Bulgaria, annual male firearm suicides total

2014: 5112
2013: 7112
2012: 69
2011: 62
2010: 54
2009: 81
2008: 66
2007: 55

Female Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn Bulgaria, annual female firearm suicides total

2014: 212
2013: 212
2012: 2
2011: 2
2010: 4
2009: 2
2008: 5
2007: 2

Handgun Suicides

ChartIn Bulgaria, annual handgun suicides total

2013: 3614
2012: 49
2011: 43
2010: 43
2009: 55
2008: 35
2007: 32
2006: 49
2005: 36

Rate of Handgun Suicide per 100,000 People

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

2013: 0.5014
2012: 0.67
2011: 0.59
2010: 0.57
2009: 0.73
2008: 0.46
2007: 0.42
2006: 0.64
2005: 0.47

Long Gun Suicides

ChartIn Bulgaria, the number of long gun suicides is

2013: 714
2012: 3
2011: 2
2010: 1
2009: 12
2008: 8
2007: 7
2006: 5
2005: 3

Rate of Long Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

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

2013: 0.1014
2012: 0.04
2011: 0.03
2010: 0.01
2009: 0.16
2008: 0.10
2007: 0.09
2006: 0.06
2005: 0.04

Gun Suicides (Other)

ChartIn Bulgaria, annual gun suicides (other) total

2013: 3014
2012: 19
2011: 19
2010: 14
2009: 16
2008: 28
2007: 18
2006: 21
2005: 16

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

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

2013: 0.4114
2012: 0.26
2011: 0.26
2010: 0.19
2009: 0.21
2008: 0.37
2007: 0.24
2006: 0.27
2005: 0.21

Unintentional Gun Deaths

ChartIn Bulgaria, annual unintentional shooting deaths total

2014: 1912
2013: 1715
2012: 1715 17
2011: 1015
2010: 12
2009: 26
2008: 25
2007: 12
2006: 25
2005: 23
2004: 12
2003: 16
2002: 10
2001: 16
2000: 14
1999: 20
1998: 19

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

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

2014: 0.2612
2013: 0.23
2012: 0.23
2011: 0.14
2010: 0.16
2009: 0.35
2008: 0.33
2007: 0.16
2006: 0.32
2005: 0.3
2004: 0.15
2003: 0.2
2002: 0.13
2001: 0.2
2000: 0.17
1999: 0.24
1998: 0.23

Unintentional Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn Bulgaria, annual unintentional male shooting deaths total

2014: 1712
2013: 1712
2012: 14
2011: 9
2010: 12
2009: 24
2008: 24
2007: 12

Unintentional Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn Bulgaria, annual unintentional female shooting deaths total

2014: 212
2013: 012
2012: 3
2011: 1
2010: 0
2009: 2
2008: 1

Unintentional Handgun Deaths

ChartIn Bulgaria, annual unintentional shooting deaths by handgun total

2013: 215
2012: 7
2011: 5
2010: 5
2009: 10
2008: 9
2007: 8
2006: 11
2005: 13

Rate of Unintentional Handgun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Bulgaria, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death by handgun per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.0315
2012: 0.10
2011: 0.07
2010: 0.07
2009: 0.13
2008: 0.12
2007: 0.10
2006: 0.14
2005: 0.17

Unintentional Long Gun Deaths

ChartIn Bulgaria, annual unintentional shooting deaths by long gun total

2013: 315
2012: 3
2011: 1
2010: 2
2009: 2
2008: 2
2006: 4

Rate of Unintentional Long Gun Death per 100,000 People

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

2013: 0.0415
2012: 0.04
2011: 0.01
2010: 0.03
2009: 0.03
2008: 0.03
2006: 0.05

Unintentional Gun Deaths (Other)

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

2013: 1215
2012: 7
2011: 4
2010: 5
2009: 14
2008: 14
2007: 4
2006: 10
2005: 10

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

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

2013: 0.1715
2012: 0.10
2011: 0.05
2010: 0.07
2009: 0.18
2008: 0.18
2007: 0.05
2006: 0.13
2005: 0.13

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2014: 1012
2013: 1116
2012: 716 17
2011: 816
2010: 6
2009: 14
2008: 12
2007: 5
2006: 8
2005: 12
1999: 719

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

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

2014: 0.1412
2013: 0.15
2012: 0.10
2011: 0.11
2010: 0.08
2009: 0.19
2008: 0.16
2007: 0.07
2006: 0.10
2005: 0.16
1999: 0.0919

Male Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2014: 912
2013: 912
2012: 7
2011: 7
2010: 6
2009: 13
2008: 10
2007: 5

Female Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2014: 112
2013: 212
2012: 0
2011: 1
2010: 0
2009: 1
2008: 2

Handgun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2012: 316
2009: 1
2008: 6
2007: 2
2006: 3
2005: 1

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

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

2012: 0.0416
2009: 0.01
2008: 0.08
2007: 0.03
2006: 0.04
2005: 0.01

Long Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2013: 316
2011: 3
2010: 2
2009: 2
2007: 1
2005: 1

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

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

2013: 0.0416
2011: 0.04
2010: 0.03
2009: 0.03
2007: 0.01
2005: 0.01

Gun Deaths (Other) from Undetermined Cause

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

2013: 816
2012: 4
2011: 5
2010: 4
2009: 11
2008: 6
2007: 2
2006: 5
2005: 10

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

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

2013: 0.1116
2012: 0.05
2011: 0.07
2010: 0.05
2009: 0.15
2008: 0.08
2007: 0.03
2006: 0.06
2005: 0.13

Legal Intervention Gun Homicides

In Bulgaria, annual legal-intervention gun homicides total

2014: 1512

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Bulgaria, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence26 27 28 29 30

Small Arms Manufacture - World Ranking

In a classification of the world's small, medium and major firearm manufacturers, Bulgaria was ranked 'medium'31

Home-made Guns

In Bulgaria, the prevalence of illicit craft, or 'home-made' firearm manufacture is reported to be low32

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Bulgaria, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41

Firearm Exports (Number)

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

2018: 66,06142
2017: 41,854
2016: 60,944
2015: 29,025
2014: 60,58943
2013: 44,060
2012: 68,943
2011: 103,443
2010: 45,301
2009: 38,398
2008: 32,101

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Bulgaria is reported by Customs to be US$8,321,66744 (2011)45

Small Arms Exports - World Ranking

In a comparison of the world's major/mid-level/minor/unknown small arms exporters, Bulgaria was categorized as 'major'46 47

Firearm Imports

In Bulgaria, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40

Firearm Imports (Number)

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

2018: 7,63742
2017: 5,233
2016: 4,626
2015: 26,556
2014: 5,46143
2013: 6,788
2012: 8,816
2011: 1,285
2009: 5,083
2008: 7,388

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Bulgaria is reported by Customs to be US$11,172,21944 (2011)48 49 50 51

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Bulgaria is low52

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Bulgaria, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law53 54 36 55 56

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Bulgaria include57 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, Bulgaria scored

2018: 13.0058
2016: 12.5059
2014: 13.2560
2013: 12.0061
2012: 11.2562
2011: 12.0063
2010: 10.5064
2009: 7.5065
2008: 6.2566
2007: 2.0067
2006: 4.2568
2005: 4.2569
2004: 0.0070

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Bulgaria is categorised as restrictive71

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Bulgaria includes the Law on Arms, Ammunitions, Explosive Substances and Pyrotechnical Articles of 2012,27 72 the Law on the Control of Foreign Trade Activity in Arms and in Dual–Use Goods and Technologies,73 the Law on Export Control on Defence ­related Products and Dual-­use Items and Technologies and its regulation,33 53 the Council Directive of 18 June 1991 on Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Weapons,74 75 la Regulación de la Unión Europa de armas de fuego de 2012 y la Posición Común sobre el control de corretaje de armas de 200376

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Bulgaria are regulated by the Ministry of the Interior,77 78 and the European Commission75

Right to Possess Firearms

In Bulgaria, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law79 80 81

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Bulgaria, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic firearms, firearms disguised as other objects, and armour-piercing, incendiary and expanding ammunition82 83

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Bulgaria, private possession of fully automatic weapons is permitted under licence81 82 83 25

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Bulgaria, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is permitted under licence81 84 85 83

Regulation of Handguns

In Bulgaria, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence81 82 84 85 83 25

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Bulgaria, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law25

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Bulgaria, only licensed gun owners77 86 82 84 25 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Bulgaria are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example self-defence, hunting, sporting, cultural purposes87 88 89

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Bulgaria is full legal age90 89

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Bulgaria must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental health and substance abuse90 89 25 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Bulgaria, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required81

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Bulgaria does not stipulate81 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Bulgaria, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required81 for a firearm licence

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Bulgaria are permitted to possess any number of firearms81

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Bulgaria are permitted to possess any quantity of ammunition81 91

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Bulgaria, the law requires92 93 94 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 Bulgaria, licensed firearm dealers are required28 94 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In Bulgaria, licensed gun makers are required95 96 92 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Bulgaria, State agencies are required92 93 97 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 Bulgaria, the private sale and transfer of firearms is permitted81

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Bulgaria, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful28 29 98 85

Background Checks for Private Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm in a private sale in Bulgaria is obliged90 to pass official background checks before taking possession

Background Checks for Dealer Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm from a licensed gun dealer in Bulgaria is obliged90 to pass official background checks before taking possession

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In Bulgaria, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined81

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Bulgaria, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated81 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Bulgaria include28 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 Bulgaria do not include81 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Bulgaria include97 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Bulgaria include99 29 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Bulgaria, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law100 93 101 102 103

Firearm Tracing

In Bulgaria, state authorities carry out100 102 94 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Record of Firearms and Ammunition

In Bulgaria, the ballistic characteristics of each civilian firearm and its ammunition are not81 recorded in a register

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Bulgaria, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is allowed without a permit88 25

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Bulgaria, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is allowed without a permit88 25

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Bulgaria, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm104 is six years in prison and/or a fine105 27

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Firearms Surrendered and Seized

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

2015: 302106
2013: 980107

Small Arms Destroyed

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

2017: 168108
2015: 1,450109
2014: 573
2013: 28110

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Bulgaria, it is not state policy111 112 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, Bulgaria 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 Parliament113 114

European Union Export Reporting

Under the European Union Common Position on Arms Exports, Bulgaria 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 Bulgaria has submitted one or more national reports115 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 2006116 by Bulgaria.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified117 by Bulgaria

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 ratified118 by Bulgaria

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Bulgaria 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 Aspects119

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Bulgaria against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 27120 121 122 123 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Bulgaria has submitted one or more national reports124 125 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Bulgaria, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated126 125

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Bulgaria, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated125

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been donated125 by Bulgaria to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Bulgaria has declared127 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Bulgaria has been a Member State of the United Nations since 1955128

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies lists129 Bulgaria as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


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