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Armed violence prevention, gun control laws and the small arms trade:

Burundi — 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 Burundi is

2017: 238,0001
2009: 100,0002 3 4

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 2.01
2007: 1.25 4

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Burundi ranked at No. 1166

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Burundi ranked at No. 1454

Number of Licensed Firearm Owners

The number of licensed gun owners in Burundi is reported to be 4,1392 3

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

The rate of licensed firearm owners per 100 people in Burundi is 0.055

Estimated Number of Unregistered and Illicit Firearms

Unregistered and unlawfully held guns cannot be counted,7 but in Burundi there are estimated to be

2007: 100,0008 9 10 11

Estimated Rate of Unregistered and Illicit Firearms per 100 Population

Unregistered and unlawfully held guns cannot be counted,7 but in Burundi the rate of such firearms per 100 people is estimated to be 1.25

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Burundi are reported to have 75,96012 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Burundi are reported to have 24,27813 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

In Burundi, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2008: 1,00014

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

In Burundi, the annual rate of all gun deaths per 100,000 population is

2008: 10.945

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Burundi, annual homicides by any means total

2016: 63515
2015: 461
2014: 564
2013: 520
2012: 500
2011: 34916
2010: 347
2009: 376
2008: 341

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

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

2016: 5.7215
2015: 4.29
2014: 5.43
2013: 5.17
2012: 5.14
2011: 3.70
2010: 3.80
2009: 4.26
2008: 3.99
2006: 2.9017
2005: 1.20
2004: 35.40
2002: 18.00
1998: 9.68

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Burundi, annual male homicides by any means total

2016: 51218
2015: 383
2014: 462
2013: 423
2010: 24418

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

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

2016: 9.8718
2015: 7.64
2014: 9.50
2013: 8.97

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Burundi, annual female homicides by any means total

2016: 12318
2015: 78
2014: 102
2013: 97
2010: 103

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

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

2016: 2.2918
2015: 1.50
2014: 2.03
2013: 1.99

Gun Homicides

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

In Burundi, the percentage of homicides committed with a firearm is reported to be

2013: 41%19

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

In Burundi, annual shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2008: 1,00014

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

In Burundi, the annual rate of unknown-cause shooting deaths per 100,000 population is

2008: 10.945

Non-fatal Gun Injuries

In Burundi, the annual number of non-fatal firearm injuries is

2008: 1,20014

Rate of Non-fatal Gun Injury per 100,000 People

In Burundi, the annual rate of non-fatal firearm injury per 100,000 population is

2008: 13.135

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Burundi, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence, but is not conducted in practice20 21

Home-made Guns

In Burundi, the prevalence of illicit craft, or 'home-made' firearm manufacture is reported to be high22 23 24

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Burundi, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Burundi is reported by Customs to be US$033 (2011)

Firearm Imports

In Burundi, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law25 34 26 27 28 35 36 29 30 31 32

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Burundi is reported by Customs to be US$262,81833 (2011)

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Burundi is high22 37 38 39 40 41 42

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Burundi, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law43 29

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Burundi include27 44 29 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

The regulation of guns in Burundi is categorised as restrictive45

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Burundi includes the Law No. 1/14 of 28 August 2009 Governing the System for Small Arms and Light Weapons46 29

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Burundi are regulated by the Ministry responsible for public security functions,29 47 25 48 the Ministry responsible for supervising arms imports to defence and security forces,29 34 the Police and the Armed Forces49 50

Right to Possess Firearms

In Burundi, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law51 52 53 54

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Burundi, civilians are not allowed to possess firearms other than hunting and repeat action rifles47

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Burundi, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited47 19

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Burundi, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is prohibited47

Regulation of Handguns

In Burundi, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is prohibited, with some exceptions for self-defence firearms47 55 19

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Burundi, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law47 19

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Burundi, only licensed gun owners53 47 56 54 57 19 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Burundi are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example for reasons of personal safety, practice of sports shooting and hunting.53 55 58 54

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Burundi is 25 years59

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Burundi must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental health, health and domestic violence59 54 19 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Burundi, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required60

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Burundi stipulates59 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Burundi, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required60 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Burundi, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every three years58

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Burundi are permitted to possess only one gun61

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Burundi are permitted to possess only 40 rounds of ammunition61

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Burundi, the law requires50 62 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 Burundi, licensed gun makers are required63 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Burundi, State agencies are required50 64 65 66 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 Burundi, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited53 48

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Burundi, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful48 67 68

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In Burundi, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined60

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Burundi, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated60 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Burundi do not include60 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 Burundi do not include60 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Burundi include66 69 70 65 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Burundi do not include71 72 30 32 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Burundi, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law35 73 63 74 62 75

Firearm Tracing

In Burundi, state authorities carry out76 75 35 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Burundi, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit55 56 58 19

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Burundi, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit55 56 58 19

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Burundi, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm77 is 10 years in prison and a fine78

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Burundi are known to have79 70 80 81 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 Burundi, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered in recent arms amnesty and collection programmes is reported to be

2009: 10,00011 82 83
2006: 5,72984 85
2004: 5,40486

Firearms Surrendered and Seized

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

2017: 8,38687
2016: 13,547
2013: 9388
2009/12: 22,20289

Small Arms Destroyed

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

2017: 97790
2016: 39
2009: 7,00082 83
2006: 1,66091
2005: 311

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Burundi, it is state policy66 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

African Union

In June 2006, as a member of the African Union, Burundi 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 200692 93

Regional Centre on Small Arms

In March 2000, as a member of the Regional Centre on Small Arms (RECSA), Burundi adopted the Nairobi Declaration on the Problem of Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons in the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa, then on 21 April 2004 adopted the Nairobi Protocol for the Prevention, Control and Reduction of Small Arms and Light Weapons in the Great Lakes Region, the Horn of Africa and Bordering States, a legally-binding multilateral protocol of which the RECSA is depository. The Nairobi Protocol has since been signed, and ratified94 95 by Burundi

United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa

In November 2010, as a member of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa (UNSAC), Burundi adopted the Central Africa Convention for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Ammunition, Parts and Components that can be used for their Manufacture, Repair and Assembly, known as the ‘Kinshasa Convention. A legally binding multilateral treaty for which UNSAC is depository, the Kinshasa Convention has since been signed, but not yet ratified96 97 98 by Burundi

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 200799 by Burundi.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has been signed, but not yet ratified100 by Burundi

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 ratified101 by Burundi

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Burundi 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 Aspects102

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Burundi against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 40103 104 105 106 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Burundi has submitted one or more national reports107 108 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Burundi, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated109 108

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Burundi, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated109 108

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Burundi submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was apparent109 108

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated108 by Burundi to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided108 to Burundi by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Burundi has not declared110 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Burundi has been a Member State of the United Nations since 1962111

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list112 Burundi as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


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