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

Cameroon — 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 Cameroon is

2017: 510,0001
2007: 340,0002

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 2.101
2007: 2.82

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Cameroon ranked at No. 993

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Cameroon ranked at No. 1192

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Cameroon are reported to have 27,3604 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Cameroon are reported to have 15,0005 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Cameroon, annual homicides by any means total

2015: 1,3856
2014: 601
2013: 636
2012: 8806
2011: 835
2010: 999
2009: 1,277
2008: 776
2007: 425
2006: 977
2003: 1,0027
2002: 1,031
2001: 755
2000: 459

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

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

2015: 5.936
2014: 2.64
2013: 2.86
2012: 4.016
2011: 3.91
2010: 4.80
2009: 6.30
2008: 3.94
2007: 2.38 9
2006: 5.4
2004: 16.109
2003: 3.85
2002: 8.50
2001: 4.65
2000: 2.89
1998: 038
1995: 0.23

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Cameroon, annual male homicides by any means total

2012: 71910
2010: 75410

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

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

2012: 6.8210

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Cameroon, annual female homicides by any means total

2012: 16110
2010: 245

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

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

2012: 1.5310

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Cameroon, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence11 12 13 14

Home-made Guns

In Cameroon, the prevalence of illicit craft, or 'home-made' firearm manufacture is reported to be moderate13

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Cameroon is reported by Customs to be US$221,50615 (2009)

Firearm Imports

In Cameroon, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law11 12 16 17 18

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Cameroon is reported by Customs to be US$3,798,44415 (2011)

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Cameroon is moderate19 20

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Cameroon, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law17 21

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Cameroon do not include22 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 Cameroon is categorised as restrictive23

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Cameroon includes the Decree No 73/658 of 22 October 1973 regulating the import, sale, transfer, possession and carrying of firearms and ammunition24 17

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Cameroon are regulated by the Police, the Gendarmerie, the Army25 and the Ministry for Territorial Administration17

Right to Possess Firearms

In Cameroon, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law26 27 28

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

Law Regulates Automatic Weapons

In Cameroon, civilian possession of automatic weapons is regulated by law29

Law Regulates Handguns

In Cameroon, civilian possession of handguns is regulated by law29

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Cameroon, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law29

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Cameroon, only licensed gun owners28 12 29 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Cameroon are not required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm22

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Cameroon is 21 years11

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Cameroon must pass a background check which considers mental health and criminal11 29 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Cameroon, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required22

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Cameroon does not stipulate22 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Cameroon, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required22 for a firearm licence

Licensing Records

In Cameroon, authorities maintain a record30 31 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Cameroon are permitted to possess one firearm per authorisation30

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Cameroon are permitted to possess the quantity of ammunition specified in the authorisation12 30

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Cameroon, the law requires30 31 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 Cameroon, licensed firearm dealers are required32 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In Cameroon, licensed gun makers are required32 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Cameroon, State agencies are not required33 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 Cameroon, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited without a licence from the Minister of Territorial Administration34

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Cameroon, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful11 12 34

Background Checks for Private Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm in a private sale in Cameroon is obliged34 11 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 Cameroon is obliged34 11 to pass official background checks before taking possession

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In Cameroon, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined22

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Cameroon, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated22 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Cameroon do not include22 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 Cameroon include11 12 35 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Cameroon do not include33 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Cameroon include16 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Cameroon, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law30

Firearm Tracing

In Cameroon, state authorities do not carry out22 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Record of Firearms and Ammunition

In Cameroon, the ballistic characteristics of each civilian firearm and its ammunition are not22 recorded in a register

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Cameroon, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit28 12 29

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Cameroon, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit28 12 29

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Cameroon, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm36 is a prison term of five to 10 days and a fine37

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Cameroon are known to have38 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Cameroon, it is not state policy39 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, Cameroon 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 200640 41

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), Cameroon 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 and ratified42 43 44 by Cameroon

United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

The UNCCPCJ, a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council mandated to promote action to prevent national and transnational crime, lists45 Cameroon as an elected member

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 200746 by Cameroon.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has been signed, but not yet ratified47 by Cameroon

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 signed48 by Cameroon

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Cameroon 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 Aspects49

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Cameroon against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 15650 51 52 53 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Cameroon has submitted one or more national reports54 55 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Cameroon, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated56

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Cameroon, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated56 55

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Cameroon submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was not apparent55

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated55 by Cameroon to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided55 to Cameroon by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Cameroon has not declared57 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Cameroon has been a Member State of the United Nations since 196058

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list59 Cameroon as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


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