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China — 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 China is

2017: 49,735,0001
2007: 40,000,0002

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 3.601
2007: 4.92

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, China ranked at No. 33

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, China ranked at No. 1022

Number of Registered Firearms

ChartThe number of registered guns in China is reported to be

2017: 680,0001
2007: 680,0002

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in China is

2007: 0.054

Estimated Number of Unregistered and Illicit Firearms

Unregistered and unlawfully held guns cannot be counted,5 but in China there are estimated to be

2017: 49,055,0001

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of China are reported to have 27,466,4006 firearms

Routine Arming of Police

In China, police officers on routine patrol carry one or more firearms7

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in China are reported to have 1,971,0008 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn China, annual homicides by any means total

2016: 8,6349
2015: 9,200
2014: 10,083
2013: 10,640
2012: 11,286
2011: 12,015
2010: 13,41010 11
2009: 14,667
2008: 14,811
2007: 16,119
2006: 17,973
2005: 20,770
2004: 24,711
2003: 24,393
2002: 26,276

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

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

2016: 0.639
2015: 0.67
2014: 0.74
2013: 0.79
2012: 0.84
2011: 0.89
2010: 1
2009: 1.10
2008: 1.12
2007: 1.22
2006: 1.4
2005: 1.6
2004: 1.9
2003: 1.9
2002: 2.0
2001: 2.1612
2000: 2.25
1999: 2.19
1998: 2.23
1997: 2.14
1996: 2.11
1995: 2.27

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn China, annual male homicides by any means total

2014: 6,67113
2010: 10,47313

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

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

2014: 0.9313

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn China, annual female homicides by any means total

2014: 3,41213
2010: 2,937

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

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

2014: 0.5113

Suicides (any method)

In China, annual suicides by any means total

1999: 178,67514

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

In China, the annual rate of suicide by any means per 100,000 population is

1999: 13.7014

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In China, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence15

Small Arms Manufacture - World Ranking

In a classification of the world's small, medium and major firearm manufacturers, China was ranked 'major'16

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In China, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law17 18 19 20

Firearm Exports (Number)

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

2017: 1,94021
2016: 349
2015: 100
2014: 3
2013: 329
2012: 329
2011: 310
2009: 648
2008: 25,251
2007: 19,606
2006: 2,456

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

ChartThe annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from China is reported by Customs to be US$

2016: 121,000,00022
2015: 63,454,77423
2014: 46,871,214
2013: 68,480,066
2012: 56,520,56023 24 25
2011: 19,344,55026
2010: 89,000,00027
2001: 10,000,00024

Small Arms Exports - World Ranking

In a comparison of the world's major/mid-level/minor/unknown small arms exporters, China was categorized as 'major'28 29 30 31 32

Firearm Imports

In China, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law17

Firearm Imports (Number)

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

2017: 34221
2016: 62
2015: 17
2014: 83
2013: 8
2012: 3
2011: 110
2010: 106
2009: 363
2008: 59
2007: 370

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

ChartThe annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to China is reported by Customs to be US$

2016: 13,000,00033
2015: 4,749,45923
2014: 3,735,179
2013: 3,036,293
2012: 5,603,674
2011: 5,513,49626 34

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in China is moderate35 36

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In China, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law37

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in China include38 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, China scored

2019: 8.7539
2018: 8.2540
2016: 7.0041
2014: 7.0042
2013: 6.5043
2012: 7.0044
2011: 8.0045
2010: 8.0046
2009: 7.5047
2008: 7.5048
2007: 7.5049
2006: 7.5050
2005: 7.5051
2004: 7.5052

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in China is categorised as restrictive53

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in China includes the Law on the Control of Firearms 1996,54 Firearm Regulation and the Public Security Organs55 35

Right to Possess Firearms

In China, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law56 57 58

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In China, civilians are not allowed to possess any firearms59

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In China, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited59 60

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In China, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is prohibited59

Regulation of Handguns

In China, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted for hunting with permission only35 60

Law Regulates Long Guns

In China, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law60

Gun Ownership and Possession

In China, no civilian (private ownership prohibited, Govt.-issued firearms are allocated to those in genuine need)61 62 59 60 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in China are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example hunting, sports shooting, animal control (strictly restricted)62

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in China must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental health and domestic violence35 60 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In China, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required58

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in China stipulates35 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In China, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is required63 for a firearm licence

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in China are permitted to possess only the nature and number of firearms distributed by the State61 59

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In China, the law requires64 65 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 China, licensed firearm dealers are required64 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In China, State agencies are required64 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 China, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited15 59

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In China, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful15 59

Limit on Gun Dealer Sales

In China, the number and type of firearms which can be sold by a licensed gun dealer to a single gun owner is limited to the number of firearms and ammunition specified in the special permit issued by the public security organs under the people's government at provincial level15

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In China, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined58

Regulation of Gun Shows

In China, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are regulated59 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in China include66 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 China do not include58 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in China include67 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in China include68 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In China, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is allowed without a permit (with some restrictions)35 60

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In China, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is allowed without a permit, with some restrictions35 60

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In China, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm69 is up to two years in prison70

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

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, lists71 China 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 not signed72 by China.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed73 by China

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, but not yet ratified74 by China

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, China 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 Aspects75

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored China against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 4276 77 78 79 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, China has submitted one or more national reports80 81 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In China, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated82 81

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In China, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated81

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of China submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was apparent81

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been donated81 by China to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided81 to China by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, China has not declared83 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, China has been a Member State of the United Nations since 194584

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list85 China as a Participating State

BackgroundSustainable Development Goal Profile

About SDG 16

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 goals set by the United Nations to be implemented by all member states by 2030. Adopted in 2015, they outline a vision of development in which peace and security are an integral part. SDG 16,86 which seeks to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development,” includes targets and indicators focused on reducing violence (Target 16.1) and the proliferation of illicit arms (Target 16.4). The indicators – or measurement criteria – of these targets include the number of victims of intentional homicide (Indicator 16.1.1), the number of conflict-related deaths (Indicator 16.1.2), and the number of illicit firearms collected and traced (Indicator 16.4.2). In light of these targets and indicators, GunPolicy.org provides granular national data pertaining to homicides, gun homicides, conflict deaths, disarmament efforts, and marking and tracing.

Conflict Deaths

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

Disarmament

Authorities in China are known to have87 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

In China, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered in recent arms amnesty and collection programmes is reported to be

2014: 150,00088

Small Arms Destroyed

In China, the number of firearms destroyed following amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be 291,00087 (2005-08), 100,00089 (2012), and 130,00090 (2013)

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In China, it is state policy87 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

Marking and Tracing

Firearm Marking

In China, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law91 92

Firearm Tracing

In China, state authorities carry out93 81 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Record of Firearms and Ammunition

In China, the ballistic characteristics of each civilian firearm and its ammunition are not58 recorded in a register

Global Peace Index

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


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