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Congo (DRC) — 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 the Congo (DRC) is

2017: 946,0001
2010: 300,0002
2007: 800,0003

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 1.201
2007: 1.43

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, the Congo (DRC) ranked at No. 574

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, the Congo (DRC) ranked at No. 1373

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in the Congo (DRC) is reported to be

2017: 2161

Estimated Number of Unregistered and Illicit Firearms

ChartUnregistered and unlawfully held guns cannot be counted,5 but in the Congo (DRC) there are estimated to be

2017: 945,7841
2006: 34,0006

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of the Congo (DRC) are reported to have 161,1007 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in the Congo (DRC) are reported to have 46,0008 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn the Congo (DRC), annual homicides by any means total

2015: 10,321.899
2012: 18,58610
2010: 9,212.68
2008: 13,55811

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

ChartIn the Congo (DRC), the annual rate of homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2015: 217.079
2012: 28.310
2010: 217.40
2008: 21.711
2004: 35.2012
2002: 21.30

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn the Congo (DRC), annual male homicides by any means total

2015: 8,35813
2010: 7,44413

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

In the Congo (DRC), the annual rate of male homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2015: 2213

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn the Congo (DRC), annual female homicides by any means total

2015: 1,96413
2010: 1,769

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

In the Congo (DRC), the annual rate of female homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2015: 5.1413

Gun Homicides

ChartIn the Congo (DRC), annual firearm homicides total

2010: 24811
2009: 173
2008: 127
2007: 178
2006: 147
2005: 161
2004: 156

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn the Congo (DRC), the annual rate of firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2010: 1.611
2009: 1.1
2008: 0.8
2007: 1.1
2006: 0.9
2005: 1.0
2004: 1.0

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

ChartIn the Congo (DRC), the percentage of homicides committed with a firearm is reported to be

2010: 33.2%11
2009: 22.2%
2008: 21.7%
2007: 24.8%
2006: 20.7%
2005: 19.4%
2004: 21.8%

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In the Congo (DRC), the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence14 15 16 17 18 19

Home-made Guns

In the Congo (DRC), the prevalence of illicit craft, or 'home-made' firearm manufacture is reported to be moderate20 21 22

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In the Congo (DRC), firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law23 24 25 26 27 14 28 29 17

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from the Congo (DRC) is reported by Customs to be US$75430 (2011)

Firearm Imports

In the Congo (DRC), firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law23 25 26 27 14 28 29 17 31 32 33 34 35

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to the Congo (DRC) is reported by Customs to be US$26,43530 (2011)

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in the Congo (DRC) is high36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In the Congo (DRC), the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by existing law44 45 27

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in the Congo (DRC) include46 33 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 the Congo (DRC) is categorised as restrictive47

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in the Congo (DRC) includes the Ordinance Law No 085/035 on the Regime of Firearms and Ammunition and the Decree law No. 85/212 of 3 September 1985 on Measures for Implementing48 27

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in the Congo (DRC) are regulated by the President of the Republic, the Minister of Interior and Security, the General Staff, the Ministry of Defence and Veterans Affairs, the State Commissioner for Territorial Administration and the State Commissioner for National Defence25 27

Right to Possess Firearms

In the Congo (DRC), the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law49 50 51 52

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In the Congo (DRC), civilians are not allowed to possess weapons of war, folding rifles of a caliber larger than 6 mm, rifles with removable barrel or butt, and firearms with suppressors53 54 16 55 28 29 56 57

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In the Congo (DRC), private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited53 54

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In the Congo (DRC), private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is prohibited53 54

Regulation of Handguns

In the Congo (DRC), private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted16

Gun Ownership and Possession

In the Congo (DRC), only licensed gun owners55 51 58 59 60 52 61 56 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in the Congo (DRC) are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example for hunting, or sport, or for personal protection51 55 57

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in the Congo (DRC) is the legal age59

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in the Congo (DRC) must pass a background check which considers mental health, criminal, conduct, and marital62 63 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In the Congo (DRC), third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required64 65 66

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in the Congo (DRC) does not stipulate64 65 66 67 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In the Congo (DRC), an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required64 65 66 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In the Congo (DRC), gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every five years68

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in the Congo (DRC) are permitted to possess no more than two hunting or sport firearms, and no more than one firearm for self-defence69

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in the Congo (DRC) are permitted to possess only the quantity specified in the permit to carry firearms70

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In the Congo (DRC), the law requires71 72 73 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 the Congo (DRC), licensed firearm dealers are required74 75 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In the Congo (DRC), licensed gun makers are required74 18 76 33 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In the Congo (DRC), State agencies are required77 78 79 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 the Congo (DRC), the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited74 80 14 17

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In the Congo (DRC), dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful74 80 19 53 25 14 17 45 61

Limit on Gun Dealer Sales

In the Congo (DRC), 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 established by the Ordinance14 17 69 70

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In the Congo (DRC), the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined64 65 66

Regulation of Gun Shows

In the Congo (DRC), gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated64 65 66 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in the Congo (DRC) do not include81 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 the Congo (DRC) include82 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in the Congo (DRC) include78 35 81 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in the Congo (DRC) include35 27 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In the Congo (DRC), a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law83 71 72 18

Firearm Tracing

In the Congo (DRC), state authorities carry out84 85 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Record of Firearms and Ammunition

In the Congo (DRC), the ballistic characteristics of each civilian firearm and its ammunition are not64 65 66 recorded in a register

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In the Congo (DRC), carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is prohibited86

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In the Congo (DRC), carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is prohibited86

Gun Free Zones

In the Congo (DRC), private guns are prohibited in all towns and within a radius of one kilometre around dwellings located at the extreme limits of towns86

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In the Congo (DRC), the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm87 is five to 10 years in prison and a fine88 53 89 90 91 92

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in the Congo (DRC) are known to have93 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Firearms Surrendered and Seized

ChartIn the Congo (DRC), the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered, bought back or seized by authorities is reported to be

2016: 45294 95
2004: 2,33296
1999: 3,32897

Small Arms Destroyed

ChartIn the Congo (DRC), the number of firearms destroyed following amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be

2017: 2,70098
2016: 11,000
2014: 160,20078
2011: 242,56799 100
2009: 100,24393 100 6
2008: 87,000100
2007: 82,425
2006: 67,623

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In the Congo (DRC), it is not state policy78 101 93 102 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, the Congo (DRC) 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 2006103 104

Southern African Development Community

As a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Congo (DRC) signed the SADC Declaration Concerning Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials in March 2001. This laid the ground for the August, 2001 adoption of the legally binding SADC Protocol on Control of Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials105

Regional Centre on Small Arms

In March 2000, as a member of the Regional Centre on Small Arms (RECSA), the Congo (DRC) 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 ratified106 107 by the Congo (DRC)

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), the Congo (DRC) 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 ratified108 109 110 by the Congo (DRC)

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, lists111 the Congo (DRC) 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 2007112 by the Congo (DRC).

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed113 by the Congo (DRC)

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 ratified114 by the Congo (DRC)

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, the Congo (DRC) 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 Aspects115

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored the Congo (DRC) against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 63116 117 118 119 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, the Congo (DRC) has submitted one or more national reports120 121 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In the Congo (DRC), a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated122 121

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In the Congo (DRC), a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated122

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of the Congo (DRC) submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was apparent122 121

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated121 by the Congo (DRC) to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided121 to the Congo (DRC) by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, the Congo (DRC) has not declared123 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, the Congo (DRC) has been a Member State of the United Nations since 1960124

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list125 the Congo (DRC) as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

To see where the Congo (DRC) ranks, select the Link icon to open an external web page at the Global Peace Index


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