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

Cook Islands — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law

StockpilesGun Numbers

Civilian Guns

Number of Privately Owned Firearms

The estimated total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in the Cook Islands is

2002: 8601

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) per 100 people in the Cook Islands is

2002: 2.52

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in the Cook Islands is reported to be

2002: 5002

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in the Cook Islands is

2002: 3.303

Government Guns

Routine Arming of Police

In the Cook Islands, police officers on routine patrol do not carry a firearm4

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in the Cook Islands are reported to have 295 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

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

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

2012: 5.836
2010: 5.67

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In the Cook Islands, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law8

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

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

2020: 239,0009
2018: 2,000
2009: 35,000

Firearm Imports

In the Cook Islands, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law10

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

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

2019: 11,00011
2018: 1,000
2017: 11,000
2016: 1,000
2014: 2,000
2013: 11,000
2011: 2,000
2008: 7,000
2006: 3,000
2005: 3,000

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In the Cook Islands, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law10

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in the Cook Islands is categorised as restrictive12

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in the Cook Islands includes the Arms Ordinance 1954 (ammended in 2017)13 and Crimes Act 196914

Right to Possess Firearms

In the Cook Islands, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law15 16

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

Law Regulates Automatic Weapons

In the Cook Islands, civilian possession of automatic weapons is regulated by law17 7

Regulation of Handguns

In the Cook Islands, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is prohibited17 18 7

Law Regulates Long Guns

In the Cook Islands, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law17 7

Gun Ownership and Possession

In the Cook Islands, since 1992 no civilians17 7 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In the Cook Islands, the law requires19 that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in the Cook Islands do not include20 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of private firearms and ammunition by licensed gun owners

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in the Cook Islands do not include20 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Carrying Guns

Law Regulates Firearms in Public

In the Cook Islands, carrying a gun in a public place is regulated by law7

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In the Cook Islands, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm21 is a $100 fine22

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

Pacific Islands Forum

As a member of the Pacific Islands Forum, the Cook Islands adopted the March, 2000 Nadi Framework agreement, which aims to harmonise small arms-related legislation across Oceania. In August 2003, the Nadi Framework’s draft model Weapons Control Bill was unanimously accepted for consideration by all 16 member states of the Pacific Islands Forum23 24

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 signed25 by the Cook Islands.

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 signed26 by the Cook Islands

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, the Cook Islands are not a Member State of the United Nations27

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list28 the Cook Islands 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 16,29 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.

Homicides (any method)

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

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

2012: 5.836
2010: 5.67

Marking and Tracing

Firearm Marking

In the Cook Islands, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is not required by law30

Global Peace Index

To see where the Cook Islands ranks, select the Link icon to open an external web page at the Global Peace Index, and then click on the Cook Islands on the map or in the "Select Country" menu on the right of the web page


Short References

1.

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2.

Alpers, Philip and Conor Twyford.2003.‘Civilian Firearm Ownership in Pacific Nations, 2002.’ Small Arms in the Pacific.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,31 March. (Q406)Full Citation

3.

GunPolicy.org.2011.‘Calculated Rates - Cook Islands.’ Historical Population Data - USCB International Data Base.Suitland, MD:US Census Bureau Population Division,22 August. (Q4218)Full Citation

4.

Alpers, Philip and Conor Twyford.2003.‘Stockpiles and Trafficking in the Pacific: Police Inventories.’ Small Arms in the Pacific.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,31 March. (Q145)Full Citation

5.

Karp, Aaron.2003.‘Fewer Blanks: Global Firearm Stockpiles: Firearms of the Pacific.’ Small Arms Survey 2003: Development Denied.Oxford:Oxford University Press,1 July. (Q408)Full Citation

6.

UNODC.2020.‘Intentional Homicide Victims.’ dataunodc.un.org (web site).Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,1 January. (Q13355)Full Citation

7.

Butchart, Alexander, Christopher Mikton and Etienne Krug.2014.‘Country Profile: Cook Islands.’ Global Status Report on Violence Prevention 2014.Geneva:World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),10 December. (Q9719)Full Citation

8.

Alpers, Philip and Conor Twyford.2003.‘Import and Export Laws in Pacific States.’ Small Arms in the Pacific.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,31 March. (Q414)Full Citation

9.

International Trade Centre (ITC).2022.‘Exported values (2002-2021).’ Trade Map.Geneva:International Trade Centre (ITC),31 August. (Q16040)Full Citation

10.

IANSA.2006.‘Reviewing Action on Small Arms 2006: Assessing the first five years of the UN Programme of Action.’ Biting the Bullet 'Red Book' 2006.New York, NY:International Action Network on Small Arms and the Biting the Bullet project,26 June. (Q82)Full Citation

11.

International Trade Centre (ITC).2022.‘Imported values (2002-2021).’ Trade Map.Geneva:International Trade Centre (ITC),31 August. (Q16041)Full Citation

12.

Newton, George D and Franklin E Zimring.1969.‘Firearm Licensing: Permissive v Restrictive.’ Firearms & Violence in American Life: A staff report submitted to the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence.Washington, DC:US Government Printing Office,1 January. (Q22)Full Citation

13.

Cook Islands.2017.‘Title.’ Arms Ordinance Amendment Act.Avarua:Cook Islands Parliament,8 December. (Q14040)Full Citation

14.

Alpers, Philip and Conor Twyford.2003.‘Pacific Small Arms Legislation: Firearm laws in the Pacific.’ Small Arms in the Pacific.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,31 March. (Q149)Full Citation

15.

Sherman, Amy and Tom Ginsburg.2014.‘Gun Rights in National Constitutions.’ Marco Rubio Says Second Amendment Is Unique in Speech to NRA.Miami, FL:Miami Herald (PolitiFact Florida),29 April. (Q8507)Full Citation

16.

Zachary Elkins, Tom Ginsburg and James Melton. 2013. ‘U.S. Gun Rights Truly Are American Exceptionalism.’ Bloomberg (USA). 7 March. (N422) Full Citation

17.

Alpers, Philip and Conor Twyford.2003.‘Pacific Small Arms Legislation: Domestic and regional issues.’ Small Arms in the Pacific.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,31 March. (Q411)Full Citation

18.

Alpers, Philip and Conor Twyford.2003.‘Pacific Small Arms Legislation: Domestic and Regional Issues.’ Small Arms in the Pacific.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,31 March. (Q142)Full Citation

19.

Alpers, Philip and Conor Twyford.2003.‘Pacific Small Arms Legislation: Registration.’ Small Arms in the Pacific.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,31 March. (Q322)Full Citation

20.

IANSA.2006.‘Reviewing Action on Small Arms 2006: Assessing the first five years of the UN Programme of Action.’ Biting the Bullet 'Red Book' 2006.New York, NY:International Action Network on Small Arms and the Biting the Bullet project,26 June. (Q409)Full Citation

21.

GunPolicy.org. 2015. ‘Penalty for Unlawful Firearm Possession.’ Definition and Selection Criteria.
Sydney School of Public Health, 22 January.
(G93) Full Citation

22.

Alpers, Philip and Conor Twyford.2003.‘Selected Penalties for Firearm Offences in the Pacific.’ Small Arms in the Pacific.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,31 March. (Q412)Full Citation

23.

SPCPC/OCO.2000.‘Towards a Common Approach to Weapons Control: The 'Nadi Framework'.’ South Pacific Chiefs of Police Conference (SPCPC) and Oceania Customs Organisation (OCO).Nadi, Fiji:Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Secretariat,10 March. (Q576)Full Citation

24.

Baker, Jean.2000.‘Weapons Control Bill: Explanatory Notes.’ Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.Suva, Fiji:Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat,10 March. (Q577)Full Citation

25.

GDAV.2006.‘Geneva Declaration.’ Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development.Geneva:Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development Secretariat,7 June. (Q7162)Full Citation

26.

UNGA.2001.‘United Nations Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition.’ UN General Assembly Resolution 55/255.New York, NY:UN General Assembly,31 May. (Q17)Full Citation

27.

UN.2013.‘Member States of the United Nations.’ UN.org Web Site.New York, NY:United Nations General Assembly,7 April. (Q290)Full Citation

28.

Wassenaar Arrangement.1996.‘Introduction: Participating States.’ Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies.Vienna:Wassenaar Secretariat,12 July. (Q19)Full Citation

29.

United Nations.2017.‘Relevant Targets & Indicators.’ Sustainable Development Goal 16.New York NY:United Nations Statistics Division,6 July. (Q14093)Full Citation

30.

IANSA.2006.‘Reviewing Action on Small Arms 2006: Assessing the first five years of the UN Programme of Action.’ Biting the Bullet 'Red Book' 2006.New York, NY:International Action Network on Small Arms and the Biting the Bullet project,26 June. (Q323)Full Citation