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

Eritrea — 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 Eritrea is

2017: 23,0001
2007: 20,0002

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 0.401
2007: 0.52

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Eritrea ranked at No. 1693

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Eritrea ranked at No. 1692

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Eritrea are reported to have 668,5504 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Eritrea are reported to have 12,0005 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Eritrea, annual homicides by any means total

2015: 389.906
2012: 4377
2010: 389.34
2008: 8798

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

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

2015: 6.706
2012: 7.17
2010: 7.26
2008: 17.88
2004: 15.909
2002: 7.60
1999: 2.77

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Eritrea, annual male homicides by any means total

2015: 30710
2010: 29010

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

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

2015: 12.6310

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Eritrea, annual female homicides by any means total

2015: 8310
2010: 10010

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

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

2015: 3.4410

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Eritrea, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is prohibited11 12 13 14

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Eritrea, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law15 12 16

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Eritrea is reported by Customs to be US$1,249,00917 (2008)

Firearm Imports

In Eritrea, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law15 12 16

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Eritrea is reported by Customs to be US$017 (2011)

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Eritrea is low18

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Eritrea, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law19 20

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Eritrea do not include15 16 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 Eritrea is categorised as restrictive21

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Eritrea includes the Transitional Penal Code of Eritrea (TCPE) of 199112 22

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Eritrea are regulated by the Eritrean Police and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs23

Right to Possess Firearms

In Eritrea, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law24 25 26 11 12 27 14

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Eritrea, civilians are not allowed to possess any form of firearm26 11 12 27 14 28

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Eritrea, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited26 11 12 27 14 28

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Eritrea, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is prohibited26 11 12 27 14 28

Regulation of Handguns

In Eritrea, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is prohibited26 11 12 27 14

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Eritrea, no civilians26 11 12 27 14 29 30 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Eritrea is not specified31

Firearm Safety Training

In Eritrea, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required32 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Eritrea, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every N/A28

Licensing Records

In Eritrea, authorities do not maintain a record33 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Eritrea are permitted to possess any number of firearms34

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Eritrea are permitted to possess any quantity of ammunition34

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Eritrea, the law require35 33 36 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 Eritrea, licensed firearm dealers are not required37 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In Eritrea, licensed gun makers are not required38 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Eritrea, State agencies are required39 18 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 Eritrea, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited26 11 12 14 40

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Eritrea, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful41 26 11 14

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Eritrea do not include42 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 Eritrea do not include43 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Eritrea include44 18 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Eritrea do not include16 27 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Eritrea, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is not required by law14 35 45 46 13 47 36

Firearm Tracing

In Eritrea, state authorities carry out48 33 38 37 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Eritrea, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is prohibited26 11 12 14 49

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Eritrea, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is prohibited26 11 12 14 49

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Eritrea, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm50 is a fine and a possible prison term51 27

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Eritrea, it is state policy52 18 53 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, Eritrea 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 200654 55

Regional Centre on Small Arms

In March 2000, as a member of the Regional Centre on Small Arms (RECSA), Eritrea 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 ratified56 57 by Eritrea

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, lists58 Eritrea 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 signed59 by Eritrea.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed60 by Eritrea

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 signed61 by Eritrea

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Eritrea 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 Aspects62

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Eritrea against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 9063 64 65 66 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Eritrea has submitted one or more national reports67 68 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Eritrea, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated69 68

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Eritrea, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated69 68

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Eritrea submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was apparent70

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated68 by Eritrea to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided68 to Eritrea by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Eritrea has not declared71 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Eritrea has been a Member State of the United Nations since 199372

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list73 Eritrea as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


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