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

Gambia — 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 Gambia is

2017: 137,0001
2007: 123,0002

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 6.501
2007: 0.82

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Gambia ranked at No. 1313

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Gambia ranked at No. 1572

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Gambia are reported to have 1,0804 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Gambia are reported to have 5,0005 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Gambia, annual homicides by any means total

2015: 1806
2012: 1827
2010: 166
2008: 1768

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

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

2015: 9.176
2012: 10.27
2010: 9.46
2008: 10.88
2004: 6.959 8
2002: 10.009
1995: 0.71

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Gambia, annual male homicides by any means total

2015: 16310
2010: 11410

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

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

2015: 16.6110

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Gambia, annual female homicides by any means total

2015: 1810
2010: 52

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

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

2015: 1.7910

ProductionGun Industry

Home-made Guns

In Gambia, the prevalence of illicit craft, or 'home-made' firearm manufacture is reported to be low11

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Gambia is reported by Customs to be US$19,04312 (2007)

Firearm Imports

In Gambia, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law13

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Gambia is reported by Customs to be US$24,88112 (2011)

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Gambia are regulated by the Police13

Right to Possess Firearms

In Gambia, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law14 15

Gun Ownership and Possession

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Gambia are permitted to possess one firearm13

Firearm Registration

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Gambia, State agencies are required16 to maintain records of the storage and movement of all firearms and ammunition under their control

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Gambia, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law16 13

Firearm Tracing

In Gambia, state authorities carry out16 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Gambia are not known to have17 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

African Union

In June 2006, as a member of the African Union, Gambia 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 200618 19

Economic Community of West African States

In June 2006, as a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Gambia adopted the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Ammunition and other Related Materials. This stipulates strict controls on the transfer, manufacture, possession and security of small arms and light weapons20

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 signed21 by Gambia.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed22 by Gambia

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 signed23 by Gambia

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Gambia 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 Aspects24

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Gambia against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 13125 26 27 28 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Gambia has submitted one or more national reports29 30 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Gambia, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated31 30

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Gambia, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated31

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Gambia submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was apparent30

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated30 by Gambia to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Gambia has not declared32 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Gambia has been a Member State of the United Nations since 196533

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list34 Gambia as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


Short References

1.

Karp, Aaron.2018.‘Civilian Firearms Holdings, 2017.’ Estimating Global Civilian-Held Firearms Numbers.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,18 June. (Q13434)Full Citation

2.

Karp, Aaron.2007.‘Completing the Count: Civilian firearms - Annexe online.’ Small Arms Survey 2007: Guns and the City.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,27 August. (Q5)Full Citation

3.

Karp, Aaron.2007.‘Completing the Count: Civilian firearms.’ Small Arms Survey 2007: Guns and the City.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,27 August. (Q4)Full Citation

4.

Karp, Aaron.2018.‘Military Firearms Holdings, 2017.’ Estimating Global Military-Owned Firearms Numbers.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,18 June. (Q13436)Full Citation

5.

Karp, Aaron.2018.‘Law Enforcement Firearms Holdings, 2017.’ Estimating Global Law Enforcement Firearms Numbers.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,18 June. (Q13435)Full Citation

6.

UNODC.2017.‘Intentional Homicide Victims.’ Crime and Drugs Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,19 May. (Q13355)Full Citation

7.

UNODC.2014.‘Homicides in Gambia.’ Global Study on Homicide 2013: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC),10 April. (Q10000)Full Citation

8.

UNODC.2013.‘Homicide in 207 Countries - Gambia.’ Global Study on Homicide 2011: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,26 June. (Q6382)Full Citation

9.

Petrini, Benjamin.2011.‘Sub-Saharan Africa, 1995-2008, Total Recorded Intentional Homicide, Completed, Rate per 100,000 Population.’ World Bank Homicide Rate Dataset 1995-2008.Washington, DC:Social Development Department, World Bank,10 February. (Q3812)Full Citation

10.

UNODC.2017.‘Intentional Homicide Victims by Sex.’ Crime and Drugs Data.Vienna:UNODC,19 May. (Q13356)Full Citation

11.

Gambia.2005.‘Home-made Guns.’ National Report of Gambia on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York NY:Permanent Mission of Gambia to the United Nations,9 July. (Q12685)Full Citation

12.

Marsh, Nicholas.2014.‘Database of Authorised Transfers of Small Arms and Light Weapons.’ NISAT Small Arms Trade Database.Oslo:Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers,22 December. (Q16)Full Citation

13.

Gambia.2005.‘Export Controls.’ National Report of Gambia on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York NY:Permanent Mission of Gambia to the United Nations,9 July. (Q12686)Full Citation

14.

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

15.

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

16.

Gambia.2005.‘Stockpile Management.’ National Report of Gambia on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York NY:Permanent Mission of Gambia to the United Nations,9 July. (Q12684)Full Citation

17.

Gambia.2005.‘Collection and Disposal.’ National Report of Gambia on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York NY:Permanent Mission of Gambia to the United Nations,9 July. (Q12683)Full Citation

18.

African Union / UNODA.2005.‘Windhoek Common Position.’ United Nations Programme of Action Implementation Support System: Regional Organisations.New York, NY:African Union / United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,14 December. (Q3216)Full Citation

19.

African Union.2015.‘Member States.’ African Union: A United and Strong Africa.Addis Ababa:African Union,10 August. (Q10548)Full Citation

20.

ECOWAS / UNODA.2006.‘Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Ammunition and other Related Materials.’ United Nations Programme of Action Implementation Support System: Regional Organisations.New York, NY:Economic Community of West African States Secretariat / United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,14 June. (Q3219)Full Citation

21.

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

22.

UNODA.2013.‘Towards Entry Into Force.’ Arms Trade Treaty.New York, NY:United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,2 April. (Q7226)Full Citation

23.

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

24.

UNGA.2001.‘Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.’ United Nations General Assembly.New York, NY:UN General Assembly,20 July. (Q18)Full Citation

25.

Parker, Sarah and Katherine Green.2012.‘Findings - Table 3: Reporting States by Rank and Score.’ The Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (Phase 1): Assessing Reported Progress.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,1 August. (Q8752)Full Citation

26.

Parker, Sarah and Katherine Green.2012.‘What do the PoAIM Scores Represent? How Should the PoAIM Scores Be Interpreted?.’ The Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (Phase 1): Assessing Reported Progress.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,1 August. (Q8753)Full Citation

27.

Parker, Sarah and Katherine Green.2012.‘Point Allocation System.’ The Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (Phase 1): Assessing Reported Progress.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,1 August. (Q8754)Full Citation

28.

Parker, Sarah and Katherine Green.2012.‘Introduction.’ The Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (Phase 1): Assessing Reported Progress.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,1 August. (Q8755)Full Citation

29.

Cattaneo, Silvia and Sarah Parker.2008.‘Reporting, NPCs and NCAs, 2002 to 2008.’ Implementing the United Nations Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons: Analysis of the National Reports submitted by States from 2002 to 2008.Geneva:United Nations Development Programme,1 November. (Q20)Full Citation

30.

UNODA.2018.‘PoA-ISS Country Profiles.’ UN small arms Programme of Action (UNPoA) - Implementation Support System.New York, NY:United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs,23 July. (Q1309)Full Citation

31.

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. (Q166)Full Citation

32.

UNODA.2011.‘National Reports on Small Arms Exports.’ United Nations Register of Conventional Arms - The Global Reported Arms Trade.New York, NY:United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,21 October. (Q14)Full Citation

33.

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

34.

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