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

Ghana — 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 Ghana is

2017: 2,280,0001
2016: 2,300,0002
2012: 500,0003

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 81
2016: 8.554
2012: 2.0

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Ghana ranked at No. 1435

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Ghana ranked at No. 1746

Number of Registered Firearms

ChartThe number of registered guns in Ghana is reported to be

2017: 1,236,1281
2016: 1,200,0002

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in Ghana is

2016: 4.464

Estimated Number of Unregistered and Illicit Firearms

ChartUnregistered and unlawfully held guns cannot be counted,7 but in Ghana there are estimated to be

2017: 1,043,8721
2016: 1,100,0002 8

Estimated Rate of Unregistered and Illicit Firearms per 100 Population

Unregistered and unlawfully held guns cannot be counted,7 but in Ghana the rate of such firearms per 100 people is estimated to be 4.094

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Ghana are reported to have 18,6009 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Ghana are reported to have 28,00010 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Ghana, annual homicides by any means total

2012: 1,53711
2011: 42312
2010: 422
2009: 427
2008: 430
2007: 399

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

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

2012: 6.111
2011: 1.7513
2010: 1.79
2009: 1.85
2008: 1.91
2007: 1.81
2005: 1.7014
2004: 6.80
2003: 2.10
2002: 9.20
2001: 2.34
2000: 2.48
1999: 2.16
1998: 2.22
1996: 2.23

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Ghana, annual male homicides by any means total

2011: 29815
2010: 26915

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

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

2011: 2.3915

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Ghana, annual female homicides by any means total

2011: 12515
2010: 153

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

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

2011: 0.9915

Gun Homicides

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

In Ghana, the percentage of homicides committed with a firearm is reported to be

2011: 51%12

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Ghana, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is prohibited16

Home-made Guns

In Ghana, the prevalence of illicit craft, or 'home-made' firearm manufacture is reported to be moderate17

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Ghana, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law18 19

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Ghana is reported by Customs to be US$38020 (2011)

Firearm Imports

In Ghana, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law18 19 21 22

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Ghana is reported by Customs to be US$4,244,23720 (2011)

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Ghana is moderate23 2 24

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Ghana, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law25 21

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Ghana include26 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

Law Regulates Civilian Access to Firearms

In Ghana, civilian possession of guns is regulated by law12

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Ghana includes the Arms and Ammunitions Act of 1962 (Act 118), the Africa Defence (Ghana) Act of 1965 (Act 313), the Armed Forces Act of 1962 (Act 105), the Public Order Act of 1994 (Act 491) and the Criminal Code of Ghana of 1960 (Act 29)18

Right to Possess Firearms

In Ghana, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law27 28

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

Law Regulates Automatic Weapons

In Ghana, civilian possession of automatic weapons is regulated by law12

Law Regulates Handguns

In Ghana, civilian possession of handguns is regulated by law12

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Ghana, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law12

Gun Ownership and Possession

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Ghana must pass a background check which considers undefined12 records

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Ghana, the law require29 that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Ghana, State agencies are required29 30 to maintain records of the storage and movement of all firearms and ammunition under their control

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Ghana include30 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Ghana, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law29 31

Firearm Tracing

In Ghana, state authorities carry out32 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Carrying Guns

Law Regulates Firearms in Public

In Ghana, carrying a gun in a public place is regulated by law12

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Ghana are known to have33 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 Ghana, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered, bought back or seized by authorities is reported to be

2013: 42834 35
2012: 73
2011: 28
2010: 24

Small Arms Destroyed

ChartIn Ghana, the number of firearms destroyed following amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be

2016: 1,3002
2010: 3,38733

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Ghana, it is state policy36 33 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, Ghana 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 200637 38

Economic Community of West African States

In June 2006, as a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Ghana 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 weapons39

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, lists40 Ghana 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 200641 by Ghana.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified42 by Ghana

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 ratified43 by Ghana

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Ghana 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 Aspects44

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Ghana against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 11445 46 47 48 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Ghana has submitted one or more national reports49 50 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Ghana, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated51

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Ghana, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated51 50

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Ghana submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was apparent51 50

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated50 by Ghana to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided50 to Ghana by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Ghana has not declared52 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Ghana has been a Member State of the United Nations since 195753

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list54 Ghana as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


Short References

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