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Haiti — 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 Haiti is

2017: 291,0001
2012: 200,0002 3 4

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 2.601
2012: 2.02 3

Number of Privately Owned Rifles

In Haiti, the number of rifles in civilian possession is reported to be 5,7285

Number of Privately Owned Handguns

In Haiti, the number of handguns in civilian possession is reported to be 14,6515

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Haiti ranked at No. 1186

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Haiti ranked at No. 1643

Proportion of Households with Firearms

In Haiti, the percentage of households with one or more guns is reported to be 2010: 2.3%7 (Port au Prince area only)

Number of Registered Firearms

ChartThe number of registered guns in Haiti is reported to be

2017: 20,3791
2006: 20,3798 9
2005: 20,3793 5 4

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

ChartThe rate of registered guns per 100 people in Haiti is

2006: 0.218
2005: 0.2210

Estimated Number of Unregistered and Illicit Firearms

Unregistered and unlawfully held guns cannot be counted,11 but in Haiti there are estimated to be

2017: 270,6211

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Haiti are reported to have 38012 firearms

Routine Arming of Police

In Haiti, police officers on routine patrol carry one or more firearms13

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Haiti are reported to have 15,00014 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Haiti, annual homicides by any means total

2015: 1,055.4015
2014: 1,13216
2013: 863
2012: 1,03317
2011: 914
2010: 677
2009: 598
2008: 498
2007: 486
2006: 65016
2005: 485
2004: 21316 18
2003: 1,93918
2002: 1,764
2001: 1,382

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

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

2015: 10.2915
2014: 11.27
2013: 8.16
2012: 10.5517
2011: 9.45
2010: 7.09
2009: 6.20
2008: 5.24
2007: 5.19
2006: 6.8816 19
2005: 5.2216
2004: 2.3316 18 19 20
2003: 21.318 19 20
2002: 19.7
2001: 15.7
1999: 14.620

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Haiti, annual male homicides by any means total

2015: 865.9215
2014: 1,007.48
2012: 79721
2010: 53121

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

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

2015: 17.1115
2014: 20.35
2012: 15.6621

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Haiti, annual female homicides by any means total

2015: 84.4815
2014: 90.56
2012: 23621
2010: 146

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

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

2015: 1.6315
2014: 1.78
2012: 4.5421

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Haiti, annual suicides by any means total

2008: 10722
2003: 223

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

ChartIn Haiti, the annual rate of suicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2008: 1.122
2003: 0.0
2002: 0.0
2001: 0.2

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Haiti, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is prohibited outside the monopoly of State for weapons of war24 25

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Haiti, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law24 25

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Haiti is reported by Customs to be US$126 (2010)

Firearm Imports

In Haiti, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law24 27 28 25

Firearm Imports (Number)

The annual number of firearms imported to Haiti is reported to be

2006: 56529

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Haiti is reported by Customs to be US$223,68026 (2011)

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Haiti, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law30

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Haiti do not include30 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 Haiti is categorised as restrictive31

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Haiti includes the Decree on Firearms of 1988,32 the Decree of 1989 modifying the Decree of 198833 and the Constitution of 198725

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Haiti are regulated by the Haiti Armed Forces32 and the Police34 35

Right to Possess Firearms

In Haiti, the right to private gun ownership is conditionally guaranteed by the Constitution,25 36 37 38 4 as limited by statute law33

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Haiti, civilians are not allowed to possess weapons of war,24 25 39 40 automatic firearms,41 destructive weapons42 and incendiary or exploding bullets43

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Haiti, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited41 28

Regulation of Handguns

In Haiti, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence39

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Haiti, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law39 40

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Haiti, only licensed gun owners33 44 45 34 25 4 35 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Haiti are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example self-defence,39 sports and recreational purposes40

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Haiti is 18 years33 46

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Haiti must pass a background check which considers undefined30 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Haiti, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required30

Partner to be Advised or Interviewed

In Haiti, licensing authorities are not required30 to conduct interviews with, or to advise an applicant's spouse, partner, or next of kin before issuing a gun licence

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Haiti does not stipulate30 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Haiti, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required30 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Haiti, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every year47

Licensing Records

In Haiti, authorities do not maintain a record30 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Haiti are permitted to possess any number of firearms30

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Haiti are permitted to possess any quantity of ammunition30

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Haiti, the law does not require30 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 Haiti, licensed firearm dealers are not required30 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In Haiti, licensed gun makers are not required30 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Private Gun Sales

In Haiti, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited without an authorisation from Haiti Armed Forces27

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Haiti, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful27 28

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In Haiti, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined30

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Haiti, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated30 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Haiti do not include30 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 Haiti do not include30 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Haiti do not include30 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Haiti, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is not required by law30

Firearm Tracing

In Haiti, state authorities do not carry out30 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Record of Firearms and Ammunition

In Haiti, the ballistic characteristics of each civilian firearm and its ammunition are not30 recorded in a register

Carrying Guns

Law Regulates Firearms in Public

In Haiti, carrying a gun in a public place is regulated by law44 45

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Haiti, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is allowed30

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Haiti, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is allowed30

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Haiti, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm48 is five years in prison and a fine28

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Haiti are known to have49 50 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Surrendered in Gun Amnesty

In Haiti, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered in recent arms amnesty and collection programmes is reported to be 20051 (2006)

Exchanged in Gun Buyback

In Haiti, the total number of firearms exchanged for monetary or in-kind compensation during recent gun buyback and disposal programmes is reported to be 3,68450 (1994-95)

Firearms Surrendered and Seized

In Haiti, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered, bought back or seized by authorities is reported to be 33,00050 (1994-95)

Small Arms Destroyed

In Haiti, the number of firearms destroyed following amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be 24949 (2003)

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Haiti, it is state policy52 49 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

Organization of American States

On 14 November 1997, as a member of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Haiti adopted the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Explosives, Ammunition and Other Related Materials (CIFTA), a legally binding multilateral treaty of which the OAS is depository. The CIFTA Convention has since been signed and ratified53 54 by Haiti

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 signed55 by Haiti.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has been signed, but not yet ratified56 by Haiti

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 ratified57 by Haiti

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Haiti 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 Aspects58

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Haiti against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 13659 60 61 62 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Haiti has submitted one or more national reports63 64 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Haiti, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated65 64

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated64 by Haiti to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided64 to Haiti by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Haiti has not declared66 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Haiti has been a Member State of the United Nations since 194567

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list68 Haiti as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


Short References

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Karp, Aaron.2012.‘Estimated Civilian Gun Ownership.’ Measurement and Use of Statistical Data to Analyze Small Arms in the Caribbean and Latin America.Mexico City:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Center of Excellence, National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI),28 April. (Q8972)Full Citation

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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

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Muggah, Robert.2005.‘Civilian Gun Possession.’ Securing Haiti's Transition: Reviewing Human Insecurity and the Prospects for Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,1 October. (Q9880)Full Citation

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Haiti.2003.‘Law Enforcement and Criminalisation (Application des Lois et Criminalisation ).’ National Report of Haiti 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 Haiti to the United Nations,8 July. (Q4786)Full Citation

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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

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Kolbe, Athena and Robert Muggah.2011.‘Securing the State: Haiti Before and After the Earthquake.’ Small Arms Survey 2011: States of Security.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,6 July. (Q9878)Full Citation

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OAS Hemispheric Citizen Security Observatory.2012.‘Legally Registered Civilian Firearms.’ Report on Citizen Security in the Americas 2012.Washington, DC:Organisation of American States,1 July. (Q9208)Full Citation

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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

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Haiti.1988.‘Weapons of War (Armes de guerre).’ Decree of 12 January 1988, Laying Down the Conditions for the Ownership, Possession and Use of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons Listed as Dangerous on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,12 January. (Q9860)Full Citation

25.

Haiti.1987.‘Firearms (Armes à feu).’ Constitution of the Republic of Haiti of 1987 (Constitution de la République d'Haïti de 1987).Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Republic of Haiti,10 March. (Q9875)Full Citation

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27.

Haiti.1989.‘Imports and Transfers of Firearms (Importations et transferts d'armes à feu).’ Decree of 23 May 1989, Modifying Certain Articles of the Decree of 12 January 1988, on the Control of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,23 May. (Q9870)Full Citation

28.

Haiti.1989.‘Penalties (Sanctions).’ Decree of 23 May 1989, Modifying Certain Articles of the Decree of 12 January 1988, on the Control of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,23 May. (Q9874)Full Citation

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UN Register of Conventional Arms.2018.‘National Reports on Small Arms Exports and Imports.’ UNROCA - The Global Reported Arms Trade.New York, NY:United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,1 January. (Q13952)Full Citation

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Haiti.1988.‘Decree on Firearms of 1988 (Décret sur les armes à feu de 1988).’ Decree of 12 January 1988, Laying Down the Conditions for the Ownership, Possession and Use of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons Listed as Dangerous on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,12 January. (Q11990)Full Citation

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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

32.

Haiti.1988.‘Decree on Firearms of 1988 (Décret sur les armes à feu de 1988).’ Decree of 12 January 1988, Laying Down the Conditions for the Ownership, Possession and Use of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons Listed as Dangerous on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,12 January. (Q9859)Full Citation

33.

Haiti.1989.‘Firearm Possession Requirements (Conditions pour la possession d'armes à feu).’ Decree of 23 May 1989, Modifying Certain Articles of the Decree of 12 January 1988, on the Control of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,23 May. (Q9866)Full Citation

34.

Haiti.1989.‘Competent Authority to Issue Licences (Autorité compétente pour délivrer les licences).’ Decree of 23 May 1989, Modifying Certain Articles of the Decree of 12 January 1988, on the Control of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,23 May. (Q9872)Full Citation

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Muggah, Robert.2005.‘Policing Small Arms.’ Securing Haiti's Transition: Reviewing Human Insecurity and the Prospects for Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,1 October. (Q9881)Full Citation

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Comparative Constitutions Project.2013.‘Right to Armed Self-defense.’ Haiti's Constitution of 1987 with Amendments through 2012 - English.Austin, TX:Comparative Constitutions Project / CCP,1 September. (Q8504)Full Citation

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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

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

39.

Haiti.1988.‘Firearm Possession for Personal Defence (Possession d'armes à feu pour défense personnelle).’ Decree of 12 January 1988, Laying Down the Conditions for the Ownership, Possession and Use of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons Listed as Dangerous on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,12 January. (Q9862)Full Citation

40.

Haiti.1989.‘Firearm Possession for Sports and Recreational Purposes (Possession d'armes à feu à des fins récréatives ou sportives).’ Decree of 23 May 1989, Modifying Certain Articles of the Decree of 12 January 1988, on the Control of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,23 May. (Q9865)Full Citation

41.

Haiti.1988.‘Automatic Firearms (Armes à feu automatiques).’ Decree of 12 January 1988, Laying Down the Conditions for the Ownership, Possession and Use of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons Listed as Dangerous on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,12 January. (Q9863)Full Citation

42.

Haiti.1989.‘Possession of Destructive Weapons (Possession d'engins destructeurs).’ Decree of 23 May 1989, Modifying Certain Articles of the Decree of 12 January 1988, on the Control of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,23 May. (Q9868)Full Citation

43.

Haiti.1988.‘Ammunition (Munitions).’ Decree of 12 January 1988, Laying Down the Conditions for the Ownership, Possession and Use of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons Listed as Dangerous on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,12 January. (Q9864)Full Citation

44.

Haiti.1989.‘Carrying and Possession of Firearms (Port et possession d'armes à feu).’ Decree of 23 May 1989, Modifying Certain Articles of the Decree of 12 January 1988, on the Control of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,23 May. (Q9869)Full Citation

45.

Haiti.1989.‘Licences to Carry Firearms and Ownership Declarations (Licences pour port d'armes à feu et déclarations de possession à domicile).’ Decree of 23 May 1989, Modifying Certain Articles of the Decree of 12 January 1988, on the Control of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,23 May. (Q9871)Full Citation

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Haiti.1989.‘Firearms in the Possession of Minors (Mineurs en possession d'armes à feu).’ Decree of 23 May 1989, Modifying Certain Articles of the Decree of 12 January 1988, on the Control of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,23 May. (Q9867)Full Citation

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Haiti.1989.‘Licence Validity (Validité de la licence).’ Decree of 23 May 1989, Modifying Certain Articles of the Decree of 12 January 1988, on the Control of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Categories of Weapons on the National Territory.Port au Prince:Le Moniteur, Ministry of the Interior and of Local Government of the Republic of Haiti,23 May. (Q9873)Full Citation

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