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Iraq — 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 Iraq is

2017: 7,588,0001
2007: 9,750,0002

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 19.601
2007: 34.22

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Iraq ranked at No. 133

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Iraq ranked at No. 82

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Iraq are reported to have 611,0004 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Iraq are reported to have 56,0005 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

In Iraq, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2008: 8,2516

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

In Iraq, the annual rate of all gun deaths per 100,000 population is

2008: 29.126

Total Number of Male Gun Deaths

In Iraq, annual male deaths resulting from firearms total

2008: 7,1286

Rate of Male Gun Death per 100,000 People

In Iraq, the annual rate of male gun death per 100,000 population is

2008: 49.996

Total Number of Female Gun Deaths

In Iraq, annual female deaths resulting from firearms total

2008: 1,1236

Rate of Female Gun Death per 100,000 People

In Iraq, the annual rate of female gun death per 100,000 population is

2008: 7.986

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Iraq, annual homicides by any means total

2014: 3,0297
2013: 3,339
2012: 2,697
2011: 2,634
2010: 2,691
2009: 2,554
2008: 2,6456

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

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

2014: 8.427
2013: 9.62
2012: 8.15
2011: 8.32
2010: 8.82
2009: 8.66
2008: 9.336
2004: 7.348
2002: 2.90

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Iraq, annual male homicides by any means total

2016: 09
2015: 0
2014: 2,498
2013: 5,598
2012: 4,375
2011: 4,288
2010: 4,418
2009: 3,204
2008: 2,1846
2007: 0

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

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

2013: 16.339
2012: 13.20
2011: 13.36
2010: 14.21
2009: 10.60
2008: 15.326

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Iraq, annual female homicides by any means total

2014: 5319
2013: 541
2012: 510
2011: 491
2010: 482
2009: 952
2008: 4616

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

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

2013: 3.239
2012: 3.15
2011: 3.13
2010: 3.17
2009: 6.44
2008: 3.276

Gun Homicides

In Iraq, annual firearm homicides total

2008: 1,77210

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

In Iraq, the annual rate of firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2008: 6.256

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

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

2011: 45%11

Male Gun Homicide Victims

In Iraq, annual male firearm homicides total

2008: 1,4786

Rate of Male Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

In Iraq, the annual rate of male firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2008: 10.376

Female Gun Homicide Victims

In Iraq, annual female firearm homicides total

2008: 2946

Rate of Female Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

In Iraq, the annual rate of female firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2008: 2.096

Suicides (any method)

In Iraq, annual suicides by any means total

2008: 36

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

In Iraq, the annual rate of suicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2008: 0.016

Male Suicide Victims (any method)

In Iraq, annual male suicides by any means total

2008: 16

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

In Iraq, the annual rate of male suicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2008: 0.016

Female Suicide Victims (any method)

In Iraq, annual female suicides by any means total

2008: 26

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

In Iraq, the annual rate of female suicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2008: 0.016

Unintentional Gun Deaths

In Iraq, annual unintentional shooting deaths total

2008: 5,12310

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

In Iraq, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death per 100,000 population is

2008: 18.086

Unintentional Male Gun Deaths

In Iraq, annual unintentional male shooting deaths total

2008: 4,5866

Rate of Unintentional Male Gun Death per 100,000 People

In Iraq, the annual rate of unintentional male shooting death per 100,000 population is

2008: 32.166

Unintentional Female Gun Deaths

In Iraq, annual unintentional female shooting deaths total

2008: 5376

Rate of Unintentional Female Gun Death per 100,000 People

In Iraq, the annual rate of unintentional female shooting death per 100,000 population is

2008: 3.816

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

In Iraq, annual shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2008: 92710

Rate of Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

In Iraq, the annual rate of unknown-cause shooting deaths per 100,000 population is

2008: 3.276

Male Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

In Iraq, annual male shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2008: 7656

Rate of Male Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

In Iraq, the annual rate of unknown-cause male shooting deaths per 100,000 population is

2008: 5.376

Female Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

In Iraq, annual female shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2008: 1626

Rate of Female Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

In Iraq, the annual rate of unknown-cause female shooting deaths per 100,000 population is

2008: 1.156

Legal Intervention Gun Homicides

In Iraq, annual legal-intervention gun homicides total

2008: 4296

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Iraq, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is prohibited12

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Iraq is reported by Customs to be US$8313 (2011)

Firearm Imports

In Iraq, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law12 14

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Iraq is reported by Customs to be US$29,451,57113 (2011)15 16 17 18

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

Law Regulates Civilian Access to Firearms

In Iraq, civilian possession of guns is regulated by law11

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Iraq includes the Weapons Act, Law No. 13 of 199219

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Iraq are regulated by the Ministry of the Interior20

Right to Possess Firearms

In Iraq, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law21 22

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

Law Regulates Automatic Weapons

In Iraq, civilian possession of automatic weapons is regulated by law11

Law Regulates Handguns

In Iraq, civilian possession of handguns is regulated by law11

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Iraq, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law11

Gun Ownership and Possession

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Iraq must pass a background check which considers undefined11 records

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Iraq, the law requires23 24 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 Iraq, State agencies are required25 26 to maintain records of the storage and movement of all firearms and ammunition under their control

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Iraq, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful20

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Iraq include25 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Iraq, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law23 19 27 24

Carrying Guns

Law Regulates Firearms in Public

In Iraq, carrying a gun in a public place is regulated by law11

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Firearms Surrendered and Seized

ChartIn Iraq, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered, bought back or seized by authorities is reported to be

2012: 11,82028
2011: 17,281
2010: 10,949

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

League of Arab States

As a member of the League of Arab States, Iraq adopted the Arab Model Law on Weapons, Ammunitions, Explosives and Hazardous Material in January 200229

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 signed30 by Iraq.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed31 by Iraq

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 ratified32 by Iraq

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Iraq 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 Aspects33

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Iraq against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 12334 35 36 37 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Iraq has submitted one or more national reports38 39 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Iraq, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated39

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Iraq, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated39

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Iraq submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was not apparent39

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated39 by Iraq to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided39 to Iraq by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Iraq has not declared40 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Iraq has been a Member State of the United Nations since 194541

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list42 Iraq as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


Short References

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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

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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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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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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

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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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WHO.2016.‘Inter-country Comparison of Mortality for Selected Causes of Death.’ WHO Mortality Data Base.Geneva:World Health Organisation,1 December. (Q13354)Full Citation

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

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Petrini, Benjamin.2011.‘Middle East and North 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. (Q3813)Full Citation

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

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Waiselfiz, Julio Jacobo.2015.‘Number and Rate of Gun Deaths in 90 Countries (Número e taxas de mortalidade por AF segundo causa básica em 90 países do mundo).’ Violence Map: Deaths by Firearms (Mapa da Violência: Mortes Matadas por Armas de Fogo).Brasilia:Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales / Latin American Social Sciences Institute,1 January. (Q11896)Full Citation

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Butchart, Alexander, Christopher Mikton and Etienne Krug.2014.‘Country Profile: Iraq.’ 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. (Q9503)Full Citation

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Iraq.2012.‘Enforcement and Prosecution.’ National Report of Iraq 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 Iraq to the United Nations,1 January. (Q13139)Full Citation

13.

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

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Iraq.2012.‘Export Controls.’ National Report of Iraq 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 Iraq to the United Nations,1 January. (Q13141)Full Citation

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Holtom, Paul and Christelle Rigual.2015.‘Importers of Small Arms Based on UN Comtrade, 2012.’ Small Arms Survey 2015: Weapons and the World.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press and the Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,1 June. (Q11070)Full Citation

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Rigual, Christelle.2015.‘Annexe 4.2: Major Importers.’ Small Arms Survey 2015: Weapons and the World.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press and the Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,1 June. (Q11078)Full Citation

17.

Holtom, Paul, Irene Pavesi and Christelle Rigual.2014.‘Importers of Small Arms Based on UN Comtrade, 2011.’ Small Arms Survey 2014: Women and Guns.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press and the Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,16 June. (Q11041)Full Citation

18.

Pavesi, Irene and Christelle Rigual.2013.‘Annexes 8.2: Major Importers.’ Small Arms Survey 2013: Everyday Dangers.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press and the Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,2 July. (Q8486)Full Citation

19.

Iraq.2012.‘Legislation, Regulations and Administrative Measures.’ National Report of Iraq 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 Iraq to the United Nations,1 January. (Q13138)Full Citation

20.

Iraq.2012.‘Dealers.’ National Report of Iraq 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 Iraq to the United Nations,1 January. (Q13142)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

23.

Iraq.2012.‘Marking, Record-keeping and Follow-up.’ National Report of Iraq 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 Iraq to the United Nations,1 January. (Q13143)Full Citation

24.

Iraq.2010.‘Labelling and Record-Keeping and Tracing.’ National Report of Iraq 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 Iraq to the United Nations,1 January. (Q4798)Full Citation

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Iraq.2012.‘Management and Safeguarding of Accumulated Stocks of Weapons.’ National Report of Iraq 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 Iraq to the United Nations,1 January. (Q13140)Full Citation

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Iraq.2010.‘Stockpile Management and Security.’ National Report of Iraq 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 Iraq to the United Nations,1 January. (Q4797)Full Citation

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Iraq.2010.‘Legislation, Regulations and Administrative Procedures.’ National Report of Iraq 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 Iraq to the United Nations,1 January. (Q4796)Full Citation

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Karp, Aaron, Nicholas Marsh and Giorgio Ravagli.2015.‘Number of Firearms Reported Seized by Police, 2010-2013.’ UNODC Study on Firearms 2015.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC),3 July. (Q10542)Full Citation

29.

League of Arab States / UNODA.2002.‘Arab Model Law on Weapons, Ammunitions, Explosives and Hazardous Material.’ United Nations Programme of Action Implementation Support System: Regional Organisations.New York, NY:Council of the League of Arab States / United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,1 January. (Q3215)Full Citation

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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

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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

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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

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