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Jamaica — 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 Jamaica is

2017: 246,0001
2012: 180,0002 3

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 8.801
2012: 6.62 3

Number of Privately Owned Rifles

ChartIn Jamaica, the number of rifles in civilian possession is reported to be

2016: 1934
1999: 7435

Number of Privately Owned Shotguns

ChartIn Jamaica, the number of shotguns in civilian possession is reported to be

2016: 5,3484
1995: 3,4225

Number of Privately Owned Handguns

ChartIn Jamaica, the number of handguns in civilian possession is reported to be

2016: 35,3734
1995: 13,9805

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Jamaica ranked at No. 1146

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Jamaica ranked at No. 743

Number of Licensed Firearm Owners

ChartThe number of licensed gun owners in Jamaica is reported to be

2016: 34,0554
2010: 25,1007
2006: 27,0008
2004: 50,0009

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

ChartThe rate of licensed firearm owners per 100 people in Jamaica is

2016: 1.1510
2010: 0.88
2006: 0.98
2004: 1.84

Number of Registered Firearms

ChartThe number of registered guns in Jamaica is reported to be

2017: 45,1951
2016: 45,9154
2010: 32,6007
2006: 65,00011 12
2005: 65,0003

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

ChartThe rate of registered guns per 100 people in Jamaica is

2016: 1.5510
2010: 1.14
2006: 2.4411
2005: 2.3810

Estimated Number of Unregistered and Illicit Firearms

Unregistered and unlawfully held guns cannot be counted,13 but in Jamaica there are estimated to be

2017: 200,0851

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Jamaica are reported to have 8,68114 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Jamaica are reported to have 12,00015 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

ChartIn Jamaica, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2015: 1,03916
2011: 1,08117
2010: 267
2009: 1,623
1997: 45018
1995: 45919

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

ChartIn Jamaica, the annual rate of all gun deaths per 100,000 population is

2015: 35.2210
2011: 38.1617
2010: 9.41
2009: 57.08
1997: 18.618
1995: 18.5910

Total Number of Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn Jamaica, annual male deaths resulting from firearms total

2011: 1,00417
2010: 241
2009: 1,457

Rate of Male Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Jamaica, the annual rate of male gun death per 100,000 population is

2011: 71.5917
2010: 17.15
2009: 103.45

Total Number of Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn Jamaica, annual female deaths resulting from firearms total

2011: 7617
2010: 26
2009: 113

Rate of Female Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Jamaica, the annual rate of female gun death per 100,000 population is

2011: 5.3117
2010: 1.81
2009: 7.87

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Jamaica, annual homicides by any means total

2016: 1,35220
2015: 1,207
2014: 1,005
2013: 2,401
2012: 1,09921 22
2011: 1,133
2010: 1,447
2009: 1,683
2008: 1,61921 22 23 24 25
2007: 1,584
2006: 1,340
2005: 1,67426 21 22 23 24 25
2004: 1,471
2003: 976
2002: 1,045
2001: 1,139
2000: 887
1999: 84926 23 27
1998: 953
1997: 1,031
1996: 925
1995: 78026 23
1994: 69026
1993: 654
1992: 629
1991: 561
1990: 542

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

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

2016: 48.0420
2015: 42.86
2014: 35.66
2013: 85.07
2012: 38.87
2011: 39.99
2010: 50.98
2009: 59.19
2008: 56.86
2007: 55.57
2006: 46.98
2005: 58.67
2004: 51.56
2003: 34.23
2002: 36.67
2001: 40.16
2000: 34.15
1999: 33.423 28
1998: 33.923 28 27
1997: 41.423 27
1996: 37.223 28 27
1995: 31.723
1994: 28.3210
1993: 27.17
1992: 26.45
1991: 23.79
1990: 23.09

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Jamaica, annual male homicides by any means total

2016: 1,21520
2015: 1,091
2014: 905
2013: 2,142
2012: 972
2011: 1,014
2010: 1,302
2009: 1,527
2008: 1,454
2007: 1,433
2006: 1,188
2005: 1,488
2004: 1,330
2003: 888
2002: 921
2001: 1,031

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

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

2016: 87.2520
2015: 78.30
2014: 64.89
2013: 153.36
2012: 69.46
2011: 72.30
2010: 92.63
2009: 108.42
2008: 103.08
2007: 101.47
2006: 84.05
2005: 105.23
2004: 94.05
2003: 62.81
2002: 65.19
2001: 73.33

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Jamaica, annual female homicides by any means total

2016: 13720
2015: 116
2014: 100
2013: 259
2012: 127
2011: 119
2010: 145
2009: 156
2008: 165
2007: 151
2006: 152
2005: 186
2004: 141
2003: 88
2002: 124
2001: 108

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

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

2016: 9.6420
2015: 8.15
2014: 7.02
2013: 18.17
2012: 8.89
2011: 8.32
2010: 10.12
2009: 10.87
2008: 11.48
2007: 10.50
2006: 10.56
2005: 12.93
2004: 9.80
2003: 6.12
2002: 8.63
2001: 7.55

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Jamaica, annual firearm homicides total

2015: 98016
2013: 88421
2012: 778
2011: 64617
2010: 0
2009: 1,195
2008: 1,246
2007: 1,251
2006: 1,005
2005: 1,27823 29 9
2004: 1,111
2003: 69029 9
2002: 710
2001: 790
2000: 57529
1995: 45019

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Jamaica, the annual rate of firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2015: 33.2210
2013: 30.38
2012: 26.93
2011: 22.8017
2010: 0
2009: 42.02
2008: 44.43
2007: 44.96
2006: 36.42
2005: 47.723 29 25
2004: 41.7
2003: 26.329 10
2002: 27.1
2001: 30.3
2000: 22.229
1997: 18.2327
1995: 16.9719

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

ChartIn Jamaica, the percentage of homicides committed with a firearm is reported to be

2015: 80%30
2013: 74%21
2012: 71%
2011: 70%21 22 31
2010: 76%21 22
2009: 77%22
2008: 77%
2007: 79%
2006: 75%
2005: 76.3%23
2004: 75.5%
2000: 61%32
1990: 50%

Male Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn Jamaica, annual male firearm homicides total

2011: 59217
2010: 0
2009: 1,110

Rate of Male Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Jamaica, the annual rate of male firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2011: 42.2117
2009: 78.81

Female Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn Jamaica, annual female firearm homicides total

2011: 5417
2010: 0
2009: 85

Rate of Female Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Jamaica, the annual rate of female firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2011: 3.7817
2009: 5.92

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Jamaica, annual suicides by any means total

2015: 5916
2011: 5017
2010: 3
2009: 36
2008: 4733 34
2007: 5033
2006: 53
2005: 58
2004: 4233 34
2003: 6433
2002: 56
2001: 73
2000: 80
1995: 3619

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

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

2015: 2.0010
2011: 1.7617
2010: 0.11
2009: 1.27
2008: 1.833 34
2007: 1.933
2006: 2.0
2005: 2.2
2004: 1.6
2003: 2.4
2002: 2.1
2001: 2.8
2000: 3.1
1995: 1.3619

Male Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Jamaica, annual male suicides by any means total

2011: 4417
2010: 3
2009: 33

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

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

2011: 3.1417
2010: 0.21
2009: 2.34

Female Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Jamaica, annual female suicides by any means total

2011: 617
2010: 0
2009: 3

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

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

2011: 0.4217
2009: 0.21

Gun Suicides

ChartIn Jamaica, annual firearm suicides total

2015: 916
2011: 417
2010: 0
2009: 4
1995: 919

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Jamaica, the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.3110
2011: 0.1417
2010: 0
2009: 0.14
1995: 0.3419

Male Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn Jamaica, annual male firearm suicides total

2011: 417
2010: 0
2009: 4

Rate of Male Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Jamaica, the annual rate of male firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

2011: 0.2917
2009: 0.28

Female Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn Jamaica, annual female firearm suicides total

2011: 017
2010: 0

Unintentional Gun Deaths

ChartIn Jamaica, annual unintentional shooting deaths total

2011: 417
2010: 0
2009: 198

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Jamaica, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death per 100,000 population is

2011: 0.1417
2010: 9.38
2009: 6.96

Unintentional Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn Jamaica, annual unintentional male shooting deaths total

2011: 317
2010: 0
2009: 176

Rate of Unintentional Male Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Jamaica, the annual rate of unintentional male shooting death per 100,000 population is

2011: 0.2117
2009: 12.50

Unintentional Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn Jamaica, annual unintentional female shooting deaths total

2011: 117
2010: 0
2009: 22

Rate of Unintentional Female Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Jamaica, the annual rate of unintentional female shooting death per 100,000 population is

2011: 0.0717
2009: 1.53

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Jamaica, annual shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2011: 22217
2010: 267
2009: 5

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

ChartIn Jamaica, the annual rate of unknown-cause shooting deaths per 100,000 population is

2011: 7.8417
2010: 9.41
2009: 0.18

Male Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Jamaica, annual male shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2011: 20117
2010: 241
2009: 2

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

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

2011: 14.3317
2010: 17.15
2009: 0.14

Female Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Jamaica, annual female shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2011: 2117
2010: 26

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

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

2011: 1.4717
2010: 1.81

Legal Intervention Gun Homicides

ChartIn Jamaica, annual legal-intervention gun homicides total

2011: 20517
2009: 221

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Jamaica, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence,35 36 37 38 39 but is not conducted in practice40 41 42 43

Home-made Guns

In Jamaica, the prevalence of illicit craft, or 'home-made' firearm manufacture is reported to be high44

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Jamaica, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law45 46 47 48 49

Firearm Exports (Number)

ChartThe annual number of firearms exported from Jamaica is reported by manufacturers to be

2018: 27150
2017: 25750
2015: 148

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Jamaica is reported by Customs to be US$4,31651 (2011)

Firearm Imports

In Jamaica, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law45 46 47 48 52 49 53

Firearm Imports (Number)

ChartThe annual number of firearms imported to Jamaica is reported to be

2018: 6,00450
2017: 5,02350
2015: 12,129

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Jamaica is reported by Customs to be US$1,553,16651 (2011)

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Jamaica is high54 55 56 57 58

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Jamaica, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law59 60 42 52

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Jamaica include61 62 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 Jamaica is categorised as restrictive63

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Jamaica includes the Firearms Act 1967 and its 2010 Amendments,64 the 2001 Firearms Regulation,46 the Gunpowder and Explosives Act,53 the Customs Act 1941 and the Trade Act 195565

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Jamaica are regulated by the Ministry of National Security66 and the Firearm Licensing Authority67 68 52

Right to Possess Firearms

In Jamaica, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law69 70 71

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Jamaica, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic firearms72 73 74 31

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Jamaica, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited72 73 74 31

Regulation of Handguns

In Jamaica, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence73 74 31

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Jamaica, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law73 74 31

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Jamaica, only licensed gun owners74 73 75 31 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Jamaica are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm75 76

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Jamaica is 17 years73

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Jamaica must pass a background check which considers criminal and mental health75 72 77 31 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Jamaica, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are required78

Partner to be Advised or Interviewed

In Jamaica, licensing authorities are not required71 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 Jamaica does not stipulate71 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Jamaica, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is required75 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Jamaica, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every four or five years79

Licensing Records

In Jamaica, authorities maintain a record66 80 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Jamaica are permitted to possess any number of firearms71 81

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Jamaica are permitted to possess only 50 rounds of ammunition per year57

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Jamaica, the law requires66 82 80 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 Jamaica, licensed firearm dealers are required83 82 48 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Jamaica, State agencies are required84 85 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 Jamaica, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited without a Firearm Disposal Permit73 86 87

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Jamaica, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful35 73 87 36 37 38 39

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In Jamaica, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined71

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Jamaica, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated71 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Jamaica include75 78 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 Jamaica include75 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Jamaica include88 85 89 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Jamaica do not include71 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Jamaica, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law42 52 66 90 91 92

Firearm Tracing

In Jamaica, state authorities carry out93 66 94 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Record of Firearms and Ammunition

In Jamaica, the ballistic characteristics of each civilian firearm and its ammunition are95 recorded in a register

Carrying Guns

Law Regulates Firearms in Public

In Jamaica, carrying a gun in a public place is regulated by law96 97 98 31

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Jamaica, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm99 is five years in prison and a fine73 74 100 35 87 36 37 39 96 97 101 45 47

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Jamaica are known to have102 103 104 105 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 Jamaica, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered, bought back or seized by authorities is reported to be

2017: 860106
2016: 649106 30
2015: 571107 108
2014: 615107
2013: 726109
2012: 596
2011: 496
2010: 687
2005: 683110
2004: 6209
2003: 517
2002: 481
2001: 546
1999: 4,000104

Small Arms Destroyed

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

2015: 1,468107
2010: 6,000111
2004: 10,132103 112
2002: 1,430
1999: 4,000104

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Jamaica, it is state policy113 102 103 111 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), Jamaica 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, but not yet ratified114 115 by Jamaica

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 2006116 by Jamaica.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified117 by Jamaica

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 ratified118 by Jamaica

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Jamaica 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 Aspects119 53

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Jamaica against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 122120 121 122 123 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Jamaica has submitted one or more national reports124 125 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Jamaica, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated126 125

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Jamaica, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated127

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Jamaica submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was not apparent125

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated125 by Jamaica to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided125 to Jamaica by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Jamaica has not declared128 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Jamaica has been a Member State of the United Nations since 1962129

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list130 Jamaica as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


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