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Laos — 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 Laos is

2017: 215,0001
2007: 71,0002

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 3.01
2007: 1.22

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Laos ranked at No. 1453

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Laos ranked at No. 1452

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Laos are reported to have 224,6904 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Laos are reported to have 21,0005 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Laos, annual homicides by any means total

2015: 4676
2012: 3927
2010: 502
2008: 2798

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

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

2015: 6.766
2012: 5.97
2010: 7.89
2008: 4.6
2004: 5.409
2002: 5.70

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Laos, annual male homicides by any means total

2015: 36010
2010: 39910

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

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

2015: 10.8410

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Laos, annual female homicides by any means total

2015: 10710
2010: 103

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

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

2015: 3.2010

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Laos, annual suicides by any means total

2016: 57911
2015: 567
2010: 556
2000: 540

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

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

2016: 8.2511
2015: 8.20
2010: 8.73
2004: 5.409
2002: 5.70
2000: 10

Male Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Laos, annual male suicides by any means total

2016: 38511
2015: 376
2010: 364
2000: 354

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

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

2016: 11.0511
2015: 10.96
2010: 11.52
2000: 13.23

Female Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Laos, annual female suicides by any means total

2016: 19411
2015: 191
2010: 192
2000: 186

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

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

2016: 5.4911
2015: 5.49
2010: 5.98
2000: 6.83

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Laos, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence, but is not conducted in practice12

Home-made Guns

In Laos, the prevalence of illicit craft, or 'home-made' firearm manufacture is reported to be moderate13

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Laos, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law14

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

ChartThe annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Laos is reported by Customs to be US$

2015: 252,91015
2008: 18316

Firearm Imports

In Laos, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law14

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

ChartThe annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Laos is reported by Customs to be US$

2016: 338,48615
2015: 854,614
2014: 4,800
2013: 488,000
2012: 312,950
2011: 71,47516

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Laos is high17

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Laos, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law14

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Laos is categorised as restrictive18

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Laos includes the

Laos, 1990, No. 29/SPS: Criminal Law19

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Laos are regulated by the Ministry of Public Security20

Right to Possess Firearms

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

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

Law Regulates Automatic Weapons

In Laos, civilian possession of automatic weapons is regulated by law23

Law Regulates Handguns

In Laos, civilian possession of handguns is regulated by law23

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Laos, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law23

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Laos, only licensed gun owners (for those of high social standing only)24 23 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Laos are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example hunting25 26

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Laos must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental health, medical and domestic violence27 23 records

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Laos stipulates27 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Laos, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is required27 for a firearm licence

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Laos include27 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of private firearms and ammunition by licensed gun owners

Carrying Guns

Law Regulates Firearms in Public

In Laos, carrying a gun in a public place is regulated by law23

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Laos, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm28 is six months to 10 years in prison29

MeasuresInternational Controls

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 Laos.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed31 by Laos

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 Laos

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Laos 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 National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Laos has yet to submit a national report34 35 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Laos, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated36 35

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Laos, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated36 35

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated35 by Laos to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Laos has not declared37 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Laos has been a Member State of the United Nations since 195538

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list39 Laos as a Participating State

BackgroundSustainable Development Goal Profile

About SDG 16

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 goals set by the United Nations to be implemented by all member states by 2030. Adopted in 2015, they outline a vision of development in which peace and security are an integral part. SDG 16,40 which seeks to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development,” includes targets and indicators focused on reducing violence (Target 16.1) and the proliferation of illicit arms (Target 16.4). The indicators – or measurement criteria – of these targets include the number of victims of intentional homicide (Indicator 16.1.1), the number of conflict-related deaths (Indicator 16.1.2), and the number of illicit firearms collected and traced (Indicator 16.4.2). In light of these targets and indicators, GunPolicy.org provides granular national data pertaining to homicides, gun homicides, conflict deaths, disarmament efforts, and marking and tracing.

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Laos, annual homicides by any means total

2015: 4676
2012: 3927
2010: 502
2008: 2798

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

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

2015: 6.766
2012: 5.97
2010: 7.89
2008: 4.6
2004: 5.409
2002: 5.70

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Laos, annual male homicides by any means total

2015: 36010
2010: 39910

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

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

2015: 10.8410

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Laos, annual female homicides by any means total

2015: 10710
2010: 103

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

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

2015: 3.2010

Conflict Deaths

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

Global Peace Index

To see where Laos ranks, select the Link icon to open an external web page at the Global Peace Index, and then click on Laos on the map or in the "Select Country" menu on the right of the web page


Short References

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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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