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

Liberia — 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 Liberia is

2017: 97,0001
2007: 51,0002

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 2.101
2007: 1.62

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Liberia ranked at No. 1523

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Liberia ranked at No. 1292

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Liberia are reported to have 2,5204 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Liberia are reported to have 5,0005 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Liberia, annual homicides by any means total

2016: 1206
2015: 116
2014: 112
2013: 111
2012: 1357
2011: 1617 8
2010: 1297
2009: 145
2008: 1777 9
2007: 1007

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

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

2012: 3.2610
2011: 4.04
2010: 3.38
2009: 3.91
2008: 4.91
2007: 2.88
2004: 16.8011
2002: 32.80

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Liberia, annual male homicides by any means total

2012: 10612
2010: 9012

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

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

2012: 5.0512

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Liberia, annual female homicides by any means total

2012: 2912
2010: 39

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

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

2012: 1.3812

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Liberia, annual firearm homicides total

2010: 179
2009: 15
2008: 14
2007: 10

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2010: 0.49
2009: 0.4
2008: 0.4
2007: 0.3

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

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

2010: 13.2%9
2009: 10.3%
2008: 7.9%
2007: 10.0%

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Liberia, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence,13 but is not conducted in practice14 15

Home-made Guns

In Liberia, the prevalence of illicit craft, or 'home-made' firearm manufacture is reported to be low16

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Liberia, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law17

Firearm Exports (Number)

The annual number of firearms exported from Liberia is reported by manufacturers to be

2015: 018

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Liberia is reported by Customs to be US$957,71719 (2011)

Firearm Imports

In Liberia, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law17

Firearm Imports (Number)

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

2015: 1,74018

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Liberia is reported by Customs to be US$1,737,71219 (2011)

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Liberia is low20 21

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Liberia, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law22

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Liberia include23 24 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 Liberia is categorised as restrictive25

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Liberia includes the Firearms and Ammunition Control Act of 201526

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Liberia are regulated by the National Commission on Small Arms and the Liberian National Police27

Right to Possess Firearms

In Liberia, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law28

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Liberia, civilians are not allowed to possess small arms (other than hunting rifles) and light weapons29

Law Regulates Automatic Weapons

In Liberia, civilian possession of automatic weapons is regulated by law8

Law Regulates Handguns

In Liberia, civilian possession of handguns is regulated by law8

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Liberia, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law8

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Liberia, only professional hunters29 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Liberia are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example hunting29

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Liberia is 18 years30

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Liberia must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental, health, and human rights30 records

Firearm Safety Training

In Liberia, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is required30 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Liberia, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every three years31

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Liberia, the law requires32 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 Liberia, licensed firearm dealers are required32 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In Liberia, licensed gun makers are required32 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Liberia, State agencies are required32 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 - Private

Firearm regulations in Liberia include30 33 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 Liberia include30 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Liberia include34 35 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Liberia, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law36

Firearm Tracing

In Liberia, state authorities carry out37 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Carrying Guns

Law Regulates Firearms in Public

In Liberia, carrying a gun in a public place is regulated by law8

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Surrendered in Gun Amnesty

ChartIn Liberia, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered in recent arms amnesty and collection programmes is reported to be

2003/06: 28,31438
1994/97: 10,036

Firearms Surrendered and Seized

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

2013: 6739
2011: 17540

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

African Union

In June 2006, as a member of the African Union, Liberia 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 200641 42

Economic Community of West African States

In June 2006, as a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Liberia 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 weapons43

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, lists44 Liberia 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 200645 by Liberia.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified46 by Liberia

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 ratified47 by Liberia

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Liberia 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 Aspects48

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Liberia against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 12149 50 51 52 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Liberia has submitted one or more national reports53 54 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Liberia, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated55 54

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Liberia, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated54

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Liberia submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was apparent54

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated54 by Liberia to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided54 to Liberia by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Liberia has not declared56 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Liberia has been a Member State of the United Nations since 194557

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list58 Liberia as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


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