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Libya — 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 Libya is

2017: 851,0001
2007: 900,0002

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 13.301
2007: 15.52

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Libya ranked at No. 553

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Libya ranked at No. 402

Proportion of Households with Firearms

In Libya, the percentage of households with one or more guns is reported to be

2013: 21%4

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Libya are reported to have 535,2005 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Libya are reported to have 22,0226 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Libya, annual homicides by any means total

2015: 1567
2012: 1038
2010: 191
2008: 1769

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

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

2015: 2.437
2012: 1.78
2010: 3.14
2008: 2.99
2004: 2.9610
2003: 2.20
2002: 2.50
1999: 2.08
1996: 1.91

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Libya, annual male homicides by any means total

2015: 12611
2010: 14711

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

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

2015: 411

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Libya, annual female homicides by any means total

2015: 3011
2010: 45

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

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

2015: 0.9811

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Libya, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is prohibited12 13

Home-made Guns

In Libya, the prevalence of illicit craft, or 'home-made' firearm manufacture is reported to be moderate14

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Libya is reported by Customs to be US$015 (2009)

Firearm Imports

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Libya is reported by Customs to be US$22,60615 (2011)13 16

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

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

MeasuresGun Regulation

Right to Possess Firearms

In Libya, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law18 19

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Libya, no civilians12 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Private Gun Sales

In Libya, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited12

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Libya, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful12

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Libya, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is not required by law12

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Libya, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm20 is 10 years in prison and a fine21

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Libya are known to have21 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

League of Arab States

As a member of the League of Arab States, Libya adopted the Arab Model Law on Weapons, Ammunitions, Explosives and Hazardous Material in January 200222

African Union

In June 2006, as a member of the African Union, Libya 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 200623 24

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 200725 by Libya.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has been signed, but not yet ratified26 by Libya

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 ratified27 by Libya

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Libya 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 Aspects28

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Libya against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 14229 30 31 32 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Libya has submitted one or more national reports33 34 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Libya, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated34

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Libya, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated34

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Libya submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was not apparent34

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated34 by Libya to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided34 to Libya by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Libya has not declared35 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Libya has been a Member State of the United Nations since 195536

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list37 Libya as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


Short References

1.

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

2.

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

3.

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

4.

Florquin, Nicolas, Moncef Kartas and Irene Pavesi.2014.‘Perceptions of Firearms.’ Searching for Stability: Perceptions of Security, Justice, and Firearms in Libya.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva / Security Assessment in North Africa (SANA),1 August. (Q8948)Full Citation

5.

Karp, Aaron.2006.‘Trickle and Torrent: State stockpiles.’ Small Arms Survey 2006: Unfinished Business.Oxford:Oxford University Press,1 July. (Q6)Full Citation

6.

Karp, Aaron.2006.‘Trickle and Torrent: State stockpiles.’ Small Arms Survey 2006: Unfinished Business.Oxford:Oxford University Press,1 July. (Q7)Full Citation

7.

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

8.

UNODC.2014.‘Homicides in Libya.’ Global Study on Homicide 2013: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC),10 April. (Q9964)Full Citation

9.

UNODC.2013.‘Homicide in 207 Countries - Libya.’ Global Study on Homicide 2011: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,26 June. (Q6398)Full Citation

10.

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

11.

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

12.

Libya.2010.‘Measures to Prohibit the Manufacture, Stockpile, Transfer and Possession of Light Weapons.’ National Report of Libya 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 Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to the United Nations,1 January. (Q4620)Full Citation

13.

Holtom, Paul and Christelle Rigual.2015.‘Small Arms Transfers to Libya, 2001-2010.’ 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. (Q11080)Full Citation

14.

Florquin, Nicolas, Sigrid Lipott and Francis Wairagu.2019.‘Excerpts on Illicit/Craft Production - Libya.’ Weapons Compass: Mapping Illicit Small Arms Flows in Africa.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,1 January. (Q13990)Full Citation

15.

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

16.

Holtom, Paul and Christelle Rigual.2015.‘Annexe 4.4: Authorized Transfers of Small Arms and Light Weapons to Egypt, Libya, and Syria, 2001-13.’ 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. (Q11079)Full Citation

17.

Florquin, Nicolas, Sigrid Lipott, and Francis Wairagu.2019.‘Excerpts on Trafficking - Libya.’ Weapons Compass: Mapping Illicit Small Arms Flows in Africa.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,1 January. (Q13989)Full Citation

18.

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

19.

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

20.

GunPolicy.org. 2015. ‘Penalty for Unlawful Firearm Possession.’ Definition and Selection Criteria.
Sydney School of Public Health, 22 January.
(G93) Full Citation

21.

Essam Mohamed. 2013. ‘Lawless Libya Criminalises Gun Ownership.’ Magharebia (USA). 19 December. (N321) Full Citation

22.

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

23.

African Union / UNODA.2005.‘Windhoek Common Position.’ United Nations Programme of Action Implementation Support System: Regional Organisations.New York, NY:African Union / United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,14 December. (Q3216)Full Citation

24.

African Union.2015.‘Member States.’ African Union: A United and Strong Africa.Addis Ababa:African Union,10 August. (Q10548)Full Citation

25.

GDAV.2006.‘Geneva Declaration.’ Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development.Geneva:Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development Secretariat,7 June. (Q7162)Full Citation

26.

UNODA.2013.‘Towards Entry Into Force.’ Arms Trade Treaty.New York, NY:United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,2 April. (Q7226)Full Citation

27.

UNGA.2001.‘United Nations Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition.’ UN General Assembly Resolution 55/255.New York, NY:UN General Assembly,31 May. (Q17)Full Citation

28.

UNGA.2001.‘Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.’ United Nations General Assembly.New York, NY:UN General Assembly,20 July. (Q18)Full Citation

29.

Parker, Sarah and Katherine Green.2012.‘Findings - Table 3: Reporting States by Rank and Score.’ 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. (Q8752)Full Citation

30.

Parker, Sarah and Katherine Green.2012.‘What do the PoAIM Scores Represent? How Should the PoAIM Scores Be Interpreted?.’ 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. (Q8753)Full Citation

31.

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

32.

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

33.

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

34.

UNODA.2018.‘PoA-ISS Country Profiles.’ UN small arms Programme of Action (UNPoA) - Implementation Support System.New York, NY:United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs,23 July. (Q1309)Full Citation

35.

UNODA.2011.‘National Reports on Small Arms Exports.’ United Nations Register of Conventional Arms - The Global Reported Arms Trade.New York, NY:United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,21 October. (Q14)Full Citation

36.

UN.2013.‘Member States of the United Nations.’ UN.org Web Site.New York, NY:United Nations General Assembly,7 April. (Q290)Full Citation

37.

Wassenaar Arrangement.1996.‘Introduction: Participating States.’ Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies.Vienna:Wassenaar Secretariat,12 July. (Q19)Full Citation