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Mauritania — 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 Mauritania is

2017: 120,0001
2007: 50,0002 3

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 2.801
2007: 1.62

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Mauritania ranked at No. 1534

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

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

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Mauritania are reported to have 22,8205 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Mauritania are reported to have 10,0006 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Mauritania, annual homicides by any means total

2015: 4157
2012: 1918
2010: 392
2008: 4859

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

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

2015: 11.567
2012: 5.08
2010: 12.24
2008: 14.79
2004: 15.2010
2002: 12.80
1999: 0.76
1996: 1.35

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Mauritania, annual male homicides by any means total

2015: 30811
2010: 27011

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

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

2015: 14.6511

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Mauritania, annual female homicides by any means total

2015: 10711
2010: 122

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

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

2015: 5.1711

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Mauritania, annual suicides by any means total

2016: 18912
2015: 179
2010: 139
2000: 93

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

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

2016: 5.1412
2015: 4.98
2010: 4.34
2000: 3.72

Male Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Mauritania, annual male suicides by any means total

2016: 14212
2015: 134
2010: 105
2000: 69

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

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

2016: 8.0212
2015: 7.74
2010: 6.80
2000: 5.72

Female Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Mauritania, annual female suicides by any means total

2016: 4712
2015: 44
2010: 34
2000: 24

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

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

2016: 2.4712
2015: 2.36
2010: 2.05
2000: 1.85

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Mauritania, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is prohibited13 14 15 16 17

Home-made Guns

In Mauritania, the prevalence of illicit craft, or 'home-made' firearm manufacture is reported to be moderate14 16 18

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Mauritania, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law19 20

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Mauritania is reported by Customs to be US$16,00621 (1994)

Firearm Imports

In Mauritania, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law13 22 23 20 24 25 26 15

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Mauritania is reported by Customs to be US$17,36121 (2011)

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Mauritania is moderate27

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Mauritania, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law28 29

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Mauritania do not include30 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 Mauritania is categorised as restrictive31

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Mauritania includes the Decree No. 60072 of 1960,32 the Law No. 74-177 of 1974,33 15 and the Penal Code20

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Mauritania are regulated by the Ministry of Defence and the Department of National Security,16 25 the Minister in charge of Interior Affairs34 and the District Commanders35

Right to Possess Firearms

In Mauritania, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law36 37 13

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Mauritania, civilians are not allowed to possess weapons of war and most hunting weapons26 15 25 38

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Mauritania, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited16 17 39

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Mauritania, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is permitted under licence16 17

Law Regulates Handguns

In Mauritania, civilian possession of handguns is regulated by law39

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Mauritania, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law16 39

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Mauritania, only licensed gun owners13 40 24 25 16 17 26 39 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Mauritania are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example that they are of good character or for hunting25

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Mauritania must pass a background check which considers criminal34 13 39 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Mauritania, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required41 42

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Mauritania does not stipulate41 42 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Mauritania, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required41 42 for a firearm licence

Licensing Records

In Mauritania, authorities maintain a record, but this is not adhered to systematically in practice,43 44 40 45 24 16 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Mauritania are permitted to possess 2 firearms46

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Mauritania are permitted to possess no more than 300 cartridges for each sophisticated firearm and no more than 600 grams of powder for each weapon for exchange47

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Mauritania, the law requires43 44 40 45 24 16 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 Mauritania, licensed firearm dealers are required48 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Mauritania, State agencies are required49 50 16 17 51 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 Mauritania, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited without prior authorisation from the Minister of the Interior13 40 52 53 17

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Mauritania, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful26 13 54 55 56 35 57

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In Mauritania, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined41 42

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Mauritania, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated41 42 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Mauritania do not include41 42 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 Mauritania include58 26 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Mauritania include59 50 51 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Mauritania do not include29 41 42 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Mauritania, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit15 13 60 39

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Mauritania, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit15 13 60 39

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Mauritania, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm61 is three years in prison and a fine62 63

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

League of Arab States

As a member of the League of Arab States, Mauritania adopted the Arab Model Law on Weapons, Ammunitions, Explosives and Hazardous Material in January 200264

African Union

In June 2006, as a member of the African Union, Mauritania 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 200665 66

Economic Community of West African States

In June 2006, as a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Mauritania did not adopt the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Ammunition and other Related Materials67

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 signed68 by Mauritania.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified69 by Mauritania

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 ratified70 71 by Mauritania

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Mauritania 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 Aspects72

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Mauritania against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 15973 74 75 76 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Mauritania has submitted one national report71 77 78 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Mauritania, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated78

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Mauritania, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated71

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Mauritania submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was not apparent71

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated78 by Mauritania to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been provided71 to Mauritania by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Mauritania has not declared79 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Mauritania has been a Member State of the United Nations since 196180

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list81 Mauritania 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 16,82 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 Mauritania, annual homicides by any means total

2015: 4157
2012: 1918
2010: 392
2008: 4859

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

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

2015: 11.567
2012: 5.08
2010: 12.24
2008: 14.79
2004: 15.2010
2002: 12.80
1999: 0.76
1996: 1.35

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Mauritania, annual male homicides by any means total

2015: 30811
2010: 27011

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

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

2015: 14.6511

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Mauritania, annual female homicides by any means total

2015: 10711
2010: 122

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

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

2015: 5.1711

Conflict Deaths

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

Disarmament

Authorities in Mauritania are known to have83 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Mauritania, it is state policy59 50 16 84 17 85 86 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

Marking and Tracing

Firearm Marking

In Mauritania, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law49

Firearm Tracing

In Mauritania, state authorities do not carry out16 24 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Global Peace Index

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


Short References

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Mauritania.2018.‘International Transfers (Transferts internationaux).’ National Report of Mauritania 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 Mauritania to the United Nations,1 January. (Q13716)Full Citation

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Mauritania.1974.‘Article 1.’ Act No 74-177 of July 29, 1974, on the Prohibition of the Possession of Hunting Arms and their Ammunition (Loi No 74-177 du 29 juillet 1974 portant interdiction de la détention des armes de chasse et de leurs munitions).Nouakchott:Office of the President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania,29 July. (Q5504)Full Citation

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Mauritania.1960.‘Article 13.’ Decree No 60.072 of April 20, 1960, on Arms and Ammunition in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania (Décret No 60.072 du 20 Avril 1960 fixant le régime des armes à feu et munitions en R.I.M.).Nouakchott:Office of the President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania,20 April. (Q5480)Full Citation

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Mauritania.1960.‘Arms and Ammunition in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.’ Decree No 60.072 of April 20, 1960, on Arms and Ammunition in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania (Décret No 60.072 du 20 Avril 1960 fixant le régime des armes à feu et munitions en R.I.M.).Nouakchott:Office of the President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania,20 April. (Q5473)Full Citation

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Mauritania.1974.‘Prohibition of the Possession of Hunting Arms and their Ammunition.’ Act No 74-177 of July 29, 1974, on the Prohibition of the Possession of Hunting Arms and their Ammunition (Loi No 74-177 du 29 juillet 1974 portant interdiction de la détention des armes de chasse et de leurs munitions).Nouakchott:Office of the President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania,29 July. (Q5474)Full Citation

43.

Mauritania.1960.‘Article 19.’ Decree No 60.072 of April 20, 1960, on Arms and Ammunition in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania (Décret No 60.072 du 20 Avril 1960 fixant le régime des armes à feu et munitions en R.I.M.).Nouakchott:Office of the President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania,20 April. (Q5484)Full Citation

44.

Mauritania.1960.‘Article 10.’ Decree No 60.072 of April 20, 1960, on Arms and Ammunition in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania (Décret No 60.072 du 20 Avril 1960 fixant le régime des armes à feu et munitions en R.I.M.).Nouakchott:Office of the President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania,20 April. (Q5479)Full Citation

45.

Mauritania.1974.‘Article 3.’ Act No 74-177 of July 29, 1974, on the Prohibition of the Possession of Hunting Arms and their Ammunition (Loi No 74-177 du 29 juillet 1974 portant interdiction de la détention des armes de chasse et de leurs munitions).Nouakchott:Office of the President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania,29 July. (Q5498)Full Citation

46.

Mauritania.1960.‘Article 18.’ Decree No 60.072 of April 20, 1960, on Arms and Ammunition in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania (Décret No 60.072 du 20 Avril 1960 fixant le régime des armes à feu et munitions en R.I.M.).Nouakchott:Office of the President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania,20 April. (Q5483)Full Citation

47.

Mauritania.1960.‘Article 31.’ Decree No 60.072 of April 20, 1960, on Arms and Ammunition in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania (Décret No 60.072 du 20 Avril 1960 fixant le régime des armes à feu et munitions en R.I.M.).Nouakchott:Office of the President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania,20 April. (Q5493)Full Citation

48.

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