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

Namibia — 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 Namibia is

2017: 396,0001
2007: 260,0002

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 15.401
2007: 12.62

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Namibia ranked at No. 1103

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Namibia ranked at No. 512

Number of Licensed Firearm Owners

The number of licensed gun owners in Namibia is reported to be

2004: 38,4074

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

The rate of licensed firearm owners per 100 people in Namibia is

2004: 1.915

Number of Registered Firearms

ChartThe number of registered guns in Namibia is reported to be

2017: 200,0101
2005: 97,2622 6
2004: 95,2804
1997: 128,207

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

ChartThe rate of registered guns per 100 people in Namibia is

2005: 4.795
2004: 4.75
1997: 7.26

Estimated Number of Unregistered and Illicit Firearms

Unregistered and unlawfully held guns cannot be counted,7 but in Namibia there are estimated to be

2017: 195,9901

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Namibia are reported to have 11,8808 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Namibia are reported to have 15,0009 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

In Namibia, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2011/16: 38810

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

In Namibia, the annual rate of all gun deaths per 100,000 population is

2011/16: 17.445

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Namibia, annual homicides by any means total

2012: 38811
2011: 308
2010: 314
2009: 388
2008: 354
2004: 35211 12
2002: 34613 11 12
2001: 353
2000: 380
1999: 37913 12
1998: 407
1997: 327
1996: 353
1995: 373

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

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

2012: 17.2514
2011: 13.91
2010: 14.38
2009: 18.02
2008: 16.67
2004: 17.611 12 15
2002: 17.655 11 12 15
2001: 18.24
2000: 20.07
1999: 20.525 12 15
1998: 22.53
1997: 18.51
1996: 20.47
1995: 22.18

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Namibia, annual male homicides by any means total

2012: 34716
2010: 24016

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

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

2012: 31.6616

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Namibia, annual female homicides by any means total

2012: 4116
2010: 74

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

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

2012: 3.4816

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Namibia, annual firearm homicides total

2012: 5914
2011: 40
2010: 44
2009: 70
2008: 67
2002: 613
2001: 7
2000: 27
1999: 25
1998: 14
1997: 5
1996: 6
1995: 12

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2012: 2.685
2011: 1.86
2010: 2.07
2009: 3.32
2008: 3.21
2002: 0.31
2001: 0.36
2000: 1.43
1999: 1.35
1998: 0.77
1997: 0.28
1996: 0.35
1995: 0.71

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

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

2012: 15%11
2011: 13%
2010: 14%
2009: 18%
2008: 19%

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Namibia, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence,17 18 19 but is not conducted in practice20

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Namibia, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law21 22 23 24 25

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Namibia is reported by Customs to be US$1,075,87026 (2011)

Firearm Imports

In Namibia, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law21 22 23 24 25

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Namibia is reported by Customs to be US$9,465,73026 (2011)

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Namibia, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law27 28

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Namibia include21 29 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 Namibia is categorised as permissive30

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Namibia includes the Arms and Ammunition Act 7 of 199631 32

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Namibia are regulated by the Minister, the Inspector-General, or any member of the Police33

Right to Possess Firearms

In Namibia, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law34 35 36

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Namibia, civilians are not allowed to possess military-style weapons, automatic firearms, rifles, and imitations37

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Namibia, private possession of fully automatic weapons is permitted under licence37

Regulation of Handguns

In Namibia, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence36 38

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Namibia, only licensed gun owners36 39 40 41 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Namibia are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm41

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Namibia is 18 years39 42 32

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Namibia must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental health and medical43 32 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Namibia, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required44

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Namibia does not stipulate44 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Namibia, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required44 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Namibia, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every time the firearm is permanently transferred, forfeited, or the licence ceases to be valid45 41

Licensing Records

In Namibia, authorities maintain a record46 41 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Namibia are permitted to possess up to four firearms47

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Namibia are permitted to possess any quantity of ammunition44

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Namibia, the law requires46 6 47 41 48 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 Namibia, licensed firearm dealers are required49 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In Namibia, licensed gun makers are not required48 19 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Namibia, State agencies are required48 50 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 Namibia, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited51

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Namibia, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful51 52

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In Namibia, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined44

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Namibia, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are regulated53 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Namibia include54 55 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 Namibia include55 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Namibia include50 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Namibia, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law56 48 57 58

Firearm Tracing

In Namibia, state authorities carry out59 58 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Namibia, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is prohibited54 60

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Namibia, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is allowed without a permit60 54

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Namibia, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm61 is 25 years in prison62

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Namibia are known to have63 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 Namibia, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered, bought back or seized by authorities is reported to be

2013: 90664
2011: 15265

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Namibia, it is state policy50 66 63 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

African Union

In June 2006, as a member of the African Union, Namibia 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 200667 68

Southern African Development Community

As a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Namibia signed the SADC Declaration Concerning Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials in March 2001. This laid the ground for the August, 2001 adoption of the legally binding SADC Protocol on Control of Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials69

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, lists70 Namibia 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 not signed71 by Namibia.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has been signed, but not yet ratified72 by Namibia

United Nations Firearms Protocol

The United Nations Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition has not been signed73 by Namibia

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Namibia 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 Aspects74

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Namibia against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 5675 76 77 78 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Namibia has submitted one or more national reports79 28 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Namibia, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated80 28

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Namibia, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated80 28

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Namibia submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was apparent80 28

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated28 by Namibia to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Namibia has not declared81 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Namibia has been a Member State of the United Nations since 199082

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list83 Namibia as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


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