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Rwanda — 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 Rwanda is

2017: 66,0001
2007: 58,0002

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 0.501
2007: 0.62

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Rwanda ranked at No. 1513

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Rwanda ranked at No. 1642

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Rwanda are reported to have 66,5004 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Rwanda are reported to have 14,0005 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Rwanda, annual homicides by any means total

2016: 6546
2015: 646
2010: 625
2000: 752

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

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

2016: 5.646
2015: 5.68
2010: 6.30
2000: 9.34

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Rwanda, annual male homicides by any means total

2016: 5166
2015: 507
2010: 485
2000: 546

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

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

2016: 9.116
2015: 9.14
2010: 10.08
2000: 13.94

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Rwanda, annual female homicides by any means total

2016: 1396
2015: 139
2010: 140
2000: 206

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

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

2016: 2.346
2015: 2.38
2010: 2.74
2000: 4.99

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Rwanda, annual suicides by any means total

2016: 7946
2015: 786
2010: 773
2000: 1,253

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

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

2016: 6.846
2015: 6.91
2010: 7.79
2000: 15.57

Male Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Rwanda, annual male suicides by any means total

2016: 5646
2015: 555
2010: 538
2000: 742

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

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

2016: 9.966
2015: 10.01
2010: 11.18
2000: 18.94

Female Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Rwanda, annual female suicides by any means total

2016: 2306
2015: 231
2010: 236
2000: 511

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

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

2016: 3.876
2015: 3.96
2010: 4.62
2000: 12.37

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Rwanda, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is prohibited7 8 9 10

Home-made Guns

In Rwanda, the prevalence of illicit craft, or 'home-made' firearm manufacture is reported to be moderate11 12 13 14

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Rwanda, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law15 8 16 17

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Rwanda is reported by Customs to be US$21,77618 (2011)

Firearm Imports

In Rwanda, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law15 7 19 8 16 17 10

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Rwanda is reported by Customs to be US$9,83018 (2011)

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Rwanda is high20 21 22 23

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Rwanda, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law24 16 25

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Rwanda include26 8 17 27 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 Rwanda is categorised as restrictive28

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Rwanda includes the Law No 13/2000 of 14/06/2000 modifying the Decree, the Law No 12/79 of 7th May, 1979 Concerning Firearms and their Ammunitions,29 30 and Law No. 33/2009 of 18/11/2009 on the Arms System15 24 16

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Rwanda are regulated by the Rwanda National Focal Point on Small Arms and Light Weapons,31 the Minister in charge of National Police and the Ministry of Defence8 16

Right to Possess Firearms

In Rwanda, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law32 33 34 35

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Rwanda, civilians are not allowed to possess

weapons of war36 and: rifle-sticks, folding rifles, rifles with a barrel or a butt that can be dismantled into several parts, firearms with silencers, firearms with toxic effects, and any offensive or secretive firearms37

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Rwanda, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited36 37 38

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Rwanda, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is permitted under licence36 37

Regulation of Handguns

In Rwanda, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence36 37 38

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Rwanda, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law36 37 38

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Rwanda, only licensed gun owners34 39 40 9 38 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Rwanda are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm35

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Rwanda is 21 years35

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Rwanda must pass a background check which considers mental health and criminal35 38 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Rwanda, 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 Rwanda does not stipulate41 42 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Rwanda, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is required35 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Rwanda, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every year43

Licensing Records

In Rwanda, authorities maintain a record44 45 46 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Rwanda are permitted to possess the number of guns specified in the licence47 48

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Rwanda are permitted to possess the quantity of ammunition specified in the licence47 48

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Rwanda, the law requires44 49 45 46 50 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 Rwanda, licensed firearm dealers are required51 49 46 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Rwanda, State agencies are required44 52 53 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 Rwanda, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited without an authorisation from the Commissioner General of the National Police40 9

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Rwanda, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful54 55

Background Checks for Private Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm in a private sale in Rwanda is obliged40 to pass official background checks before taking possession

Background Checks for Dealer Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm from a licensed gun dealer in Rwanda is obliged40 to pass official background checks before taking possession

Limit on Gun Dealer Sales

In Rwanda, the number and type of firearms which can be sold by a licensed gun dealer to a single gun owner is limited to the number specified in the licence47 48

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

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

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Rwanda, 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 Rwanda 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 Rwanda 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 Rwanda include53 56 57 58 59 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Rwanda include19 27 57 58 59 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Rwanda, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit34 39 9 60 61 62 38

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Rwanda, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit34 39 9 60 61 62 38

Gun Free Zones

In Rwanda, private guns are prohibited in areas specified by the Minister in charge of the National Police63

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Rwanda, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm64 is five years in prison and/or a fine65 66 67 68 69

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

African Union

In June 2006, as a member of the African Union, Rwanda 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 200670 71

Regional Centre on Small Arms

In March 2000, as a member of the Regional Centre on Small Arms (RECSA), Rwanda adopted the Nairobi Declaration on the Problem of Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons in the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa, then on 21 April 2004 adopted the Nairobi Protocol for the Prevention, Control and Reduction of Small Arms and Light Weapons in the Great Lakes Region, the Horn of Africa and Bordering States, a legally-binding multilateral protocol of which the RECSA is depository. The Nairobi Protocol has since been signed, and ratified72 73 by Rwanda

United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa

In November 2010, as a member of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa (UNSAC), Rwanda adopted the Central Africa Convention for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Ammunition, Parts and Components that can be used for their Manufacture, Repair and Assembly, known as the ‘Kinshasa Convention. A legally binding multilateral treaty for which UNSAC is depository, the Kinshasa Convention has since been signed, but not yet ratified74 75 76 by Rwanda

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 200777 by Rwanda.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has been signed, but not yet ratified78 by Rwanda

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 ratified79 by Rwanda

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Rwanda 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 Aspects80

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Rwanda against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 10281 82 83 84 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Rwanda has submitted one or more national reports85 86 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Rwanda, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated87 86

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Rwanda, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated88 89

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Rwanda submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was apparent86

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated86 by Rwanda to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided86 to Rwanda by other UN Member States

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Rwanda has been a Member State of the United Nations since 196290

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list91 Rwanda 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 16,92 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 Rwanda, annual homicides by any means total

2016: 6546
2015: 646
2010: 625
2000: 752

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

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

2016: 5.646
2015: 5.68
2010: 6.30
2000: 9.34

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Rwanda, annual male homicides by any means total

2016: 5166
2015: 507
2010: 485
2000: 546

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

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

2016: 9.116
2015: 9.14
2010: 10.08
2000: 13.94

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Rwanda, annual female homicides by any means total

2016: 1396
2015: 139
2010: 140
2000: 206

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

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

2016: 2.346
2015: 2.38
2010: 2.74
2000: 4.99

Conflict Deaths

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

Disarmament

Authorities in Rwanda are known to have93 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Small Arms Destroyed

ChartIn Rwanda, the number of firearms destroyed following amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be

2017: 130,00094
2009: 30,26693
2006/05: 7,500

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Rwanda, it is state policy10 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

Marking and Tracing

Firearm Marking

In Rwanda, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law95 52 45 96 50

Firearm Tracing

In Rwanda, state authorities carry out97 95 52 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Global Peace Index

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


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