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

Samoa — 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 Samoa is

2017: 20,0001
2002: 17,8452

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 10.101
2002: 8.23

Number of Privately Owned Rifles

In Samoa, the number of rifles in civilian possession is reported to be 6,9482

Number of Privately Owned Shotguns

In Samoa, the number of shotguns in civilian possession is reported to be 10,8972

Number of Privately Owned Handguns

In Samoa, the number of handguns in civilian possession is reported to be 5004

Number of Registered Firearms

ChartThe number of registered guns in Samoa is reported to be

2017: 4,0001
2002: 17,8452

Estimated Number of Unregistered and Illicit Firearms

Unregistered and unlawfully held guns cannot be counted,5 but in Samoa there are estimated to be

2017: 16,0001

Government Guns

Routine Arming of Police

In Samoa, police officers on routine patrol do not carry a firearm6

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Samoa are reported to have 4007 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Samoa, annual homicides by any means total

2013: 68
2012: 79
2010: 16
2009: 16
2008: 210

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

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

2013: 3.0711
2012: 3.69
2010: 8.33
2009: 8.38
2008: 1.110

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Samoa, annual male homicides by any means total

2013: 512
2010: 1312

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

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

2013: 4.7912

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Samoa, annual female homicides by any means total

2013: 112
2010: 3

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

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

2013: 1.3912

Gun Homicides

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2004: 1.1013
2002: 1.10

Suicides (any method)

In Samoa, annual suicides by any means total

1995: 414

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

In Samoa, the annual rate of suicide by any means per 100,000 population is

1995: 2.2514

Gun Suicides

ChartIn Samoa, annual firearm suicides total

1997: 114
1995: 215

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

In Samoa, the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

1997: 0.5614

Unintentional Gun Deaths

ChartIn Samoa, annual unintentional shooting deaths total

1997: 114
1995: 216

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

In Samoa, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death per 100,000 population is

1997: 0.5614

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Samoa, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence,17 but is not conducted in practice18

Home-made Guns

In Samoa, the prevalence of illicit craft, or 'home-made' firearm manufacture is reported to be nonexistent19

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Samoa, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law20 21 22 23

Firearm Exports (Number)

ChartThe annual number of firearms exported from Samoa is reported by manufacturers to be

2018: 024
2017: 0
2016: 0
2015: 0

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Samoa is reported by Customs to be US$3925 (2011)

Firearm Imports

In Samoa, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law26 20 21 22

Firearm Imports (Number)

ChartThe annual number of firearms imported to Samoa is reported to be

2018: 024
2017: 0
2016: 0
2015: 0

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Samoa is reported by Customs to be US$50,83425 (2011)

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Samoa is low4

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Samoa, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law27 23

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Samoa include21 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 Samoa is categorised as restrictive28

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Samoa includes the Arms Ordinance 196029

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Samoa are regulated by the Commissioner of Police and an Arms Officer, appointed by the Commissioner30 31

Right to Possess Firearms

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

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Samoa, civilians are not allowed to possess any handgun, pistol or revolver, automatic firearm, or any firearm other than a .22 single-shot rifle, an airgun or a shotgun31 35

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Samoa, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited31 35 8

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Samoa, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is prohibited31 35

Regulation of Handguns

In Samoa, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is prohibited31 35 8

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Samoa, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law31 35 8

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Samoa, only licensed gun owners36 37 8 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Samoa are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm38

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Samoa is 21 years39

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Samoa must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental health, addiction and other various40 38 8 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Samoa, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required34

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Samoa does not stipulate34 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Samoa, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required34 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Samoa, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every one year37 17 26

Licensing Records

In Samoa, authorities maintain a record37 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Samoa are permitted to possess any number of firearms34

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Samoa are permitted to possess any quantity of ammunition34

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Samoa, the law requires37 41 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 Samoa, licensed firearm dealers are required42 41 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In Samoa, licensed gun makers are required41 18 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Samoa, State agencies are required41 43 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 Samoa, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited without a permit36

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Samoa, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful17

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In Samoa, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined34

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Samoa, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated34 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Samoa do not include34 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 Samoa do not include34 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Samoa include43 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Samoa do not include34 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Samoa, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law41 44

Firearm Tracing

In Samoa, state authorities carry out45 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Record of Firearms and Ammunition

In Samoa, the ballistic characteristics of each civilian firearm and its ammunition are not34 recorded in a register

Carrying Guns

Law Regulates Firearms in Public

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

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Samoa, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm46 is up to two years in prison and/or a fine37 36

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Samoa are known to have47 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Surrendered in Gun Amnesty

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

2015: 300+48

Firearms Surrendered and Seized

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

2018: 30049
2015: 32250 47 51
2006: 100

Small Arms Destroyed

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

2018: 30049
2015: 32250 47 51
2006: 100

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Samoa, it is state policy35 52 47 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

Pacific Islands Forum

As a member of the Pacific Islands Forum, Samoa adopted the March, 2000 Nadi Framework agreement, which aims to harmonise small arms-related legislation across Oceania. In August 2003, the Nadi Framework’s draft model Weapons Control Bill was unanimously accepted for consideration by all 16 member states of the Pacific Islands Forum53 54

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 200855 by Samoa.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified56 by Samoa

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 signed57 by Samoa

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Samoa 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 Aspects58

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Samoa has yet to submit a national report59 60 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Samoa, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated61 60

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Samoa, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated61 60

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Samoa submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was not apparent61 60

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated60 by Samoa to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided60 to Samoa by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Samoa has not declared62 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Samoa has been a Member State of the United Nations since 197663

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list64 Samoa as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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


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