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Somalia — 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 Somalia is

2017: 1,145,0001
2009: 550,0002
2007: 750,0003

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 12.401
2007: 9.13

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Somalia ranked at No. 584

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Somalia ranked at No. 663

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in Somalia is reported to be

2009: 14,0002

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in Somalia is

2009: 0.155

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Somalia are reported to have 37,6206 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Somalia are reported to have 8,0007 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Somalia, annual homicides by any means total

2015: 5998
2012: 8199
2010: 636
2008: 13810

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

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

2015: 5.648
2012: 8.09
2010: 6.52
2008: 1.510
2004: 3.3011
2002: 33.10

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Somalia, annual male homicides by any means total

2015: 44912
2010: 47012

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

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

2015: 6.4712

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Somalia, annual female homicides by any means total

2015: 15112
2010: 166

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

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

2015: 2.1612

Non-fatal Gun Injuries

In Somalia, the annual number of non-fatal firearm injuries is

2005: 33013

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Somalia, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence,14 but is not conducted in practice15

Home-made Guns

In Somalia, the prevalence of illicit craft, or 'home-made' firearm manufacture is reported to be moderate16

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Somalia, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law17 18 19

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Somalia is reported by Customs to be US$23120 (2003)

Firearm Imports

In Somalia, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law17 18 19

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Somalia is reported by Customs to be US$020 (2011)

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Somalia is high21 22 23 24 25

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Somalia, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law26

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Somalia do not include17 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 Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Somalia includes the 1963 Public Order Law27 19

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Somalia are regulated by the Ministry of the Interior17

Right to Possess Firearms

In Somalia, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law28 29

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Somalia, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic rifles27

Regulation of Handguns

In Somalia, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence27

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Somalia, only licensed gun owners19 27 14 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Somalia, the law does not require30 31 that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Somalia, State agencies are required32 to maintain records of the storage and movement of all firearms and ammunition under their control

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Somalia, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful14 19 17

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Somalia include32 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Somalia, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law30 33 31

Firearm Tracing

In Somalia, state authorities carry out34 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Small Arms Destroyed

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

2015: 22135

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

League of Arab States

As a member of the League of Arab States, Somalia adopted the Arab Model Law on Weapons, Ammunitions, Explosives and Hazardous Material in January 200236

African Union

In June 2006, as a member of the African Union, Somalia 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 200637 38

Regional Centre on Small Arms

In March 2000, as a member of the Regional Centre on Small Arms (RECSA), Somalia 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, but not yet ratified39 40 by Somalia

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 signed41 by Somalia.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed42 by Somalia

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 signed43 by Somalia

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Somalia 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 Aspects44

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Somalia have submitted one or more national reports45 46 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Somalia, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated46

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Somalia, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated46 47

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Somalia submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was not apparent46

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated46 by Somalia to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided46 to Somalia by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Somalia has not declared48 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Somalia has been a Member State of the United Nations since 196049

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list50 Somalia as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


Short References

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Karp, Aaron.2018.‘Law Enforcement Firearms Holdings, 2017.’ Estimating Global Law Enforcement Firearms Numbers.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,18 June. (Q13435)Full Citation

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26.

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30.

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32.

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