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South Korea — 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 South Korea is

2017: 79,0001
2005: 510,0002

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 0.153
2005: 1.06

Number of Privately Owned Rifles

In South Korea, the number of rifles in civilian possession is reported to be 35,6304

Number of Privately Owned Handguns

In South Korea, the number of handguns in civilian possession is reported to be 1,7584

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 206 countries, South Korea ranked at No. 1495

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a comparison of the rate of privately owned guns in 206 countries, South Korea ranked at No.2015

Number of Licensed Firearm Owners

ChartThe number of licensed gun owners in South Korea is reported to be

2016: 138,7516
2015: 143,643
2014: 154,974
2013: 173,246
2012: 187,073
2011: 192,985
2010: 219,979
2009: 242,403
2008: 260,310
2007: 268,216

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

ChartThe rate of licensed firearm owners per 100 people in South Korea is

2016: 0.273
2015: 0.28
2014: 0.30
2013: 0.34
2012: 0.37
2011: 0.38
2010: 0.44
2009: 0.49
2008: 0.53
2007: 0.55

Number of Registered Firearms

ChartThe number of registered guns in South Korea is reported to be

2017: 39,5301
2005: 300,0002

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

ChartThe rate of registered guns per 100 people in South Korea is

2017: 0.083
2005: 0.63

Estimated Number of Unregistered and Illicit Firearms

ChartUnregistered and unlawfully held guns cannot be counted,7 but in South Korea there are estimated to be

2017: 39,4701
2005: 210,0008 2

Estimated Rate of Unregistered and Illicit Firearms per 100 Population

Unregistered and unlawfully held guns cannot be counted,7 but in South Korea the rate of such firearms per 100 people is estimated to be

2017: 0.083

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of South Korea are reported to have 2,688,0209 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in South Korea are reported to have 115,00010 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

ChartIn South Korea, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2019: 1011
2018: 15
2017: 17
2016: 21
2015: 3111
2014: 24
2013: 29
2012: 2312
2011: 34
2010: 24
2009: 31
2008: 37
2007: 43
2006: 46
2005: 45
2004: 36
2003: 55
2002: 2713
2001: 34
2000: 36

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

ChartIn South Korea, the annual rate of all gun deaths per 100,000 population is

2019: 0.0211
2018: 0.03
2017: 0.03
2016: 0.04
2015: 0.06
2014: 0.05
2013: 0.06
2012: 0.05
2011: 0.07
2010: 0.05
2009: 0.06
2008: 0.08
2007: 0.09
2006: 0.10
2005: 0.09
2004: 0.08
2003: 0.12
2002: 0.0613
2001: 0.07
2000: 0.08

Total Number of Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn South Korea, annual male deaths resulting from firearms total

2019: 711
2018: 15
2017: 16
2016: 20
2015: 27
2014: 21
2013: 26
2012: 23
2011: 30
2010: 23
2009: 25
2008: 33
2007: 39
2006: 41
2005: 38
2004: 28
2003: 46
2001: 34
2000: 29

Rate of Male Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn South Korea, the annual rate of male gun death per 100,000 population is

2019: 0.0311
2018: 0.06
2017: 0.06
2016: 0.08
2015: 0.11
2014: 0.08
2013: 0.10
2012: 0.09
2011: 0.12
2010: 0.09
2009: 0.10
2008: 0.14
2007: 0.16
2006: 0.17
2005: 0.16
2004: 0.12
2003: 0.19
2001: 0.14
2000: 0.12

Total Number of Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn South Korea, annual female deaths resulting from firearms total

2019: 311
2017: 1
2016: 1
2015: 4
2014: 3
2013: 3
2012: 0
2011: 4
2010: 1
2009: 6
2008: 4
2007: 4
2006: 5
2005: 7
2004: 8
2003: 9
2000: 7

Rate of Female Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn South Korea, the annual rate of female gun death per 100,000 population is

2019: 0.0111
2017: 0
2016: 0
2015: 0.02
2014: 0.01
2013: 0.01
2011: 0.02
2010: 0
2009: 0.02
2008: 0.02
2007: 0.02
2006: 0.02
2005: 0.03
2004: 0.03
2003: 0.04
2000: 0.03

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn South Korea, annual homicides by any means total

2020: 30814
2019: 297
2018: 309
2017: 301
2016: 356
2015: 375
2014: 511
2013: 564
2012: 542
2011: 552
2010: 624
2009: 676
2008: 684
2007: 703
2006: 1,074
2005: 1,061
2004: 1,084
2003: 998
2002: 957
2001: 1,051
2000: 95515
1999: 993
1998: 975

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

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

2020: 0.6014
2019: 0.58
2018: 0.60
2017: 0.59
2016: 0.70
2015: 0.74
2014: 0.74
2013: 0.70
2012: 0.87
2011: 0.81
2010: 0.98
2009: 1.38
2008: 1.40
2007: 1.45
2006: 2.3
2005: 2.3
2004: 2.316
2003: 2.1
2002: 2.1
2001: 2.3
2000: 2.0215
1999: 2.12
1998: 2.10
1997: 2.216
1996: 2.0
1995: 1.9
1994: 1.6217

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn South Korea, annual male homicides by any means total

2020: 16414
2019: 138
2018: 15218
2017: 147
2016: 194
2015: 214
2014: 184
2013: 170
2012: 216
2011: 186
2010: 352
2009: 355
2008: 359
2007: 369

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

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

2020: 0.6414
2019: 0.54
2018: 0.59
2017: 0.57
2016: 0.63
2015: 0.70
2014: 1.04
2013: 1.20
2012: 1.19
2011: 1.25
2010: 1.43
2009: 1.45
2008: 1.47
2007: 1.52

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn South Korea, annual female homicides by any means total

2020: 13814
2019: 154
2018: 154
2017: 153
2016: 238
2015: 244
2014: 250
2013: 264
2012: 245
2011: 242
2010: 272
2009: 321
2008: 325
2007: 334

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

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

2020: 0.5414
2019: 0.60
2018: 0.60
2017: 0.60
2016: 0.76
2015: 0.78
2014: 0.76
2013: 0.72
2012: 0.88
2011: 0.87
2010: 1.11
2009: 1.31
2008: 1.34
2007: 1.38

Gun Homicides

ChartIn South Korea, annual firearm homicides total

2019: 111
2018: 1
2017: 4
2016: 2
2015: 1611
2014: 12
2013: 811
2012: 312
2011: 17
2010: 4
2009: 12
2008: 9
2007: 17
2006: 1416

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2019: 011
2018: 0
2017: 0.01
2016: 0
2015: 0.01
2014: 0.01
2013: 0.01
2012: 0
2011: 0.02
2010: 0.01
2009: 0.01
2008: 0.01
2007: 0.01
2006: 0.01
2005: 0.02
2004: 0.01
2003: 0.02
2001: 0.02
2000: 0.01
1994: 0.0419

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

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

2011: 2%20
2006: 1.7%16

Male Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn South Korea, annual male firearm homicides total

2019: 111
2018: 1
2017: 4
2016: 1
2015: 5
2014: 3
2013: 3
2012: 1
2011: 9
2010: 2
2009: 2
2008: 3
2007: 4
2006: 1
2005: 8
2004: 5
2003: 8
2001: 10
2000: 4

Rate of Male Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn South Korea, the annual rate of male firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2019: 011
2018: 0
2017: 0.02
2016: 0
2015: 0.02
2014: 0.01
2013: 0.01
2012: 0
2011: 0.04
2010: 0.01
2009: 0.01
2008: 0.01
2007: 0.02
2006: 0
2005: 0.03
2004: 0.02
2003: 0.03
2001: 0.04
2000: 0.02

Female Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn South Korea, annual female firearm homicides total

2016: 111
2015: 2
2014: 2
2013: 111
2012: 0
2011: 2
2010: 1
2009: 3
2008: 1
2007: 2
2006: 2
2005: 2
2004: 2
2003: 2
2000: 3

Rate of Female Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn South Korea, the annual rate of female firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.0111
2014: 0.01
2013: 0
2011: 0.01
2010: 0
2009: 0.02
2008: 0.01
2007: 0.01

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn South Korea, annual suicides by any means total

2019: 13,80411
2018: 13,678
2017: 12,471
2016: 13,102
2015: 13,519
2014: 13,845
2013: 14,440
2012: 14,174
2011: 15,919
2010: 15,585
2009: 15,430
2008: 12,879
2007: 12,264
2006: 10,758
2005: 12,111
2004: 11,584
2003: 10,994
2001: 6,978
2000: 6,538
1997: 6,02413

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

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

2019: 26.7311
2018: 26.60
2017: 24.37
2016: 25.73
2015: 26.69
2014: 27.50
2013: 28.84
2012: 28.45
2011: 32.12
2010: 31.64
2009: 31.49
2008: 26.42
2007: 25.31
2006: 22.34
2005: 25.24
2004: 24.21
2003: 23.07
2001: 14.79
2000: 13.96
1997: 12.6313
1994: 9.4821

Male Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn South Korea, annual male suicides by any means total

2019: 9,73411
2018: 9,870
2017: 8,930
2016: 9,253
2015: 9,564
2014: 9,745
2013: 10,072
2012: 9,636
2011: 10,878
2010: 10,348
2009: 9,953
2008: 8,281
2007: 7,802
2006: 7,293
2005: 8,089
2004: 7,944
2003: 7,587
2001: 4,898
2000: 4,543

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

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

2019: 37.6211
2018: 38.32
2017: 34.84
2016: 36.29
2015: 37.73
2014: 38.68
2013: 40.21
2012: 38.64
2011: 43.84
2010: 41.94
2009: 40.53
2008: 33.87
2007: 32.10
2006: 30.19
2005: 33.60
2004: 33.08
2003: 31.72
2001: 20.69
2000: 19.34

Female Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn South Korea, annual female suicides by any means total

2019: 4,07011
2018: 3,808
2017: 3,541
2016: 3,849
2015: 3,955
2014: 4,100
2013: 4,368
2012: 4,538
2011: 5,041
2010: 5,237
2009: 5,477
2008: 4,598
2007: 4,462
2006: 3,465
2005: 4,022
2004: 3,640
2003: 3,407
2001: 2,080
2000: 1,995

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

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

2019: 15.8011
2018: 14.84
2017: 13.86
2016: 15.14
2015: 15.64
2014: 16.30
2013: 17.46
2012: 18.23
2011: 20.37
2010: 21.30
2009: 22.41
2008: 18.92
2007: 18.48
2006: 14.43
2005: 16.82
2004: 15.27
2003: 14.35
2001: 8.85
2000: 8.54

Gun Suicides

ChartIn South Korea, annual firearm suicides total

2019: 511
2018: 8
2017: 8
2016: 10
2015: 6
2014: 9
2013: 13
2012: 1412
2011: 13
2010: 19
2009: 18
2008: 21
2007: 14
2006: 22
2005: 15
2004: 16
2003: 21
2002: 1713
2001: 10
2000: 16

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn South Korea, the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

2019: 0.0111
2018: 0.02
2017: 0.02
2016: 0.02
2015: 0.01
2014: 0.02
2013: 0.03
2012: 0.03
2011: 0.03
2010: 0.04
2009: 0.04
2008: 0.04
2007: 0.03
2006: 0.05
2005: 0.03
2004: 0.03
2003: 0.04
2002: 0.0413
2001: 0.02
2000: 0.03
1994: 0.0222

Male Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn South Korea, annual male firearm suicides total

2019: 411
2018: 8
2017: 8
2016: 10
2015: 5
2014: 9
2013: 12
2012: 14
2011: 12
2010: 19
2009: 17
2008: 21
2007: 13
2006: 22
2005: 15
2004: 13
2003: 19
2001: 10
2000: 15

Rate of Male Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn South Korea, the annual rate of male firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

2019: 0.0211
2018: 0.03
2017: 0.03
2016: 0.04
2015: 0.02
2014: 0.04
2013: 0.05
2012: 0.06
2011: 0.05
2010: 0.08
2009: 0.07
2008: 0.09
2007: 0.05
2006: 0.09
2005: 0.06
2004: 0.05
2003: 0.08
2001: 0.04
2000: 0.06

Female Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn South Korea, annual female firearm suicides total

2019: 111
2015: 1}
2013: 1
2012: 0
2011: 1
2010: 0
2009: 1
2007: 1
2004: 3
2003: 2
2000: 1

Rate of Female Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn South Korea, the annual rate of female firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

2019: 011
2015: 0
2013: 0
2011: 0
2009: 0
2007: 0
2004: 0.01
2003: 0.01
2000: 0

Unintentional Gun Deaths

ChartIn South Korea, annual unintentional shooting deaths total

2019: 111
2018: 1
2017: 2
2015: 3
2014: 1
2013: 6
2012: 312
2011: 4
2010: 1
2009: 1
2008: 6
2007: 5
2006: 5
2005: 2
2004: 6
2003: 5
2002: 713
2001: 5
2000: 4

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn South Korea, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death per 100,000 population is

2019: 011
2018: 0
2017: 0
2016:
2015: 0.01
2014: 0
2013: 0.01
2012: 0.01
2011: 0.01
2010: 0
2009: 0
2008: 0.01
2007: 0.01
2006: 0.01
2005: 0
2004: 0.01
2003: 0.01
2002: 0.0113
2001: 0.01
2000: 0.01
1994: 0.0523

Unintentional Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn South Korea, annual unintentional male shooting deaths total

2018: 111
2017: 2
2015: 3
2014: 1
2013: 5
2012: 3
2011: 4
2010: 1
2009: 1
2008: 5
2007: 5
2006: 4
2005: 2
2004: 6
2003: 5
2001: 5
2000: 4

Rate of Unintentional Male Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn South Korea, the annual rate of unintentional male shooting death per 100,000 population is

2018: 011
2017: 0.01
2015: 0.01
2014: 0
2013: 0.02
2012: 0.01
2011: 0.02
2010: 0
2009: 0
2008: 0.02
2007: 0.02
2006: 0.02
2005: 0.01
2004: 0.02
2003: 0.02
2001: 0.02
2000: 0.02

Unintentional Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn South Korea, annual unintentional female shooting deaths total

2019: 111
2013: 1
2012: 0
2011: 0
2010: 0
2008: 1
2006: 1

Rate of Unintentional Female Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn South Korea, the annual rate of unintentional female shooting death per 100,000 population is

2019: 011
2013: 0
2008: 0
2006: 0

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn South Korea, annual shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2015: 611
2014: 2
2013: 411
2012: 312
2011: 0
2010: 1
2009: 3
2008: 2
2007: 6
2002: 313

Rate of Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn South Korea, the annual rate of unknown-cause shooting deaths per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.0111
2014: 0
2013: 0.01
2012: 0.01
2010: 0
2009: 0.01
2008: 0
2007: 0.01
2002: 0.0113
1994: 0.0224

Male Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn South Korea, annual male shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2015: 611
2014: 2
2013: 411
2012: 3
2011: 0
2010: 1
2009: 2
2008: 2
2007: 5

Rate of Male Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn South Korea, the annual rate of unknown-cause male shooting deaths per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.0211
2014: 0.01
2013: 0.02
2012: 0.01
2010: 0
2009: 0.01
2008: 0.01
2007: 0.02

Female Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn South Korea, annual female shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2019: 111
2017: 1
2013: 0
2012: 0
2011: 0
2010: 0
2009: 1
2007: 1
2004: 1
2003: 1

Rate of Female Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn South Korea, the annual rate of unknown-cause female shooting deaths per 100,000 population is

2019: 011
2017: 0
2009: 0
2007: 0
2004: 0
2003: 0

Legal Intervention Gun Homicides

ChartIn South Korea, annual legal-intervention gun homicides total

2014: 411
2009: 1
2007: 1

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In South Korea, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence25 26 27

Small Arms Manufacture - World Ranking

In a classification of the world's small, medium and major firearm manufacturers, South Korea was ranked 'medium'28

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In South Korea, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law29 30 31 27 32

Firearm Exports (Number)

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

2020: 31833
2019: 400
2018: 1,130
2013: 3,32034
2012: 2,203
2011: 302
2010: 691
2009: 61
2008: 494
2007: 993
2006: 748

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

ChartThe annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from South Korea is reported by Customs to be US$

2021: 468,844,00035
2020: 376,118,000
2019: 248,546,000
2018: 351,304,000
2017: 418,543,000
2016: 405,623,000
2015: 320,299,000
2014: 306,489,000
2013: 291,723,000
2012: 258,283,000
2011: 141,232,000
2010: 136,857,000
2009: 118,304,000
2008: 144,822,000
2007: 31,317,000
2006: 20,782,000
2005: 18,667,000
2004: 10,774,000
2003: 9,595,000
2002: 5,073,000
2001: 37,000,00036 37 38

Small Arms Exports - World Ranking

In a comparison of the world's major/mid-level/minor/unknown small arms exporters, South Korea was categorized as 'major'39 40 41 42 38 43

Firearm Imports

In South Korea, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law29 30 31 27 32

Firearm Imports (Number)

ChartThe annual number of firearms imported to South Korea is reported to be

2020: 3133
2019: 80
2018: 748
2013: 12334
2012: 66
2011: 24
2009: 100
2007: 11

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

ChartThe annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to South Korea is reported by Customs to be US$

2021: 57,292,00044
2020: 27,700,000
2019: 505,056,000
2018: 275,267,000
2017: 70,640,000
2016: 114,099,000
2015: 98,470,000
2014: 115,463,000
2013: 164,505,000
2012: 17,859,000
2011: 149,932,000
2010: 199,105,000
2009: 133,244,000
2008: 31,848,000
2007: 8,913,000
2006: 29,724,000
2005: 19,034,000
2004: 62,251,000
2003: 8,050,000
2002: 29,070,000
2001: 130,000,00045

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in South Korea is moderate4

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In South Korea, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law46 47 27 48

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in South Korea include29 certification of the intended end user of any small arms or ammunition transfer, and/or a written declaration of its intended end use

Transparency of Small Arms Transfers

ChartIn its annual Small Arms Trade Transparency Barometer, the Small Arms Survey compares public reporting among major arms exporting nations on a scale from strong to weak (25 to zero). In recent years, South Korea scored

2020: 11.75
2019: 10.2549
2018: 11.7550
2016: 9.7551
2014: 10.0052
2013: 9.7553
2012: 9.7554
2011: 10.2555
2010: 10.0056
2009: 9.7557
2008: 9.7558
2007: 10.0059
2006: 9.7560
2005: 9.7561
2004: 9.2562

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in South Korea is categorised as restrictive63

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in South Korea includes the Act on the Control of Firearms of 196164 65 and the Act on Defense Acquisition of 200627 66

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in South Korea are regulated by the National Police27 67

Right to Possess Firearms

In South Korea, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law68 69

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In South Korea, civilians are not allowed to possess military weapons, such as revolvers, pistols, automatic and semi-automatic rifles and machine guns with no exceptions70

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In South Korea, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited70

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In South Korea, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is prohibited in all but exceptional circumstances70

Regulation of Handguns

In South Korea, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is prohibited70

Law Regulates Long Guns

In South Korea, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law70

Gun Ownership and Possession

In South Korea, only licensed gun owners67 27 70 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in South Korea are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example hunting, sport, or pest control71 70 67

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in South Korea is 20 years4

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in South Korea must pass a background check which considers criminal and mental health67 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In South Korea, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required4

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in South Korea does not stipulate4 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In South Korea, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is required72 66 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In South Korea, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every three years73 67

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In South Korea, the law requires74 75 76 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 South Korea, licensed firearm dealers are required77 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In South Korea, licensed gun makers are required77 25 76 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In South Korea, State agencies are required76 78 79 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 South Korea, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful67

Limit on Gun Dealer Sales

In South Korea, the number and type of firearms which can be sold by a licensed gun dealer to a single gun owner is limited to 400 cartridges (5,000 cartridges in the case of blank cartridges in staple guns for construction) per day80

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in South Korea include81 4 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 South Korea include82 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in South Korea include78 83 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in South Korea include84 31 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Carrying Guns

Law Regulates Firearms in Public

In South Korea, carrying a gun in a public place is regulated by law67

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In South Korea, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is prohibited84 4

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In South Korea, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm85 is 10 years in prison or a fine86

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

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, lists87 South Korea 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 signed in 200688 by South Korea.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified89 by South Korea

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 ratified90 by South Korea

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, South Korea 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 Aspects91

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored South Korea against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 1192 93 94 95 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, South Korea has submitted one or more national reports96 48 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In South Korea, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated48

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In South Korea, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated48 97

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated48 by South Korea to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, South Korea has declared98 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, South Korea has been a Member State of the United Nations since 199199

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies lists100 South Korea 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 16,101 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 South Korea, annual homicides by any means total

2020: 30814
2019: 297
2018: 309
2017: 301
2016: 356
2015: 375
2014: 511
2013: 564
2012: 542
2011: 552
2010: 624
2009: 676
2008: 684
2007: 703
2006: 1,074
2005: 1,061
2004: 1,084
2003: 998
2002: 957
2001: 1,051
2000: 95515
1999: 993
1998: 975

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

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

2020: 0.6014
2019: 0.58
2018: 0.60
2017: 0.59
2016: 0.70
2015: 0.74
2014: 0.74
2013: 0.70
2012: 0.87
2011: 0.81
2010: 0.98
2009: 1.38
2008: 1.40
2007: 1.45
2006: 2.3
2005: 2.3
2004: 2.316
2003: 2.1
2002: 2.1
2001: 2.3
2000: 2.0215
1999: 2.12
1998: 2.10
1997: 2.216
1996: 2.0
1995: 1.9
1994: 1.6217

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn South Korea, annual male homicides by any means total

2020: 16414
2019: 138
2018: 15218
2017: 147
2016: 194
2015: 214
2014: 184
2013: 170
2012: 216
2011: 186
2010: 352
2009: 355
2008: 359
2007: 369

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

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

2020: 0.6414
2019: 0.54
2018: 0.59
2017: 0.57
2016: 0.63
2015: 0.70
2014: 1.04
2013: 1.20
2012: 1.19
2011: 1.25
2010: 1.43
2009: 1.45
2008: 1.47
2007: 1.52

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn South Korea, annual female homicides by any means total

2020: 13814
2019: 154
2018: 154
2017: 153
2016: 238
2015: 244
2014: 250
2013: 264
2012: 245
2011: 242
2010: 272
2009: 321
2008: 325
2007: 334

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

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

2020: 0.5414
2019: 0.60
2018: 0.60
2017: 0.60
2016: 0.76
2015: 0.78
2014: 0.76
2013: 0.72
2012: 0.88
2011: 0.87
2010: 1.11
2009: 1.31
2008: 1.34
2007: 1.38

Gun Homicides

ChartIn South Korea, annual firearm homicides total

2019: 111
2018: 1
2017: 4
2016: 2
2015: 1611
2014: 12
2013: 811
2012: 312
2011: 17
2010: 4
2009: 12
2008: 9
2007: 17
2006: 1416

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2019: 011
2018: 0
2017: 0.01
2016: 0
2015: 0.01
2014: 0.01
2013: 0.01
2012: 0
2011: 0.02
2010: 0.01
2009: 0.01
2008: 0.01
2007: 0.01
2006: 0.01
2005: 0.02
2004: 0.01
2003: 0.02
2001: 0.02
2000: 0.01
1994: 0.0419

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

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

2011: 2%20
2006: 1.7%16

Male Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn South Korea, annual male firearm homicides total

2019: 111
2018: 1
2017: 4
2016: 1
2015: 5
2014: 3
2013: 3
2012: 1
2011: 9
2010: 2
2009: 2
2008: 3
2007: 4
2006: 1
2005: 8
2004: 5
2003: 8
2001: 10
2000: 4

Rate of Male Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn South Korea, the annual rate of male firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2019: 011
2018: 0
2017: 0.02
2016: 0
2015: 0.02
2014: 0.01
2013: 0.01
2012: 0
2011: 0.04
2010: 0.01
2009: 0.01
2008: 0.01
2007: 0.02
2006: 0
2005: 0.03
2004: 0.02
2003: 0.03
2001: 0.04
2000: 0.02

Female Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn South Korea, annual female firearm homicides total

2016: 111
2015: 2
2014: 2
2013: 111
2012: 0
2011: 2
2010: 1
2009: 3
2008: 1
2007: 2
2006: 2
2005: 2
2004: 2
2003: 2
2000: 3

Rate of Female Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn South Korea, the annual rate of female firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2015: 0.0111
2014: 0.01
2013: 0
2011: 0.01
2010: 0
2009: 0.02
2008: 0.01
2007: 0.01

Conflict Deaths

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

Disarmament

Authorities in South Korea are known to have66 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 South Korea, it is state policy78 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

Marking and Tracing

Firearm Marking

In South Korea, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law76 102 75 103

Firearm Tracing

In South Korea, state authorities carry out104 75 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Global Peace Index

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


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