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Timor-Leste — 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 Timor-Leste is

2017: 3,0001
2007: 3,0002

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 0.31
2007: 0.32

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Timor-Leste ranked at No. 1773

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Timor-Leste ranked at No. 1772

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Timor-Leste are reported to have 2,5274 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Timor-Leste are reported to have 4,0005 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Timor-Leste, annual homicides by any means total

2015: 496
2010: 397
2009: 32
2008: 357 8
2007: 627
2006: 49
2005: 46
2004: 23

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

ChartIn Timor-Leste, the annual rate of homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2015: 3.986
2010: 3.59
2009: 3.01
2008: 3.37
2007: 6.09
2006: 4.8
2005: 4.6
2004: 2.4
2002: 17.609

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Timor-Leste, annual male homicides by any means total

2015: 3910
2010: 2910

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

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

2015: 6.2410

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Timor-Leste, annual female homicides by any means total

2015: 1010
2010: 1010

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

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

2015: 1.5810

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Timor-Leste, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is prohibited without official authorization11

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Timor-Leste, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law11

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Timor-Leste is reported by Customs to be US$

2011: 012

Firearm Imports

In Timor-Leste, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law11

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

ChartThe annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Timor-Leste is reported by Customs to be US$

2013: 1,774,99613
2011: 477,86212

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Timor-Leste is categorised as restrictive14

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Timor-Leste includes the UN Regulation No. 2001/5 on Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Offensive Weapons15

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Timor-Leste are regulated by the Weapons and Explosives Department of the National Police16

Right to Possess Firearms

In Timor-Leste, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law17 18

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Timor-Leste, only licensed gun owners (in exceptional cases)19 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Timor-Leste are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example self-defence20

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Timor-Leste is 18 years21 20

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Timor-Leste must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental health and medical22 21 records

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Timor-Leste stipulates (in draft legislations only)23 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Licensing Records

In Timor-Leste, authorities maintain a record16 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Timor-Leste, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is prohibited22

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Timor-Leste, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is prohibited22

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Timor-Leste, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm24 is up to a year in in prison and/or a US$10,000 fine11

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Timor-Leste, it is state policy25 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

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 200626 by Timor-Leste.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed27 by Timor-Leste

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 signed28 by Timor-Leste

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Timor-Leste 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 Aspects29

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Timor-Leste has submitted one or more national reports30 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Timor-Leste, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated30

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Timor-Leste, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated30

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Timor-Leste submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was not apparent30

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated30 by Timor-Leste to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided30 to Timor-Leste by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Timor-Leste has not declared31 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Timor-Leste has been a Member State of the United Nations since 200232

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list33 Timor-Leste as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


Short References

1.

Karp, Aaron.2018.‘Civilian Firearms Holdings, 2017.’ Estimating Global Civilian-Held Firearms Numbers.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,18 June. (Q13434)Full Citation

2.

Karp, Aaron.2007.‘Completing the Count: Civilian firearms - Annexe online.’ Small Arms Survey 2007: Guns and the City.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,27 August. (Q5)Full Citation

3.

Karp, Aaron.2007.‘Completing the Count: Civilian firearms.’ Small Arms Survey 2007: Guns and the City.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,27 August. (Q4)Full Citation

4.

Karp, Aaron.2018.‘Military Firearms Holdings, 2017.’ Estimating Global Military-Owned Firearms Numbers.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,18 June. (Q13436)Full Citation

5.

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

6.

UNODC.2017.‘Intentional Homicide Victims.’ Crime and Drugs Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,19 May. (Q13355)Full Citation

7.

UNODC.2014.‘Homicides in Timor-Leste.’ Global Study on Homicide 2013: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC),10 April. (Q10271)Full Citation

8.

UNODC.2013.‘Homicide in 207 Countries - Timor-Leste.’ Global Study on Homicide 2011: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,26 June. (Q6305)Full Citation

9.

Petrini, Benjamin.2011.‘East Asia and the Pacific, 1995-2008, Total Recorded Intentional Homicide, Completed, Rate per 100,000 Population.’ World Bank Homicide Rate Dataset 1995-2008.Washington, DC:Social Development Department, World Bank,10 February. (Q3814)Full Citation

10.

UNODC.2017.‘Intentional Homicide Victims by Sex.’ Crime and Drugs Data.Vienna:UNODC,19 May. (Q13356)Full Citation

11.

UNTAET.2001.‘Prohibition of Unauthorized Activity.’ Regulation No. 2001/5 on Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and other Offensive Weapons in East Timor.Dili:United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor,23 April. (Q1281)Full Citation

12.

Marsh, Nicholas.2014.‘Database of Authorised Transfers of Small Arms and Light Weapons.’ NISAT Small Arms Trade Database.Oslo:Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers,22 December. (Q16)Full Citation

13.

United Nations.2018.‘National Customs Data on Small Arms Exports and Imports - Timor-Leste.’ UN Comtrade International Trade Statistics Database.New York NY:United Nations Statistics Division,1 January. (Q13455)Full Citation

14.

Newton, George D and Franklin E Zimring.1969.‘Firearm Licensing: Permissive v Restrictive.’ Firearms & Violence in American Life: A staff report submitted to the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence.Washington, DC:US Government Printing Office,1 January. (Q22)Full Citation

15.

UNTAET.2001.‘Regulation No 2001/5.’ Regulation No. 2001/5 on Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and other Offensive Weapons in East Timor.Dili:United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor,23 April. (Q1506)Full Citation

16.

Timor-Leste.2009.‘Weapons and Explosives Department.’ National Police Organisation Law.Dili:Journal of the Republic,18 February. (Q13500)Full Citation

17.

Sherman, Amy and Tom Ginsburg.2014.‘Gun Rights in National Constitutions.’ Marco Rubio Says Second Amendment Is Unique in Speech to NRA.Miami, FL:Miami Herald (PolitiFact Florida),29 April. (Q8507)Full Citation

18.

Zachary Elkins, Tom Ginsburg and James Melton. 2013. ‘U.S. Gun Rights Truly Are American Exceptionalism.’ Bloomberg (USA). 7 March. (N422) Full Citation

19.

UNTAET.2001.‘Authority to Issue, Suspend and Revoke Licenses.’ Regulation No. 2001/5 on Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and other Offensive Weapons in East Timor.Dili:United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor,23 April. (Q1273)Full Citation

20.

Timor-Leste.2008.‘Licensing Requirements.’ Timor-Leste Draft Law No. 9/11/2008 Arms Law.Dili:National Parliament,9 November. (Q1277)Full Citation

21.

UNTAET.2001.‘Definitions - Prohibited Person.’ Regulation No. 2001/5 on Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and other Offensive Weapons in East Timor.Dili:United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor,23 April. (Q1278)Full Citation

22.

UNTAET.2001.‘Authority to Issue, Suspend and Revoke Licenses.’ Regulation No. 2001/5 on Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and other Offensive Weapons in East Timor.Dili:United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor,23 April. (Q1276)Full Citation

23.

Timor-Leste.2008.‘Licensing Requirements.’ Timor-Leste Draft Law No. 9/11/2008 Arms Law.Dili:National Parliament,9 November. (Q1280)Full Citation

24.

GunPolicy.org. 2015. ‘Penalty for Unlawful Firearm Possession.’ Definition and Selection Criteria.
Sydney School of Public Health, 22 January.
(G93) Full Citation

25.

UNDPI.2006.‘Major Review at United Nations to Assess Progress Made, Actions Needed to Further Stem Illegal Small Arms Trade.’ Department of Public Information, News and Media Division, Peace and Security Section.New York, NY:United Nations,20 June. (Q5075)Full Citation

26.

GDAV.2006.‘Geneva Declaration.’ Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development.Geneva:Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development Secretariat,7 June. (Q7162)Full Citation

27.

UNODA.2013.‘Towards Entry Into Force.’ Arms Trade Treaty.New York, NY:United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,2 April. (Q7226)Full Citation

28.

UNGA.2001.‘United Nations Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition.’ UN General Assembly Resolution 55/255.New York, NY:UN General Assembly,31 May. (Q17)Full Citation

29.

UNGA.2001.‘Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.’ United Nations General Assembly.New York, NY:UN General Assembly,20 July. (Q18)Full Citation

30.

UNODA.2018.‘PoA-ISS Country Profiles.’ UN small arms Programme of Action (UNPoA) - Implementation Support System.New York, NY:United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs,23 July. (Q1309)Full Citation

31.

UNODA.2011.‘National Reports on Small Arms Exports.’ United Nations Register of Conventional Arms - The Global Reported Arms Trade.New York, NY:United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs,21 October. (Q14)Full Citation

32.

UN.2013.‘Member States of the United Nations.’ UN.org Web Site.New York, NY:United Nations General Assembly,7 April. (Q290)Full Citation

33.

Wassenaar Arrangement.1996.‘Introduction: Participating States.’ Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies.Vienna:Wassenaar Secretariat,12 July. (Q19)Full Citation