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

Tonga — 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 Tonga is

2017: 9,0001
2002: 8002

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 81
2002: 0.792

Number of Licensed Firearm Owners

The number of licensed gun owners in Tonga is reported to be

2002: 8002

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

The rate of licensed firearm owners per 100 people in Tonga is

2002: 0.792

Number of Registered Firearms

ChartThe number of registered guns in Tonga is reported to be

2011: 2,0003
2002: 8002

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

ChartThe rate of registered guns per 100 people in Tonga is

2011: 1.894
2002: 0.792

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Tonga are reported to have 8775 firearms

Routine Arming of Police

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

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Tonga are reported to have 2007 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Tonga, annual homicides by any means total

2012: 18
2011: 2
2010: 1
2009: 8
2008: 48 9
2007: 18
2006: 8
2005: 4
2004: 2
2003: 6
2002: 6
2001: 6
2000: 1
1997: 210
1996: 2
1995: 2

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

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

2012: 0.9411
2011: 1.89
2010: 0.95
2009: 7.60
2008: 3.81
2007: 0.96
2006: 7.9
2005: 4.0
2004: 2.08 12
2003: 6.08
2002: 6.18 12
2001: 6.18
2000: 1.0
1999: 1.0512
1997: 2.0410
1996: 2.05
1995: 2.06

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Tonga, annual male homicides by any means total

2012: 013
2011: 2
2010: 1
2009: 5
2008: 3
2007: 1

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

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

2012: 013
2011: 3.82
2010: 1.92
2009: 9.64
2008: 5.82
2007: 1.95

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Tonga, annual female homicides by any means total

2012: 113
2009: 3
2008: 1

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

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

2012: 1.9113
2011: 0
2010: 0
2009: 5.80
2008: 1.94
2007: 0

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Tonga, annual firearm homicides total

2012: 08
2011: 0
2010: 0
2009: 0
2008: 1
2007: 0
2006: 0
2005: 0
1995: 110

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2012: 0.004
2011: 0.00
2010: 0.00
2009: 0.00
2008: 0.95
2007: 0.00
2006: 0.00
2005: 0.00
1995: 1.0310

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

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

2012: 0%8
2011: 0%
2010: 0%
2009: 0%
2008: 25%
2007: 0%
2006: 0%
2005: 0%

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Tonga, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is prohibited14

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

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

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Tonga is reported by Customs to be US$16518 (2011)

Firearm Imports

In Tonga, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law19 16 20 17

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Tonga is reported by Customs to be US$44,09518 (2011)

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Tonga, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law21 22 23

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Tonga do not include21 22 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 Tonga is categorised as restrictive24

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Tonga includes the Arms and Ammunition Act, 196825 and the Arms and Ammunition Regulations, 196926

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Tonga are regulated by the Minister of Police27 and the Privy Council28

Right to Possess Firearms

In Tonga, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law29 30 21 22

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Tonga, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic firearms31

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Tonga, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is not prohibited in law, but prohibited in practice32 21 22

Regulation of Handguns

In Tonga, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is not prohibited in law, but prohibited in practice32 21 22

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Tonga, only licensed gun owners33 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Tonga are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example hunting, fishing, farming34 35

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Tonga is 21 years36

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Tonga must pass a background check which considers criminal and other various36 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Tonga, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required21 22

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Tonga does not stipulate21 22 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Tonga, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required21 22 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Tonga, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every one year27

Licensing Records

In Tonga, authorities maintain a record27 37 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Tonga are permitted to possess only the quantity and type of firearms specified on the licence38 34

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Tonga are permitted to possess only the quantity of ammunition specified on the licence38 34

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Tonga, the law requires27 37 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 Tonga, licensed firearm dealers are required39 37 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Tonga, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful39 40

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In Tonga, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined21 22

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Tonga, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are regulated39 40 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Tonga 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 Tonga include43 39 44 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Tonga do not include21 22 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Tonga, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law45

Firearm Tracing

In Tonga, state authorities do not carry out21 22 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Record of Firearms and Ammunition

In Tonga, the ballistic characteristics of each civilian firearm and its ammunition are not21 22 recorded in a register

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Tonga, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is prohibited46 42

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Tonga, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is prohibited46 42

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Tonga, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm47 is five to 10 years in prison33

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Firearms Surrendered and Seized

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

2011: 113

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Tonga, it is not state policy48 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, Tonga 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 Forum49 50

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 signed51 by Tonga.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed52 by Tonga

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 signed53 by Tonga

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Tonga 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 Aspects54

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Tonga has yet to submit a national report55 56 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Tonga, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated57 56

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Tonga, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated57 56

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Tonga submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was not apparent57 56

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated56 by Tonga to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided56 to Tonga by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Tonga has not declared58 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Tonga has been a Member State of the United Nations since 199959

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list60 Tonga as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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


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