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Tuvalu — 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 Tuvalu is

2017: 1001
2002: 122

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 1.201
2002: 0.122

Number of Registered Firearms

ChartThe number of registered guns in Tuvalu is reported to be

2017: 501
2002: 122

Estimated Number of Unregistered and Illicit Firearms

Unregistered and unlawfully held guns cannot be counted,3 but in Tuvalu there are estimated to be

2017: 501

Government Guns

Routine Arming of Police

In Tuvalu, police officers on routine patrol do not carry a firearm4

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Tuvalu are reported to have 265 6 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Tuvalu, annual homicides by any means total

2012: 27
2011: 1
2010: 1
2009: 0
2008: 0
2007: 0

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

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

2012: 18.838
2011: 9.48
2010: 9.55
2009: 0
2008: 0
2007: 0

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Tuvalu, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is prohibited9

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Tuvalu, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law10 11 12

Firearm Exports (Number)

The annual number of firearms exported from Tuvalu is reported by manufacturers to be

2017: 013

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Tuvalu is reported by Customs to be US$135,49814 (2002)

Firearm Imports

In Tuvalu, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law15 11 16 12

Firearm Imports (Number)

The annual number of firearms imported to Tuvalu is reported to be

2017: 013

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Tuvalu is reported by Customs to be US$1,70314 (2008)

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Tuvalu, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law17 18

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Tuvalu 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 Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Tuvalu is categorised as restrictive19

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Tuvalu includes the Arms and Ammunition Ordinance 196420

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Tuvalu are regulated by the Chief of Police21 22 and the Minister of Police23

Right to Possess Firearms

In Tuvalu, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law24 25 17

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Tuvalu, civilians are not allowed to possess arms with barrel less than 20 inches26

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Tuvalu, private possession of fully automatic weapons is not specifically prohibited in law17 7

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Tuvalu, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is not specifically prohibited in law17

Regulation of Handguns

In Tuvalu, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is prohibited26 7

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Tuvalu, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law7

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Tuvalu, only licensed gun owners27 21 7 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Tuvalu are not required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm17. But in practice, shooting birds is considered a valid reason for firearm ownership28

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Tuvalu is 21 years22

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Tuvalu must pass a background check which considers criminal and various22 7 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Tuvalu, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required17

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Tuvalu does not stipulate17 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Tuvalu, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required17 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Tuvalu, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every one year21

Licensing Records

In Tuvalu, authorities maintain a record21 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Tuvalu are permitted to possess any number of firearms17

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Tuvalu are permitted to possess any quantity of ammunition17

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Tuvalu, the law requires21 that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Private Gun Sales

In Tuvalu, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited without a licence issued by the Chief of Police29

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Tuvalu, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is not unlawful29

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Tuvalu include30 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of private firearms and ammunition by licensed gun owners

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Tuvalu, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law31

Firearm Tracing

In Tuvalu, state authorities do not carry out17 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Record of Firearms and Ammunition

In Tuvalu, the ballistic characteristics of each civilian firearm and its ammunition are not17 recorded in a register

Carrying Guns

Law Regulates Firearms in Public

In Tuvalu, carrying a gun in a public place is regulated by law7

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Tuvalu, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm32 is two to 10 years in prison and a fine of $400-200027

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

Pacific Islands Forum

As a member of the Pacific Islands Forum, Tuvalu 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 Forum33 34

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 signed35 by Tuvalu.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified36 by Tuvalu

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 signed37 by Tuvalu

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Tuvalu 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 Aspects38

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Tuvalu has yet to submit a national report39 40 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Tuvalu, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated41

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Tuvalu, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated41 40

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Tuvalu submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was not apparent41 40

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated40 by Tuvalu to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided40 to Tuvalu by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Tuvalu has not declared42 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Tuvalu has been a Member State of the United Nations since 200043

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list44 Tuvalu as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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


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.

Alpers, Philip and Conor Twyford.2003.‘Civilian Firearm Ownership in Pacific Nations, 2002.’ Small Arms in the Pacific.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,31 March. (Q923)Full Citation

3.

GunPolicy.org. 2019. ‘Estimated Number of Illicit Firearms.’ Definition and Selection Criteria.
Sydney School of Public Health, 24 January.
(G14) Full Citation

4.

Alpers, Philip and Conor Twyford.2003.‘Stockpiles and Trafficking in the Pacific: Police Inventories.’ Small Arms in the Pacific.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,31 March. (Q145)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.

Karp, Aaron.2003.‘Fewer Blanks: Global Firearm Stockpiles: Firearms of the Pacific.’ Small Arms Survey 2003: Development Denied.Oxford:Oxford University Press,1 July. (Q925)Full Citation

7.

Butchart, Alexander, Christopher Mikton and Etienne Krug.2014.‘Country Profile: Tuvalu.’ Global Status Report on Violence Prevention 2014.Geneva:World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),10 December. (Q9471)Full Citation

8.

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

9.

Tuvalu.1964.‘Prohibition on the Manufacture of Arms and Ammunition.’ Chapter 74: Arms and Ammunition Ordinance 1964 [Revised Edition 1990].Funafuti:House of Assembly,17 February. (Q926)Full Citation

10.

Tuvalu.1964.‘Licence to Export.’ Chapter 74: Arms and Ammunition Ordinance 1964 [Revised Edition 1990].Funafuti:House of Assembly,17 February. (Q4989)Full Citation

11.

Tuvalu.1964.‘Penalty for Unlawful Importation or Exportation.’ Chapter 74: Arms and Ammunition Ordinance 1964 [Revised Edition 1990].Funafuti:House of Assembly,17 February. (Q940)Full Citation

12.

Tuvalu.1964.‘Arms and Ammunition in Transit.’ Chapter 74: Arms and Ammunition Ordinance 1964 [Revised Edition 1990].Funafuti:House of Assembly,17 February. (Q4991)Full Citation

13.

Arms Trade Treaty Secretariat.2017.‘National Reports on Small Arms Exports and Imports.’ Arms Trade Treaty Annual Report.Geneva:Arms Trade Treaty Secretariat,1 January. (Q13951)Full Citation

14.

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

15.

Tuvalu.1964.‘Licence to Import.’ Chapter 74: Arms and Ammunition Ordinance 1964 [Revised Edition 1990].Funafuti:House of Assembly,17 February. (Q4986)Full Citation

16.

Tuvalu.1964.‘Declaration of Arms and Ammunition on Importation.’ Chapter 74: Arms and Ammunition Ordinance 1964 [Revised Edition 1990].Funafuti:House of Assembly,17 February. (Q4990)Full Citation

17.

Tuvalu.1964.‘Short Title.’ Chapter 74: Arms and Ammunition Ordinance 1964 [Revised Edition 1990].Funafuti:House of Assembly,17 February. (Q4988)Full Citation

18.

IANSA.2006.‘Reviewing Action on Small Arms 2006: Assessing the first five years of the UN Programme of Action.’ Biting the Bullet 'Red Book' 2006.New York, NY:International Action Network on Small Arms and the Biting the Bullet project,26 June. (Q82)Full Citation

19.

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

20.

Tuvalu.1964.‘Short Title.’ Chapter 74: Arms and Ammunition Ordinance 1964 [Revised Edition 1990].Funafuti:House of Assembly,17 February. (Q4987)Full Citation

21.

Tuvalu.1964.‘Licences: How Obtained.’ Chapter 74: Arms and Ammunition Ordinance 1964 [Revised Edition 1990].Funafuti:House of Assembly,17 February. (Q931)Full Citation

22.

Tuvalu.1964.‘Licence may be Refused.’ Chapter 74: Arms and Ammunition Ordinance 1964 [Revised Edition 1990].Funafuti:House of Assembly,17 February. (Q930)Full Citation

23.

Tuvalu.1964.‘Regulations.’ Chapter 74: Arms and Ammunition Ordinance 1964 [Revised Edition 1990].Funafuti:House of Assembly,17 February. (Q4992)Full Citation

24.

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

25.

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

26.

Tuvalu.1964.‘Provisions as to Shortening Arms and Converting Imitation Arms into Arms.’ Chapter 74: Arms and Ammunition Ordinance 1964 [Revised Edition 1990].Funafuti:House of Assembly,17 February. (Q932)Full Citation

27.

Tuvalu.1964.‘Possession of Arms and Ammunition Prohibited Except Under Licence.’ Chapter 74: Arms and Ammunition Ordinance 1964 [Revised Edition 1990].Funafuti:House of Assembly,17 February. (Q4985)Full Citation

28.

Alpers, Philip and Conor Twyford.2003.‘Genuine Reason: A Snapshot of Pacific Definitions - Tuvalu.’ Small Arms in the Pacific.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,31 March. (Q929)Full Citation

29.

Tuvalu.1964.‘Licence for Purchase or Transfer.’ Chapter 74: Arms and Ammunition Ordinance 1964 [Revised Edition 1990].Funafuti:House of Assembly,17 February. (Q936)Full Citation

30.

Tuvalu.1964.‘Security of Arms and Ammunition.’ Chapter 74: Arms and Ammunition Ordinance 1964 [Revised Edition 1990].Funafuti:House of Assembly,17 February. (Q934)Full Citation

31.

Tuvalu.1964.‘Marking of Arms.’ Chapter 74: Arms and Ammunition Ordinance 1964 [Revised Edition 1990].Funafuti:House of Assembly,17 February. (Q937)Full Citation

32.

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

33.

SPCPC/OCO.2000.‘Towards a Common Approach to Weapons Control: The 'Nadi Framework'.’ South Pacific Chiefs of Police Conference (SPCPC) and Oceania Customs Organisation (OCO).Nadi, Fiji:Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Secretariat,10 March. (Q576)Full Citation

34.

Baker, Jean.2000.‘Weapons Control Bill: Explanatory Notes.’ Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.Suva, Fiji:Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat,10 March. (Q577)Full Citation

35.

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

36.

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

37.

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

38.

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

39.

Cattaneo, Silvia and Sarah Parker.2008.‘Reporting, NPCs and NCAs, 2002 to 2008.’ Implementing the United Nations Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons: Analysis of the National Reports submitted by States from 2002 to 2008.Geneva:United Nations Development Programme,1 November. (Q20)Full Citation

40.

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

41.

IANSA.2006.‘Reviewing Action on Small Arms 2006: Assessing the first five years of the UN Programme of Action.’ Biting the Bullet 'Red Book' 2006.New York, NY:International Action Network on Small Arms and the Biting the Bullet project,26 June. (Q166)Full Citation

42.

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

43.

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

44.

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