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Virgin Islands (UK) — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law

StockpilesGun Numbers

Civilian Guns

Number of Privately Owned Firearms

The estimated total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in the Virgin Islands (UK) is

2017: 3001

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) per 100 people in the Virgin Islands (UK) is

2017: 0.801

Number of Privately Owned Rifles

In the Virgin Islands (UK), the number of rifles in civilian possession is reported to be

2016: 22

Number of Privately Owned Shotguns

In the Virgin Islands (UK), the number of shotguns in civilian possession is reported to be

2016: 282

Number of Privately Owned Handguns

In the Virgin Islands (UK), the number of handguns in civilian possession is reported to be

2016: 182

Number of Registered Firearms

ChartThe number of registered guns in the Virgin Islands (UK) is reported to be

2017: 481
2016: 482

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in the Virgin Islands (UK) is

2016: 0.143

Estimated Number of Unregistered and Illicit Firearms

Unregistered and unlawfully held guns cannot be counted,4 but in the Virgin Islands (UK) there are estimated to be

2017: 2521

Government Guns

Routine Arming of Police

In the Virgin Islands (UK), police officers on routine patrol do not carry a firearm5

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in the Virgin Islands (UK) are reported to have 5006 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

ChartIn the Virgin Islands (UK), annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2010: 17
2009: 2
2008: 7

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

ChartIn the Virgin Islands (UK), the annual rate of all gun deaths per 100,000 population is

2010: 3.377
2009: 6.92
2008: 24.84

Total Number of Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn the Virgin Islands (UK), annual male deaths resulting from firearms total

2010: 17
2009: 2
2008: 6

Rate of Male Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn the Virgin Islands (UK), the annual rate of male gun death per 100,000 population is

2010: 6.987
2009: 14.29
2008: 43.89

Total Number of Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn the Virgin Islands (UK), annual female deaths resulting from firearms total

2010: 07
2008: 17

Rate of Female Gun Death per 100,000 People

In the Virgin Islands (UK), the annual rate of female gun death per 100,000 population is

2008: 6.897

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn the Virgin Islands (UK), annual homicides by any means total

2010: 07
2006: 28 9
2004: 4
2003: 2
2002: 1
2001: 1
2000: 0
1999: 19
1998: 0
1997: 0
1996: 2

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

ChartIn the Virgin Islands (UK), the annual rate of homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2010: 3.377
2009: 6.92
2008: 24.84
2006: 8.48 9
2004: 17.8
2003: 9.0
2002: 4.6
2001: 4.7
2000: 0.0
1999: 5.09
1998: 0.0
1997: 0.0
1996: 10.8
1995: 10.5

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

In the Virgin Islands (UK), annual male homicides by any means total

2010: 07

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

In the Virgin Islands (UK), annual female homicides by any means total

2010: 07

Gun Homicides

ChartIn the Virgin Islands (UK), annual firearm homicides total

2015: 210
2014: 3
2013: 1
2012: 2
2011: 1
2010: 07
2009: 1
2008: 9
2007: 6
2006: 4
2005: 3

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn the Virgin Islands (UK), the annual rate of firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2015: 5.983
2014: 9.18
2013: 3.13
2012: 6.42
2011: 3.29
2010: 07
2009: 3.46
2008: 31.94
2007: 21.85
2006: 15.00
2005: 11.60

Male Gun Homicide Victims

In the Virgin Islands (UK), annual male firearm homicides total

2010: 07

Female Gun Homicide Victims

In the Virgin Islands (UK), annual female firearm homicides total

2010: 07

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn the Virgin Islands (UK), annual suicides by any means total

2010: 07
2001: 411

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

ChartIn the Virgin Islands (UK), the annual rate of suicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2010: 07
2001: 3.6011

Male Suicide Victims (any method)

In the Virgin Islands (UK), annual male suicides by any means total

2010: 07

Female Suicide Victims (any method)

In the Virgin Islands (UK), annual female suicides by any means total

2010: 07

Gun Suicides

ChartIn the Virgin Islands (UK), annual firearm suicides total

2010: 07
2001: 211

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn the Virgin Islands (UK), the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

2010: 07
2001: 1.8011

Male Gun Suicide Victims

In the Virgin Islands (UK), annual male firearm suicides total

2010: 07

Female Gun Suicide Victims

In the Virgin Islands (UK), annual female firearm suicides total

2010: 07

Unintentional Gun Deaths

ChartIn the Virgin Islands (UK), annual unintentional shooting deaths total

2010: 17
2009: 2
2008: 7
1999: 211

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn the Virgin Islands (UK), the annual rate of unintentional shooting death per 100,000 population is

2010: 3.377
2009: 6.92
2008: 24.84
1999: 1.8011

Unintentional Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn the Virgin Islands (UK), annual unintentional male shooting deaths total

2010: 17
2009: 2
2008: 6

Unintentional Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn the Virgin Islands (UK), annual unintentional female shooting deaths total

2010: 07
2008: 17

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

In the Virgin Islands (UK), annual shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2010: 07

Male Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

In the Virgin Islands (UK), annual male shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2010: 07

Female Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

In the Virgin Islands (UK), annual female shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2010: 07

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In the Virgin Islands (UK), the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence12 13 14

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In the Virgin Islands (UK), firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law12

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from the Virgin Islands (UK) is reported by Customs to be US$015 (1995)

Firearm Imports

In the Virgin Islands (UK), firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law16 17

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to the Virgin Islands (UK) is reported by Customs to be US$6,22815 (2011)

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In the Virgin Islands (UK), the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law18

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in the Virgin Islands (UK) do not include18 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 the Virgin Islands (UK) is categorised as restrictive19

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in the Virgin Islands (UK) includes the Firearms Ordinance of 1957,20 the Firearms (Amendment) Act of 2007,21 the Domestic Violence Act of 201122 and the Firearms and Air Guns (Amendment) Act of 201523

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in the Virgin Islands (UK) are regulated by the Licensing Authority13 24 and the Police25

Right to Possess Firearms

In the Virgin Islands (UK), the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law26 27

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In the Virgin Islands (UK), civilians are not allowed to possess machine guns, sub-machine guns, automatic firearms and firearms disguised as other objects28 29

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In the Virgin Islands (UK), private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited28 29

Law Regulates Handguns

In the Virgin Islands (UK), civilian possession of handguns is regulated by law28 29

Law Regulates Long Guns

In the Virgin Islands (UK), civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law28 29 30

Gun Ownership and Possession

In the Virgin Islands (UK), only licensed gun owners17 14 31 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in the Virgin Islands (UK) is 18 years25 32

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in the Virgin Islands (UK) must pass a background check which considers criminal, health and mental health25 32 33 34 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In the Virgin Islands (UK), third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required18

Partner to be Advised or Interviewed

In the Virgin Islands (UK), licensing authorities are not required18 to conduct interviews with, or to advise an applicant's spouse, partner, or next of kin before issuing a gun licence

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in the Virgin Islands (UK) stipulates35 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In the Virgin Islands (UK), an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required18 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In the Virgin Islands (UK), gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every year36

Licensing Records

In the Virgin Islands (UK), authorities maintain a record24 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in the Virgin Islands (UK) are permitted to possess any number of firearms18

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in the Virgin Islands (UK) are permitted to possess a limited quantity of ammunition25

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In the Virgin Islands (UK), the law requires24 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 the Virgin Islands (UK), licensed firearm dealers are required37 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In the Virgin Islands (UK), licensed gun makers are required37 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Private Gun Sales

In the Virgin Islands (UK), the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited without the approval of the Licensing Authority and unless registered within fourteen days38 39

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In the Virgin Islands (UK), dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful12 13 38 39 14 40

Background Checks for Private Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm in a private sale in the Virgin Islands (UK) is obliged39 to pass official background checks before taking possession

Background Checks for Dealer Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm from a licensed gun dealer in the Virgin Islands (UK) is obliged39 to pass official background checks before taking possession

Regulation of Gun Shows

In the Virgin Islands (UK), gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated18 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in the Virgin Islands (UK) include2 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 the Virgin Islands (UK) include37 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in the Virgin Islands (UK) do not include18 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In the Virgin Islands (UK), a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law24 41

Firearm Tracing

In the Virgin Islands (UK), state authorities carry out24 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Record of Firearms and Ammunition

In the Virgin Islands (UK), the ballistic characteristics of each civilian firearm and its ammunition are not18 recorded in a register

Carrying Guns

Law Regulates Firearms in Public

In the Virgin Islands (UK), carrying a gun in a public place is regulated by law42 43 14

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In the Virgin Islands (UK), the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm44 is at least eight years in prison and a fine45 29 30 42 43 40 37 41 46

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in the Virgin Islands (UK) are known to have30 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Surrendered in Gun Amnesty

In the Virgin Islands (UK), the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered in recent arms amnesty and collection programmes is reported to be

2015: 1147

MeasuresInternational Controls

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, the Virgin Islands (UK) are not a Member State of the United Nations48

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list49 the Virgin Islands (UK) as a Participating State


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.

Virgin Islands (UK).2016.‘Number of Registered Firearms and Details on Gun Storage.’ E-mail from the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force.Road Town:Organisational Review and Development, Royal Virgin Islands Police Force,29 February. (Q11643)Full Citation

3.

GunPolicy.org.2016.‘Calculated Rates - Virgin Islands (UK).’ Historical Population Data - USCB International Data Base.Suitland, MD:US Census Bureau Population Division,29 March. (Q11395)Full Citation

4.

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

5.

BVI Beacon (British Virgin Islands). 2011. ‘Time to Get Guns Under Control.’ 23 March. (N423) Full Citation

6.

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

7.

WHO.2016.‘Inter-country Comparison of Mortality for Selected Causes of Death.’ WHO Mortality Data Base.Geneva:World Health Organisation,1 December. (Q13354)Full Citation

8.

UNODC.2014.‘Homicides in the Virgin Islands (UK).’ Global Study on Homicide 2013: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC),10 April. (Q10101)Full Citation

9.

UNODC.2013.‘Homicide in 207 Countries - British Virgin Islands.’ Global Study on Homicide 2011: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,26 June. (Q6368)Full Citation

10.

Virgin Islands (UK).2015.‘Number of Homicide Victims.’ E-mail from the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force.Road Town:Organisational Review and Development, Royal Virgin Islands Police Force,18 December. (Q11360)Full Citation

11.

Jackson, Thomas.2005.‘Global Gun Deaths.’ NISAT Firearm Mortality Database 2005.Oslo:Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers,1 January. (Q12)Full Citation

12.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘All Firearms Dealers to be Licensed.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11368)Full Citation

13.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Application for Licence to Deal In Firearms.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11369)Full Citation

14.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Classes of Licences.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11374)Full Citation

15.

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

16.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Importation of Firearms.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11367)Full Citation

17.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Firearms to Be Licensed.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11371)Full Citation

18.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Short Title.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q12077)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.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Short Title.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11366)Full Citation

21.

Virgin Islands (UK).2007.‘Citation.’ Firearms (Amendment) Act, 2007.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,5 July. (Q11383)Full Citation

22.

Virgin Islands (UK).2011.‘Enactment.’ Domestic Violence Act, 2011.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,20 October. (Q11365)Full Citation

23.

Virgin Islands (UK).2015.‘Short Title.’ Firearms and Air Guns (Amendment) Act, 2015.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,11 May. (Q11391)Full Citation

24.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Marking - Registrar of Firearms.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11372)Full Citation

25.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Certificate of Fitness to Keep or Use Firearms.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11375)Full Citation

26.

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

27.

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

28.

Virgin Islands (UK).2015.‘Third Schedule: Prohibited Firearm or Air Gun [Amendments].’ Firearms and Air Guns (Amendment) Act, 2015.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,11 May. (Q11392)Full Citation

29.

Virgin Islands (UK).2015.‘Prohibited Firearms or Ammunition [Amendments].’ Firearms and Air Guns (Amendment) Act, 2015.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,11 May. (Q11390)Full Citation

30.

BVI News. 2015. ‘Amnesty Announced for Guns, Prohibited Weapons.’ 7 January. (N424) Full Citation

31.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Licence Not Transferable.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11378)Full Citation

32.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Restricted Persons.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11377)Full Citation

33.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Persons Convicted of Certain Offences Not to Be Granted Licence.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11381)Full Citation

34.

Virgin Islands (UK).2007.‘Firearms Advisory Committee [Amendments].’ Firearms (Amendment) Act, 2007.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,5 July. (Q11384)Full Citation

35.

Virgin Islands (UK).2011.‘Seizure of Firearm and Dangerous Weapons.’ Domestic Violence Act, 2011.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,20 October. (Q11386)Full Citation

36.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Licence to Expire Yearly and to Be Renewed within 14 Days After such Expiry.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11376)Full Citation

37.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Books to Be Kept by Firearms Dealer.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11370)Full Citation

38.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Permission to Sell or Dispose of Firearm.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11373)Full Citation

39.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Intoxicated, Insane or Convicted Persons.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11380)Full Citation

40.

Virgin Islands (UK).2015.‘Penalty for Trading as a Firearm or Air Gun Dealer without a Licence [Amendments].’ Firearms and Air Guns (Amendment) Act, 2015.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,11 May. (Q11387)Full Citation

41.

Virgin Islands (UK).2015.‘Penalties for Altering etc. the Identifying Mark of a Firearm [Amendments].’ Firearms and Air Guns (Amendment) Act, 2015.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,11 May. (Q11389)Full Citation

42.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Carrying Firearms Outside Dwelling-house Without Licence Forbidden.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11379)Full Citation

43.

Virgin Islands (UK).1957.‘Prohibited Carrying of Firearms.’ Firearms Ordinance, 1957.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,1 March. (Q11382)Full Citation

44.

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

45.

Virgin Islands (UK).2015.‘Firearms to Be Licensed [Amendments].’ Firearms and Air Guns (Amendment) Act, 2015.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,11 May. (Q11388)Full Citation

46.

Virgin Islands (UK).2015.‘Custodial Sentence for Certain Offences Involving Firearms [Amendments].’ Firearms and Air Guns (Amendment) Act, 2015.Road Town:Official Gazette of the British Virgin Islands,11 May. (Q11393)Full Citation

47.

BVI News (British Virgin Islands). 2015. ‘11 Guns Handed Over During Amnesty.’ 10 August. (N425) Full Citation

48.

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

49.

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