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

Zimbabwe — 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 Zimbabwe is

2017: 455,0001
2007: 400,0002 3 4

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 2.801
2007: 3.445

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Zimbabwe ranked at No. 896

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Zimbabwe ranked at No. 1062

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in Zimbabwe is reported to be

2017: 190,6851

Estimated Number of Unregistered and Illicit Firearms

Unregistered and unlawfully held guns cannot be counted,7 but in Zimbabwe there are estimated to be

2017: 264,3151

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Zimbabwe are reported to have 91,5808 firearms

Routine Arming of Police

In Zimbabwe, police officers on routine patrol carry one or more firearms9

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Zimbabwe are reported to have 23,00010 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Zimbabwe, annual homicides by any means total

2016: 1,64511
2015: 1,585
2014: 1,537
2013: 1,488
2012: 98112
2011: 1,438
2010: 711
2008: 1,77513
2007: 645
2006: 921
2005: 1,089
2004: 1,09214
2003: 1,028
2000: 91215
1999: 873
1998: 778

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

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

2016: 10.3111
2015: 10.17
2014: 10.10
2013: 10
2012: 10.616 17
2011: 10.11
2008: 14.313
2007: 5.2
2006: 7.4
2005: 8.7
2004: 8.713 18
2003: 8.2
2002: 11.3018
2000: 7.2415 13
1999: 7.04
1998: 6.38
1997: 6.813
1996: 6.4
1995: 6.5

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

In Zimbabwe, annual male homicides by any means total

2010: 51119

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

In Zimbabwe, annual female homicides by any means total

2010: 20119

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Zimbabwe, annual firearm homicides total

2007: 1913
2006: 19
2005: 19
2004: 20
2000: 59815
1999: 596
1998: 562

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2007: 0.313
2006: 0.3
2005: 0.3
2004: 0.3
2000: 4.7515
1999: 4.81
1998: 4.61

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

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

2012: 2%17
2007: 4.6%13
2006: 4.9%
2005: 5.4%
2004: 5.6%
2000: 65.6%
1999: 68.3%
1998: 72.2%

Suicides (any method)

In Zimbabwe, annual suicides by any means total

1990: 76820

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

In Zimbabwe, the annual rate of suicide by any means per 100,000 population is

1990: 7.565

Gun Suicides

In Zimbabwe, annual firearm suicides total

1995: 1221

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

In Zimbabwe, the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

1995: 0.0921

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Zimbabwe, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is prohibited without Government permission22 23 24 25 26

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Zimbabwe, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law27 28

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Zimbabwe is reported by Customs to be US$14,28129 (2011)

Small Arms Exports - World Ranking

In a comparison of the world's major/mid-level/minor/unknown small arms exporters, Zimbabwe was categorized as 'unknown'30

Firearm Imports

In Zimbabwe, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law24 31

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Zimbabwe is reported by Customs to be US$392,58229 (2011)

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Zimbabwe, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law32

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Zimbabwe include27 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 Zimbabwe is categorised as restrictive33

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Zimbabwe includes the

Firearms Act, Chapter 10:0934 35

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Zimbabwe are regulated by the Minister of Home Affairs36

Right to Possess Firearms

In Zimbabwe, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law37 38 39

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Zimbabwe, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic firearms40

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Zimbabwe, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is permitted under licence41

Regulation of Handguns

In Zimbabwe, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence41

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Zimbabwe, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law17

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Zimbabwe, only licensed gun owners39 42 35 17 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Zimbabwe are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm42 31

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Zimbabwe is 14 years43

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Zimbabwe must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental health and addiction42 35 17 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Zimbabwe, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required41

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Zimbabwe does not stipulate41 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Zimbabwe, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required41 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Zimbabwe, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every three years42

Licensing Records

In Zimbabwe, authorities maintain a record44 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Zimbabwe are permitted to possess 1 firearm per firearm certificate42

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Zimbabwe are permitted to possess the quantity of ammunition specified in the firearm certificate42

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Zimbabwe, the law requires44 24 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 Zimbabwe, licensed firearm dealers are required45 24 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In Zimbabwe, licensed gun makers are required24 46 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Zimbabwe, State agencies are required24 to maintain records of the storage and movement of all firearms and ammunition under their control

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Private Gun Sales

In Zimbabwe, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited without a valid firearms licence47

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Zimbabwe, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful48 49

Limit on Gun Dealer Sales

In Zimbabwe, the number and type of firearms which can be sold by a licensed gun dealer to a single gun owner is limited to one firearm per firearm certificate39 42

Number of Licensed Gun Dealers

The number of licensed firearm dealers in Zimbabwe is reported to be

2003: 1253

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In Zimbabwe, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined41

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Zimbabwe, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated41 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Zimbabwe include50 51 52 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 Zimbabwe include53 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Zimbabwe include54 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Zimbabwe include55 56 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Zimbabwe, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is not required by law24 35

Firearm Tracing

In Zimbabwe, state authorities carry out57 58 59 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Carrying Guns

Law Regulates Firearms in Public

In Zimbabwe, carrying a gun in a public place is regulated by law17

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Zimbabwe, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm60 is five years in prison and/or a fine61

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Zimbabwe are known to have3 35 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Firearms Surrendered and Seized

In Zimbabwe, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered, bought back or seized by authorities is reported to be 2004 (2003)

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Zimbabwe, it is state policy24 62 35 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

African Union

In June 2006, as a member of the African Union, Zimbabwe adopted an African Common Position to take to the Conference to Review the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA), held in June 200663 64

Southern African Development Community

As a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Zimbabwe signed the SADC Declaration Concerning Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials in March 2001. This laid the ground for the August, 2001 adoption of the legally binding SADC Protocol on Control of Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials65

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, lists66 Zimbabwe 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 200767 by Zimbabwe.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has been signed, but not yet ratified68 by Zimbabwe

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 signed69 by Zimbabwe

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Zimbabwe 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 Aspects70

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Zimbabwe against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 8071 72 73 74 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Zimbabwe has submitted one or more national reports75 76 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Zimbabwe, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated77 76

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Zimbabwe, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated77

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Zimbabwe submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was apparent77 78

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated76 by Zimbabwe to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Zimbabwe has not declared79 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Zimbabwe has been a Member State of the United Nations since 198080

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list81 Zimbabwe as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

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

Global Peace Index

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


Short References

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