Find Gun Policy Facts

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

Firearm News

United States,Botswana,Cook Islands,Fiji,Iceland,Ireland,Kiribati,Malawi,Marshall Islands,Nauru,New Zealand,Niue,Norway,Samoa,Solomon Islands,Tonga,Tuvalu,United Kingdom,Vanuatu,Virgin Islands (US)

The 19 Countries That Do Not Arm Their Police Officers

19 July 2017


A woman who called 911 to report a nearby crime was killed by a US police officer last weekend. The circumstances surrounding her death are still unclear. The fatal shooting of Justine Ruszczyk, a dual Australian-US national who had settled in Minnesota in 2014, has made headlines in both her native Australia and her adopted home in Minneapolis – once again reigniting the all too familiar debate surrounding the role that firearms play in both law enforcement and in... (

Read More: CNN


Caribbean,American Samoa,Niue,Palau,Northern Mariana Islands,Nauru,Cook Islands,Fiji,Micronesia,French Polynesia,Marshall Islands,Kiribati,Papua New Guinea,Samoa,Solomon Islands,Tonga,Tuvalu,Vanuatu,New Caledonia

Addressing Gun Violence in the Caribbean and the Pacific

15 July 2016

The Diplomat (Japan)

"The seas bring us together, they do not separate us." –Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia The Caribbean and the Pacific each offer a unique and contrasting perspective toward addressing armed violence. Despite sharing similar challenges as Small Island Developing States (SIDS), each region faces very different circumstances on the ground. In light of this, each region has taken a different approach toward addressing armed violence. The Pacific stands... (

Read More: The Diplomat (Japan)



Tonga Urged to Sign Arms Trade Treaty

28 April 2016

Matangi Tonga Online

Tonga could be used as a transfer point for the illegal trade of arms if its government doesn't sign the International Arms Trade Treaty, warns Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA). Peter Barcroft, the New York based Director of Peace & Democracy Programme for PGA, said this week that the illicit trade in arms and weapons respects no borders and has no frontiers and he urged Tonga to sign the treaty. "It is in Tonga's best interests to be party to a Treaty which... (

Read More: Matangi Tonga Online



Tongan MP Pleads Not Guilty to Firearms Charge, Trial Delayed

30 November 2013

Radio New Zealand International (Shortwave)

The trial for the Deputy Speaker of Tonga's Parliament, Lord Tu'iha'ateiho, charged with possession of a firearm without a license, has been adjourned until next year. Radio Tonga reports the accused and his legal counsel Kahu Afeaki appeared before Justice Charles Cato in the Supreme Court Friday morning and pleaded not guilty to the charge. Lord Tu'iha'ateiho was charged in August 2010 and Justice Cato questioned why the trial took so long. The legal counsel for... (

Read More: Radio New Zealand International (Shortwave)


United States,Tonga,Fiji

American-Tongan Held in Fiji on Illegal Gun Charges After Smuggling Attempt

19 November 2013

Matangi Tonga

NADI, Fiji - An American national of Tongan ethnicity has been charged for bribery of a public official and illegal possession of arms and ammunition after he attempted to smuggle firearms past security officials at Fiji's Nadi Airport last week. According to media reports, the accused Sonny David Bernard Blake (29) was arrested on Wednesday November 13 when he arrived at Nadi Airport from Los Angeles, and allegedly tried to bribe custom officers with USD $40 in an... (

Read More: Matangi Tonga



Tonga MPs Decide Not to Reduce Legal Penalties for Gun Offences

14 October 2012

Matangi Tonga / Pacific Islands Report

NUKUALOFA, Tonga – Tonga's government is once again trying to drastically reduce penalties for the illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, by reintroducing a controversial amendment bill, despite the fact that the late King George Tupou V withheld his consent in 2011 because it was considered to be "inimical to the welfare, well-being and safety of His subjects." A bill that was presented by government last week to amend the Arms and Ammunition Act by reducing... (

Read More: Matangi Tonga / Pacific Islands Report



Tonga Police Seize 'Vast' Weapons, Ammo Cache from MP's Home

30 August 2012

TVNZ (New Zealand)

A Tongan MP is facing charges after allegedly conspiring with a Colombian drug lord to export hundreds of kilograms of cocaine from Tonga. Lord Tu'ilakepa will face weapons, ammunition and drug exportation charges when he appears in a Tongan court in October. Australian police allege Tu'ilakepa conspired with notorious South American drug lord Obeil Antonio Zuluaga Gomez to bring 690kg of cocaine from South America into Tonga by sea. The drugs would have then been... (

Read More: TVNZ (New Zealand)



High Powered Guns, Assault Rifle Seized in Tonga, Police 'Alarmed'

5 February 2010

Islands Business International (Suva)

NUKU'ALOFA, Tonga - Powerful weapons including a semi automatic assault rifle of a kind used in gang warfare, have been seized by the police in Tonga And police are urging the public to report the whereabouts of other illegal weapons that may be on the island. Tongan Police Commander Chris Kelley this week put on display some of the 34 illegal firearms that were seized by the Tongan police from various locations in Tongatapu, during the past nine months. Our community... (

Read More: Islands Business International (Suva)



Tonga Police Seize 34 Illegal Firearms, 'Gang Warfare' Assault Rifle

4 February 2010

Matangi Tonga / PACNEWS

Powerful weapons including a semi automatic assault rifle of a kind used in gang warfare, have been seized by the police in Tonga. And police are urging the public to report the whereabouts of other illegal weapons that may be on the island. Tongan Police Commander Chris Kelley this week put on display some of the 34 illegal firearms that were seized by the Tongan police from various locations in Tongatapu, during the past nine months. "Our community does not need... (

Read More: Matangi Tonga / PACNEWS



Tongan Gang Admits Shooting a Woman, String of Armed Robberies

10 September 2008

Matangi Tonga (Nuku'alofa)

Opeti Fekau pleaded guilty to a total of five charges, including an armed robbery outside the Westpac Bank of Tonga commercial branch on May 26, when he appeared before Chief Justice Anthony Ford in the Nuku'alofa Supreme Court on Thursday, September 3. He was charged with abetment to armed robbery in relation to stealing a Chinese delivery truck on March 20 in Fasi, and a second and third count of possessing an illegal firearm and ammunition on May 26 in Kolofo'ou. He... (

Read More: Matangi Tonga (Nuku'alofa)



Rising Number of Illegal Weapons, Shooting Spur Gun Amnesty in Tonga

20 February 2008

Tonga Broadcasting Commission

Illegal weapon holders are being given a chance to license or register their firearms and ammunition to the ministry of police. Police authorities are to grant an amnesty to unlawful firearm and ammunition which will come into force on Friday February 15th to 29th of this month. Assistant Police Commander says the recent shooting incident at Kolofo'ou and also the rising numbers of illegal weapons used to commit crime are among initiatives that police is granting this... (

Read More: Tonga Broadcasting Commission



Tongan Gunman Shot, Killed Former Employer, Then Self with .22 Rifle

28 January 2008

Tonga Broadcasting Commission

Police have identified the gunman who allegedly shot a business woman at Kolofo'ou last week. Acting Police Commander Taniela Faletau identified the assailant as Sefanaia Palelei, 33, of Halaleva. Palelei who shot Mosimani Helu last Monday was a former employee at Mrs Helu's shop. The assailant is alleged to have entered Mosimani's complex with a bag where the .22 rifle was hidden and shot her former boss before shooting himself. Police reports that the motive is... (

Read More: Tonga Broadcasting Commission



Murder/Suicide Shooting Spurs Tongan Police to Attempt Gun Crackdown

22 January 2008

Tonga Broadcasting Commission

Any person found to be carrying unregistered arms or ammunition with intend to commit offence are liable to be imprisoned not more than 12 years jail terms. This was highlighted by the Acting Police Commander Taniela Faletau in amid concerns that illegal possession of unregistered firearms and ammunition in the country. The Acting Police Commander's comment came when police confirmed that the rifle used to shot a business woman at Kolofo'ou yesterday was not yet... (

Read More: Tonga Broadcasting Commission



In Tonga, 'Almost Unknown' Gun Murder-suicide Rocks Pacific Island Nation

22 January 2008

Radio Australia (Pacific shortwave)

Tonga's acting police commissioner says the shooting of two people in a murder-suicide has shocked the country. A prominent Nukualofa businesswoman, Mosimani Helu died in hospital yesterday from a gunshot wound to the head. Police say the body of a man was found in her backyard. The motive for the shooting is still not known. However, the local media quotes a neighbour as saying the alleged gunman worked as a security man or gardener for the victim about two years... (

Read More: Radio Australia (Pacific shortwave)


Oceania,Papua New Guinea,Tonga,Fiji,Vanuatu,Solomon Islands

The Pacific's Gun Problems

1 March 2003

Pacific Magazine

Stowed away in a Tongan Defence Force's armoury are .303 Lee Enfield rifle and circa (early last century) still in their original packing, unfired. Also, there are World War Two automatic Bren guns, maintained and ready. For what, academic David Capie wonders. Tonga, along with Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, maintain military or paramilitary forces whose existence, he believes, has no positive rationale, but which often represent a threat to the nations they are... (

Read More: Pacific Magazine