Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
Karp, Aaron. 2018 ‘Military Firearms Holdings, 2017.’ Estimating Global Military-Owned Firearms Numbers. Geneva: Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. 18 June
The Small Arms Survey estimates that at the end of 2017 the total global holdings of the armed forces in 177 countries included at least 133 million firearms. More are believed to exist.
Military firearms holdings are the least public of all major small arms categories. Of more than 100 governments polled by the Small Arms Survey to date, only eight reported their total military firearms inventories. Another 20 countries supplied data independently, or to other projects or researchers. Secrecy and the Small Arms Survey's uncertainty about the disposition of older weaponry mean that it is only possible to estimate most countries' military firearms inventories. Military holdings also have been affected by some of the largest disarmament projects focused on destruction of military surpluses, not all of which have been made public. Global military small arms data seems certain to remain less accurate than data on worldwide civilian and law enforcement holdings, a nagging source of ambiguity in global small arms totals.
[Editor's note: See the online annexe for a full breakdown of military firearm holdings by country. Country data includes an estimate of total military firearms as well as a breakdown by the various branches of military for that country where possible]