National gun laws

The majority of small arms are in the hands of private individuals - worldwide, around 60% of guns are possessed by civilians. There is a strong correlation between firearms ownership and gun death rates, especially for handgun ownership, as handguns are concealable and so commonly used in crime.

In 2006, the UN sub-commission on human rights endorsed principles to prevent human rights abuses by civilians with guns. Many countries regulate:

- types of weapons permitted. For example, prohibiting fully automatic weapons, or semiautomatic rifles. Given their use in crime, some countries also prohibit civilian possession of handguns.

- users of guns. Licensing the users of guns might involve requiring users to prove they have a genuine need of a firearm, also background checks to investigate whether the user is likely to be a risk to themselves or others.

- uses of guns. For example, prohibiting carrying or firing guns in a  public place.

Essential to enforcing the above regulations is firearm registration, linking every weapon to its last legal user and so identifying any point of diversion. This is part of a marking and tracing requirement.

Últimas noticias

IANSA members in the Dominican Republic, the Instituto Caribeño para el Estado de Derecho (ICED) in cooperation with UNDP organised a debate in parliament focusing on the experience of Bolivia in developing a law to control and regulate firearms.

Nearly 600 US mayors have launched a campaign to identify states with lax gun laws and push for tighter restrictions to prevent the trafficking of guns used in crime.

IANSA member in Turkey, the Umut Foundation, is appealing for Parliament to reject a proposed new bill on firearms due to be voted on this month.

In the US, the Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a Bill that will require mental health facilities to electronically notify the Department of Justice when individuals become prohibited from firearm possession due to mental illness.

IANSA woman and founding member of IANSA Wendy Cukier of the Coalition for Gun Control has been nominated one of 25 ‘Transformational Canadians’

Latest resources

There are no resources to display