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

Canada’s gun laws have resulted in a significant drop in the number of homicides committed with a firearm, according to new research published in the Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Sou da Paz has launched a new plan for arms control for the city of Sao Paolo, Brazil.

400,000 Americans have been killed by guns since 1968, according to Mayors Against Illegal Guns

Madaba For Supporting Development, IANSA member in Jordan, reports that for the first time national legislation on the use of small arms has been applied to a case of celebratory shooting.

In the US, IANSA members are calling for a national ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines after the Arizona shooting last week.

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