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Index of Worldwide Gun Rights


Numerical index by Free Existence that claims to measure the legality of gun ownership and use around the world. Yemen (9) had the most liberal firearm laws. The most restrictive gun laws could be found in Uganda - 0.0 due to its outright bans on private firearm ownership


Nation Gun Freedom Notes Last change
Afghanistan -- Open carry is commonly practiced (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_carry). Updated 8/22/09
Albania 3.5 Private firearm ownership appears to be legal, but subject to licensing. Somewhat lax enforcement. (See: http://www.saferworld.org.uk/images/pubdocs/Albania%20ENG%20Exec%20Summ.pdf, retrieved August 9, 2009, and http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/albania, retrieved June 4, 2011) ((3.0 + .5) + 0.0 + 0.0 = 3.5) Updated 6/4/11
Algeria 2.5 Authorization is required for possession, and guns must be registered. Stiff penalties for non-compliance. (See: http://disarmament.un.org/CAB/bms3/1BMS3Pages/1NationalReports/Algeria(E).doc, retrieved August 9, 2009, and http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/algeria, retrieved June 4, 2011) (2.5 + 0.0 + 0.0 = 2.5) Updated 6/4/11
Andorra 2 Rifles, pistols, and shotguns appear to be legal, but a prior license is required, and all guns must be registered. Some storage requirements. (See: http://disarmament.un.org/CAB/bms3/1BMS3Pages/1NationalReports/Andorra(E).doc, retrieved August 9, 2009, and http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/andorra, retrieved June 4, 2011) (2.0 + 0.0 + 0.0 = 2.0) Updated 6/4/11
Angola 3.3 Open carry is commonly practiced (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_carry, retrieved August 9, 2009), although its legality is unknown. Guns legal for defense, recreation, and hunting. However, sweeping legislation making ownership by private citizens illegal is currently being considered, so this rating may change soon. (See: http://disarmament.un.org/CAB/bms3/1BMS3Pages/1NationalReports/Angola-E.PDF, retrieved August 9, 2009) (3.0 + 0.3 + 0.0 = 3.3) Updated 8/9/09
Antigua 4.7 At least some gun ownership is legal, but a license is required. There is no gun registration. Open and concealed carry appear to be possible with a permit. The right to own firearms is not guaranteed by law. (See: http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/antigua-and-barbuda, retrieved June 4, 2011, and http://74.125.155.132/search?q=cache:_dbLpYGVVt8J:www.gunpolicy.org/Topics/Genuine_Reason_For_Gun_Use.html+antigua+gun+laws&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us, retrieved August 9, 2009) (3.5 + 1.2 + 0.0 = 4.7) Updated 6/4/11
Argentina 2.5 Private ownership is legal for sport shooting, big and small game hunting, and self-defense, although a license is required for possession, and all guns must be registered. Pistols may require a special license. Storage requirements exist for those with 10 or more guns. Automatic weapons must be deactivated. (See: http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/argentina, retrieved June 4, 2011, and http://disarmament.un.org/CAB/bms3/1BMS3Pages/1NationalReports/Argentina%20(E).doc, retrieved August 9, 2009) (2.5 + 0.0 + 0.0 = 2.5) Updated 6/4/11
Armenia 2.75 Private ownership of some guns is allowed for hunting, sports, and self-defense. Fully automatic weapons are illegal. Handguns and semi-automatic weapons require a license. There is also a 10 shot limit on magazines. Registration is required, and 'negligent storage' is a crime (-0.25). The right to own firearms does appear to be guaranteed by law. (See: http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/armenia, retrieved June 4, 2011, and http://disarmament.un.org/CAB/nationalreports/2005/Armenia.pdf, retrieved August 9, 2009) (2.75 + 0.0 + 0.0 = 2.75) Updated 6/4/11
Australia 2 For every firearm, a purchaser must obtain a Permit To Acquire, and a "genuine reason" must be given, relating to pest control, hunting, target shooting, or collecting (self-defense is not accepted as a reason for issuing a license). Machine guns are restricted to deactivated specimens. Carry (whether open or concealed) requires a recognized reason, and personal protection is not a recognized reason. There are storage requirements which require guns to be kept in a separate locked container from ammunition. The right to own firearms is not guaranteed by law. (See: http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/australia, retrieved June 4, 2011, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_control#Worldwide_politics_and_legislation, retrieved June 40, 2011, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Australia, retrieved June 4, 2011) (2.0 + 0.0 + 0.0 = 2.0) Updated 6/4/11
Austria 2.5 Private ownership is legal, although registration is required. Pistols are legal to own, although a special license is required. Open carry is legal with a permit, but concealed carry is not. There are storage requirements in effect. (See: http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/austria, retrieved June 4, 2011, http://disarmament.un.org/CAB/bms3/1BMS3Pages/1NationalReports/Austria%202007.doc, retrieved August 9, 2009, and http://www.nraila.org/Issues/Articles/Read.aspx?ID=72, retrieved August 9, 2009) (2.5 + 0.0 + 0.0 = 2.5) Updated 6/4/11
Azerbaijan 3 Some types of firearms are legal for civilian ownership, but a license is required. While there are no specific storage requirements, guns most be stored so as to “preclude their transfer to unauthorized persons”. Handguns are illegal. (See: http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/azerbaijan, retrieved June 4, 2011, and http://disarmament.un.org/CAB/nationalreports/2005/Azerbaijan%20English.pdf , retrieved August 9, 2009) (3.0 + 0.0 + 0.0 = 3.0) Updated 6/4/11
Bahamas 3.8 Shotguns and rifles are legal, but a license is required which must be renewed annually. A special license is required for revolvers. There is no gun registration. Legally-licensed guns may be legally entrusted to an unlicensed person for up to 30 days provided the gun is not used by said unlicensed person. Carry is illegal, but enforcement is lax. Lax enforcement of possession laws as well. The right to own firearms is not guaranteed by law. (See: http://laws.bahamas.gov.bs/statutes/statute_CHAPTER_213.html, retrieved August 9, 2009, http://www.bahamasissues.com/archive/index.php/t-8882-p-2.html, retrieved August 9, 2009, http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/bahamas, retrieved June 4, 2011, http://www.caribbeannetnews.com/news-5279--25-25--.html, retrieved August 9, 2009, http://www.jonesbahamas.com/?c=45&a=14952, retrieved August 9, 2009, and http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f57/firearms-regulations-by-country-1641.html, retrieved August 9, 2009) ((3.0 + 0.5) + 0.3 + 0.0 = 3.8) Updated 6/4/11
Bahrain 3 At least some gun ownership is legal, but a license is required. (See: http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/bahrain, retrieved June 4, 2011, and http://disarmament.un.org/CAB/bms3/1BMS3Pages/1NationalReports/Bahrain(E).doc, retrieved August 14, 2009; however, see also: http://www.thebahrainforum.com/gun-laws-in-bahrain-t328.html, retrieved August 14, 2009 for indications of reductions of gun rights) (3.0 + 0.0 + 0.0 = 3.0) Updated 6/4/11
Bangladesh 2 Some rifles, shotguns, and pistols are legal, although licensing and registration is required. Fully automatic weapons are illegal, as are high capacity magazines. Storage requirements require that ammunition be stored separately. The right to own firearms is not guaranteed by law. (See: http://www.ryerson.ca/SAFER-Net/regions/Asia/Ban_JY04.html, retrieved August 14, 2009, and http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/Bangladesh, retrieved June 4, 2011) (2.0 + 0.0 + 0.0 = 2.0) Updated 6/4/11
Barbados 2 Shotguns and rifles are legal to possess, but subject to licensing/registration. Handguns, semi-automatic and fully-automatic weapons require a special license to possess. Very stiff penalties for non-compliance. The right to own firearms is not guaranteed by law. Open carry is illegal. Guns must be stored in a locked container or with a trigger lock. (See: http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/Barbados, retrieved June 4, 2011, http://www.gunpolicy.org/index.php?action=homePageSearch&HPSearch=barbados&HPCountry=Barbados&HPRegion=none&HPsubmit=Search, retrieved August 14, 2009, and http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f57/firearms-regulations-by-country-1641.html, retrieved August 14, 2009) (2.0 + 0.0 + 0.0 = 2.0) Updated 6/4/11
Belarus 2.5 Some types of rifles and shotguns are legal for civilian ownership, but a license is required, and guns must be registered. Storage requirements also exist, but specific are unknown. Pistols are illegal unless granted as a reward for military service. (See: http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/Belarus, retrieved June 4, 2011, and http://disarmament.un.org/CAB/nationalreports/2005/Belarus%20English.pdf, retrieved August 14, 2009) (2.5 + 0.0 + 0.0 = 2.5) Updated 6/4/11
Belgium 3.1 Some classes of weapons including handguns are legal, but a renewable license is required for each firearm. Full auto weapons are illegal. Storage requirements exist, although the specific details are unclear. Open carry is legal with a permit. (See: http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/Belgium, retrieved June 4, 2011, http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BQY/is_3_53/ai_n27126468/, retrieved August 14, 2009, and http://www.nraila.org/Issues/Articles/Read.aspx?ID=72, retrieved August 14, 2009) (2.5 + 0.6 + 0.0 = 3.1) Updated 6/4/11
Belize 4.2 Shotguns along with some calibers are legal for civilian ownership, although an expensive license is required. Private possession of handguns is permitted under license, except handguns 9mm or .38 caliber or higher. Semi-auto and full-auto weapons are illegal. All guns must be registered. Open and concealed carry are allowed with a permit, although it's not clear how attainable such a permit is. The right to own firearms is not guaranteed by law. (See: http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/Belize, retrieved June 4, 2011, http://ambergriscaye.com/info/questions/2/What+are+the+basic+laws+on+gun+ownership+in+Belize%3F+How+are+weapons+classified(shotgun,+rifle,+handgun)%3F+Is+ammunition+registered%3F, retrieved August 14, 2009, and http://www.belizefirst.com/indexanswers.html, August 14, 2009) (3.0 + 1.2 + 0.0 = 4.2) Updated 6/4/11
Benin 3 See: http://disarmament.un.org/CAB/bms3/1BMS3Pages/1NationalReports/Benin(F).PDF, retrieved August 16, 2009, which suggests that legal firearms exist, but no further detail is provided. Handguns, semi-auto and full-auto weapons appear illegal. (See: http://www.shakariconnection.com/firearm-import-regulations.html, retrieved June 4, 2011). See also http://www.huntingreport.com/hunting_article_list.cfm?country=Benin%20Hunting, retrieved August 16, 2009, which indicates hunting tourism, and thus at least some legal private weapons ownership exists. Finally, see http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/Benin, retrieved June 4, 2011, which makes reference to specific laws. (3.0 + 0.0 + 0.0 = 3.0) Updated 6/4/11
Bhutan 3 Some classes of guns are legal, although licensing is required. (See: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=14&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.unrcpd.org.np%2Fuploads%2Fconferences%2Ffile%2FBhutan%2520Session%2520III.pdf&ei=L4yFSvvIBo32sQOqjpCjBw&rct=j&q=bhutan+gun+laws&usg=AFQjCNFbd4PhTCh4q0x-Oxv9fPU3QlOFDw) (3.0 + 0.0 + 0.0 = 3.0) Updated 8/14/09

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