Survey: Gun Laws Around the World

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Last week's Newtown, CT shootings have sparked hot debates about U.S. gun control. (Time)
Last week’s Newtown, CT shootings have sparked hot debates about U.S. gun control. (Time)

No doubt, following last week’s shooting there will be a lot of discussion surrounding amendments to U.S. gun laws.  Some will argue that stricter gun laws are needed and others will say that gun rights in the U.S. are designed to self-regulate, allowing law-abiding citizens to protect themselves against violent criminals.  The following is a short survey listing several countries around the world, that country’s pertinent gun laws, and its homicide rate.  The figures are not intended to advocate for one side or the other, merely give and provide some context for how other countries have addressed gun control.











  • Population: 313,847,465
  • Number of civilian guns: 270,000,000
  • Number of gun deaths: 9,146
  • Gun laws: A constitutional amendment guarantees the right of gun ownership to law abiding citizens.  Regulation is enforced by state and federal government.  Semi-automatic weapons are available to the public at large provided buyers satisfy background checks.  Fully automatic weapons and silencers can be legally purchased by civilians provided they undergo extended licensing procedures, pay sizeable registration fees, and allow law enforcement to inspect the weapon whenever the government deems it necessary.

*Population information from

**Other statistics from UNODC & Small Arms Survey, available at

 Thomas Dunlop is a 2L and a Staff Editor of the Denver Journal of International Law and Policy.