Civilians own 85% of the world’s firearms

• Geneva-based Small Arms Survey found that 84.6% of the world’s firearms are owned by civilians, with only 13.2% of weapons with state-run militaries and 2.2% with law enforcement agencies in 2017.

Key Findings

• 6% of the world’s firearms are owned by civilians, with only 13.2% of weapons with state-run militaries and 2.2% with law enforcement agencies in 2017.

• The U.S., India, China, Pakistan and Russia are the top 5 nations where civilians own maximum arms. In the US, civilians owned 393.3 million firearms, while in India they had 71.1 million and in China, the figure stood at 49.7 million. Pakistan (43.9 million) and Russia (17.6 million) completed the top 5.

• US had the highest ratio of possession among civilians, with an average of 12 firearms owned by every 10 residents.

• In India, out of the 71.1 million firearms in the hands of civilians, 4 million were unregistered weapons.

Important Info :

• The Small Arms Survey (SAS) is an independent research project located at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. It provides information on all aspects of small arms and armed violence.

• In the wake of the attacks, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a ban on civilian ownership of semi-automatic weapons from April 11. She has also announced a buyback offer for gun-owning New Zealand citizens in a bid to flush firearms out of civilian possession.

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Mains Paper 2 : International

Prelims level : Gunman

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