Americans love their guns, but not every citizen around the world has the luxury for such love, as is evident with these countries with the strictest gun laws in the world.
Like any logical argument, there are two sides to the issue of gun control as well. Governments perceive, if they can limit the number of guns in the hands of civilians, they can limit violence to a degree. However, the pro-gun school of thought dictates gun ownership itself acts as a violence deterrent. People have become so intrigued with the idea of owning a gun, they’ll attempt to find any way to make their own, if there were problems with being able to purchase one. The 3D printed gun schematics are available all over the internet, and a mere amateur with access to the internet and a 3D printer can now own a gun if they wish. Guns are mere tools, and the person wielding it is the source of violence not the gun. However, the statistics show that countries with gun bans and their crime rates have a positive correlation. The stricter the country is about controlling guns, the less gun violence they have. Japan is a prime example of this, with only 0.6 guns per 100 inhabitants, and the gun related violence in Japan is almost nonexistent. Japan gun laws are quite interesting to tool at too. The government of Japan allows civilians to own guns, but on the other hand, the process is extremely discouraging and difficult to pursue for an individual. Basically you need a license for anything and everything pertaining to gun ownership in Japan. In contrast, if we compare countries with gun control vs countries without, and the latter represented by the United States, then the image becomes clearer. There are about 112.6 guns per 100 inhabitants in the U.S. and the rate of gun violence is very high in the country, which is pretty obvious.
We are not saying that countries that don’t allow guns do not have to suffer from violence though. Frankly speaking, violence tends to find a way wherever we humans are, and in those countries it just takes a different form. To be honest, there is no country that bans gun ownership in its entirety. There is also no such thing as countries with no gun laws, and some countries have a stricter approach towards gun control than others. If you are a pro-gun person and would like to know which are the best countries for gun owners, then you would find this article on the 11 Countries with the Best Gun Laws in the World very interesting. If you are an American, then perhaps the 15 States with Easiest, Least Restrictive Gun Laws in America would interest you even more.
In this article, we will basically discuss the list of countries with gun control, we already mentioned Japan, but quite a few other countries made our list as well. Countries like South Korea, Netherlands, and Ireland are prime examples. To come up with a ranking method we chose the number of guns per 100 residents. The lower the number, the higher a country has been placed on the list. We of course had to consult several websites to come up with our list. We primarily used the report published by Small Arms Survey and Gun Policy. We also employed the help of Google’s search engine to inquire further into the matter. One thing to note here is that, we will be sticking to only developed countries for this list. As only in the developed countries the gun laws can be enforced to its maximum degree. We excluded the underdeveloped countries from the list because we are talking about gun laws and not just sole number of gun owners. In underdeveloped countries, enforcing gun laws is way down in the list of priorities for the government.
Let’s dive right into our list of 15 countries with the strictest gun laws in the world.
Guns per 100 residents: 31.2
To start off our list, we have France where although the number of guns per 100 residents is over 30, you are not allowed to carry your weapon on you in the country. Weapons are only allowed to civilians for hunting purposes . However, after the November 2015 Paris terror attack, police officers are now permitted to carry their weapons off duty.
Guns per 100 residents: 30.8
Interestingly Canada, who is bordered by the United States (the country where there are literally more guns than people) makes our list. However, Canada does not share the same philosophy when it comes to guns. Canadians are restricted in caliber, capacity and make of guns. Basically, in Canada you can possess a gun for hunting only. In fact, acquiring a gun for self defense purposes in Canada can be a bother, as you are only permitted to carry handguns only if you work with dangerous animals or handle valuable goods.
Guns per 100 residents: 30.3
It is quite clear why Germany would be reluctant in arming its general population. The country has a pretty dark past, and since the end of World War Two the country has maintained a pretty peaceful demeanor. If you are able to prove the following: age of 18 years or older, trustworthiness, personal adequacy, expert knowledge and necessity, you may own a firearm in Germany, so good luck.
Guns per 100 residents: 24.45
Switzerland has always been a peace loving country, and the number of guns per 100 residents also reflects that mentality. Switzerland did not take part in both the world conflicts, and still maintains its neutrality when it comes to conflicts. When it comes to gun laws, the country is quite strict as well. Although recreational shooting is allowed in some capacity, it is nowhere near as popular as in it is in the United States.
Guns per 100 residents: 24.1
The only guns you are able to own without a license in Australia are antique black powder guns made prior to the 20th century. For everything else you will need to go through the rigorous process of acquiring a license. And you are not allowed all sorts of firearms as well. You are limited to caliber and capacity as well as barrel length. The weird thing is, airsoft guns are also totally banned in Australia – just one of the reasons why this country is on our list of countries with the strictest gun laws in the world.
10. New Zealand
Guns per 100 residents: 22.6
When you apply for a gun ownership license in New Zealand, you can buy rim fire rifles .22 and .17 HMR. Also, you can buy standard semi-automatic rifles that have been altered to match the regulations of not having a muzzle break and less than 7 round magazine. So basically, even if you are lucky enough to acquire a license in the first place, you will not be able to get any “fun” guns off the shelves of gun shops in New Zealand. But the cherry on top is certainly that you cannot buy hand guns at all.
Guns per 100 residents: 15.3
Number nine on our list of countries with the strictest gun laws in the world is Luxembourg, one of the wealthiest countries. But, we are not interested in that, what we are interested in about Luxembourg though is its strict gun control. It is extremely difficult for a civilian to get hold of a gun in Luxembourg. Although, given the low crime rate civilians are not that inclined towards gun culture anyway.
Guns per 100 residents: 11.9
Like Germany, Italy has a dark past as well. Ever since the end of the Second World War, Italy has been keen on condemning guns and gun ownership. The revised constitution of Italy does not allow civilians to carry and own even bullets, let alone firearms. However, Italy does have a pretty strong small arms industry, but Italian-made firearms are only meant for exporting to other countries.
Guns per 100 residents: 8.9
We are half way through our list of countries with the strictest gun laws in the world. And at number 7 we have Russia. As you can see, despite having one of the biggest small arms industry in the world, civilians in Russia are not allowed to own firearms. There are merely 9 guns per 100 residents in Russia. However, that does not make Russia a peaceful country, as violence and the crime rate are quite high in Russia.
Guns per 100 residents: 7.3
Israel is a very small country with a small population. However, Israel’s military might is well known in the region and world. Why is Israel on the list of countries with the strictest gun laws in the world, you may ask? Well, civilians in Israel are not allowed to carry weapons unless they obtain a license, but military personnel can carry their firearms off duty. Getting a license for a civilian is pretty difficult, and only civilians living in frontier towns are eligible for such a license or they must have a military background.
5. United Kingdom
Guns per 100 residents: 6.6
Like most European nations, the United Kingdom has always been against civilian ownership of guns. Which is also reflected in their highly restrictive gun laws and gun control policy. You just cannot own a hand gun in the United Kingdom, and you have to acquire a firearms license to own shotguns or rifles, which you can use for hunting purposes.
Guns per 100 residents: 4.3
Ireland, a neighboring country to the United Kingdom, has a bloody history of gun violence during the terror campaign of the IRA. That and its peaceful stance in the world has made it next to impossible for civilians to own a firearm in Ireland.
Guns per 100 residents: 3.9
The Netherlands is known for its liberal views and personal freedom, but when it comes to guns and firearms possession of civilians, the country is extremely strict. Only law enforcement, hunters, and target shooters can own firearms in the Netherlands. Owning firearms for personal defense is completely illegal what put this country this high on the list of countries with the strictest gun laws in the world.
2. South Korea
Guns per 100 residents: 1.1
Despite sharing its borders with one of the most hostile countries in the world, North Korea, the South Korean government is quite reluctant about issuing firearms to civilians. You can get a license for a firearm for hunting purposes, but you have to store your weapon at the nearby police station, which is pretty unique, not to mention smart. Private possession of firearms by civilians is not allowed at all. And now, let’s take a look at the first among the countries with the strictest gun laws in the world.
Guns per 100 residents: 0.6
From our research, we found Japan to be the country where owning a gun is pretty much taboo. Given the history of the country, Japan is very strict about issuing guns to civilians. It is possible for an individual to own a gun in Japan, but the process is extremely foreboding. A lot of paperwork, money and training is required to acquire the license to own a firearm and then there is the issue of cost, which is extremely high. Even owning a sword in Japan is difficult and subject to laws.
This wraps it up for our list of 15 countries with the strictest gun laws in the world.