Knowing that the debate on gun control never fails to be interesting, we decided to have some fun and create the list of 8 countries with gun bans and highest crime rates.
Let us face it, every time mass shooting takes place in the United States, the country becomes polarized. While one side of the US population calls for an immediate ban on guns, elaborating on how this and that mass shooting could have been avoided had that same ban on guns been imposed earlier, the other side tries to convince the rest that no change in legislation should take place as it would have no impact whatsoever on crime rates. The fact is that if you are intent on defending either side of the argument, you will find strong evidence supporting your statements. The statistical data on the level of crime in the context of gun legislation in place can be interpreted in different ways depending on a given country.
When I think about it, I focus on the very nature of human being. I do not believe that guns per se are the problem. However, people are. Regardless of the legal provisions authorities put in place, people who are intent on hurting others, be it by committing mass shootings, bombing a place or sitting behind a wheel while driving fast through a crowded street, will do so. Those who have succumbed to the dark nature of human spirit will find means to put their ideas into practice, even if there are legal obstacles to doing so. The same applies to gun control. Even if the US government decided to introduce the gun ban, crime rates would not significantly drop as this would not mean that criminal minds are off the streets. The only thing it would do is make it a bit more difficult for them to access guns. Ultimately, gun crime is the symptom and not the cause. If I must choose, I would rather be permitted to own a gun, so I, the good girl that I am, can defend myself from the bad guys and girls.
Insider Monkey has already published an article on 12 Countries with No Gun Laws and Low Crime Rates in the World, where we established that Finland is among countries with no gun control while at the same time, it is one of the countries with the lowest crime rates in the world. This time, we focus on countries with gun bans and their crime rates which are among the highest in the world.
In our article on 11 Countries with the Best Gun Laws in the World, we pointed out that Pakistan, Italy, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, and the United States are some of the best countries for gun owners, with the United States being placed at the top of our list. These countries have gun laws that would suit any gun owner. On the other hand, if you are passionate about guns, you might also want to check out the list of countries that have banned guns, as these are the places you certainly would want to avoid. When writing about countries with the strictest gun laws in the world, we did a thorough analysis of gun legislation, selecting the worst from the list of countries with gun control. Japan was placed at the top of our list as the country where the controversy surrounding gun possession goes so far as to be considered taboo. It was followed by South Korea, Netherlands, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
To see which countries with gun bans and highest crime rates are, I cross-referenced the data with regards to gun laws and the data on crime rates. If you want to know the answer to the most popular question in the debate, does gun control reduce crime, this article might give you some ideas. The countries on our list did not introduce a complete ban on guns. However, they have very restrictive gun laws. Some of them have introduced these laws hoping that it would help reduce violence. However, their crime rates remained very high. Gun Policy is the site I referred to in order to get the data on firearms legislation. The site offers an overview of policies related to guns worldwide. To see which countries have the highest crime rates, I referred to the data provided by OECD better life index and Numbeo. I have also taken into account the data provided by the Igarape Institute, which offers the data on homicide rates worldwide.
Russia is ranked 4th on OECD’s Better Life Index ranking, with a score lower than 5. Crime is definitely something Russia has yet to learn how to properly cope with, and it looks like its restrictive law on guns is not the way to go. Private firearms possession is not something guaranteed by the law in Russia. You can get a license for owning a gun, but you have to present a genuine reason and undergo a serious background check. Moreover, you have to re-apply and re-qualify for firearm possession every five years. The authorities certainly did not cut gun owners any slack.
Terrorist attacks which took place in Turkey in the past couple of years have clearly demonstrated that restrictive gun laws cannot put an end to criminal activities. As Ammoland suggests, the case “demonstrates the utter uselessness of “gun control” at stopping those who are evil and determined.” Private firearm possession is not guaranteed by the Turkish law. Automatic and semi-automatic weapons are strictly prohibited. Handguns are allowed however only under a license, which is not that easy to get. The punishment for illegal firearm possession is a three-year prison sentence and a fine. It is obvious that restrictive law and harsh sentence do not prevent criminals from waving guns around in public places.
6. Papua New Guinea
Private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law in Papua New Guinea, the next one on our list of countries with gun bans and highest crime rates. In order to get a license for gun ownership, you have to undergo a rigorous background check that includes criminal and violence records, and mental health. Furthermore, you have to re-apply for a license every year, and you are allowed to possess one gun only. Despite the restrictions, the crime rates in Papua New Guinea remain high. The country is ranked second on Numbeo, having a crime rate of 81.87. Crime is flourishing in Port Moresby, which is the 6th least livable city in the world according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.
The minimum age for gun ownership in Brazil is 25, for which you need a license. Mandatory background check for every gun owner includes the evaluation of criminal records, mental health, and employment. You have to reapply every three years. Despite the fact that it is illegal to carry a gun outside the residence, street violence is common in Brazil. The country is ranked first in OECD ranking, as the least safe to live in. On Numbeo, the country occupies the 7th position, with a crime rate of 70.45. Gun crime is a result of the drug-related crime that is very much present in Brazil.
Jamaica has always had issues with crime. The authorities thought that a stricter gun control would help in eradicating gun violence. However, this did not prove to be the case. Quite the contrary, in case of Jamaica there is no correlation between gun laws and crime rates statistics. The punishment for unlawful possession is a five-year prison sentence and a fine. Quite harsh if you ask me. Despite all of the restrictions imposed, Jamaica has the 6th highest homicide rate in the world, which is 50.7 homicides per 100.000 inhabitants. Such data places Jamaica 4th on our list of 8 countries with gun bans and highest crime rates in the world.
3. South Africa
Private gun ownership is not guaranteed by the law in South Africa which ranks third on our lit of countries with gun bans and highest crime rates. Automatic and semi-automatic weapons are prohibited, while private possession of handguns is allowed if one has a proper license. There is a thorough background check for those who apply for firearms possession where criminal records, domestic violence records, addiction, mental health, employment and previous firearms license are all taken into consideration. Furthermore, for each license authorities have to get a reference from a third party member. Despite the restrictive legislation, crime in South Africa is on the rise. The country’s ranked 4th on Numbeo and 3rd on OECD ranking.
2. El Salvador
Despite a very strict gun control, El Salvador is among the countries with the highest crime rates in the world. According to the data provided by the Igarape Institute, El Salvador has the highest homicide rate in the world, 91.2 per 100.000 inhabitants. Private gun ownership is not guaranteed by the law of El Salvador, the number two on our list of countries with gun bans and highest crime rates. To tackle the problem of illegal firearm possession, the authorities of El Salvador have implemented a program where weapons can be voluntarily surrendered. Despite the efforts, the issue persists. Furthermore, the reports suggest that besides gun violence, gun smuggling is a serious problem in El Salvador.
Venezuela is ranked 1st on Numbeo, as the country with the highest crime rate and on our list of 8 countries with gun bans and highest crime rates. The country’s gun law regulation is defined as restrictive. The government, in fact, imposed strict regulation on guns in order to try to tackle high crime rates. The result was quite the opposite, the crime rates increased. Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, is one of the most dangerous cities in the world nowadays. As estimated by the Igarape Institute, Venezuela has the third highest homicide rate in the world, 58 homicides per 100.000 people.
This was Insider Monkey’s list of 8 countries with gun bans and highest crime rates.