UNITED NATIONS: Pakistanis are among the top five nations’ in the list of 25 top-ranked countries and territories holding world’s firearms, according to the new study.
There are more than one billion firearms in the world but 85 percent of those are in the hands of civilians, with the remainder held by law enforcement and the military, says the survey report released Small Arms Survey.
Interestingly, Americans make up only four percent of the global population but they own 40 percent of the world’s firearms.
Of the 857 million guns owned by civilians, Pakistan is ranked at number four with 43.9 million of its civilians holding firearms. The US is at the top with 393 million followed by India at 71 million and China at 49.7 million.
Similarly in the list of the largest reported and estimated military-owned firearms holdings, Pakistan is at the number 10 with 2.3 million firearms in a list of top-10 countries.
Elucidating method to measure military firearms, the report says the study uses two main approaches for calculating military firearms holdings of armed forces: official data on military firearms holdings and estimates based on the use of a doctrinal category multiplier applied to the number of military personnel in a country.
The survey, produced by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, says it bases its estimates based on multiple sources, including civilian firearms registration data from 133 countries and territories and survey results in 56 countries.
“The biggest force pushing up gun ownership around the world is civilian ownership in the United States,” said Aaron Karp, one of the authors of the report which compiles new data from the last ten years. “Ordinary American people buy approximately 14 million new and imported guns every year,” Karp told a news conference at UN headquarters in New York.
Americans have access to powerful firearms that are not available in many other countries due to tighter legislation.
“Why are they buying them? That’s another debate. Above all, they are buying them probably because they can. The American market is extraordinarily permissive,” he said.
Gun ownership rates vary across the world, with 121 firearms for every 100 residents in the United States compared to 53 in Yemen, 39 in Montenegro, and 35 in Canada.
Japan and Indonesia are at the other end of the spectrum with less than one firearm per 100 people.
Only 28 countries released information on their military stockpiles while 28 nations offered information the firearms owned by law enforcement agencies.