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The famous quote that ‘guns don’t kill people, people do’ may be the opening line to the ongoing dispute of whether using weapons for self-defense should be legal or not. Essentially, it is a subjective matter to each person, culture, time, and country. And while some countries forbid any use of weapons, others allow civilians holding a gun as part of the nation’s constitution.

In What Countries Are Guns Legal?

Ultimately, gun ownership is illegal in most countries around the world but laws of some countries may afford civilians the right to keep and bear arms, and maintain a more liberal gun law regulation. Yet, for some reason, investigating this topic is quite difficult and there’s a lack of information regarding gun ownership in different countries.

According to Business Insider, only 3 countries have a constitutional right to legally hold a weapon. Those are the United States, Guatemala, and Mexico. Yemen and the majority of U.S. states, according to Wikipedia, are the only countries that do not require any permit for the acquisition of the majority of types of firearms.

Other countries that move in the same direction to allowing citizens to possess guns but still require a permit include the Czech Republic, Italy, Switzerland, Canad, and Malta.


Yet, it is important to note that acquiring a gun is not a big hassle in the majority of the countries in the world. Carrying a gun, on the other hand, is a big issue. That makes the United States the only country in the world where the public can easily be armed with self-defense weapons, and remarkably, it accounts for 46% of the World’s civilian held firearms.

20 Countries with the highest firearms rate/total firearms

Country Firearms Rate  The estimate of Total Firearms Population 2020
United States 120.5 393,347,000 331,002,651
Falkland Islands 62.1 2,000 3,480
Yemen 52.8 14,859,000 29,825,964
New Caledonia 42.5 115,000 285,498
Montenegro 39.1 245,000 628,066
Serbia 39.1 2,719,000 8,737,371
Uruguay 34.7 1,198,000 3,473,730
Canada 34.7 12,708,000 37,742,154
Cyprus 34 285,000 1,207,359
Finland 32.4 1,793,000 5,540,720
Lebanon 31.9 1,927,000 6,825,445
Iceland 31.7 106,000 341,243
Bosnia And Herzegovina 31.2 1,185,000 3,280,819
Austria 30 2,577,000 9,006,398
Liechtenstein 28.8 11,000 38,128
Norway 28.8 1,537,000 5,421,241
Malta 28.3 119,000 441,543
Switzerland 27.6 2,332,000 8,654,622
New Zealand 26.3 1,212,000 4,822,233
Sweden 23.1 2,296,000 10,099,265

Source: World population review

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