HomeNewsBriefInsecurity Fuels Honduras Illegal Gun Ownership of Over 1 Mn
BRIEF

Insecurity Fuels Honduras Illegal Gun Ownership of Over 1 Mn

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 13 FEB 2014 BY MICHAEL LOHMULLER EN

Two thirds of the 1.8 million guns in Honduras are reportedly circulating illegally, with the country’s geography and high perceptions of insecurity fueling gun ownership.

According to newspaper La Tribuna, just 600,000 guns are legally registered, leaving 1.2 million guns in undocumented circulation. The total figure, if accurate, equates to nearly one gun for every four people in the country, with La Tribuna reporting their total estimated value to be $1.8 billion.

The provinces with the highest concentration of illegal arms are Cortes, Atlantida, Colon, Copan, and Francisco Morazan.

Former National Police Deputy Director Wilfredo Urtecho Jamborde said a key factor driving gun ownership was a popular perception that Honduran residents’ security needs were not being met.

The report comes almost a year after the Violence Observatory at the National Autonomous University of Honduras declared there were 500,000 registered guns in the country and one million circulating illegally. A previous report by the country’s National Commissioner for Human Rights (CONADEH) placed this number even lower, at around 850,000 total guns, with 258,000 registered.

InSight Crime Analysis

While it is unclear whether the disparity between La Tribuna’s figures and previously reported numbers are the result of a significant increase in guns circulating the country or methodological differences, all of the figures paint a grave picture of the illegal arms situation in Honduras.

With the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) placing the homicide rate at 91.6 per 100,000 in its 2011 Global Study on Homicide, Honduras is widely considered the most dangerous country in the world outside of a warzone. Around 80 percent of all crimes are committed with unregistered guns.

SEE ALSO: Honduras News and Profiles

Despite recent talk of ramping up regulations, the country’s gun laws remain lax. Whether a change in the law would have the needed effect is a matter for debate, with evidence suggesting there is little clear correlation between lax gun laws and gun violence in Latin America. What remains clear is that without effective action to combat corruption and deep rooted criminal activity, the violence is unlikely to subside and it is doubtful the public will be willing to hand in their weapons regardless of any law being passed.

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Related Content

HONDURAS / 2 FEB 2016

Raids over the weekend resulted in the arrest of two alleged leaders of a powerful drug trafficking network, the culmination…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 31 AUG 2019

US firearms have flowed into the hands of corrupt security forces and criminal organizations in Mexico for years, yet the United…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 31 JAN 2012

According to Mexico's Defense Department, criminal organizations are equipping themselves with firearms that are between 20 and 30 years old.

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Strategic Communications Manager Job Description

12 FEB 2021

InSight Crime is looking for a full-time strategic communications manager. This person needs to be able to work in a fast-paced world of daily news, high-profile investigations, national and international…

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …