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The crime and homicide rate in the Dominican Republic is considered relatively low compared to other countries in the region, and gang-related activities are reportedly under control. Nevertheless, the country faces different security challenges related to cross-border criminal activities from neighbouring Haiti and owing to its strategic location for narcotrafficking activities.US-based Dominican gangs are also involved in smuggling weapons and ammunition from the United States to the Dominican Republic, leading to the proliferation of illegally owned weapons throughout the country.2

In terms of weapons and ammunition management, the Dominican Republic has established strict regulations on weapons possession and is party to the main international agreements and protocols on weapons and ammunition.3 The UN Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) also notably supports the country’s weapons and ammunition disposal activities, helps to strengthen its stockpile management capacities,4 and provides assistance to prevent the illicit trafficking of weapons and ammunition,5 in accordance with the country’s obligations under the Arms Trade Treaty.6

1 Evan Ellis, “The Armed Forces of the Dominican Republic: Contributions and Challenges to Regional Security,” Estudios en Seguridad y Defensa 13, no. 25 (2018): 21-45,

2 Douwe Den Held, “US Guns Fuels Arms Trafficking in the Dominican Republic,” Insight Crime, June 3, 2022,

3 Philip Alpers, Amélie Rossetti and Leonardo Goi, Dominican Republic – Gun Facts, Figures and the Law (, Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, 2022)

4 “UNLIREC and Government of Dominican Republic Accelerate Destruction of Surplus and Obsolete Weapons and Ammunition,” UNLIREC, March 13, 2013,

5 “Over 40 Officials from Dominican Republic Enhance Skills in Combating Illicit Trafficking of Small Arms and Ammunitions,” UNLIREC, July 18, 2022,

6 “UNLIREC Supports the Dominican Republic in Physical Security and Firearms and Ammunition Stockpile Management,” UNLIREC, 2016,

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Map of Dominican Republic

Further information

Accidental explosions

Since the Small Arms Survey began collecting data in 1979, one accidental explosion has been reported in the Dominican Republic.

Table 1. Accidental explosions in the Dominican Republic (1979–2021)







San Cristobal




Source: “Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (UEMS) Database,” Small Arms Survey, updated December 15, 2021,

Cases of diversion

One case of diversion has been reported in the Dominican Republic.

Table 2. Cases of diversion of arms, ammunition and explosives in the Dominican Republic





El Embalse

The Dominican military reported that individuals, presumably of Haitian origin, attacked a military detachment at the Dominican-Haitian border and stole two rifles (characteristics unspecified).1

1 "Buscan fusiles que robaron haitianos," Listin Diario, August 5, 2015,


Although the Dominican Republic regularly disposes of its ammunition, no systematic information about the yearly amount in tonnes has been found.

Source: "United Nations assists the Dominican Republic  in the destruction of more than 30,000 firearms and 30 tonnes of ammunition,” UNLIREC, October 5, 2013,


No needs have been reported for the Dominican Republic.

Published Date: Monday 16 of October 2023