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Kuwait is located at the crossroads of Asia, the Middle East and Europe, which makes the country vulnerable to trafficking in drugs, firearms, people and fake goods.1 Kuwait is a very wealthy country with large oil reserves. Yet, an uneven distribution of wealth, corruption among the business and political elite, as well as class divisions in society lead to conflicts between various groups. Kuwait has not been affected by any major armed conflicts within its territory since the conflict with Iraq in 1990–1991. The country’s potential security threats are related to the advance of the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.2 In 2015, Kuwait joined the Saudi-led coalition against the Houtis in Yemen.3

Increased concerns associated with the proliferation of, and ease of access to, unlicensed firearms resulted in a new gun control law that came into effect in 2015. The Law on Regulating the Collection of Weapons, Ammunition and Explosives allows police officers to search citizen’s homes for unlicensed arms and ammunition.4 The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) National Central Bureau maintains national and regional security, helping police officers across Kuwait to ensure law enforcement, detect flows of illicit arms and ammunition, and combat organised crime.The country receives assistance from the United States for ammunition disposal.6


1 “How INTERPOL Supports Kuwait to Tackle International Crime,” INTERPOL, 2022,

2 Bertelsmann Stiftung, BTI 2018 Country Report: Kuwait (Gütersloh: Bertelsmann Stiftung, 2018),

3 “Kuwait,” Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts Project (RULAC), Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, updated January 31, 2018,

4 Karim Traboulsi, “New Gun Control Laws Come into Effect in Kuwait,” New Arab, June 24, 2015,

5 “How INTERPOL Supports Kuwait, ” INTERPOL.

6 “Kuwait: Army Guard Members Try Unique Mission of ‘Disposing’,” National Guard News, February 13, 2012,

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Map of Kuwait

Further information

Accidental explosions

Since the Small Arms Survey began collecting data in 1979, two accidental explosions have been reported in Kuwait.

Table 1. Accidental explosions in Kuwait (1979­–2021)







Al Nuwaiseeb

State (military)





Foreign (other)



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

Cases of diversion

Numerous cases of diversion have been reported in Kuwait.

Table 2. Cases of diversion of arms, ammunition and explosives in Kuwait






Twelve guns and a quantity of ammunition were stolen from the store of a military institution.


Kuwait City

The following items were stolen from the Saad Al-Abdullah Security Sciences Academy: 11 shotguns, 11 pistols and 5 M-16 assault rifles.



Three pistols and a number of bullets were stolen from the special security forces camp.


Subbiya area

The following items were stolen from the warehouse of the Ministry of Interior: 20,000 M-16 rifle rounds and 15,000 9 mm pistol rounds.

Sources: “CID Personnel Close File of Stolen Weapons, Arrest Five People,” Arab Times News, June 30, 2019,; “Rifles, Guns Stolen from Security Academy Warehouse,” Kuwait Times, January 25, 2015,; “Stolen Guns from Special Security Forces Found,” Kuwait News Agency, March 27, 2014,; “Kuwait: 20,000 M-16 Rifle Rounds and 15,000 9mm Pistol Round Stolen from Warehouse,” Gulf News, April 8, 2013,


To decrease the above-mentioned risks of accidental explosions and diversion, Kuwait regularly disposes of its damaged and obsolete ammunition.More than three tonnes of ammunition were destroyed through a controlled detonation on 27 February 2019. About 13,608 tonnes of ammunition were destroyed with the help of the United States in 2019.2


1 “Kuwait: Army Guard Members Try Unique Mission of ‘Disposing’,” National Guard News.

2 “Joint Effort Helps Destroy Unserviceable Ammunition,” US Army Central, March 1, 2019,


No reported needs have been identified for Kuwait.

Source: Kuwait, National Report on the Implementation of the Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (PoA) and the International Tracing Instrument (ITI), (New York: Permanent Mission of Kuwait to the UN, 2018),

Published Date: Monday 21 of August 2023