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Nauru gained independence in 1968. It is the smallest republic and island nation, with a population of about 12,000 people. Due to its remote location, small size and narrow production base, the country is affected by environmental challenges, external economic shocks and health issues.1 The country does not have military forces. The police are responsible for maintaining internal and external security. Nauru also receives defence assistance from Australia under their informal agreement.2

The ownership of firearms by civilians is completely banned. Firearms are not manufactured in Nauru. The country’s guiding gun control legislation includes the Arms and Opium Ordinance of 1936–1967, which has not been reviewed since that time. Although Nauru does not face problems related to firearms proliferation or illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, it has signed and ratified the UN Firearms Protocol.3


1 “Nauru Voluntary National Review,” UN Sustainable Development Goals Knowledge Platform, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2019,

“Freedom in the World Nauru,” Freedom House, 2020,

Philip Alpers and Miles Lovell, Nauru – Gun Facts, Figures and the Law (, Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, 2022),

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Map of Nauru

Further information

Accidental explosions

Since the Small Arms Survey began collecting data in 1979, no accidental explosions have been reported in Nauru.

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

Cases of diversion

Insufficient information on cases of diversion in Nauru.


Insufficient information on the disposal of ammunition in Nauru.


No reported needs have been identified for Nauru.

Source: Nauru, 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 Nauru to the UN, 2020),

Published Date: Monday 21 of August 2023