Ever wonder how much guns cost in other countries? Especially countries with strict gun laws? Well the answer may surprise you, or not. We decided to take a look at how much firearms cost around the world and the first thing we noticed, even beyond the price, is simply how easy it was to how hard it was to buy a firearm outside the US. Even disregarding gun laws, applications, and license fees, it was hard just to find a gun store. As for finding a place online to order your guns, well, don’t hold your breath.
As always gun prices differ depending on location, demand, and sometimes, even the shop owner. The prices listed below are not chiseled in stone, they’re just supposed to give you an idea of how much guns cost outside the US. Most of the time, it may be better for your wallet to keep your gun buying inside the United States.
The price below are sourced from online retailers in the related country or news reports.
1. South Africa
Few countries have a gun culture to rival that of the United States, but South Africa comes close. It may perhaps surprise you that it is legal for any license holder to carry firearms—both concealed and openly—almost everywhere in the country. A basic firearms license is needed to purchase guns, and semi-automatic rifles are restricted.
A Beretta hunting shotgun in South Africa sells for around 37,000 Rand, or about $2,600 USD. A Glock 19 can cost around 10,000 Rand, or about $715.
In Switzerland, buying a gun requires the approval of the cantonal (local) police and require a background check much like the one you’ll receive in the United States. Gun possession is pretty high in Switzerland, and it is estimated that about 29 percent of households own and possess a firearm—which is higher than most of the rest of Europe. Buying a Sig Sauer P226 X-Five Classic in Switzerland can cost you about 1,500 CHF, or $1,509 USD. If you are familiar with Sig Sauer firearms, you’ll notice that is significantly cheaper than in the US. A Glock 19 will run about 770 CHF, and a Remington 1911-R1 costs around 1,300 CHF.
Edit: Originally forgot to mention that the P226 was a X-Five Classic, which has a MSRP of $2,450 USD.
Compared to most other countries, Argentina’s gun laws are not seen as that strict. Handguns larger than .32 caliber or rifles over .22 LR can only be purchased on a conditional basis. Applicants need to be over 21, must have a clean mental health and criminal background, and needed to give a reason for why they want to purchase a firearm. A carry license however, is nearly impossible to get and requires a formal petition to the governing board. The majority of these requests are denied.
A .22 S&W Lady Smith revolver may cost roughly 5,000 pesos, or $500 USD. A Marlin XS7 rifle may cost up to 10,000 pesos, or about $1,000 USD.
4. Czech Republic
Unlike most of Europe, the Czech Republic allows its citizens to carry concealed weapons without needing prove a specific reason. Firearm licenses are easy to acquire and for the most part, gun laws are not considered especially strict. However, hollowpoint ammunition is restricted. The Czech Republic has a vibrant gun culture and sport shooting is quite big, coming in only behind soccer and hockey.
As such, prices are reasonable. CZ75 9mm pistols cost around 15,000 Czech koruna, which is roughly $600 USD. S&W revolvers cost around the same and a Remington 870 shotgun may cost around $700 USD.
Until recently, gun laws in Russia have been very tight. Russian lawmakers recently passed new laws that eased prior restrictions, allowing citizens to finally apply for a gun license for self-defense purposes. Previously, handgun carry was almost unheard of and many Russians stuck to starter’s pistols and “traumatic” weapons, which are essentially derringers capable of firing flares, flashbangs, or blanks. Long guns however, are very popular.
A Browning hunting shotgun can cost around 150,000 rubles, or approximately $2,500 USD. Popular trauma guns such as the “Osa” can cost just about $300 USD.
If based on population alone, China has the largest blanket gun ban of any nation on Earth, bar none. Outside of the military and law enforcement, there are few exceptions that would allow citizens to own a gun, although gun culture is slowly growing inside the world’s most populated country. From small independent gun magazines to online forums, China is slowly warming up to firearms. Private gun ownership however, is still far away.
Finding a legal gun dealer in China is difficult, and while the internet may offer a number of options, it is likely those are just con artists eager to pluck money out of your wallet. According to some bloggers, the murky underworld of China’s black market is flavored with half-truths and questionable legality.
“Oh, we only sell to police and military,” some might say.
In those terms, a clone of a Browning Hi-power may go for about 5,500 yaun, or $860 USD. Chinese-made firearms such as Norinco pistols go for much less.
Known for its “gun tourism” and multitude of gun shops, it is surprising then that firearms are so expensive in Thailand. A Glock can go for up to 75,000 baht, or $2,500 USD.
“Guns are really expensive, so it is considered a sport for the rich. Like cars, and stuff like that. It is like a Louis Vuitton for guys, or a Hermes bag for guys,” Polpatr Tanomsup of the Firearms Association of Thailand told CNN.
Thailand citizens can apply for a license to buy a firearm if they feel they are in danger, for hunting, or for sport use. However in practice, few can afford the exorbitant prices.
The Land Down Under has very restrictive gun laws, which were put in place after the 1996 Port Arthur Massacre. Citizens are allowed to own guns but must have a “genuine reason” to do so. Long guns can be sold for sport and hunting purposes, but applying for a handgun is much more difficult. This has led to a notorious black market for homemade guns, while high quality firearms are also sold under the table for prices that border on ludicrous. Legal guns however, tend to be around the suggested retail price.
A legal Glock 17 can cost about $1,200 AUD, which equates to roughly $715 USD
It is estimated that 815,000 people in Australia had a gun license in 2015.
Nowhere are guns more in demand than an active conflict zone, and northern Iraq is perhaps the one that is always in people’s minds. With the civil war in Syria and ISIS threatening to conquer the region, gun prices here have soared. According to Fox News, gun shops in the region, run by Kurdish fighters, will sell weapons to anyone willing to fight against ISIS—or just protect their families. That doesn’t mean they sell guns cheap. Russian-made AK-47s can sell for $700, handguns for around $1,200, and US rifles up to $3,000. For those who live in the region, those prices can be a year’s salary or more.
Of course, none of the weapons are new either. Many are speculated to have once belonged to the Iraqi army and abandoned during their retreat from ISIS, while other weapons were captured from the numerous other factions fighting in the area.