Note- All information is from 1916 until today.

Brief Political and Historical synopsis:

(CIA World Fact Book)

Armenia prides itself on being the first nation to formally adopt Christianity (early 4th century). Despite periods of autonomy, over the centuries Armenia came under the sway of various empires including the Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Persian, and Ottoman. During World War I in the western portion of Armenia, the Ottoman Empire instituted a policy of forced resettlement coupled with other harsh practices that resulted in at least 1 million Armenian deaths. The eastern area of Armenia was ceded by the Ottomans to Russia in 1828; this portion declared its independence in 1918, but was conquered by the Soviet Red Army in 1920.
Armenian leaders remain preoccupied by the long conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily Armenian-populated region, assigned to Soviet Azerbaijan in the 1920s by Moscow. Armenia and Azerbaijan began fighting over the area in 1988; the struggle escalated after both countries attained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. By May 1994, when a cease-fire took hold, ethnic Armenian forces held not only Nagorno-Karabakh but also seven surrounding regions, approximately 14 percent of Azerbaijan’s territory. The economies of both sides have been hurt by their inability to make substantial progress toward a peaceful resolution.
Turkey closed the common border with Armenia in 1993 in support of Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenia over control of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas, further hampering Armenian economic growth. In 2009, senior Armenian leaders began pursuing rapprochement with Turkey, aiming to secure an opening of the border, but Turkey has not yet ratified the Protocols normalizing relations between the two countries. In January 2015, Armenia joined Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan as a member of the Eurasian Economic Union.

Religions and Populations:


After registering a steady increase all through the Soviet period, the population of Armenia declined from 3.604 million in 1991 to 3.211 million in 2003. The latest estimate is 2.872 million on October 12, 2011.[3][4]

Armenia is the only republic of the former Soviet Union that has a nearly homogeneous population. It is also the second-most densely populated post-Soviet state after Moldova. Ethnic minorities include Russians, Assyrians, Ukrainians, Yazidi Kurds, Iranians, Greeks, Georgians, and Belarusians. There are also smaller communities of Vlachs, Mordvins, Ossetians, Udis, and Tats. Minorities of Poles and Caucasus Germans also exist though they are heavily Russified.[5]

Most Armenians are Christian, primarily of Apostolic Church rite. Armenia is considered the first nation to adopt Christianity, which was first preached in Armenia by two Apostles of Jesus, St. Bartholomew and St. Thaddeus in the 1st century. The Armenian Apostolic Church can trace its roots back to the 3rd and 4th centuries. The country formally adopted the Christian faith in 301 A.D. Over 90% of Armenians belong to the Armenian Apostolic Church. It is a very ritualistic, conservative church, roughly comparable to the Coptic and Syrian churches. Armenia also has a population of Catholics and evangelical Protestants.

The country’s population has declined due to increased emigration since the break-up of the Soviet Union. The rates of emigration and population decline, however, have decreased in recent years, and there has been a moderate influx of Armenians returning to Armenia.

Military Organization & Armament

(CIA World Fact Book)

Armenian Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Air Force and Air Defense; “Nagorno-Karabakh Republic”: Nagorno-Karabakh Self-Defense Force (NKSDF) (2011)
18-27 years of age for voluntary or compulsory military service; 2-year conscript service obligation; 17 year olds are eligible to become cadets at military higher education institutes, where they are classified as military personnel (2012)
4.24% of GDP (2015)
4.29% of GDP (2014)
4.1% of GDP (2013)
3.92% of GDP (2012)
3.87% of GDP (2011)
country comparison to the world: 10

Law Enforcement Organization & Armament

Terrorists, Rebels, and Insurgents

Civilian Legal Small Arms Market & Usage

In order to purchase a firearm, the civilians must pass narcological and psychological examinations and receive appropriate documents stating the absence of drug abuse and absence of any mental diseases that can prohibit the firearm ownership. After successfully passing the mentioned examinations, the Police issues a firearm purchasing license. The minimum age for gun ownership is 18 years.

The civilian population is allowed to own small arms for hunting and defensive uses. Each individual can own up to five smoothbore long arms (shotguns), which barrel or barrel and receiver assembly (in the case of a non-removable barrel) length is longer than 500 millimeters. After five years of continuous ownership of a shotgun, the civilian can obtain a rifle purchasing license. The maximum amount of rifles which a person can own is three. The ownership of handguns is prohibited unless received as an award from the governmental organizations. Blank firing (including “tear gas” loads) handguns are possible to obtain with the same license. Airguns and CO2 powered guns which muzzle energy does not exceed 3 joules and the caliber is 4.5mm or less are available without a need for a license. Airguns with muzzle energy exceeding 3 joules are categorized as hunting arms and can be obtained with a license. Select fire (full-auto capable) firearms, as well as suppressors (silencers), are prohibited to civilian ownership.


Number of Privately Owned Firearms

The estimated total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in Armenia is 380,0001

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) per 100 people in Armenia is 12.5

Number of Privately Owned Firearms – World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Armenia ranked at No. 94

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population – World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Armenia ranked at No. 52

Civilian Black Market

Country Import (Civilian & Military/LE)


Firearm Imports

In Armenia, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law

Small Arms Imports (US$) – Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Armenia is reported by Customs to be US$1,419,085 (2011)

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Armenia, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Armenia include certification of the intended end user of any small arms or ammunition transfer, and/or a written declaration of its intended end use

Country Export 


Firearm Exports

In Armenia, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law

Small Arms Exports (US$) – Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Armenia is reported by Customs to be US$59,754  (2011)

Small Arms Exports – World Ranking

In a comparison of the world’s major/mid-level/minor/unknown small arms exporters, Armenia was categorized as ‘unknown’

Indigenous Small Arms Companies

Licensing and legislation

Small arms manufacturing is regulated by the law. The firearms manufacturing license is granted by the government of the Republic of Armenia. Depending on whether a certain private company is planning to produce military or civilian arms, the license application is submitted to the Ministry of Defense or Police respectively. The mentioned bodies examine the compliance of the applicant with the law requirements (premises, security measures etc.) and if the applicant company complies with them, then the application is submitted to the Government for approval.


The government owned manufacturers and private companies working solely for government contracts are highly classified.

From private companies that possess a firearms manufacturing license and are publicly known is a company called “Aspar Arms“.  Here is an excerpt from Aspar Arms website:

“Aspar Arms LLC has acquired a wide range of licenses given by the Government of RA, including the licenses on the import and export of military importance goods, on brockerage activity for the trade of military importance goods, on the production of military importance goods, on the production of civil arms and ammunition, on their artistic modernization,  as well as the licences granted by the Police of RA on the trade of civil and service arms and ammunition. In October, 2014, the company became the first official service centre of “Concern Kalashnikov” in the world. 

  Currently the company is actively pursuing its activities, stepping up the directions of weapons production, modernization and improvement.”



Miles is the founder, editor, and local Malik governing Silah Report. He is quite found of obscure languages, dangerous locales, and fascinating small arms designs and uses.

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