The Bahamas is considered to have a high rate of domestic violence and so the association between gun ownership and domestic violence may be a matter of concern if women are to be adequately protected from femicide where gun ownership is an elevating risk factor.

The report is based on an Internet survey of 1,281 Bahamians to obtain information on the number of firearms in Bahamian homes, and assess linkages between firearms and domestic violence in the home.

The survey included questions on gun ownership as it related to (1) the person who controlled the firearm, (2) characteristics and behaviours of those within the household and (3) the types of firearms kept and their use. The rate of firearm ownership is estimated at 8.8 guns per 100 persons and guns were found in between 19% and 31% of households. Richer households owned more guns than poorer households.

Both household income and the presence of a gun were associated with domestic violence in homes. The level of gun ownership is discussed in the context of a society with an increasing number of homicides and where residents are demanding firearms for protection.

Guns in the Bahamas: Firearms in Bahamian Homes
Stephanie Hutcheson, Shane Brennen, Nicolette Bethel & Marie Carroll
School of Social Sciences, The College of The Bahamas, Nassau, The Bahamas