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Small arms trade

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Title: Small arms trade  
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Subject: Small arms, Arms trafficking, Arms trade, Gun politics, Favela
Collection: Arms Control, Arms Trafficking, Firearms, Gun Politics, Organized Crime Activity, Small Arms, Smuggling
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Small arms trade

Small arms trade or the small arms market refer to both authorized and illicit markets for small arms and light weapons (SALW), and their parts, accessories, and ammunition.


  • Definition 1
  • Scope 2
    • Main small arms exporters 2.1
    • Main small arms importers 2.2
  • United Nations Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms 3
  • Data issues 4
  • Gun rights issues 5
  • Impact on Africa 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • Further reading 9
  • External links 10


The small

  • Individual opinions on small arms control:
    • "Score One for Bush: A U.N. conference concludes without too much permanent damage" by Dave Kopel in the National Review, a U.S. conservative journal
  • Organisations advocating to exclude small arms from trade control:
    • National Rifle Association (NRA)
    • Keep and Bear Arms (KBA)
    • Our Nation (Our Nation USA)
    • Swiss gun owners association (ProTell)
    • Council of Licensed Firearms Owners (COLFO)
    • Jews for the Preservation of Gun Ownership
  • Organisations advocating small arms control:
    • Control Arms - Amnesty International, International Action Network on Small Arms and Oxfam
    • Norwegian Institute on Small Arms Transfers
    • The Small Arms Survey (Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva)
    • Arms Sales Monitoring Program - Federation of American Scientists
    • Small Arms Working Group
    • List of Arms Trade related organizations

External links

Further reading

  1. ^
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Ibid, p. 91
  10. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 59 Resolution 86. A/RES/59/86 3 December 2004. Retrieved 2007-10-18.
  11. ^
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  20. ^ a b
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See also

The persistence and the complication of wars in Africa are partially due to small arms proliferation. The consequences of small arms on African people due to international conflicts within Africa, rebel group activities, mercenary groups, and armed gang activities have yet to be fully measured. The International Action Network on Small Arms, Saferworld, and Oxfam International put it in perspective when they reported that armed conflict cost Africa $18 billion each year and about USD$300 billion between 1990-2005. During this period, 23 African nations experienced war: Algeria, Angola, Burundi, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Republic of Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, and Uganda.[26]

Impact on Africa

Gun rights litigator and author Stephen Halbrook says that disarming citizens leaves them defenseless against totalitarian governments (such as Jews in Nazi Germany).[20] The Nazi gun control theory is not supported by mainstream scholarship.[21][22][23][24][25]

U.S. warlords and governments in conflict areas will always have access to weapons, and disarmament efforts only serve to disarm the population, creating more defenseless victims.[20]

IANSA argue the prevalence of small arms contributes to the cycle of violence between governments and individuals. Unlike most nations, the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution explicitly limits government in its ability to regulate/restrict gun ownership.

Gun rights issues

The Small Arms Survey figures are estimates, based on available national figures and field research in particular countries. They give a general sense of trends and the scale of the number of small arms.

According to the 2007 edition of the Small Arms Survey, there are at least 639 million firearms in the world, although the actual total is almost certainly considerably higher.[19] This number increases by approximately 8 million every year, for a total economic impact of about USD$7 billion annually.

Perhaps the greatest barrier to resolving debates over gun policy is the lack of comprehensive data. Although the UN Arms Register tries to keep track of major weapons holdings, there is no global reporting system for small arms. Some countries make information available about the small arms of their armed forces and law enforcement agencies; others release estimated data on public ownership. Most refuse to release anything, release rough estimates or simply do not know.

Data issues

A second conference convened from 27 August to 7 September 2012 in New York.[18]

The United Nations General Assembly scheduled a review conference in New York[10] which was held from 26 June to 7 July 2006.[11] The Review Conference was plagued by disagreements and states were unable to agree on a substantive outcome document.[12] There have also been four Biennial Meetings of States to consider the implementation of the Programme of Action, in 2003, 2005, 2008 and 2010. The 2008 Biennial Meeting of States resulted in the adoption, by vote,[13] of an Outcome Document[14] focusing on three main issues: international assistance, cooperation and capacity-building; stockpile management and surplus disposal; and illicit brokering in small arms and light weapons. The Fourth Biennial Meeting in 2010 was able to adopt, for the first time by consensus, a substantive Outcome Document which addresses the issue of illicit trade across borders.[15][16][17]

According to a 2012 Routledge Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution publication, "the relative importance of diversion or misuse of officially authorised transfers, compared to international entirely illegal black market trafficking has been thoroughly confirmed."[8] The authors go on to elaborate that..."For most developing or fragile states, a combination of weak domestic regulation of authorised firearms possession with theft, loss or corrupt sale from official holdings tends to be a bigger source of weapons concern than illicit trafficking across borders."[9]

The extent to which illicit trade in small arms is a primary cause of armed conflict and other serious humanitarian and socioeconomic issues has drawn controversy. The extremely high instance of small arms violence and the presence of illicitly obtained weapons, especially in areas of turmoil and armed conflict, is undisputed. Because other societal factors play a strong role in creating armed conflict, however, the role of such weapons as a driver of continued violence and disruption has been called into question. Recent scholarship has focused on the root societal causes for violence in addition to the enabling tools. Another target of criticism is the ability to regulate illicit trafficking through international means, since it is unclear exactly what proportion of the weapons are trafficked across borders. The nature of the trafficking enterprise makes exact statistics difficult to determine. Recently, however, researchers have had some success establishing hard numbers within limited parameters.[7]

The United Nations Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects was held in New York from 9–20 July 2001 as decided in United Nations General Assembly Resolution 54/54 V. Preceded by three preparatory committee sessions, the two-week Conference resulted in the adoption of the 'Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.'[6] States are required to report to the United Nations on the progress of their implementation of the UN Programme of Action, commonly known as the PoA.

United Nations Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms

The eight countries that imported at least $100 million of small arms in 2011 were the United States, Canada, Germany, Australia, Thailand, United Kingdom, France and Italy. South Korea dropped from the list because its imports fell from $130 million in 2010 to $40 million in 2011.[5]

Main small arms importers

In addition, massive exports of small arms by the U.S. (M16), the former Soviet Union (AKM), People's Republic of China (Type 56), Germany (H&K G3), Belgium (FN FAL), and Brazil (FN FAL) during the Cold War took place commercially and to support ideological movements. These small arms have survived many conflicts and many are now in the hands of arms dealers or smaller governments who move them between conflict areas as needed.

In 2010, the number of countries exporting at least $100 million of small arms annually rose from 12 to 14. The exporters' list was led by the U.S., followed by Italy, Germany, Brazil, Austria, Switzerland, Israel, Russia, South Korea, Belgium, China, Turkey, Spain and the Czech Republic. Sweden dropped off the list because its exports fell from $132 million in 2010 to $44 million in 2011.[5]

The Small Arms Survey, an independent research project based in Switzerland, said in its 2003 report that at least 1,134 companies in 98 countries worldwide are involved in some aspect of the production of small arms and ammunition. The largest exporters of small arms by value are the European Union and the United States.[4]

Main small arms exporters


Small arms proliferation is a related term used to describe the growth in both the authorized and the illicit markets.[3] In 2003, various international organizations (including Amnesty International, Oxfam International, and IANSA), and domestic groups (e.g. the Small Arms Working Group in the U.S.) committed themselves to limiting the trade in and proliferation of small arms around the world. They said that roughly 500,000 people are killed each year by the use of small arms.[3]

[2] Legal transfers are generally defined as those approved by the involved governments and in accord with national and international law. Black market (illegal) transfers clearly violate either national or international law and take place without official government authorization. Gray (or grey) market transfers are those of unclear legality that do not belong in either of the other categories.[2][1]

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