Illicit Firearms Ammunition and Other Explosive Munitions in the European Union

Submitted by Katie Lazaro on 5 December, 2023

The trafficking of firearms and their use in criminal violence in Europe has received significant attention from researchers and policymakers. Less is known, however, about the illicit proliferation of firearm ammunition and other explosive munitions. Currently, detailed data on illicit munitions in Europe can only be accessed through specialized law enforcement agencies. National seizure statistics often lack the necessary detail for policy-relevant analysis, as do the media reports, which often include incomplete or inaccurate information on the types and calibres of ammunition. 

Extracting Evidence: Opportunities and Obstacles in Assessing the Gendered Impacts of Diverted Ammunition

Submitted by Olivia Denonville on 27 May, 2022

Ammunition diverted from legal to illicit markets is a central concern in small arms control, but its impact is understudied. A new Briefing Paper from the Small Arms Survey and the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs explores how authorities can go about better monitoring the role it plays in violent crime.  

A Tale of Two Lot Numbers: The Illicit Proliferation of Hand Grenades in Ukraine

Submitted by Lionel Kosirnik on 15 September, 2021

'Ukraine has a grenade problem. In recent years, thousands of the inexpensive, easy-to-use weapons have found their way into the hands of criminals and other unauthorized end-users throughout the country. The wayward grenades are part of a broader problem of illicit proliferation of small arms, light weapons, and their ammunition that has plagued Ukraine since Russian-backed separatists launched their uprising in 2014.

Targeting Ammunition: A Primer

Submitted by Lionel Kosirnik on 29 July, 2021

As has frequently been observed, ammunition and weapons are inextricably linked; without the former the latter cannot function. The effective regulation and control of the production, transfer, storage and destruction of ammunition is therefore vital to broader efforts to prevent, reduce and combat uncontrolled or illicit small arms and light weapons (SALW) holdings and flows.

Ammunition Tracing Kit: Protocols and procedures for recording small-calibre ammunition

Submitted by Lionel Kosirnik on 15 July, 2021

The Ammunition Tracing Kit is designed to enable rapid, reliable, and responsible reporting of small-calibre ammunition in a variety of circumstances. It provides instructions for reporting on ammunition recovered at crime scenes and on cartridges collected during disarmament or weapons collection programmes; it also supplies guidelines for investigating parties to armed conflict or crime.

Small Arms Survey Podcast #15: A Fresh Approach to Ammunition Demilitarization: Guiding policies to reduce excess stockpiles

Submitted by Lionel Kosirnik on 3 June, 2021

The Regional Approach to Stockpile Reduction (RASR) initiative encourages nine affected South-east European governments to develop a pro-active, coordinated, regional approach to secure and destroy excess stockpiles. The RASR initiative's aim is to prevent disastrous explosions and misuse of conventional weapons and munitions.