Small arms and light weapons – Small arms are designed for personal use and include revolvers and self-loading pistols; rifles and carbines; submachine guns; assault rifles; and light machine guns. Light weapons are designed to be used by several people operating as a crew and include heavy machine guns; handheld underbarrel and mounted grenade launchers; portable antiaircraft guns, portable antitank guns and recoilless rifles; portable launchers of antitank missiles and rocket systems; portable launchers of antiaircraft missile systems and mortars of calibres of less than 100MM.

From Small Arms Survey (2001), ‘The Small Arms Survey 2001: Profiling the Problem', Oxford University Press, Oxford , and from ‘Shattered Lives', Control Arms Campaign, 2003.

Legal trade – The legal trade in small arms and light weapons describes all transfers of small arms that are licensed by governments and occur within the scope of applicable local, national and international law. The legal trade is also referred to as ‘licit' or ‘licensed' trade.




Black market trade – The black market trade in small arms and light weapons describes all transfers that are not licensed by governments. Black market transfers of small arms are also referred to as ‘illicit' trafficking or transfers.


Irresponsible – The term ‘irresponsible' is used by many activists working to control the arms trade to describe recipients of weapons who may use them for nonmilitary ends. Irresponsible users are those who deploy the arms against civilians to commit human rights violations or in a way that is likely to undermine sustainable development.
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