Citation(s) from the literature library

Pézard, Stéphanie and Anne-Kathrin Glatz. 2010 ‘Prohibitive Price of Firearms.’ Arms in and Around Mauritania: National and Regional Security Implications; Occasional Paper No. 24, p. 42. Geneva: Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. 1 June

Relevant contents

Prohibitive Price of Firearms

The decree prohibits merchants from importing or stockpiling firearms unless these have been ordered by someone in possession of an import licence (art. 17).1 Ammunition may be imported by merchants who are 'authorized by ministerial decree to keep a stock of ammunition and offer sufficient guarantees,'2 but the guarantees in question are not described in detail.

Civilians can therefore only obtain a firearm if they are in possession of an import licence authorizing the purchase of a firearm abroad,3 if they are able to 'borrow' a weapon from the state,4 5 or if they acquire one on the black market. … a forged authorization to carry firearms costs 50,000 ouguiyas (US$192), which is a prohibitive price in a country where the average per capita income is US$400.

In all likelihood, the difficulty in obtaining weapons, coupled with their high price, has prevented them from being acquired by a large number of civilians. Moreover, since 2006, civilians have not been allowed to own weapons of war. Hunting weapons, on the other hand, may still be authorized.6 7

Sources cited:

Barrouhi, Abdelaziz, 2005, "'Benediction ou Malediction?' ('Blessing or Curse?')", Jeune Afrique. 12 June.

Fichter, Joelle, 2007, "Bref essai socio-anthropologique sur l'histoire, l'organisation sociale et l'economie de la Mauritanie (Brief Socio-anthropological Study of the History, Social Organization, and Economy of Mauritania)". Unpublished background paper. Geneva: Small Arms Survey.

Islamic Republic of Mauritania, 1960, "Decree No. 60.072 of 20 April 1960 Regulating Firearms and Ammunition in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania".

ID: Q5008

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