Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library

Irish-Qhobosheane, Jenni. 2021 ‘Mapping the sources.’ How to Silence the Guns? Southern Africa's Illegal Firearms Markets, p. 2. Geneva: Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, Geneva. 19 October

Relevant contents

Mapping the sources

The availability of illicit firearms in all three countries shows that this trend is influenced by a number of factors, including:

- The fact that firearms were distributed during political conflicts in each of these countries over the past three decades and attempts to retrieve them have had limited success, particularly in the cases of South Africa and Mozambique.
- Illicit cross border firearm trafficking, which has been fueled largely by the availability of firearms distributed during conflicts and weaknesses in demobilization efforts from former conflicts.
- Firearms sourced domestically, which include the diversion of legal firearms held by civilians as well as those taken from government stocks, particularly from the police and army.

A critical aspect in the sourcing of firearms within the illicit economy is the availability of ammunition, which is accessed from both civilian and state sources.

Another development is the blurring of lines between the illicit firearm market and the legal market. This occurs in several ways, including:
- Mismanagement and corruption in the police's licensing process, which has enabled criminals to fraudulently purchase firearm licences.
- Private security operators using their legally licensed guns for illegal purposes.
- In Zimbabwe specifically, the sale of surplus state firearms to civilians for legal purposes, which are diverted to illegal activities.
- Police and army firearms that are rented out to criminals.

ID: Q14651

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