Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library

Alpers, Philip. 2005 ‘Definition of a Small Arm.’ Gun-running in Papua New Guinea: From arrows to assault weapons in the Southern Highlands, p. 23. Geneva: Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. 1 July

Relevant contents

Definition of a small arm:

Many publications, including the draft Programme of Action of the 2001 United Nations small arms conference (UN, 2001), have relied on the definition of small arms and light weapons developed for the 1997 report of the UN Panel of Governmental Experts on Small Arms.

Here, small arms were defined as 'revolvers and self-loading pistols, rifles and carbines, assault rifles, sub-machine guns, and light machine guns' (UN, 1997).

In practice, and particularly in military parlance, the term 'small arms and light weapons' covers not only firearms, but also explosive weapons designed to be carried and fired by a single person.

These can include hand grenades, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), light mortars, and man-portable air defence systems (MANPADSs).

Source cited:
UN (United Nations). 1997. Report of the Panel of Governmental Experts on Small Arms. A/52/298 of 27 August. https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N97/226/20/PDF/N9722620.pdf

ID: Q173

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