Citation(s) from the literature library

Pézard, Stéphanie and Anne-Kathrin Glatz. 2010 ‘Target Shooting in Mauritania.’ Arms in and Around Mauritania: National and Regional Security Implications; Occasional Paper No. 24 (Box 5), pp. 37-38. Geneva: Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. 1 June

Relevant contents

Target Shooting in Mauritania

Target shooting remains very popular, as is evident from the number of clubs, competitions, and prestigious prizes devoted to it. … The army traditionally organizes shooting competitions, and supplies the weapons and cartridges.

In a country devoid of gunsmiths, the methods of acquiring weapons and ammunition for target shooting are both well-established and opaque. Only three models are used in training exercises and championships: Mausers, FN-FALs, and G3s. FN-FALs and G3s are not used in automatic mode. These weapons are only loaded with three cartridges at a time, which are fired one after the other. They are 'downgraded' weapons, meaning that they are deemed obsolete by the army. Instead of destroying them, however, the army loans them out to private individuals.1

Normally, when a weapon is lent out, the Ministry of Defence gives the borrower a document stating that the weapon, whose serial number is specified, has been loaned for an indefinite period to the person named, and may be recovered at any time. In the event of a check, this document acts as proof that the weapon has not been stolen and its keeper is legitimate. It also serves as a licence to carry firearms and exempts a keeper from applying to the Department of National Security, which theoretically issues such permits.

It has not been possible to determine how many weapons have been loaned to civilians by the army over the years, nor whether a register of the distributed weapons has been kept. Nevertheless, a report by the Department of National Security estimates that shooting clubs have 1,200 members and that, on average, each person owns two firearms (DNS, 2008).

Source cited:

DNS [Department of National Security], 2008, "Note d'etude de la direction generale de la surete nationale a propos du controle des armes et munitions sur le territoire national (Internal Report of the Department of National Security on the Control of Arms and Ammunition on National Territory). Internal document.

ID: Q5001

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