Citation(s) from the literature library

Karp, Aaron. 2013 ‘Unregistered Ownership.’ Legacies of War in the Company of Peace: Firearms in Nepal; Issue Brief No. 2, pp. 2-3. Geneva: Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva / Nepal Armed Violence Assessment (NAVA). 1 May

Relevant contents

Unregistered Ownership

The expense and difficulty of acquiring a licence drives people who want firearms, especially handguns, to seek them illegally. Unregistered factory-made firearms include guns illegally imported from China and India, weapons stolen from the Nepalese security services, and some former Maoist guerrilla weapons…

For this Issue Brief, the number of unregistered factory-made firearms is assumed to equal the number that are legally owned. On this assumption, a total of approximately 110,000 registered and unregistered factory made handguns, rifles, and shotguns are privately owned.

In Nepal, however, factory-made firearms probably represent a small proportion of privately owned guns. Given their price and the cost and difficulty of registration, there appears to be a widespread demand for the cheaper craft handguns or katuwas and improvised rifles, bharuwas (RAOnline, n.d.). Craft guns typically are very simple, usually single-shot handguns fashioned from scrap metal, and are much less accurate and reliable than factory-made firearms (Modi, Nigam, and Kumar, 1984).

One source of supply is the well-established - yet completely illegal - industry that fabricates black-market handguns in the adjacent Indian states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh (RAOnline, n.d.; Racovita, Murray, and Sharma, 2012, p. 64)…


Modi, J., C. Nigam, and K. Kumar. 1984. 'Improvised Firearms Versus Regular Firearms.' Forensic Science International, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 199–205.

Racovita, Mihaela, Ryan Murray, and Sudhindra Sharma. 2012. In Search of Lasting Security: An Assessment of Armed Violence in Nepal. Special Report No. 19. Geneva: Small Arms Survey.

RAOnline. n.d. 'Maoist Rebels' Arms Supply Routes.' Accessed 1 November 2012.

ID: Q8463

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