The Small Arms Survey has produced a new report which provides a detailed examination of the problem. It says that certain conversion techniques require some level of technical skills, but converters also make use of online, open-source tutorials to convert weapons relatively easily. It also says that while Europe has faced a range of converted weapons over the past decades, 2 main types of readily convertible firearms have entered into the illicit arms market in recent years: Slovak-origin acoustic expansion weapons (AEW) — as used by Amedy Coulibaly in the Montrouge and Hypercacher Paris attacks in 2015; and Turkish-manufactured alarm pistols — currently the most prevalent converted firearm in Europe. Smuggling into, or inside the EU, is said to involve –
- the movement of small-scale shipments of converted and converted-to-be weapons across borders, typically involving fewer than a dozen firearms per shipment, which are transported in private vehicles, boats, or buses; and
- online trade and the use of parcel and postal services: the procurement of deactivated or imitation firearms or their parts and components online, shipped through parcel and postal services.