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.

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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