Detecting and preventing firearms diversion through end-use monitoring: examples from the US

Document: US Blue Lantern end-use monitoring program: firearms cases

Source: US GovernmentEUM

Date: Unspecified

Notes: As part of a study on the mechanics of small arms trafficking, the Small Arms Survey acquired summaries of ‘unfavorable determinations’ resulting from end-use checks of potential and completed exports of firearms from the United States. The checks were performed by the US Department of State as part of the Blue Lantern end-use monitoring program.  Among the more intriguing cases are

– The unauthorized re-export of ‘military-grade assault rifles’ from the armed forces of a former Soviet Republic to private end-users in Central America. The re-export was discovered during a post-shipment check, which also revealed inadequate record-keeping and ‘insufficient inventory controls’.

– An apparent attempt to divert a ‘large volume’ of AK-pattern rifles ostensibly intended for a Central American military.  A pre-shipment brokering check revealed that the military in question had no knowledge of the proposed export.

– The manufacture of ‘unlicensed replicas’ of exported firearms by a private reseller in South Asia.

The cases underscore the value of robust pre- and post-shipment monitoring of small arms exports. While most exporting states regularly engage in pre-shipment licensing reviews, far fewer actually check on their weapons after they are exported. Some of these incidents may not have been discovered had the US government not conducted post-shipment checks.

For more information on US end-use monitoring, see the annual reports on the Blue Lantern program.  For more information on arms trafficking from the US, see ‘Dribs and Drabs: The Mechanics of Small Arms Trafficking from the United States.

Detecting and preventing firearms diversion through end-use monitoring: examples from the US

Newly released documents on weapons recovered in Afghanistan

Documents: Arms caches seized in Afghanistan, April through June 2011

Source: U.S. Department of Defense RPG_markings

Publication Dates: See below

Notes: As part ongoing efforts to better understand the weapons acquired and used by armed groups and other unauthorized end-users, Small Arms Surve submitted a request to US Central Command (CENTCOM) for documents and photos of arms caches recovered in Afghanistan from April through June 2011. In respoRPG_launchernse to this request, CENTCOM provided the following storyboards (succinct summaries of cache seizures and other events).  Many of the documents include photos of the markings on one or more of the seized items. The items consist primarily of older generation Chinese and Soviet-designed small arms, light weapons, and ammunition, along with large quantities of IED components and explosives. The items are consistent with those recovered from caches previously studied by Small Arms Survey. 

The documents were obtained under the US Freedom of Information Act. They are posted as received from the responding agency. For more data and information on illicit weapons in Afghanistan, see the links at the bottom of the post.

1) ERW – Weapons Cache, Kandahar, 2 April 2011. Items: Recoilless rifle rounds, rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) rounds and components, hand grenades, small arms ammunition. Includes photos of markings.

2) Cache – Complex Cache, Helmand, 3 June 2011. Items: Artillery rocket, landmine, IED components, explosives, small arms ammunition. Continue reading “Newly released documents on weapons recovered in Afghanistan”

Newly released documents on weapons recovered in Afghanistan