Consequences of the Proliferation and Misuse of Small Arms and Light Weapons

An estimated 639 million small arms and light weapons (SALW) are currently in circulation around the globe

Five years ago, the U.S. Small Arms Working Group (SAWG)* produced eleven fact sheets that highlighted the many ways in which small arms proliferation and misuse affects various aspects of life and society. Over the last five years, national, regional, and global initiatives have also been undertaken to mitigate these consequences.

SAWG has again updated the 11 original fact sheets (they were also updated in 2003), and added two more. These fact sheets are intended to serve as a resource for those interested in exploring the varied ways in which small arms proliferation and misuse affect people’s lives.

They are not comprehensive, but rather give readers a glimpse into the complex consequences of these deadly weapons.

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