The AK-47: the world's favorite killing machine

The AK-47 assault rifle (including its many variants) is the world's favourite killing machine, used by soldiers, fighters, and gang members to inflict terrible suffering. It is estimated that there are between 50 and 70 million of them spread across the world's five continents. There is no global treaty to regulate their sale and no international organisation to monitor transfers. At the forthcoming United Nations Small Arms Conference, governments must agree a comprehensive set of controls, including a new global set of rules based on states' existing responsibilities under international law, in order to help prevent the proliferation and misuse of small arms, including assault rifles like the AK-47. In October, states must agree to a new international Arms Trade Treaty to help prevent all categories of conventional weapons falling into the wrong hands

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