Small arms: Collection

In post-conflict environments the presence of large numbers of small arms, light weapons and their ammunition can contribute to an upsurge in violent crime, as well as interpersonal and intergroup violence.

Countries not engaged in armed conflict – or emerging from it – can also suffer from high rates of violent crime. In such settings, the voluntary collection of illicit and unwanted weapons and ammunition strengthens social cohesion, promotes community development, and creates conditions conducive to reducing armed violence and crime.

Even in countries not suffering from high rates of armed violence or violent crime, weapons collection is sometimes carried out after national laws relating to small arms possession are tightened, sometimes in response to mass shootings.