The Feasibility of Increase Restrictions on the Civilian Possession of Military Assault Weapons at the Global Level

Tasneem Jamal

Wendy Cukier

Working paper 05-2

The purpose of this paper is to explore the potential of the feasibility of increased restrictions on the civilian possession of military assault weapons at the global level. Many states and non-governmental organizations pushed for such measures at the 2001 United Nations Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects but were not successful in getting language included in the final Programme of Action. However, this remains a priority for many. The proliferation and misuse of small arms has been increasingly seen as an epidemic, affecting countries ostensibly “at peace” as well as in conflict zones. Although they do not account for the majority of small arms deaths worldwide, military assault weapons pose a particular threat because of their lethality.

This paper was prepared for the Peacebuilding and Human Security: Development of Policy Capacity of the Voluntary Sector project of the Canadian Peacebuilding Coordinating Committee, with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

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