Transparent data on SALW \ Relaunch of BICC’s Interactive SALW Guide
A new version of BICC’s Interactive SALW Guide is now online. The Guide now provides data on over 80 types of SALW. In the spirit of transparency, BICC has added tags to the data for each weapon to indicate whether the source(s) is a primary or secondary source in written, oral or visual form.
Unlike other databases, BICC’s database is not concerned with numbers but rather the types of SALW commonly used in conflict affected areas. Concretely, BICC’s new SALW Guide can be used to answer the following questions, including whether the weapon is possessed by government (e.g. military, police, prison services, etc.) or non-governmental groups (non-state armed groups, etc. where this data is available):
\ Which weapons are you likely to see if/when you enter country X?
\ Where can weapon X be found around the world?
\ How can one distinguish between different makes and models of weapons?
The first question may be of interest to anyone who is travelling, studying/conducting research or working abroad. The second question may be of interest to those concerned with the weapons themselves. This includes civil servants new to the SALW portfolio; policymakers dealing with the spread of SALW in their own country or region; and researchers interested in production capabilities, to name a few examples. The final question may be relevant for all of these groups, but also to border officials that are responsible for securing highly trafficked borders around the world.
The Guide, online since 2012, is designed to build knowledge on how to recognize different categories, types and models of the most commonly used SALW in global conflicts. It also serves as a database on the global and country-specific spread of these weapons and facilitates their identification by way of visual descriptions and technical specifications. With this Guide, BICC aims to support the international SALW control community in their efforts to compose, implement and comply with SALW control measures.
The online SALW Guide is developed and implemented by BICC in close cooperation with the German Bundeswehr Verification Center (BwVC/ZVBw), with the financial support of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany. The guide’s content is based on the BwVC’s printed Small Arms and Light Weapons Guide (2016), and validated by other information and data sources including feedback from various national and regional small arms control organizations.