Community of Practitioners Against Firearms Trafficking and Related Crimes

The promotion, facilitation and strengthening of cooperation among States to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trafficking in firearms constitutes the primary purpose of the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition (Firearms Protocol), supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC).

To support States’ criminal justice and arms control authorities to engage in effective judicial and law enforcement cooperation and information sharing at the regional and cross-regional level in all the areas that are relevant to the UNTOC and its Firearms Protocol, the Global Firearms Programme established an informal community of practitioners around the topic of firearms, known as the Community of Practitioners Against Firearms Trafficking and Related Crimes.


The Community provides an informal platform for criminal justice officers and firearms control authorities from participating Member States to share experience and good practices in dealing with firearms trafficking cases through face-to-face meetings, capacity building activities and online tools. This peer learning process will contribute to harnessing expertise on all aspects surrounding this type of offenses – legislative frameworks, regulatory and control measures, investigations, prosecution and adjudication – ultimately fostering dialogue, international cooperation and information exchange to address illicit trafficking in firearms and their acquisition by organised criminals and terrorists through the enhanced implementation of the Firearms Protocol and the Organized Crime Convention.

The core objectives of the Community are:

(i) To provide an informal channel for interaction, networking and the sharing of knowledge on investigative approaches and procedures in effectively preventing and countering illicit firearms trafficking, including when linked to organised crime and terrorism;

(ii) To facilitate access of relevant practitioners to legal, technical and practical resources, guidance material and tools to foster their skills on firearms control, and on detection, investigation and prosecution of firearms related cases;

(iii) To assist in the identification of gaps in international responses on preventing and countering firearms trafficking and its links to organised crime and terrorism and to support the analysis and dissemination of case-based good practices to address such gaps through the development of new tools and technical resources;

(iv) To support international cooperation in complex firearms investigations and tracing, including through the identification of technical assistance needs and the provision of required technical assistance.


Join the CoP network of practitioners! Get connected with local and international experts, share your knowledge and benefit from a large spectrum of expertise, know-how and technologies to address illicit firearms trafficking.


An e-newsletter is sent on a regular basis to CoP members to share updates and success stories on legislation, cases and operations, events, research and other topics of interest to practitioners. Previous editions can be accessed here.


In the following section, the Global Firearms Programme compiles internal and external resources which may be useful for firearms-experts, who are working in the area of detection, investigation and prosecution of illicit firearms trafficking and related crimes.


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 This project is funded by the European Union.