Mapping The Imports And Exports Of Guns & Ammo

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

The Peace Research Institute of Oslo have produced a visualization of the imports and exports and military and civilian weapons and ammunition. I have seen many of these types of visualizations before, but this is the first one I have seen that allows you to filter out military weapons so you only see civilian weapon data. You can click on any country and see where they export civilian (or military) weapons to and from where they import them.

One interesting country is Zimbabwe. They import civilian weapons from the Czech Republic and from the UAE and exported some of them them to North Korea. A Zimbabwe arms broker must be procuring hunting weapons on behalf North Korean elite (I am 99.99% sure regular civilians can’t own guns in North Korea) in order to get around sanctions.

If anyone else sees interesting data hidden away, let us know in the comments.

You can filter out military weapons by clicking on the appropriate dots in the bottom right hand corner.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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6 of 17 comments
  • Drew Wood Drew Wood on Aug 27, 2013

    peace research institute of oslo mapping arms and weapons is not biased. sorta like the nobel peace prize.

    • See 3 previous
    • DiverEngrSL17K DiverEngrSL17K on Aug 29, 2013

      @Drew Wood Very good points, Drew --- thanks for the input! As I have said, the Institute seems to be quite honest and straightforward with its data presentation, and appears to do the best that it can with what it can access, but the sources may not be so easily verified. This leaves the Institute in the position of having to make do with what they have by inference, which probably includes some deductive reasoning which may or may not generate end results that are on the mark. I think we have all had to offer our best, most-educated guesses more than once concerning various topics, and the Institute is probably no different. It's really hard to accurately track firearms transactions when the parties involved go to great lengths to avoid exposure. When those parties are well-resourced governments with adept intelligence / security agencies under their control, the problem is greatly magnified.

  • DanTSX DanTSX on Sep 11, 2013

    WTF is up with Thailand? Those guys must love guns, or they are a traficking hub.....

    It is interesting that you can see the effects of the bans on Chinese imports into the USA on the timeline quite vividly. Also, other political moves such as the South African laws limiting exports of military surplus (I love you .308 and 5.56 PMP battle packs) are quite visible as well