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INTERPOL Illicit Arms Records and tracing Management System (iARMS)

What is firearm tracing?

Firearm tracing is the systematic tracking of a firearm found or seized, from the point of manufacture or the point of legal importation into a country, through the lines of supply to the last known point of possession.

Firearm tracing involves close cooperation among law enforcement, customs and border control agencies internationally.

The 2005 International Tracing Instrument identifies INTERPOL as a key partner in the implementation of firearm tracing activities.

Firearm tracing can:

  • Link a suspect to a firearm in a criminal investigation;
  • Identify potential firearm traffickers;
  • Detect firearm crime trends.

The tracing of illicit firearms is crucial component of the international strategy and framework to combat the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects.