Dangerous Devices: Privately Made Firearms in the Caribbean

Yulia Yarina and Nicolas Florquin
Situation Update

The rate of violent deaths in the Caribbean remains well above the world average. Trafficking—including of firearm parts used to build privately made firearms (PMFs)—remains the primary source of small arms seized in the region. PMFs in the Caribbean vary widely in sophistication. Given their low cost and the increasingly diverse ways in which key firearm components can be acquired or produced—including through the use of 3D-printing and CNC-milling technology—PMFs have the potential to become a significant threat. The circulation of conversion devices also increases the likelihood that significantly more rounds will be fired during criminal shootings, which may in turn increase the risk of multiple injuries, including among bystanders.

Dangerous Devices: Privately Made Firearms in the Caribbeana new Situation Update by the Small Arms Survey and its partners CARICOM IMPACS, CARPHA, and GA-CDRC at the University of the West Indies—examines the latest trends and developments regarding PMFs, their production and circulation in the Caribbean region, and calls for more in-depth data collection on these types of weapons to help tackle this threat to security and public health. The Situation Update was launched at the side event ‘A Public Health Crisis: Small Arms Trafficking and Violence in the Caribbean,’ held on 18 June 2024 on the margins of the Fourth Review Conference of the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms.

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Key findings


Developments since April 2023

Policy implications


This Situation Update was funded by a grant from the German Federal Foreign Office. The opinions, findings, and conclusions stated herein are the authors’ and do not necessarily reflect those of the German Federal Foreign Office. 

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Download the full report and its references via the below link
Keywords: PMFs Caribbean