Whether firearms are used as an instrument of violent crimes, as a tool to project or perpetuate power, an illegal trading commodity or as an alternative method of payment, the connection between firearms and crime is beyond question. Firearms are part of, and often provide the foundation of organized crime. This can range from raising and supporting activities of organized crime, to terrorism and insurgency. The criminal context of firearms is affecting citizens by creating a feeling of insecurity, it weakens state institutions and it contributes to national and regional instability. Firearms have increasingly become a part of daily life in many countries and communities. Therefore, proper understanding of the phenomenon, counter measures and the possibilities of getting involved in firearms reduction initiatives will have a positive impact on the security of individuals and communities. The UNODC is developing the Teaching Module Series on Firearms, recognizing the fundamental role of firearms in criminal and security contexts. The teaching modules on firearms can be included in teaching curricula at universities and academic institutions. They are intended to support lecturers teaching on firearms to provide students with the opportunity to better understand the scale of the illicit firearms phenomenon and its connections with crime, in particular with organized crime, terrorism and insurgency. Lecturers will have the opportunity to use the modules in parts or in their entirety. This structure will allow lecturers to develop new courses or to simply adapt and include the information contained in these modules into already existing teaching curricula.
The following modules are available online: