This module is a resource for lecturers


This section contains suggestions for in-class and pre-class educational exercises, while a post-class assignment for assessing student understanding of the Module is suggested in a separate section.

Exercise 1: Firearms definition

Please identify the definition of a firearms according to your national legislation and discuss how the national legal definition compares to the definitions in the international instruments.

Exercise 2: Firearms in the media

Using any news source, preferably one from their region, students will find stories about crimes and violence in which the perpetrator used firearms. They are to determine whether any information is revealed about the type, model, etc. of the firearm used. If so, students should record the terms used to describe the firearms by the reporter as well as incidences where no information on the firearm was reported.

In small groups students share the results of their research on how news sources report on the firearms. What implications can be drawn?

Exercise 3: Quiz - Identifying firearms

Using the pictures of firearms, their parts and accessories, students take a quiz in which they identify the images presented. Students write down the answers and then share them as a class.

Exercise 4: Learning take-aways

Students share experiences from hour two of the session in small groups, develop five takeaway learning points, and post them on a board or Google Doc

Exercise 5: Understanding firearms

Students are given the following material, or materials relevant to their context, in order to inform discussion questions as listed below:

Discussion Questions

  • What is the calibre of each firearm?
  • What characteristics are used to measure the lethality of each firearm?
  • Using the lethality template, which firearm scores the highest and why?
  • What is the difference between semi-automatic and automatic?

Exercise 6: Current issues

a) Discussion question for example: 'What are the implications of Acoustic Expansion weapons following the Paris attacks'?

b) The article in the Guardian magazine treats the topic of availability of military grade firearms to organized crime groups and terrorists. Based on the article findings, discuss the implications of illicit reactivation and conversion and the illicit trade of such firearms. How do you think this phenomenon can be addressed?


Exercise 7: Legal issues

Based upon the situations described in the articles below, in which imitation (toy) guns were used in a robbery, discuss the legal and interpersonal implications when using an imitation weapon in a criminal act.


Next: Possible class structure
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