Small arms and light weapons feature as vital ingredients in today’s wars.1 As the tools of violence most frequently finding use in the hands of both professional and amateur soldiers, these weapons kill somewhere between 80,000 and 108,000 persons in conflict each year. This estimated figure roughly equates to between 60 and 90 per cent of all human fatalities occurring in recent conflict (Small Arms Survey 2005a, p. 230). This casualty rate means that over a fiveyear period more people are killed by small arms in war than were killed by the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, including those casualties claimed by the fallout of radiation during the five years following the bombings. In addition to inflicting such a high number of deaths and producing devastating effects within conflict zones, these weapons destabilize postconflict settings. In fact, the availability of these weapons can problematize the distinction drawn between conflict zones and postconflict settings since the level of armed violence enduring after an officially-declared cessation of hostilities sometimes remains unacceptably high and forcefuly felt by civilians (Pouligny 2004, p. 14; Muggah 2005: 240-242; Muggah 2006: 190).