Final Report

The final report of Project FIRE is now online and available here.





There is growing concern that current events characterizing EU neighbouring countries could spur the illicit trafficking in firearms (ITF) from, to and across Europe. However, the ITF has often been neglected by researchers, and there is a lack of knowledge especially with regard to the ITF routes, exchange markets, and actors.

Project Fighting illicit firearms trafficking routes and actors at European Level (FIRE) (HOME/2013/ISEC/FP/C1/4000005009) addresses this issue. The European Commission, DG Home Affairs funded the project within the Prevention of and Fight against Crime (ISEC) Programme.


The project is coordinated by Transcrime – Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Italy) with the support of several EU partners.



Project FIRE studies the ITF in the 28 European countries. The research questions are:


  • What information is available on legal and illegal firearms trafficking and what information should be collected in future EU initiatives?
  • What are the main routes used to traffic illicit firearms from, to and within Europe?
  • What are the main exchange markets for illicit trafficking in firearms?
  • What are the main actors involved in this illicit market?
  • What are the main loopholes in the EU regulatory framework that may generate the displacement of legal firearms trafficking to the illicit one?
  • What best practices could be identified and what recommendations could be provided to EU policy makers in order to reduce and prevent this illicit trade?


Project FIRE will last 24 months, starting from December 2014.