Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, has created the Handbook on Firearms for Border Guards and Customs Officers in cooperation with the border guard and customs community, as well as EU and international partners.
Illegal weapons play a key role in many of the most violent crimes and firearms smuggling is one of the key priorities for all law enforcement authorities.
To effectively fight against criminal networks, law enforcement officers need to constantly improve their skills and stay up-to-date with the latest information on the ways the criminals operate.
The handbook provides the latest information on firearms trafficking, tactics and equipment to be used during border checks. It builds on the experience and expertise of EU and international partners and contains information related to firearms, their parts and ammunition, associated documentation, and the phenomenon of firearm trafficking itself.
The initiative was supported and guided by the European Commission, both DG HOME and DG TAXUD, but also co-led by the European Firearms Expert Group, Poland, Slovenia and Romania. Other European and international organizations which supported the creation of the handbook include the Customs Cooperation Working Party, Europol, Cepol, Interpol, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, World Customs Organization, OSCE, SEESAC and the EU’s Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine.
The handbook was developed under the umbrella of the European Multidisciplinary Platform against Criminal Threats (EMPACT) Firearms driven by Spain. It brings together police and law enforcement authorities of EU Member States, European agencies and international organizations to jointly strengthen Europe’s borders and internal security.