This policy brief seeks to highlight the issue of the possession of a large amount of small arms by civilians. Indeed, the Small Arms Survey estimates that 60 per cent of the global stockpile of 640 million guns are in civilian hands in varying states of legality. In wartime a neat dichotomy between civilians and combatants is often presumed, where only the latter would bear weapons. As a consequence, disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) programmes targeting former combatants are a relatively standard component of early peace-building efforts in the wake of armed conflicts. Efforts aimed at reducing and controlling guns in civilian hands are generally implemented in a more haphazard and ad hoc fashion.