The worldwide legal trade in small and light arms grew by 28% between 2000 and 2006, according to a report presented yesterday in Geneva.
The Small Arms Survey 2009 was made by an independent investigation financed by numerous governments and based on customs data given to the United Nations.
The results indicate that the increase was worth an equivalent of 653 million dollars.
According to the report, the United States continues to lead the global trade with the greatest demand for pistols, revolvers, hunting rifles and small calibre ammunition. This country was responsible for 48% of the global increase in imports during the period in question.
The authors worked with data from 53 countries and estimated the amount of legal global trade in 2006 at 1580 million dollars.
According to the results, the United States, Italy, Germany, Brazil, Austria and Belgium are the greatest global exporters of these weapons. The report said that China and Russia may also form part of this list, although the customs data do not sustain this claim.