What can actually be found on the black market of weapons? Humanities

What can actually be found on the black market of weapons?

Using the anonymous Tor browser, the researchers conducted a study of what and how they trade in the underground weapons market.

We know so little about the proliferation of firearms sold on the DarkNet that it resembles a black hole similar to the illicit trafficking of pharmaceuticals and drugs: we know that people buy them online, but we don't know the quantity," says Thomas Holt, a professor of criminal law at the University of Michigan. The better we understand how weapons move and are sold and what types of weapons are available on the dark web, the better we will understand how the Internet serves as a niche market for the proliferation of weapons.

The biggest surprise was the assortment. Sixty-four percent of the advertised products were pistols, 17% were semi-automatic rifles, and only 4% were submachine guns.

What surprised me the most was that most of what we saw was not a military-grade weapon—" Holt said. Instead of exotic or rare firearms, we saw pistols — types of weapons that someone in the United States could buy in regular stores. In addition, the prices for these pistols did not differ much from the store ones. These observations raise the question, "Why the DarkNet instead?

According to Holt, there can be two explanations. Either the buyer lives in a country with stricter laws than American ones, or for some reason he cannot buy weapons legally. The third version — that the buyer needs a weapon that, in principle, did not come into contact with the state control system — for some reason is not called Holt.

The researchers were unable to track specific sellers and buyers. In some cases, based on the names, you can think that the sellers do not live in Europe, but this is the end of the information.

The delivery of goods to the buyer is carried out by the usual contraband methods: by placing weapons or their parts in some ordinary strong-smelling cargo, like shoes or cocoa. Payment is most often made in bitcoin.

The study is published in Deviant Behavior.