As arms control systems vary from country to country, ArmsTracker offers a version for each type of state agency. These are then tailored to fit each government department, its governing legislation and practices.
ArmsTracker is purpose-built for information-based policing, enforcement of weapon laws and prevention of firearm-related crime. Its database replaces manual-entry, station-by-station logbooks and spreadsheets with a computerised national register of service weapons, seized arms, items held as evidence, and if required by legislation, privately held firearms. Police identify all individuals and entities authorised to possess arms, ammunition and explosives and can quickly register each item to a licensed officer or civilian. As each arms transfer is then tracked in real time for the life of every registered weapon, it becomes much easier for police to prevent, detect and prosecute illegal possession, arms diversion and illicit trafficking.
ArmsTracker also aids authorities to licence arms dealers and brokers, authorise weapon and ammunition imports and exports, trigger international tracing requests, follow up expired licences and recover associated costs.
ArmsTracker can be configured to automatically send reports or alerts when risk thresholds are reached, or when events occur. Each client can set up software permissions on its own network which allow oversight officials to access real-time reports of selected data, perhaps in read-only format, without waiting for approval. This guarantees timely intelligence and eliminates delays inherent in multi-agency information exchange.
ArmsTracker enables ministries of Foreign Affairs, commonly responsible for reporting under a range of international instruments such as the Arms Trade Treaty, the UN Register of Conventional Arms, the UN small arms Programme of Action and regional arms control conventions, to reduce or eliminate delays in gathering the necessary information. Without sharing other confidential data, each agency can automatically anonymise and make available the short summary required for international compliance. Across all government departments, ArmsTracker reports use globally standardised descriptors to ensure compatibility of data.
Recent years have seen a decrease in the rate of international reporting on conventional arms. States using ArmsTracker can more easily meet the obligations of the treaties and agreements to which they contribute, while at the same time reduce their own reporting loads.
ArmsTracker is available only to national governments and their agencies. However, as some countries require a community reporting system to collect tips about illicit arms, these contributions can be stored separately. Public participation can play an important role in alerting authorities to suspected diversion of illicit arms and the location of weapons, often directly to Police or via anonymous tip lines such as Crime Stoppers. These community reports are processed, and if possible actioned by the appropriate agencies.