Main Article Content
With the gradual rise of intra-state conflicts in the post-Cold War world, there has been a significant rise in trade, acquisition and use of illegal firearms by non-state armed groups. These illicit weapons have been the ultimate weapon of choice for criminals and thereby cause a large scale human tragedy each year. Of the countries where illegal small arms have become a big problem, Bangladesh is a significant case. Being the home of one of the biggest populations in the world, Bangladesh has been flooded with a whole range of illegal firearms in recent years. This article seeks to identify and analyze the key actors of illegal weapons in Bangladesh. Further, it also investigated how these users pose threats to security of society through the use of these illegal weapons. Accordingly, the article highlights three major users of illegal small arms in Bangladesh namely political cadres, Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) insurgents and extremists. The article concludes that large-scale use of illegal small arms by these groups cause significant human casualties each year which has created fear and insecurity throughout the society. Data used in this article was obtained using a qualitative approach and the findings have significant policy implications particularly in formulating and implementing counterterrorism mechanism in Bangladesh.