There is not yet an internationally agreed definition of small arms and light weapons. OSCE SALW Document will apply to the following categories of weapons while not prejudging any future internationally agreed definition of small arms and light weapons. These categories may be subject to further clarification and will be reviewed in the light of any such future internationally agreed definition.
For the purposes of this document, small arms and light weapons are man-portable weapons made or modified to military specifications for use as lethal instruments of war. Small arms are broadly categorized as those weapons intended for use by individual members of armed or security forces. They include revolvers and self-loading pistols; rifles and carbines; sub-machine guns; assault rifles; and light machine guns. Light weapons are broadly categorized as those weapons intended for use by several members of armed or security forces serving as a crew. They include heavy machine guns; hand-held under-barrel and mounted grenade launchers; portable anti-aircraft guns; portable anti-tank guns; recoilless rifles; portable launchers of anti-tank missile and rocket systems; portable launchers of anti-aircraft missile systems; and mortars of calibres less than 100 mm.