Alarm weapons converted into real weapons (illegal in Portugal) and easily acquired on the Internet are one of the biggest concerns of the PSP, as more and more criminal groups are using them.

From 2014 until the end of the first quarter of this year, the PSP seized 6870 weapons of this type, according to data from the Department of Arms and Explosives (DAE) of the police provided to the Diario de Noticias (DN). They are mostly alarm guns that were handed over to the DAE by other security forces and district police commands because they were confiscated in criminal prevention operations or in criminal proceedings. The most frequent are the Reck, Tanfoglio, Rohner and Star models.

It is possible to order one, paying between one hundred and 200 euros, on a site registered in Turkey, where the business is legal, and transform it into Portugal, making it a true and low-cost firearm. Many will be in the hands of criminal groups and others with people who have been unable or unwilling to obtain a license to use and carry a defence weapon.

The purchase of illegal weapons on the internet on sites domiciled in third countries or foreign companies is very difficult to control. “As a serious security threat and in order to combat the illicit traffic in weapons through the internet, Europol has since 2013 carried out a number of operational actions, ranging from the training of police officers to cyber patrolling, especially in sales on the so-called darknet, or the black market of the internet, “said Pedro Moura, commander of the Department of Arms and Explosives of the PSP of Lisbon.