_ Throughout the known universe there are many different companies involved in the manufacturing, wholesale and distribution of various kinds of weapons. Some are contracted, others used specifically for the intended purposes of suppling their respective colonials or militia. All the same, many push into newer and farther out territories looking for greater publicity, spanning the Universe in marketing and even resale schemes.
_ Underground markets, (AKA Gun Junkies) although illegal, are the main sellers of weapons cartel. This includes the forgery and fabrication of major industry weapon designs. This means that although the weapon purchased may be very authentic in nature it may very well be a fake. This also has cause for the disturbing trend of criminals and mercenaries owning very powerful armories. Although the weapons fabricated to look like the real product generally will not have the same effects as the original design. Meaning the damage ability of the weapon may only be half that of the actual weapons. All together thou the reproduced replicas will only bolster 60% to 70% of the actual black market. Meanwhile some vague miscreant has actually somehow managed to obtain the real things to sell. This is regarded by the original corps to be a very high criminal offense, some may even higher bounties to hunt the dealer selling their weapons. It is estimated that an alarming 35% of weapons owned by space mariners, were purchased illegally on the black market.
_ Unlike the major weapons corps, supplying mass amouts of armaments to large scale militaries and mercenaries, Small operation manufactures are prevalent on the open market. Many of the large corps regard these small manufactures as a blot on their overall plans to commercialize and may attempt to buy out small time production plants for their own uses. The reallity is most small business owners with in the guns and munitions arena will not have a hope of competing against the larger corporate conglomerates. All but a few have actually managed to remain on the market place.
_ This survival has been attributed to the formation of a Group called the IWD, that represents and sets out the standards for small weapons dealers and makers to maintain a stable stronghold on the open market. The IWD is formed of many small business and corporate supporters of new establishments, however like many organizations coruption still filters through. The IWD is a large organization, and its head offices are not always able to ensure proper coverage of every interstellar sector, so some parts may become criminally inclined to break IWD practices. Another draw back to the organization is that, business that do not join into the IWD may not be allowed certain privilages aloted to members. However, this does not leave those buisnesses at a loss, there are other groups formed out of small groups, the IWD is just the largest of these, and one of a kind, dealing specifically in weapons.
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