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Arms Dealer

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I sell to leftists and rightists, regimes and rebellions... Heck, I'd sell to pacifists if they weren't such lousy customers.

"There are over 550 million firearms in worldwide circulation. That's one firearm for every twelve people on the planet. The only question is, how do we arm the other eleven?"
Yuri Orlov, Lord of War

In its basic form, a person who sells weaponry. This results in a large variety of sub-types of these characters:

  • Gangland Gun Runner: The gangland arms dealer, selling stolen, smuggled, or "officially destroyed" weapons with the serial numbers filed off.
  • Gun Shop Owner: Someone who owns a legitimate gun shop. These will usually refuse to sell to obvious criminals, but otherwise not ask questions. Some will decline to sell to those they see as "shady".
  • Former Reds With Rockets For Sale: Former Regime Personnel or other ex-military people with access to automatic weapons and man-portable anti-aircraft systems at least, even going up to weapons of mass destruction. Frequently ex-Soviet soldiers. Will attend an Arms Fair.
  • Corporate Lobbyist who discuss weapon sales with governments and are out to make a large profit for themselves. Attempt to appear more respectable than the other types. Might do some other stuff on the side. Often appear at a legal Arms Fair.
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  • Minister For Defence Export: Actual government ministers, who hawk their country's products to other weaker countries.
  • International Arms Merchant: Globe-trotting freelance gunrunner, basically a corporate lobbyist without the corporation and far more unscrupulous. Frequently sell to terrorist groups and large criminal organizations, and tend to pop up as minor villains or information sources in spy movies.

These characters are generally depicted as slimy merchants of death, making money from brutal wars and providing the means to prolong the conflict. They may be inclined to start a War for Fun and Profit, hoping to make money from selling weapons. Should there be no conflict at all, they may even take one step further and start one themselves. Sometimes, a potential customer may kill them and take their weapons.


Two more benign ones appear in specific settings, who escape this villainous depiction:

  • Local Blacksmith: The rustic equivalent, ubiquitous in fantasy stories and RPGs, in which it's expected that most people will be armed in some way. This guy's far more likely to be seen as heroic than his modern counterpart, exhibiting the virtues of labour and craftsmanship, and providing civilian tools in equal measure.
  • Space Shooter Seller: Characters or companies in sci-fi roleplaying games who will sell you weapons for your vessel.

Not to confuse with Death Dealer, people who use playing cards as weapons, although as the aforementioned "merchants of death" thing shows, arms dealers are often referred to by the same term or variations thereof.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Area 88:
    • McCoy, the base quartermaster, sells weapons (and other goods) at exorbitant markups to the pilots. He occasionally offers deals like 50 Sidewinder missiles for $1000 (ca 1980, mind) to those who don't mind faulty fuses or warheads.
    • Farina, the Italian mafioso in the manga and OVA, also qualifies.
  • Black Lagoon's "Rip-off Church", a catholic-flavour gun cartel running guns through the local church. It's strongly implied to be a front for a CIA listening post.
  • Black Ghost from Cyborg 009 might just be the ur-example in anime and manga. They're an international consortium of arms dealers whose products range from conventional weapons like missiles and tanks to things like superpowered cyborg mercenaries. They're also a huge purveyor of War for Fun and Profit, often manipulating both sides of armed conflicts, as the more war that goes on the more money they make off of selling weapons.
  • Gunsmith Cats: Rally Vincent's official job (When she's not bounty hunting) is selling and customizing guns. Unusually for the Gun Shop Owner version of this trope, not only does she try not to sell to criminals, she has been known to track down people who use her guns for crimes and investigate people she suspects of planning to use her guns to commits crimes.
  • In GUN×SWORD, the protagonists encounter and are eventually assisted by an inventor and his ex-girlfriend, now the head of a Lady Land (the two later get back together). A flashback shows them selling equipment to people who ended up being the villains of one of the first episodes and they also previously supplied the Big Bad, the Claw (again, not knowing his full intentions).
  • Jormungand: The protagonists are mercenaries under the employ of H&C Logistics Incorporated, headed by their leader and ruthless arms dealer Koko Hekmatyar. She justifies what she does by claiming that making sure that every side is well-armed "promotes world peace".
  • In The Love And Creed Of Sae Maki, the Nazo Corporation is a Meiji Restoration-era weapons manufacture and export company that was officially disbanded to became a secret Mega-Corp with world-wide influence and power.
  • Jail Scaglietti of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Striker S. It would be a shame to create all those advances in technology without someone using them after all. His biggest clients are the higher-ups of the Time-Space Administration Bureau themselves.
  • One Piece: Donquixote Doflamingo runs such a business, shipping not just conventional arms, but also Devil Fruits, particularly, the production and trade of artificially made Devil Fruits known as "Smiles". He does so under the alias "Joker" to avoid getting pinched by the World Government, since he technically works for them and pirates who agree to work as Privateers for the Government have restrictions placed on them that dictate what they can and can't do. Destroying the factory that produces the artificial Devil Fruits becomes one of the main goals of the Dressrosa Arc as part of the Alliance between Luffy and Law to take down Kaido.
  • In Rebuild World, Shizuka, the Friendly Shopkeeper of a hunter supply store, specializes in selling weapons and ammunition to hunters looking to head into the wasteland. She knows her product inside-and-out, giving lengthy explanations on the history and specifications of the weapons she sells in a manner veering into Gun Porn.
    • Katsuragi is a more dubious Intrepid Merchant and arms dealer who has no compunctions about forcing hunters into Indentured Servitude for example, or lying to Akira that certain items are worthless in the hopes of buying them cheap off him later.

    Comic Books 
  • The Elseworlds miniseries JSA: The Liberty Files, featuring Batman and the Justice Society of America, featured The Joker as an arms dealer selling weapons to the Nazis.
  • Marvel Comics' G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, like other iterations of the modern G.I. Joe franchise, introduced Destro early on as Cobra's main weapons supplier. However, Cobra Commander had long-term plans for Cobra to enter the market themselves, selling to various third-world regimes to help foment further instability.
  • In Iron Man, Tony Stark was originally an arms dealer, but eventually decided to downplay his company's role in that market. After that, Justin Hammer and Obidiah Stane appeared as unambiguously villainous versions.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive Lord Blackpool in Lady Mechanika.
  • Paperinik New Adventures has a few examples. In chronological order, we have:
    • Quite surprisingly, the Evronians: as part of their plan to catch Earth by surprise with their invasion they gave some of their weapons to a Banana Republic in exchange of the ability to take a few of their peasants (PK and La Résistance don't appreciate, of course).
    • Rosto Gramash is a former Gangland Gun Runner specialized in thermonuclear weapons. He and the member of the Congress that provided him with the goods were imprisoned after a young Angus Fangus exposed them.
    • Everett Ducklair was implied to manufacture weapons, and the second series shows that he sells "sonic weapons" (sound-based Disintegrator Rays) to the US Army. For obvious reasons, he has zero tolerance for any use of those weapons by unsanctioned users.
      • Even after Everett went back to his homeworld, the Ducklair Foundation continued to provide weapons for various states, as shown in the PKNE stories when they provided the NATO and other major powers with guns that turn the Evronians back into spores.
    • Trevor Fergus is officially the owner of a delivery company tasked with delivering Ducklair's sonic weapons to the US Army. He would also skim a few weapons and sell those to Duckburg's criminal gangs — at least until Everett's right-hand man Anymore Boring, investigating why the US Army was protesting why many sonic weapons weren't performing up to specs, tracked him down and made a call to the Congress' investigating committee.
    • Kruth Van Moor sells weapons to mercenaries on the planet Armadha. Weapons manufacturing and exports of mercenary commanders leading droid armies export are Armadha's only industries-and in fact, Kruth's cousin and his girlfriend are mercenaries-competing ones.
  • Judge Dredd: All over the place in Mega-City One.
  • Robin (1993): When Tim Drake tries tracing an influx of illegal guns in Bristol (just north of Gotham) he ends up discovering his skateboarding pal Star's boyfriend is selling guns out of the back of a van and Star and her boyfriend both end up shot during a deal gone bad.
  • They tend to show up rather often in Tex Willer, usually as gun shop owners in some town of the Far West but sometimes as Gangland Gun Runners who sell to hostile Indians, often to try and cause insurrections so they or their associates will be able to take over their lands once the army has stomped them. The latter kind is usually seen as despicable (even by their customers, who in at least one occasion got pissed off enough to torture them to death), especially after two of them and their gang, in retaliation for Tex foiling their plan to cause a Navajo insurrection, tried to murder him with a smallpox epidemics that killed, among others, his wife (the Roaring Rampage of Revenge was epic, and the end was pure Nightmare Fuel).
  • Wonder Woman (1987): The White Magician makes a living selling pilfered experimental weapons and magical upgrades to criminals in Boston.

    Fan Works 
  • In the aftermath of the 3rd Harbinger battle in Aeon Entelechy Evangelion there were a lot of munitions that didn't explode or were abandoned in the chaos, which the local ghouls scavenge and sell to interested parties like the Eldritch Society.
  • Two of these act as secondary villains in the James Bond fan film Diamond's Cut. Even though they sell firearms, they are apparently not trained with them and didn’t even bother to bring any guns the first time Bond encounters them. One eventually gets throttled to death with a fallen branch, but the other survives by being too late to arrive to a fight, thus setting up a potential sequel.)
  • Ruby and Nora: Little Miss Malachite is this. She also sells women’s bodies at her brothel, and people.
  • Seventh Endmost Vision has the Crimson Wings, who replace Don Corneo's gang from canon, and seem to be inspired mostly by Yakuza, given they come from Wall Market, which is composed almost entirely of Wutai diaspora. Rufus, leader of AVALANCHE, is hoping to make use of their connections in this regard. They're apparently very well-armed; Yuffie at one point notes that they have grenade launchers and all manner of weaponry. This is because their leader is Scarlet, and as Shinra's chief weapons developer, she's given her gang a mainline to the best source on the Planet!
  • Coreline: An occasional secondary character is an Alternate version of Washu Hakubi (the OVA, Physical God, older-than-her-home-universe Washu Hakubi) that has created her own Mega-Corp ("Hakubi Customs"). The short story Regular Dinosaur Park showcases A Day in the Limelight for her, in which she sells a whole lot of bang-bang to the security forces of Jurassic freaking Park (and the scene where she shows her wares is explicitly meant to be a Shout-Out to other 'weapons selling' scenes on this page, in particular Justin Hammer's and "Easy Andy"'s).
  • In the pro wrestling AU story,The Horsewomen Of Las Vegas, Dean Ambrose is one, supplying to many of the criminal organizations in the story.

    Film — Animation 
  • White Snake (2019): The Precious Jade Workshop is a world-renowned supplier of demonic items and magical weapons, being led by a fox demoness. Xuan and Blanca visit the shop since Blanca has amnesia, and the jade hairpin that was made there is the only clue to her identity.

    Film — Live Action 
  • In .45, Big Al's major source of income is supplying illegal firearms to the New York underworld.
  • An operation to go after an international arms dealer kicks off the plot of Barely Lethal.
  • Bet Your Life: On the flight from Las Vegas to Cleveland, Sonny meets a sleazy gun dealer returning from a convention who agrees to sell him a couple of guns in the bathroom at Cleveland airport.
  • In The Boondock Saints, the brothers buy guns and other supplies from a basement arms dealer with clear IRA ties.
  • Charlie Wilson's War. Congressman Charlie Wilson and CIA operative Gust Avrakotos travel to Israel to see arms merchant Zvi Rafiah about securing Soviet-made weapons (as they want to avoid any direct American connection) to supply the Afghan mujahideen.
    Zvi: Now, just to sum this up in a nutshell; You want me to steer Israel towards an arms deal with Egypt, Pakistan, and Afghanistan?
    Charlie: And Saudi Arabia.
    Zvi: Well, just a couple of problems I can foresee off the top of my head.
    Charlie: Look-
    Zvi: Charlie-
    Charlie: I know.
    Zvi: Pakistan and Afghanistan don't recognize our right to exist!
    Charlie: Calm down.
    Zvi: We just got done fighting a war against Egypt, and everyone who has ever tried to kill me or my family has been trained in Saudi Arabia!
    Gust: That's not entirely true, Zvi. I mean, some of them were trained by us.
  • In City of God, a group of gun runners sell some weapons to young gangsters. They point to a Star of David engraved on an Uzi and note that the gun is "Jewish" as a selling point.
  • In the spy movie Company Business (1991) Gene Hackman's character gushes about the luxurious house of an Arab Arms Dealer with its gold-plated doorknobs etc, only to find the place has been stripped bare; the owner has fallen on hard times as no-one wants to buy weapons anymore. Presumably the script was written before Yugoslavia fell to pieces.
  • The Damned (1969) depicts a German steel family loosely based on the Krupps (see Real Life below), who make arms for the Nazis.
  • Chevy Chase and Gregory Hines in Deal of the Century. The titular "deal" is them rebuilding by themselves a lemon of an Attack Drone in order to swindle a few million dollars in the black market.
  • In Dogma the same actor that played Randall in Clerks plays a gun clerk who is very puzzled when the two angel antagonists are at his counter discussing the virtues of individual handguns and how they don't just invoke divine wrath like flaming swords used to.
  • Destro from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Has his own weapons manufacturing Mega-Corp and weapons selling has been the family business for generations.
  • Ordell Robbie from Jackie Brown.
    Ordell, selling an AK-47: When you want to kill every motherfucker in the room, accept no substitutes!
  • James Bond
    • Brad Whitaker from The Living Daylights, played by Joe Don Baker. He used to provide weapons to the Soviets until General Pushkin came down to Tangiers and cut him off. Whitaker subsequently asked Koskov to kill Pushkin to provide coverage for his opium smuggling operations. This arms dealer is seen for a very short portion of the movie, instead acting as an armchair general who likes to play with toy soldiers.
    • Both Valentin Zukovsky and the Janus syndicate in GoldenEye are said to be involved in the arms trade, among various other criminal enterprises.
      • A deleted shows Zukovsky meeting with an international arms dealer. Hilariously, Zukovsky knows enough about guns to know that all of the dealer's wares are "counterfeit crap".
  • In John Wick: Chapter 2, the Sommelier in the Continental Rome serves as one for the criminals, assassins, and other lawless sorts who frequent the hotel. Unlike most examples, he doesn't appear to take direct payment, and is implied to be one of the services one pays for when booking a room at the Continental. True to his profession, the Sommelier is a professional who treats recommending weaponry to John like one would recommend wines for a party, even describing the weapons with Deadly Euphemisms like "tastings" and "dessert."
  • Jumanji has one who fits the "Gun Shop Owner" type. He sells Van Pelt a modern rifle in exchange for an elephant gun and a satchel of gold coins.
  • In Lockjaw: Rise of the Kulev Serpent, Sarge has some sort of business relationship with a gang of redneck arms dealers, which explains why he has a bazooka in his house when he needs one.
  • Lone Wolf McQuade: Rawley Wilkes (played by David Carradine), the bad guy in this Chuck Norris action movie, is an arms dealer who raids U.S. military convoys so he can sell them to insurgents and terrorists.
  • Yuri Orlov, Villain Protagonist of Lord of War as well as a few others shown in the film. Yuri is the nephew of one of the "Former Reds With Rockets For Sale", who helps him with his business shortly after the fall of the USSR. He also has a rival/nemesis in Simeon Weisz, a corporate lobbyist version who also has some political motivations (specifically support for America and Israel). Despite falling into some Eagleland and "evil Zionist" stereotypes, Simeon still comes across as better than Yuri.
  • Voz, the insane Big Bad of Machete Kills. When we first see him he's boasting of his role as a Merchant of Death with an assembly line, except now he's gone IN SPACE!.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Tony Stark is one of these in Iron Man before he sees US forces get attacked with his own weapons and has a change of heart. Even after that, his weapons keep turning up in enemy hands. Turns out Obie has been going around behind his back.
    • Justin Hammer from Iron Man 2 wants to take Stark's place as the world's top arms dealer, but ultimately lacks the competence to do so.
    • Ulysses Klaue from Avengers: Age of Ultron and Black Panther (2018) is a mercenary and smuggler who's heavily involved in the black market arms trade.
    • Adrian Toomes in Spider-Man: Homecoming is a former salvage company owner who is driven out of business after Stark Industries and the US government set up the Department of Damage Control. In order to help provide for his employees and his family, he becomes an arms dealer who specializes in manufacturing powerful weapons by combining modern and alien technology he and his men managed to recover from the Avengers' various battles, starting with New York City following the Chitauri invasion.
  • Jeebs in Men in Black. He's definitely the slimy sort, handing illegal weapons to alien criminals.
  • Owen Davian, the amoral, passive-aggressive, monotonic arms dealer villain of Mission: Impossible III. His day job is hooking up terrorists with weapons of mass destruction, and his night job is exuding sociopathic menace. Even when captured, bound, and faced with death, he remains preternaturally calm and merely rattles off all the ways he will torture the hero's loved ones if when he gets free. The only time he shows a hint of fondness is when he aloofly recalls cruelly murdering one of the hero's partners ("That was nothing, that was... fun. That was fun."). His chilling detachment is enhanced by the fact that he has no backstory or any humanizing moments whatsoever.
  • Bully Hayes is dealing firearms to the native islanders in the opening of Nate and Hayes.
  • In The Outlaws IS Coming!, Rance Rodan is attempting War for Fun and Profit by hunting the buffalo to extinction to provoke the Indians into war, and then selling them weapons to fight the war.
  • In Pacific Rim, after funding to the Jaeger Program is officially cut off by the UN, it's the Russian pilots, Sasha and Aleksis Kaidonovsky, who use their own personal connections to procure any weapon that Pentecost needs in his assault against the Breach and the continued defense of Hong Kong. All weapons that were added to the Jaegers after they arrived at the Hong Kong Shatterdome were supplied by the Kaidonovskies, not any of the world governments or even the PPDC itself.
  • In The Quick and the Dead, the Kid works a day job as the town's gunsmith.
  • Antoine Vallon from RoboCop (2014) is a Detroit crime boss who sells high-quality weapons lifted from the DPD's own lockup to street level crooks.
  • In Shotgun (1955), outlaw Ben Thompson has bought up a shipment of Winchester rifles which he is planning on selling to Delgadito and his Apache renegades for a huge profit and then disappear to California.
  • In Son of a Gun, Sam sends JR to Private Wilson to collect the armament for the Great Escape and robbery of the gold refinery. Wilson supplies a large array of highly illegal fully-automatic weapons, plus a rocket launcher.
  • Ben from Strapped makes it habit of selling firearms on the streets to anyone who can pay for them, even kids as young as 10. In typical Hollywood fashion, he uses his FFL to get hundreds of guns shipped straight to his house and then sells them on the street with no oversight whatsoever.
  • In Taxi Driver, Travis Bickle buys a number of guns from the suitcase of a skeevy street dealer. After making several purchases, the man runs down a laundry list of other illegal wares, to Bickle's disgust.
  • Sarah Connor from Terminator 2: Judgment Day is associates with an arms dealer named Enrique Salceda who sells them tons of weaponry including a minigun.
  • In the Serbian film Underground, Marko and Blacky supposedly act as gun runners for the resistance against the Nazis during World War 2. In reality, they drink and gamble most of the money away. Much later, Marko and Natalija become arms dealers during the Yugoslav wars. Blacky has them executed as "war profiteers" before realizing who they are.
  • In Valdez is Coming, one of Tanner's sidelines is selling weapons to revolutionaries in Mexico. He is supposed to be delivering a shipment of guns to Nogales but instead chooses to stay and fight Valdez. As El Segundo points out to him at the end of the movie, if he had gone to Nogales like he was supposed to, he would have avoided all of the bloodshed.
  • In War Dogs two American hustlers find that they can break into the US military contracting in Iraq (in real life,to generate support for the war the Pentagon opened contract bids to small businesses.) They quickly get involved in more and more grandiose schemes, until it all collapses.
  • Lennox from White Sands isn't an arms dealer, exactly, but he fits all the stereotypes. He encourages the sale of arms and funds whatever armies the US happens to be fighting against at the moment in order to keep the military-industrial complex going strong, because he is a CIA agent.

  • Mr. Cheatio from Nikolay Nosov's Dunno on the Moon, the last book of Adventures of Dunno trilogy. The shop he owns is legitimate but he is perfectly willing to sell anything to anyone and his job being fully fine by standards of the society he lives in is meant to be sign of dystopia. Mr. Cheatio in general is far from virtuous, he is morally ambivalent at best. For the most part of his arc he was a Nominal Hero but near the end of the book he became an enemy of the good guys and The Dragon( that's because siding with good guys no longer benefited him and also probably because he Took a Level in Jerkass after being betrayed by his friend).
  • In Big Trouble, Ivan "John" Chukov and Leonid "Leo" Yudanski started out as Military Moonshiners in the Soviet Socialist Republic of Grzkjistan, and branched out into selling off military hardware for American dollars as the Soviet Union started to collapse. They moved to South Florida in the late 1990s and set up the Jolly Jackal bar as a front for their arms dealership, for which Miami turned out to be an excellent market.
  • Gerald Kersh's short story, Comrade Death, is about an arms dealer, Hector Sarek, who eventually controls the industry and specializes in horrifying chemical weapons. Sarek is also another fictional portrayal of Basil Zaharoff, see below in Real Life.
  • Desiree Goth, the beautiful French Love Interest of Dan Track, hero of the action-adventure novels by Jerry Ahern.
  • In The Day of the Jackal, the Jackal buys his weapons from an arms dealer, known as the Armorer, who was formerly a war hero in Belgium, but later turned to crime, including his arms sales, but still maintains a highly respectable and trustworthy persona.
  • The villain of the Doctor Who Expanded Universe novel Silhouette by Justin Richards is a weapons dealer who specialises in Human Weapons.
  • The Dogs of War makes a plot point out of the various types of dealers available to the coup-planning mercenary team of the title: they're able to obtain their ammunition from a legitimate dealer through forged licences, but have to buy their guns on the black market and smuggle them aboard their ship since having both the ammo and guns on the manifest would make it blatantly obvious the 'freighter' is actually carrying an amphibious strike force.
  • Gatling works as a weapons tester and troubleshooter for the Maxim Arms Company. His boss is Col. Henry Pritchett who has no qualms about selling arms to any (or all) sides in a conflict, provided they can pay.
  • His Family: World War I is a boon to Laura's husband Hal, who makes a fortune selling weapons. Laura's sister Deborah, who abhors war, is disgusted.
  • James Bond
    • The eponymous Big Bad in Scorpius has been selling weapons for terrorists for two decades. Now he has a cult that produces suicide bombers who believe that they are in a holy war to help the world to become a paradise, and he plans to sell them for bigger profit.
    • Max Tarn of SeaFire has a business in smuggling arms and military vehicles under his legal practices. He does it in preparation for his leadership of the supposed Fourth Reich.
    • Lord Randolph Hellebore in the Young Bond novel SilverFin is an arms dealer who has moved to Scotland to complete a Super Soldier formula, the eponymous SilverFin, in secrecy. At one point he gives Bond a little speech about war's endurance, and how he will always be ready to supply those who fight in them.
    • Bond's father Andrew Bond was working for Vickers.
  • In Jingo, when it looks like Ankh-Morpork and Klatch may be going to war, the city council asks the head of the Guild of Armourers how business is, and are cheered when he says they've been making lots of high-quality weapons. They're less happy when the Patrician gets him to admit who's been buying them...
  • The victim in the Kate Shugak novel Restless in the Grave is running a black market arms operation; stealing arms from US military bases and selling them to criminals and terrorists in Asia.
  • Martín Fierro: Martin Fierro is an Argentinan Gaucho who is Press-Ganged into Conscripition to Settling the Frontier. At song III, Fierro denounces that the Colonel did not give firearms to the new recruits, pretexting he will give them when the Indians will attack them. When the Indians attack, the army gave the soldiers spears, because the firearms are useless without ammunition. Then a sergeant tells Fierro that the army really has ammunition, but they sell it to The Pioneer so they can hunt ostriches. The natural consequence is that the Indians are free to Rape, Pillage, and Burn The Pioneer settlements.
  • In Neuromancer, Case realizes that someone (Molly) is following him, so he calls his gun dealer contact, who agrees to meet him in a few hours with a gun. In the meantime, Case buys a cool whip, which he unfortunately trashes as soon as he gets his gun.
  • Paradise Rot: Oscar Pilson becomes once, once he's let out of the Psych Ward. Although, he really just robs one and keeps the ones he doesn't want to use to sell later.
  • Abe Grossman in the Repairman Jack books is a rare heroic example. He's unquestionably running a criminal enterprise out of his sports shop, but we only ever see him sell to Jack and he's helped save the day more than once. It helps that he's a friendly, obese Jewish conspiracy nut.
  • Simon Ark: In "The Dying Marabout", the Victim of the Week is an arms dealer using a gathering of a friends called by a dying mystic as cover for arranging a shipment of arms to North Africa.
  • The Star Wars novel Heir to the Jedi introduces the Chekkoo clan of Rodia. They sell high-end weapons, armor, and ship upgrades to their customers and are opposed to the Empire. Luke Skywalker's first mission in the novel is to set up an agreement between them and the Rebel Alliance.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Airwolf features several of these characters. Of particular note is the one played by Walter Gogol in "Fight Like a Dove", a Nazi war criminal who claims to have influenced the outcome of the Falklands War by not selling the Argentines more than half a dozen Exocets. For the record, of the six Exocets that were fired by Argentina (five from aircraft, one from a truck), one sank HMS Sheffield, two sank Atlantic Conveyor, the truck-launched one damaged HMS Glamorgan and the others missed.
  • In Babylon 5 some powers sell weapons to technologically inferior ones, most notably the Narn selling advanced weapons to Earth during the Earth-Minbari War and, more recently, to raiders, and the Centauri selling entire ships even to their potential enemies as part of plans to slowly subjugate them economically. Both backfired with Earth Alliance, as the humans disassembled and studied the Centauri technologies and got a huge technological boost from it (even if the Centauri weapons remained far better) and were able to outright copy the Narn weapons (themselves based on Centauri technology).
  • Boardwalk Empire: The second season sees Nucky Thompson enter a deal with the IRA to sell them Thompson submachine guns in exchange for buying authentic Irish whiskey from them to distribute in Atlantic City.
  • On Breaking Bad:
    • Walt twice uses the services of Lawson, an underground arms dealer. The first time he buys a basic revolver and the dealer tries to talk him out of the purchase due to how nervous Walt is. The dealer is a Consummate Professional and would rather not sell a gun to an amateur who could bungle things up and bring the cops down on all of them. In Season 5 Walt contacts the dealer again and this time he buys a remote-controlled M60 machine gun that is a key part of his final gambit in the series finale.
    • Lawson also turns up in Better Call Saul, with Mike procuring his services, first procuring potential rifles to use for a hit on Tuco Salamanca (before deciding otherwise), and later buying one for an attempted hit on Hector Salamanca.
    • The Cousins, in making preparations for their assault on Hank, procure the services of an arms dealer who sells weapons out of a semi-truck to acquire bulletproof vests.
  • They show up in Burn Notice in all their varying alignments; good...ish (Fiona Glenanne), neutral (Seymour), and villainous (Tyler Brennen).
  • Alexi Volkoff from Chuck among other illegal activities.
  • Columbo: Vincent Pauley in "The Conspirators" is an arms dealer who planned to take Joe Devlin's money and skip the country; something Devlin did not take kindly to.
  • The Defenders (2017)
    • Daredevil (2015): Turk Barrett is a shady arms dealer. When John Healy buys a gun from him, Turk reassures him that his guns don't jam (they do). In the Season 2 premiere, Matt interrupts Turk while he's trying to sell a bunch of shotguns to enterprising criminals, overly praising them, only to then admit to Matt they couldn't even kill a rabbit.
    • The Stokes gang in Luke Cage (2016) primarily dabble in arms dealing, peddling Hammer Industries weaponry on the streets of Harlem. Their contact in Season 1 is Diamondback, who sells machine guns, pistols, and rocket launchers. He also developed the Judas, a bullet made from Chitauri metals and based on abandoned Hammer Industries prototypes in Ukraine, designed to pierce even Luke Cage's skin, drill deep, and explode within the target. Not only that, but he's got the connections and resources to get the NYPD to bulk-purchase the Judas and arm their ESU teams with them.
  • Played literally in Kamen Rider Gaim with Sid, the lock dealer, who lends out Arms lockseeds.
  • Magic City: Ben Diamond sells arms to Cubans who want to overthrow Castro.
  • Mission: Impossible: In "The Cattle King", the IMF has to shut down an arms dealer who is supplying weapons to terrorists.
  • NCIS features these characters from time to time.
    • Season 4 has Tony gain access to a French arms dealer named Rene Benoit (aka La Grenouille) by courting his daughter as "Professor DiNardo."
    • Team Gibbs sometimes has dealings with a Turkish arms dealer named Agah Bayar.
  • In Smallville, Lex Luthor becomes one, turning LuthorCorp from an agricultural business to a weapons manufacturer, around Season 5, when he fully embraces his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Sons of Anarchy: The titular motorcycle club makes a living by buying guns from an IRA splinter group and then selling them to an Oakland based gang (later to a Mexican drug cartel)
  • Star Trek:
    • Ferengi Rule Of Acquisition #34: "War is good for business." However, rule #35 states: "Peace is good for business". One wonders if they didn't have to add that one rather hastily after embracing #34 a bit too enthusiastically.
    • Quark's cousin Gaila in Deep Space Nine is a much more successful businessman than him who made a fortune in selling weapons and, as we are frequently reminded, owns his own moon.
      • In the episode "Business as Usual" Quark joins him in the arms trade until his nightmares are haunted by the images of the people killed by his weapons.
    • The Next Generation episode Arsenal of Freedom had a planet with an economy dedicated to selling weapons to both sides of local conflicts. The entire population was wiped out when someone set their newest automated defense system into demo mode.
  • The Big Bad of Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger, Agent Abrella, and his Power Rangers S.P.D. counterpart, Broodwing. Abrella was a fairly a typical Sentai villain in that he didn't control most MOTWs, they just bought their gear from him. Broodwing supplied the SPD-original Big Bad Emperor Gruummm, and eventually became The Starscream after Gruumm decided he wasn't paying for expensive weapons and robots that couldn't match against the Rangers.
  • Wiseguy. Mel Profitt operated on an international scale, selling weapons as part of his Malthusian belief that it was needed to balance the birth/death rates.

  • Accept has the song Guns 'R' Us from the album "Death Row". It's a song completely and utterly lambasting the major gun manufacturers and sellers, talking about how their weapons are sold to anyone to spread senseless butchery across the land ("Guns 'r' us! Big boys buy big toys at Guns 'r' us! Get a free magazine with your M-16! Guns 'r' us! It's a one-day-sale").
  • Savatage has the Villain Song "Doesn't Matter Anyway" off their album Dead Winter Dead, a Rock Opera set during the Bosnian War. The song is about the arms dealers setting up shop in Sarajevo and selling indiscriminately to whoever is willing to pay. The final verse of the song is a warning to their customers: Buy now or be sorry; even if the weapons don't get used today there will always be another civil war tomorrow.
  • Fall Out Boy has a metaphorical example in the song "This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race." While they're talking about the scene they came out of (which around 2006 was gaining major traction in the mainstream, with bands that were good and bands that were...mostly forgettable and mainly there to ride the trend to the top), the metaphorical verses fit this trope perfectly: "I am an arms dealer/Fitting you with weapons in the form of words/Yeah, don't really care which side wins/Long as the room keeps singing, that's just the business I'm in, yeah."
  • Al Stewart sings about gun smuggling during the Spanish Civil War in his song "On the Border", where the guns are exchanged for Spanish silver.

  • Behind the Bastards did a two-part episode on the history of Basil Zaharoff from the Real Life section below, noting that he started out as a Con Man before becoming an International Arms Merchant and ultimately a full-time Corporate Lobbyist for Vickers Limited. Host Robert Evans also noted that the man was apparently a real-life Consummate Liar and several details of his life (beyond those who can be confirmed by secondary sources) may have been made up wholesale.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Several factions function like this at one time or another in Battletech. The Free Worlds League and the Lyran Commonwealth/Alliance are both known for it, but the one who really takes the cake is probably Clan Diamond Shark, which despite being part of Battletech's Proud Warrior Race would much rather sell guns to you than fight you. And they'll sell Clan tech to the Inner Sphere for the right price, making them the only Clan to exclusively be a Proud Merchant Race, and thus making them very attractive towards mercenaries.
  • In Rifts you not only have the Black Market (your standard shady arms dealers) and independent gun shops, but a number of companies such as Wilk's and Northern Gun also sell their wares directly.
    • Calling Rifts' Black Market merely "shady" is technically correct, but they are anything but "standard". They not only deal in stolen, "lost" or resold weapons by the legit manufacturers (to say nothing of other run-of-the-mill Organized Criminal activities), But they actually manufacture and sell their own brand of gear, either knock-offs disguised as similar goods from other companies, or openly as separate products with their own design themes (western, military, pirate, etc...). One Black Market "family", Bandito Arms, actually is a legit manufacturer in its own right with its own unique product lines, or well on its way to becoming one.
  • Shadowrun:
    • The Crime Mall is perhaps the most brazen example, operating directly open-to-the-public storefronts out of an abandoned shopping mall in the Puyallupnote  Barrens. Most non-magical Shadowrunners have either a guns bootlegger on their contact list or their fixer knows someone.
    • On a more global level, Ares Macrotechnology is the AAA-corporation of choice for firearms and weapons. Well over a third of the bullet-spitters on the core equipment list is made by Ares.
  • Vampire: The Eternal Struggle featured an ally card called Arms Dealer. While in play, the Arms Dealer can take an action to allow the player to search his deck and place a weapon into his hand. Thus, while the player still has to pay for weapons, he can readily have an arsenal available to him.
  • Fairly common in the paper RPG and Inquisitor game lines for Warhammer40000. That said, it usually never ends well for the dealer. Unless they get busted by either the Arbites or Inquisition, a lot of arms dealers will run at a loss for the comparative value of the items they sell. For example, a full magazine of Heavy Bolter ammunition can cost more than the yearly living expenses, earnings, and possession values of the average hiveworlder.

  • The most villainous character in anti-war satire Idiot's Delight is Weber, who sells arms to all sides and profits off of death. He defends himself by saying that the people who use his products are worse than he is.
  • In the George Bernard Shaw play Major Barbara, the title character (which is a meaningful name- St. Barbara is the Patron Saint of munitions) is the daughter of an arms manufacturer, Andrew Undershaft (loosely based on Zaharoff), and she's not happy about it.

    Video Games 
  • After Protocol is an MMO-RTS empire simulator, one where you can sell weapons to allies if you wanted to. You can even be a Technical Pacifist and supply allies with weapons to fight proxy wars that benefit you.
  • In Alpha Protocol, it's probably easier to list the characters who aren't arms dealers, since just about every faction will supply weapons and armor for cash through the Clearinghouse. However, the biggest Arms Dealer in the game is the Halbech Corporation, and its CEO Leland, who are a contractor for the US government and who lost some missiles in Saudi Arabia, kicking off the game's plot. They didn't lose the missiles, they intentionally sold them to terrorists, and Leland is the Big Bad of the game.
    • A minor example who you interact with is Nasri, an arms dealer in Saudi Arabia. He would be an International Arms Merchant, except he's too small a fish for that.
  • Army of Two features four NPCs who sell the characters their armory. Of those four, only Cha Minh Soo has any relevance to the plot; the rest are nothing more than portraits. They could have been rolled into Cha Minh Soo's character and nothing would have changed.
  • In ''Arms Dealer'' you play as, well, an arms dealer and purchase firearms so you can sell them to nations demanding them for profits.
  • The secretive Croc-Monsier in Aviary Attorney can get you one really nice gun for a ridiculous amount of money, a large number of mediocre guns for a ridiculous amount of money, or will sell out the rebels depending on him for a ridiculous amount of money.
  • The Penguin in the Batman: Arkham Series, to the point his men can sometimes be overheard complaining that he forces them to buy their guns from him.
  • The LLC from Battleborn provides and sells the robots, turrets, and other weapons the other factions use.
  • The Borderlands series: Marcus Kincaid sells guns, ammo, grenades, and grenade mods to whoever has money. He's even got a series of gun and ammo vending machines all over the planet! He's ridiculously unscrupulous, arming Vault Hunters like the player character, innocent security-conscious civilians, and insane Bandits alike. Most of his inventory is ripped directly from the hands of dead adventurers, and he threatens to have you killed if you buy from anyone else. Oh, and no refunds, ever.
    • Marcus' business is selling guns, but making them is left to large corporations (Jakobs, Dahl, Vladof, Maliwan, Torgue, Hyperion, and Tediore, along with Atlas and S&S in the first game only) or Bandits themselves. Of these, only Jakobs and Torgue have their own vending machines, in the original and the sequel respectively.
    • A sidequest in 2 involves Dr. Zed requesting you to pick up a shipment he recently purchased from an arms dealer. They are of course actual severed human arms, because Dr. Zed.
  • Hammer in Castlevania: Chronicles of Sorrow. Though he sells stuff besides weapons, most of his inventory is weapons and he's generally seen in front of a crate with various weapons sticking out.
  • In Command & Conquer: Generals the GLA terrorist faction acquires their vehicles from an Arms Dealer building, their equivalent of the War Factory the Chinese and USA use. They also make several deals with other arms sellers in the campaign.
  • Deus Ex: Smuggler.
    • 2027: Evgeny and Boris, along with an unseen dealer who sells only over the phone.
    • The Nameless Mod: Raving Nutter and Andreus.
  • In Deus Ex: Human Revolution you can buy guns from shady dealers who work from places like an abandoned gas station or the back room of a brothel. For some reason despite of your status as chief of security to one of the most influential companies in the world you can't just have your employer commission the appropriate armaments for a mission. Amusingly, the aforementioned gas station dealer will keep on selling even when there's a riot going on a block away and there are police snipers stationed up on his roof. Considering the rare ammo and other stuff he sells, they might even be his customers.
    • There is also Seurat, who you can get a discount from if you save some people in the first mission.
  • In Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, there is a scene (shown in the demo at E3 2016) that features a man selling prosthetic arms to a group. That's right: a literal arms dealer.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II: Haran the item vendor specializes in weapons, armor, and related skillbooks. If a non-human Player Character buys from him, he'll cheerfully state that the burgeoning war might soon put them on opposing sides... in which case his prices will go up.
  • EarthBound (1994) has a black market weapons dealer that tends to hang around in alleys near or behind the drugstores where ordinary items are sold; mostly his wares are junk and bottle rockets, but later in the game he also sells bombs.
  • The player can become one of these in Elite and its sequels, if they're so inclined.
  • Even found in Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom. Not only do you often have to produce your own weapons and armies to defend your town from invaders, you can also buy and sell weapons (even weapons you produce yourself) to other cities. Yet, weapons are simply treated like any other goods — wheat, silk, porcelain, etc. — in that you can trade in them. In some scenarios, the only use you can get out of them even is buying them cheap and selling them at a more expensive price.
  • Escape from Tarkov has the slight twist of having various guns of differing makes and quality handled by multiple different arms dealers, who span the breadth of the sub-types. Prapor is a Russian warrant officer who secretly sells Soviet-bloc weapons and ammo, Skier is a former customs worker who sells civilian-grade weapons as a typical Gangland-runner type, Peacekeeper is a corrupt UN officer who sells NATO guns, Mechanic sells guns he personally customizes, and Jaeger sells various "hunting" weapons like rifles and shotguns.
  • The Gun Runners company, appearing in Fallout and Fallout: New Vegas, live in a post-apocalyptic world where laws do not exist; hence, they are automatically legitimate gun factory/shop owners. They are notable in that they are the only (mentioned) source of factory fresh weapons available to buyers in the universe; the rest of the weapons you can buy is supposed to be salvaged from pre-war depots or tinkered together from rusty parts. The Enclave and the Brotherhood also manufacture weapons, but they aren't commercial organisations and keep their factory output to themselves.
    • Also in Fallout: New Vegas, there's the Van Graff family from New Reno, who took the monopoly of selling energy weaponry by attacking the competition (i.e. the Gun Runners), who only sells traditional guns in the Mojave Wasteland because of that.
  • Far Cry 2 is full of arms dealers. In addition to the Jackal and the player's armorer, there's quite a few other arms dealers who are the targets of various missions. Even some of the playable mercenaries are stated to have histories in gunrunning.
  • Far Cry 4 has Longinus, a former African warlord turned preacher who is also an arms dealer for the local resistance movement.
  • Kuja in Final Fantasy IX sells factory-built black mages to Alexandria for use as shock troops and walking artillery pieces. His motivation isn't necessarily profit, though.
  • In the Front Mission franchise: They don't sell guns, they sell Wanzers and Wanzer Accessories. Justified in Front Mission, it's a place for the wanzer gladiators shopping for 'arms' — AND during a massive war, talk about profit! The dealers in Front Mission 3 sold legally in the middle of a Singapore city, though ordering wanzers off the Internet was implied to be illegal...
  • Naturally, the Grand Theft Auto franchise is full of arms dealers:
    • Starting with Grand Theft Auto III, a chain of stores called 'AmmuNation' acts as this. In GTA3, it tends to sell things that one would expect at a gun shop. Starting in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, they sell more, and in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the only things they don't sell are outright heavy weapons. For that, you need a different guy who sells heavy weapons, just in case you really need that RPG-7.
    • In Grand Theft Auto IV, thanks to tight gun control laws by the mayor of Liberty City, AmmuNation has been replaced with a more traditional, underground black market gun dealer. There's also Little Jacob, who will sell you anything from the back of his car except for the really big guns.
    • In Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, AmmuNation comes back with a mail-order delivery service. This helps them get around gun control laws.
    • It seems that Rockstar missed the AmmuNation stores because they come back in Grand Theft Auto V. You can now buy the heavy weapons such as the RPG, grenade launcher, and minigun from the store. Also, Trevor Philips, one of the protagonists of Grand Theft Auto V, derives significant income from running guns from San Andreas down to Mexico. Since the Gunrunning update in Grand Theft Auto Online, your player character can become the Gangland Gunrunner type and manufacture and sell weapons as part of missions.
  • Homeworld has the Bentusi, who, in a variant, don't sell the actual weapons, only the designs to build it. In the first game, they supply the player with the designs of the ion cannon, either the drone weapons or the defensive shield (depending on the player's choice for a race), and the hull structure needed to build carriers and cruisers. Also, the backstory of Cataclysm has them sell the Somtaaw the designs for a downgraded variant of their own fighter design, and in-game allowed the player to built the actual fighter for the final battle.
  • The Sikholon in I Miss the Sunrise are a mix of type 2 (they're the only known arms dealer in the galaxy) and type 3.
  • Magical Chase: Halloween Jack, who sells Ripple various Power-Ups that can change her shot type, power-up the Star Elves, spells that can recover HP or help against enemies, as well as recovery items and change her movement speed.
  • Donovan Hock in the second game of the Mass Effect series is a Wicked Cultured interstellar arms dealer.
  • Mega Man X5: Grizzly Slash AKA Crescent Grizzly was an arms dealer who illegally sold weapons from his secret warehouse in northern Russia. Interestingly and despite his appearance of a giant robotic bear, Grizzly disliked violence and was one of the few bosses in the series who respected X's pacifist views as he deemed Hunters and Maverick as the same: "very aggressive and overconfident".
  • The Merchant of Menace from Mercenaries. The owner is a Gangland Gun Runner/International Arms Merchant/PRussian Mafia boss who sells everything from pistols to cruise missile strikes and fuel air bombs.
    • The sequel has a mix of Defence Export Ministers (The Allies, China), International Arms Dealers/Corporate Lobbyists (UP), Former Reds With Rockets For Sale (the Guerrillas) and Gangland Gun Runners (the Pirates).
  • Metal Gear:
    • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.
      • Drebin is a twist on the concept. In addition to fitting none of the above sub-types (he's probably best described as a combo of the Gun Shop owner and the international arms dealer), he describes himself not as an arms dealer, but a gun launderer, someone who offers a way around an ID lock system integrated into the military and industrial-military infrastructure on a global level. Though in some ways he (and his brethren) fall under the heading of Minister for Defense Export, as they are taking their marching orders direct from The Patriots; in general, their activities let weaker forces keep fighting by allowing them to reuse battlefield salvaged guns, which in turn stretches conflicts and helps fuel the War Economy. Coincidentally, the same voice actor also played Smuggler in Deus Ex who is... you guessed it: an arms dealer!
    • Additionally, Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops had "Arms Dealer" as a skill for recruitable characters. They allow you to find more weapons and ammo in levels, and it's extremely useful for the Expansion Pack, where Infinity Mode drops you into levels where you don't start with any gear.
  • Kano and his Black Dragon clan from the Mortal Kombat series specialize in this. They will sell weapons to anyone who is able to pay for them and have no interest in what those weapons will be used for (even if it is to help launch an invasion against Kano's home realm of Earthrealm). He can be seen demoing an RPG to Shang Tsung in the story mode of Mortal Kombat 9 and a couple of Tarkatans are seen handling some of the shotguns he sold to Outworld as well.
  • Overwatch features in its backstory the Deadlock Gang, a group of Western-themed outlaws operating in the American Southwest who specialize in weapon and military hardware smuggling. A pair of playable characters have ties to them - Cassidy is an ex-member who disowned literally everything he had to do with them, whereas Ashe is one of the cofounders and the group's current leader.
  • Persona 5: Shopkeeper Munehisa Iwai is your party's primary supplier of weapons and armor. Technically, most of what he sells are just realistic-looking airsoft guns and replicas, but they work just as well as real weapons in the Metaverse. Iwai himself is ex-Yakuza and still involved in some fairly shady business, but is otherwise a good man at heart, and he'll give you better deals as you progress his Confidant.
  • In Raptor: Call of the Shadows, you purchase armaments for your ship in between levels from a disreputable-looking dealership known as Harrold's Death Emporium.
  • Ratchet & Clank: Megacorp, Gadgetron, Grummelnet, The Agency and others and those are the "legal" ones. The illegal variety are Vox Industries, Shady Salesman, Slim Cognito, and The Smuggler. You go to the first three for basic firearms, and the last two for illegal upgrades, and weapons that are banned in five galaxies.
  • Recette, Player Character of Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale and owner of the eponymous shop, basically becomes one of these for local adventurers.
  • Resident Evil 4: The Merchant is a mysterious hooded arms dealer who for some reason shows up around the game to sell and upgrade weapons (as well as buy treasures). It's not explained what he's doing in a zombie-infested Spanish village but you're probably not going to ask that when you need firepower.
  • Resident Evil Village: The Duke, like the above Merchant, is a merchant who sells weapons in some monster-infested European village.
  • RFCK Endless War: The owner of the Dojo sells weapons to any gangster who can afford it. A vendor at the Bazaar will occasionally have a Mini-Gun on sale.
  • The Saints Row series has Friendly Fire, serving much the same purpose as AmmuNation in GTA. They're a less-scrupulous Gun Store Owner variant, as they proudly forgo background checks or waiting periods, sell automatic weaponry and explosive ordnance, and knowingly do business with criminals.
    • There's also Phillipe Loren, head of The Syndicate in Saints Row: The Third; arms dealing is his legitimate business and he owns Powder, a "designer gun store" (whatever that means).
  • Sheldon from the Splatoon series is a horseshoe crab who runs the local weapons shop, Ammo Knights. As the Greater Inkopolis area's primary weapon supplier for the organized sport of Turf War, his business is mostly legitimate, and he will sell his wares to anyone as long as they are "fresh" enough. In Splatoon 2, however, he takes on the additional role of supplying the New Squidbeak Splatoon with military-grade weapons for their offensive against the Octarians. As the Squid Research Lab puts it, he "cares not for the fate of Inkopolis… so long as he can continue to invent new ways to splat."
  • In Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!, a throwaway line with Moneybags while paying him to let you into Zephyr reveals that HE is the source of the Breeze Harbour/Zephyr conflict by selling munitions to the Breeze Builders.
  • Isurugi Industries from Super Robot Wars: Original Generation is an arms manufacturer that sells mechs to anyone, as long as it's sufficiently profitable. Their CEO even goes as far as trying to prolong an ongoing war so that they can make more money selling weapons to both sides.
  • Team Fortress 2 has Mann Co. For some bizarre reason (most likely a smear campaign from the mayor of Teufort) they get flak from activist groups for selling guns to the 9 playable mercenaries, although the activists don't ever get far before getting beaten to death by CEO Saxton Hale.
  • Terraria allows you to build a town and recruit NPCs, two of which are the arms dealer who sells guns and ammo and the demolitionist who sells bombs. Later on, the Hardmode-exclusive Cyborg can appear, who specializes in rocket and mine-type weapons. Several NPC merchants will have a general inventory, but also sell a specific weapon, such as the Witch Doctor supplying the Blowgun or the Traveling Merchant offering the Katana or Revolver.
  • Kantaris from the Time Crisis series. She's known for being Wild Dog's primary arms supplier.
  • You in Tropico, turn the iron into weapons. However, the US and Russia don't like third party arms dealers.
  • Los Angeles weapons dealers in Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines are situated in a more legitimate front — pawn shop, convenience store, antique shop — but will present their guns, knives, and swords if they hear the right words. But one sells out of the back of his van, just a few feet away from a corner where patrols a police officer who somehow never seems to turn to face the van.
  • Warframe: The Corpus make most of the weapons used in the Forever War. In fact, while their enemies the Grineer make quite a few weapons themselves, they also buy from the Corpus, then turn right around and use those weapons against the Corpus. The Corpus don't care.
  • Wild ARMs XF has Weishiet, who provides the deadly weapons for the Council and is known as the Death Merchant.

    Web Animation 
  • Lobo (Webseries): Stumpy is an arms dealer with detachable arms who sells discounted weapons.
  • Shrapnel: Pavel and Toki are arms dealers who sell guns and gun accessories out of their shops in Serafima and Candlesmoke respectively.

    Web Comics 
  • And Shine Heaven Now infers that Oliver Warbucks amassed his fortune doing this, and his adopted daughter Annie Warbucks took over upon his death. Integra, Seras, and Pip go to get new weapons from her.
  • Lemon and Lime from Evil Plan.

    Web Video 
  • This is FPSRussia's day job. He might posture as a Former Red With Rusting Rockets For Sale in front of the camera, but he's probably the Gun Shop Owner type and totally above-board and legitimate in real life. (We hope.)
    • If this was ever true, it certainly isn't now. Kyle Meyers, better known as his stage name Dimitri Potapoff was arrested in August of 2017 for receiving cannabis oil in the mail, which is a felony in his home state of Georgia. Under US law, a felony charge automatically disqualifies anyone from possessing a firearm. He streams video game related content on a separate channel now.

    Western Animation 
  • Boo Boom! The Long Way Home: Boo-Boom and his animals encounter one in Episode 22 when they try to escape from a group of German soldiers and hide in a cave which the arms dealer was also using as a hideout. When the man realizes Boo-Boom unintentionally led the Germans to his lair, he forces the heroes to help him move his weapons elsewhere (threatening to tear up Boo-Boom's photograph of his parents if they don’t comply).
  • Destro in nearly all incarnations of G.I. Joe.
  • Jack Hench and Hench Co. in Kim Possible are a relatively kid-friendly depiction of this trope. Hench fits the "corporate lobbyist" type and treats the sale of hired muscle and gadgets to supervillains as "just business".
  • Lord Boxman in OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes fits the "corporate lobbyist" variant to a tee, as Box More specializes in the manufacturing of killer robots for supervillains to use...In theory, as Boxman spends more time using said robots to attack Gar's Bodega on a regular basis.
  • Although Lexcorp in Superman: The Animated Series nominally dealt in many industries, the side most often shown was its weapon development, making Lex Luthor the "corporate lobbyist" version of this trope.
  • Minor Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) recurring character Ruffington is both the "corporate lobbyist" and "gangland gun runner", being a legitimate government contractor, and selling modified alien weaponry to street gangs such as the Purple Dragons.
  • In most continuities of Transformers, there will be a character named Swindle who is nominally a Decepticon but will happily sell anything to anyone provided they've got the scratch.
    • And he's almost always an Intergalactic Arms Merchant only in business for himself.

    Real Life 
  • California state senator Leland Yee, a gun control advocate, who was arrested for weapons trafficking in 2014.
  • Basil Zaharoff, one-time Chairman of Vickers, who has appeared as an actual character or a No Celebrities Were Harmed version in several works. Corporate Lobbyist type. His name kind of became synonymous with "war profiteer" during WWI, what with his tendency to sell weapons to both sides of a conflict. A Captain Ersatz of him appears in Tintin, where he manages to sell weapons to two countries and provoke a war between them on the same day.
  • The United States of America has been described as the world's biggest arms dealer. Russia takes second place (its exports are hugely down from the days of the USSR, where arms were sent to fellow communist revolutionaries and any governments they wanted to sell/donate arms to, with famous early examples being the Second Spanish Republic and Nationalist China). The UK, France, and mainland China are all in the top six, and they all have permanent seats on the UN Security Council, with the ability to veto resolutions on arms trafficking. Rounding out the top six, the third-largest arms exporter is Germany. Although it's probably better than the time they decided to keep them for themselves (the weapons, not the ammo; that, they shared freely). To be fair, the German government doesn't (officially anyway) get terribly involved in hawking their weaponry; it's mostly the German arms manufacturers themselves (who benefit from the general German reputation for high-quality manufactured goods as well as their own track record) who do the marketing.
    • Italy too is a fairly large arms dealer on international levels... And their buyers include all six major arms dealer countries above: the US military uses Benelli M4 shotguns and the OTO Melara Super Rapid 76mm naval gun, and had used the famed Beretta 92 until officially replacing it in 2017; Russia uses the Iveco LMV infantry mobility vehicle; the UK uses the Benelli and a licence-produced variant of the Iveco LMV; France, notoriously picky when it comes to buying foreign weapons, and often willing to use defective guns because they were French, use the Beretta (made under licence by a French company) and the Super Rapid (in one case chosen over a French design); Germany uses the Otobreda 127/64 naval gun; and China uses a licensed version of the Iveco VM 90 off-road military truck; and that's without including joint developments or the stuff on the civilian market. Also, Beretta managed to sell their new assault rifle in the traditional Kalashnikov market.
  • Arms exporting countries have dedicated junior ministers for this sort of thing. The UK for instance has a Minister of Defence Equipment and Support.
  • The now-famous Charlie Wilson was a U.S. congressman who used his own power — he was a member of the appropriations committee (money lenders) for black ops, as well as working with a number of CIA and Special Forces agents — to secure arms for Afghan Guerillas during the Soviet war in Afghanistan. Another point is the CIA agent he worked with, Gust Avrokatos, and the guys Gust worked with. Gust once remarked of the immense balls of the Deputy Arms Minister of Egypt. Apparently, during a meeting with Gust for weapons to be sold to Israel with money from the U.S. and Saudi Arabia with the intention of Israel handing the weapons to Pakistan who would move them into Afghanistan (yeah), the Deputy Minister was also darting in and out of two other rooms that each smelled strongly of tobacco and hashish. Apparently the minister was making arms deals with the Iranians in the room on the left, Americans in the center room, and Iraqis on the right. This despite the fact that Iran and Iraq were at war, and Egypt's attitude towards America at the time was "we'll write insulting things with our right hands while you pass cash and guns to our left."
  • Viktor Bout, a former Red (retired Russian GRU major) with a lot of military stuff for sale. He was supplying weapons to nearly everyone (except for people linked to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, or so he claims) for fifteen years, until he was arrested in Thailand in 2008. Nicknamed "The Merchant of Death". Also, the main character of Lord of War, Yuri Orlov, was based on him.
  • Norway allegedly has the world's largest export of weapons per capita.
    • Alfred Nobel (who was Swedish)note  was originally an arms dealer of the first rank. He invented dynamite, the first effective smokeless powder, and owned a major arms company (Bofors, an iron mill that he repurposed into an arms production company, which still makes heavy artillery to this day). When his brother Ludvig died, several newspapers mistakenly thought it was him; Alfred saw a premature obituary in a French newspaper that read Le marchand de mort est mort ("The Merchant Of Death Is Dead"). Not wishing to be remembered as the Merchant Of Death, he set up the Prizes. While he sought peace, he did not believe in disarmament treaties would be useful in achieving that goal.
  • The Iran–Contra affair involved the highest levels of the U.S. government illegally trading arms for hostages. All Americans indicted or convicted were pardoned by George H. W. Bush.
  • In recent history the ATF itself with Project Gun Runner and Operation Fast and Furious, sting operations Gone Horribly Wrong.
  • Examples from the Victorian era:
    • When the Italian Navy was building a new class of battleships in the 1870s, the British company Armstrong Whitworth sold the Italians 450mm guns. When the British Royal Navy became concerned over the firepower of the Italian battleships, they bought the exact same guns for use as coastal artillery at the Malta naval base.
      • Armstrong Whitworth was also Britain's biggest export shipbuilder, selling warships (usually armed with company-made weapons) to Chile, the United States, Russia, Spain, Brazil (and by resale the Ottoman Empire), China, and Japan in addition to ships for the Royal Navy — the latter two of which ended up fighting each other with Armstrong Whitworth ships on both sides. Along the way, they introduced genuine innovations in military shipbuilding, most notably the cruiser Esmeralda, with the brand-new protected cruiser armor layout.
    • The company Krupp didn't just sell its artillery pieces to the German Empire; Krupp weapons were sold to powers like the Russian Empire, Italy, Qing China, Japan, Chile, Serbia, and a whole lot of other countries. Russia, Italy, and Japan (through Italy) even license produced their own artillery based on the Krupp design. To give an example of how massive Krupp's operations were: they built and sold battlecruisers to Japan.
      • A major scandal occurred in the early 1900s when German troops sent to suppress the Boxer Rebellion in China found themselves under fire from Imperial Chinese soldiers using Krupp cannon. The Kaiser was outraged enough to demand an investigation, though the Krupps managed to wiggle out of it.


Video Example(s):



Stumpy, an alien with detachable metal arms owns Stumpy's Arms, where Lobo gets his weapons from.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / ArmsDealer

Media sources: