Arms Control is a term used for restrictions upon the development, production, stockpiling, proliferation, and usage of weapons, especially weapons of mass destruction. Arms control is typically exercised through international treaties and agreements, although it may also comprise efforts by a nation or group of nations to enforce limitations upon a non-consenting country.
Arms control treaties and agreements are often seen as a way to avoid arms races which would prove counter-productive to national aims and future peace. Some are used as ways to stop the spread of certain military technologies in return for assurances to potential developers that they will not be victims of those technologies. Additionally, some arms control agreements are entered to limit the damage done by warfare, especially to civilians and the environment, which is seen as bad for all participants regardless of who wins a war.
On a national or community level, arms control can amount to programs to control the access of private citizens to weapons.