A review of arms trafficking convictions and arms embargo violations conducted by Reuters found that the median jail sentence for an arms trafficker convicted in the United States was 21 months. Reuters reviewed 185 arms trafficking convictions that took place between 2005 and 2013.
In comparison, the average sentence for a convicted bank robber is over 5 years.
The review found that that there is a difference in the type of punishment handed out between companies that violated arms embargoes versus individuals. Generally, companies who violate arms embargoes typically pay fines as high as millions of dollars. When it was an individual who sold the arms, the person is generally criminally prosecuted and faces jail time.
Source: Reuters, “Arms smugglers get lighter sentences than bank robbers,” Yahoo News, December 18, 2013.