Archive for 2012

American Gun Homicides Are The Problem Now, Oh Really?

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Cross Posted Via:  TheGunMag.com

By Jeff Moran | Geneva

The horrible December 14th Connecticut school shootings are an outrage on humanity, and it is right to raise questions about how and why they happened, and what should be done.  The emotional response by President Obama that day and the refrain in the worldwide media in the days after appear to suggest that the American policy imperative now may be to severely restrict the availability of  guns.  A logical review of the facts surrounding American gun homicides would suggest otherwise however.

Clearly, without question, some people cannot be trusted with guns, and such people should not be allowed to possess or acquire  them to begin with.  But it is also outrageous for American leaders to extrapolate that all other people can not or should not be trusted with modern firearms for their self-defense based simply on what happened in Connecticut and elsewhere this year.  A draconian ban like those imposed in the United Kingdom or Australia after similar shootings is not the way forward for America.  Such a course of action would be an example of weak leadership and policy-making hijacked by emotion.  American citizens must  hold their political leaders to a higher standard of careful fact-based governance.

Just as the Obama Administration has rightly rejected calls from absolutist humanitarians abroad to categorically ban modern landmines, cluster munitions, and nuclear weapons for America’s own defense, so to should the Obama Administration  reject calls from absolutist anti-gun activists at home to ban or severely roll-back the availability of modern small arms for individual self-defense.

The first step forward must be to critically examine basic assumptions about death and armed violence in America.  Perhaps the most enduring assumptions by absolutist in the anti-gun policy community are the false if not outright dishonest assertions that more guns have meant more violence in America over time, that gun homicides have been trending upwards, and that today we are worse off than we have been.

Despite what news media coverage suggests, the truth is that  gun homicides in America have been on the decline for some time.  We must remind our leaders and ourselves that the core competency of the news media / infotainment complex is precisely to showcase extremely bad situations, and to confer upon them, through repetition and the internet echo chamber, a false sense of  normality.  News, by definition, is not about normal life and events.  And so the mass shootings in Connecticut and elsewhere must be recognized for what they truly are:  statistical outliers. Contrary to hyperbolic media coverage,  gun homicides are hardly an uncontrolled epidemic for  Americans.  In fact, they constitute a relatively low and decreasing threat to public safety over time.

An examination of available official information managed by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) bears this out. For the sake of simplicity and argument, let’s absurdly assume that all homicides in the United States from 1999-2010 were caused by firearms, and firearms alone.  And for good measure, let’s assume all homicides were unjustifiable.  Now, if one examines the top 10 leading causes of death over this period, nowhere in any age group is homicide (“by firearms”) public health and safety enemy #1.   In fact, the most consistent leading cause of death across the majority of age groups is: unintentional injury, accidents.

The closest homicide (“by firearms”) ever comes to being public enemy #1 is as enemy #2 for people aged 15 – 24 years.  But even in this demographic, over the 1999-2010 period, the difference between public enemy #1 and #2 is a substantial.  Over 175,000 people died in accidents, just under 63,000 people died in homicides (“by firearms”).  In other words, in this most at-risk  demographic, and even absurdly assuming all homicides are unjustifiable and caused by firearms, three times more people die from accidents.  The situation for children aged 5 – 9 years is even more extreme with homicide ranking  #4, with over eight times as many children dying from accidents.

It is therefore misguided, lazy, and/or dishonest to say that guns in America are somehow public health and safety enemy #1.  Policy-makers need to run the numbers and use the data to drive their public health and safety decisions.  Please click the thumbnail table below for more details.  Raw source data is available here.

Nevertheless,  absolutist on the anti-gun side of the debate still plainly misrepresent the truth by pointing to the number of gun deaths in America. They also like to contrast the number of gun deaths in America with those from other countries.  Both of these are faulty exercises.  The relevant numbers to examine are gun death rates, such as deaths per 100,000 people, and not the absolute numbers.  Absolute numbers help one to loose sight of the fact that that big countries like America simply have a lot more people and deaths in general, and that each year the population grows absolutely as well.  In short, absolute comparisons of gun deaths are practically meaningless.  Therefore, again, it is either a sign of profound ignorance or simple dishonestly when one makes a big deal about the absolute number of gun deaths in the United States, especially in comparison to any country in Europe for example.  The same can be said of comparing the United States to other countries with plainly incomparable constitutional provisions, and/or social and political histories.

What is perhaps most relevant for national gun policy purposes are the national rates of gun deaths combined with the trend over time.  Such trend information gives one a sense of magnitude plus direction and historical perspective.  As with pointing to absolute numbers of gun related deaths, it is simply illogical to look at numbers at a single point in time and draw policy conclusions.   By extension, it would be mistaken in the present situation to conclude that availability of guns in America now presents a national problem because 2012 was a year with several spectacular episodes of mass gun homicides.  This is because trend analysis using available government data actually suggests that gun homicides are becoming less frequent than they have been.

Official American data can once again help reveal a truth worth recognizing and internalizing:  while the national gun inventory and gun ownership rates in America have indeed increased over the past nearly 20 years, America has actually been experiencing a phenomenal decline in the rates of gun-related homicide, suicide, and accidental death.  To the extent that historical trend has continued since 2009 (the latest year for which information was available), there are actually many more suicides involving firearms than both gun-related homicides and accidental deaths, combined.  And the trend (suicides v. homicides + accidents) is accelerating.  Doesn’t this therefore suggests the more important national priority for America’s leaders has been for years the problem of suicide?  It is also important to note that, over the past nearly 20 years, gun-related homicides, suicides, and accidental deaths have actually decreased by an astounding 44%, 19%, and 69% respectively.  Doesn’t such downward trend for all types of gun deaths suggest America is on the right track?

Please click the thumbnail chart and table below for more information about American gun-related death trends.  They are based on official data pulled from mortality statistics managed by the CDC.  The date range for these is from 1993, a peak year, to 2009, the most recent year for which age-adjusted data was available.  The graphical chart depicts the death rates in the data table beside it.  The death rates shown in the data table are age adjusted per 100,000 people and rounded to two significant digits.  Raw source data is available here.

In conclusion, America needs honest leadership and public policy driven by logic and by an honest examination of assumptions about gun violence in America.  Politicians should not be permitted to take the easy way out of this leadership challenge by simply blaming guns and their availability, and by misrepresenting and overstating the problem of gun homicides.   The facts are plain and simple, gun homicides are not public enemy #1.  And to suggest otherwise is profoundly ignorant, lazy, or simply dishonest. Ultimately, the American gun policy imperative is for political leaders and civil society on all sides of the issue to strike a balance between the inherent rights of individual citizens to armed self-defense and the collective interests of public health, safety,  law and order.   This is certainly never an easy task.  Yet with the horrible memory of the Connecticut shootings still fresh in mind, and politicians poised to take action, Americans must be all the more vigilant.  Our political leaders must not be permitted to resort to policy driven more by soft emotion  and convenience than by hard analysis driven by relevant facts, trends, and appropriate problem definition.

 

About The Author

Jeff Moran, a Principal at TSM Worldwide LLC, specializes in the international defense, security, and firearms industries.  Previously Mr. Moran was a strategic marketing leader for a multi-billion dollar unit of a public defense & aerospace company, an American military diplomat, and a nationally ranked competitive rifle shooter.  He is currently studying international humanitarian and human rights law with the Executive LL.M. Program of the Geneva Academy.  Earlier this year he completed an Executive Master in International Negotiation from the Graduate Institute of Geneva.   Mr. Moran also has an MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School and a BSFS from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.

 

First Published: 16 December 2012.
Last Updated: 18 December 2012.

 

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Thwarting global gun grabbers: Congress moves to stop Obama from signing U.N. Arms Treaty

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Original Story Via: The Washington Times

The United Nations is pushing gun control on a global scale, and President Obama is on board. Just a few hours after re-election was assured, the president’s representative cast a vote for the Arms Trade Treaty at a U.N. committee meeting. The loosely drafted agreement doesn’t go after guns directly, but the language enables activist judges to get creative in restricting Americans’ exercise of their Second Amendment rights. A final General Assembly decision on the treaty is expected in March, and House Republicans are locked and loaded to stop it.

Rep. Mike Kelly introduced a resolution earlier this month urging the president not to sign the treaty. “If we don’t enshrine this Constitution and these amendments, then we are in great danger of losing them,” the freshman Pennsylvania Republican said in an interview with The Washington Times. “People need to understand that we are constantly under aggressive acts to take these rights away from us, and it’s done in such a way that people don’t see it coming.”

Read the full story at: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/nov/28/thwarting-global-gun-grabbers/

Rep. Kelly Introduces Resolution to Protect Second Amendment Rights from UN Arms Trade Treaty

Monday, November 26th, 2012

In addition to the Second Amendment Protection Act (HR 3594) introduced by Rep. Joe Walsh, HR 814 sponsored by Rep. Mike Kelly and 76 other co-sponsors would prohibit federal funding to implement the UN ATT and other similar agreements if signed by President Obama. Other representatives such as Rep. Joe Barton recently voiced strong support for the bill. Both of the bills are bipartisan with co-sponsors from the Democrat and Republican party.

Original Story Via:  Kelly.House.Gov

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) introduced a resolution today urging the president not to sign the United Nations (UN) Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which is in the final stages of negotiation, and warns the president that if he does indeed sign the ATT, it will not be binding and no federal funds will be appropriated to implement it unless it has consent in the Senate and has been the subject of implementing legislation by the Congress.

Just hours after President Obama’s reelection, the administration voted in the UN to move forward with finalizing the ATT, which was previously delayed and is now scheduled to take place during a March 2013 conference.

The bipartisan resolution addresses concerns over language included in the July 2012 ATT draft, which failed to expressly recognize the fundamental, individual right to keep and to bear arms and the individual right of personal self-defense, among other things. In doing so, the current draft threatens the Second Amendment rights of United States citizens, as well as United States sovereignty.

In addition, the ATT poses significant risks to the national security, foreign policy, and economic interests of the United States, placing free democracies and totalitarian regimes on a basis of equality and recognizing their equal right to transfer arms, while imposing onerous reporting requirements that could damage the domestic defense manufacturing base and related firms.

Seventy-six original cosponsors, including Chairmen Jim Jordan (OH-04), Mike Rogers (MI-08), Fred Upton (MI-06), Lamar Smith (TX-21), Sam Graves (MO-06), and Jeff Miller (FL-01), have joined Rep. Kelly in his effort to uphold the Second Amendment rights of Americans and maintain the sovereignty of the United States of America through this critical and timely resolution, which is supported by the National Rifle Association, Heritage Action, and the Endowment for Middle East Truth.

Rep. Kelly issued the following statement:

“There is considerable cause for alarm regarding the UN’s renewed efforts to forge an Arms Trade Treaty that could trample the constitutional rights of Americans, and could seriously compromise our national security and the security of our allies, whom we will be less able to arm and less quick to defend due to the restrictions placed on us by the ATT. My colleagues and I stand committed to fighting this threat to our sovereignty and to standing up for the U.S. Constitution, which we are all sworn to support and defend.”

Background

On June 29, Rep. Kelly sent a letter to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outlining his concerns that the ATT would compromise national security and infringe on Americans’ Second Amendment rights. The letter, which was signed by 130 Members of the House, stated, in part, that:

•    The ATT should not cover small arms, light weapons, or related material such as firearms ammunition;
•    The ATT should expressly recognize the individual right of personal self-defense, as well as the legitimacy of hunting, sports shooting, and other lawful activities pertaining to the private ownership of firearms and related materials; and
•    The ATT must not hinder the U.S. from fulfilling strategic, legal, and moral commitments to provide arms to allies such as Taiwan and Israel.

To read the full letter, click here.

To read the Washington Times editorial titled, “The U.N. is coming for your guns,” which mentions Rep. Kelly’s letter, click here.

To read the Townhall.com article highlighting Rep. Kelly’s letter, click here.

CLICK TO PLAY (July 25 Interview on ATT)

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Australian government pushes ahead with firearms laws

Saturday, November 24th, 2012

Original Story Via:  Perth Now

The federal government is pressing ahead with plans to create new aggravated offences for trafficking firearms or gun parts across state and national borders.

Justice Minister Jason Clare on Friday announced he would introduce the legislation into federal parliament next week – the last sitting days of the year.

“These new offences will carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment,” Mr Clare said in a statement.

“This will make the maximum penalty for trafficking in firearms the same as the maximum penalty for trafficking in drugs.”

Life sentences are a part of a major reform package announced in June to tackle the illegal weapons market.

Federal and state ministers have also agreed to develop a national firearms register and a ballistics identification network.

Experts from the United States will visit Australia in February 2013 to train police in tracing and tracking firearms.

Mr Clare and state and territory ministers responsible for police and emergency management discussed the reforms in Victoria on Friday.

It’s thought there are more than 250,000 illegal firearms in Australia.

Most are stolen or weren’t handed in after the Port Arthur massacre when former prime minister John Howard passed tough new gun laws.

National German gun registry on target for launch

Saturday, November 24th, 2012

Original Story Via:  Deutsche Welle

The German interior minister has said a countrywide database of all legal gun owners is set for launch on January 1. Hans-Peter Friedrich predicted a “considerable increase in security” as a result.

The German government plans to launch its complete registry of legal gun owners at the beginning of next year, two years ahead of a deadline set by the EU.

As with many German authorities, those responsible for weapons licensing and tracking operated on a local basis – with a total of 551 authorities around the country. Under new EU laws, all member countries are obliged to compile a centralized register.

There are an estimated 6 million licensed firearms in Germany.

Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told reporters in Berlin that the database would provide “a very concrete contribution towards improving public safety.” Thanks to the information, he said; police would be able to check “who owns which weapons legally, across the entire country,” perhaps more quickly than in the past.

Friedrich also praised the relevant German agencies for setting up the system ahead of schedule.

“With this Germany is one of the first member states to fully comply with the demands of the EU guidelines,” the interior minister said.

Instant info in critical cases

Jörg Ziercke, the head of Germany’s federal criminal investigative agency, the BKA, said at Monday’s presentation that particular gains would be made in investigations where time was of the essence. He told reporters that in the worst case scenario, it used to take three or four months to discover where a weapon came from, whereas soon it should be just a click away.

The January 1 version of the database is only the first, watered-down database documenting only the legal registration of firearms. The upgraded registry should eventually document historical information like weapon producers, dealers, importers and any previous private owners.

The GdP trade union representing many of the country’s police officers welcomed the development, while saying that it was a little overdue.

“With this, an old demand from the GdP has been fulfilled. It took a long time, but the technical implementation was quite a challenge,” the union’s national chairman, Bernhard Witthaut, said. A sister police officers’ union issued a similar statement, saying its officers had long lobbied for swifter access to information on firearms.

Arms Trade Treaty Discussed at UN, Second ATT Conference Scheduled for 2013

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Original Story Via:  TheGunMag.com

by Philip L. Watson

New York, NY—The UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was discussed at length with testimony from both pro and anti-gun groups during the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly’s 67th session.

On Nov. 7, a resolution was passed for a second ATT conference beginning March 18. The UN already spent 11 weeks in meetings for the ATT with four Preparatory Committee meetings leading toward the final failed ATT conference last July. The General Assembly will consider the resolution; it’s likely that it will be approved.

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) were scheduled for Oct. 29; however, the UN was closed due to Hurricane Sandy. Statements for all NGOs were delivered in written form to the delegates. The NGO statements to the UN against guns were juxtaposed against looting in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, with many local New York and New Jersey citizens unable to protect themselves due to some of the most strict gun laws in the country. TheGunMag.com (TGM) outlined the tragic irony of the situation here: SAF: Post-Storm Brooklyn Looting Shows Importance of Gun Rights.

The Second Amendment Foundation delivered its remarks to the UN with other groups as detailed in a previous TGM stories here:  SAF, others weigh in on new round of UN gun control talks, and SAF Statement to UN Stopped by Storm, Still Carries Powerful Message. SAF also addressed the UN’s Programme of Action in August defending the human right of self-defense.

At the first committee meetings, the right to keep and bear arms in self-defense was not discussed. Canada reaffirmed the right of its citizens to own and use firearms for sporting purposes. The delegates focused primarily on consensus, negotiation, and implementation. The case was made for expansion of the scope and parameters of the ATT document from July 2012. Of particular note were points made about registration, tracing, and tracking of guns and ammunition. An official version of the meeting is available here.

The draft ATT in July didn’t win any acclaim from any Second Amendment or self-defense rights groups. That’s not stopping NGO’s like Control Arms from claiming the July draft of the ATT was “missing pieces.

The following are statements from the Defense Small Arms Advisory Council (DSAAC), the World Forum on Shooting Activities (WFSA), the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI), the Manufacturers Advisory Group to the World Forum on Shooting Activities, and the International Committee of Museums and Collections of Arms and Military History.

TheGunMag and IAPCAR were among the first to make the July 24 initial draft and final UN ATT proposal publicly available. More information about the ATT will be reported as it becomes available on TheGunMag.com, SAF.org, and IAPCAR.org.

Statement of the Defense Small Arms Advisory Council

First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly

29 October 2012

Thank you, Mister President, for the opportunity to offer remarks from the perspective of an industry that manufactures military small arms and light weapons to enable states to meet their legitimate national security and law enforcement requirements and does so in strict compliance with the most demanding and rigorous export licensing system in the world.  We believe that a legally binding Arms Trade Treaty that subjects all military arms manufacturers and exporters world-wide to a similar level of regulation can be of benefit in combating the armed violence caused by the absence of common standards governing the international trade in military weapons.  It is difficult to ignore the fact that the vast majority of states currently lack even the most rudimentary export licensing systems, much less comprehensive ones with correspondingly effective enforcement mechanisms.  The ATT was, we thought, to begin addressing that lack.

From our perspective as observers of the negotiations conference in July, it appears that the chief obstacle to achieving consensus on an effective treaty text was the insistence by some on creating an overly broad document, one that went well beyond the committee’s mandate, irrespective of the fact that such language was unlikely to ever be agreed and, even if agreed, effectively carried into force.  A treaty can be likened to a vessel: it can carry only so much freight and attempting to overload it with too many things that, although desirable to some are objectionable to others, poses the risk of sinking it.  In July, the vessel was overloaded and nearly sank; fortunately, it was still tied to the pier and may yet set sail, once the excess weight is removed.

It is our understanding that the sole purpose of the ATT is to legally compel state-parties to adopt procedures for determining if a proposed export of military arms meets basic, internationally agreed standards.  Treaty language that is narrowly focused on achieving that single purpose is, we believe, well worth working for and still well within reach.  It is to be hoped that future negotiations retain that focus and that the perfect—in the eyes of some—does not once again become the enemy of the good.

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Statement From: Manufacturers Advisory Group

Ted Rowe, Chairman

Mr. Chairman:

I am Ted Rowe, Chairman of the Manufacturers Advisory Group to the World Forum on Shooting Activities (WFSA). Speaking on behalf of the world’s leading manufacturers of civilian firearms and ammunition, we must insist on the recognition of civilian possession and ownership of firearms and ammunition in accordance with national law.

Unless and until the United Nations in its various proposals recognizes the right of lawful civilian ownership and possession of firearms, we will continue to use all efforts necessary to have civilian ownership recognized by the United Nations, and we will continue to oppose those proposals that do not recognize this right.

The Arms Trade Treaty to be negotiated in March of 2013 should clearly indicate that the small arms included are for military use and that civilian firearms are to be excluded.

The Program of Action as it evolves should also recognize the legitimate, legal use of firearms by civilians as well as their right to own and possess firearms within their national laws.

It is interesting to note that each and every member state of the United Nations is a legitimate importer of civilian firearms and ammunition. These imports are not for the military! These imports should not be subject to or included within an Arms Trade Treaty.

Civilian use of firearms is seen internationally in Olympic Games, in hunting around the world, in sport shooting and in recreational use.

Finally, Mr. Chairman, there is the human right of self-protection and self-defense and the need and use of firearms to fulfill that right. This right is indisputable and is documented throughout history.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman

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Statement from World Forum on Shooting Activities (WFSA)

UN General Assembly First Committee

October 29, 2012

Mr. Chairman, I am Herbert Keusgen, the President of the World Forum on Shooting Activities.   We represent the hundreds of millions of hunters, sport shooters and civilian firearms owners throughout the world.  The WFSA is an ECOSOC NGO and has participated in UN meetings relating to small arms and light weapons for fifteen years.

Today I would like to make three brief comments, reflecting the views the civilian firearms community, on the Programme of Action, the possible Arms Trade Treaty and ISACS.

On the Programme of Action, Mr. Chairman, we continue to remain disappointed that the POA has failed to recognize the legitimacy and utility of civilian firearms ownership. Mr. Chairman, there seems to be a continuing misconception on the part of the UN and supporters of the POA, that civilian firearms are a bad thing.  Sixty percent of the small arms in the world are legally owned by civilians. These arms are not a problem. The problem lies with inadequate control of military arms.

Mr. Chairman, let’s say something positive. At the last week’s UN meeting on the UN Firearms Protocol in Vienna there was an acknowledgment of the legitimacy of civilian firearms use. This was a positive step and we commend this action.

Mr. Chairman, in regard to a possible Arms Trade Treaty, we continue to be told that the intent of an ATT is only to control military small arms. Therefore, we request the UN to state this in such an ATT in clear and unmistakable language. For example, it could use the definition of SALW used by Germany, and I quote:

Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW), are weapons and weapon systems which were originally manufactured or which were rebuilt according to military standards and requirements for use as war matériel. 

This would clearly exclude civilian firearms from the scope of the ATT.

Mr. Chairman, the ATT has been extremely politicized in one particular jurisdiction. This is a question of perception, Mr. Chairman.  As long as the ATT is perceived, let me underline perceived,  as affecting  civilian firearms, it will not be accepted or ratified in that jurisdiction.  This situation can be changed by the specific exclusion of civilian firearms that we have suggested.

Mr. Chairman, let me briefly comment on International Small Arms Control Standards or ISACS.  We are extremely disappointed in the ISACS process. If the POA has had a bias against civilian firearms, ISACS has been almost overtly anti-civilian firearms. The ISACS process has failed to respond appropriately to the legitimate concerns and requirements of the civilian user community and the firearms manufacturers. This must change, Mr. Chairman.

Let me conclude, Mr. Chairman, by saying that notwithstanding our criticisms today we remain willing to cooperate on all fronts and venues whether it be the POA, the Firearms Protocol, the ATT or ISACS. We can be a valuable ally to efforts that address the problems of misuse or a steadfast opponent of any effort that restrict the lawful use of civilian firearms.

For further information contact Thomas Mason at +1 503 998 0555 or tlmorusa@aol.com .

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United Nations General Assembly, 67th Session

First Committee

New York, 1 November, 2012

Statement by Richard Patterson, Managing Director

Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute, Inc

Thank you, Mr. President, for the opportunity to speak today.  My name is Richard Patterson.  I’m the managing director of the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute–also known as SAAMI.  Since 1926 we have created the safety and reliability standards for the design, manufacture, transportation, storage and use of firearms, ammunition and components. We are an accredited standards-setting organization.  Whether you realize it or not, every country in this room benefits from our standards.  Firearms and ammunition that follow SAAMI standards are being used in every corner of the world to promote peace, enhance economic stability, responsibly manage wildlife populations, provide recreation, teach life-skills, promote the camaraderie of sporting competition, and protect lives.

The small arms issue is complex, since small arms are tools that can be used for the greater good of humanity, and misused by those who choose to commit acts of violence.  Because of this duality, uninformed decisions can cause more harm than good.

SAAMI has at its disposal many of the world’s leading ballisticians, structural engineers, chemists, statisticians, logistics experts, and metallurgists specializing in firearms and ammunition.  We are in the unique position of providing valuable technical, factual, and science-based input into the small arms discussion and debate.  We also have access to the real-world practical knowledge of the major manufacturers of firearms, ammunition and components, meaning we can add a practical perspective to the debate.

We welcome the opportunity to share our expertise and experience.  We would like to participate in any discussions resulting from the PoA call for a technical and industry working group and—for that matter—in any other discussions on this important issue.

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Statement From: The International Committee of Museums and Collections of Arms and Military History (ICOMAM)

2012/10/24

Mr. Chairman:

I am Ken Smith-Christmas, representing ICOMAM, The International Committee of Museums and Collections of Arms and Military History.  ICOMAM is an organization with approximately 260 institutional and individual members in some 50 countries, and includes such museums as the Royal Armouries in England, the Royal Dutch Army Museum, the Royal Belgian Army Museum, and the Smithsonian Institution. For the past fifty-five years, we have served as the advocate for museums around the world that specialize in arms and military history.  We are an international committee of ICOM, the International Council of Museums, which works closely with UNESCO.

Nearly every history museum on earth has firearms in its collections.  Most of these arms are antique, or, by their historical association, are considered to be curios.  Many of them are inoperable relics, due to their physical condition. Some are excavated, archaeological, material. The ability to acquire and exchange them is essential to the scientific, cultural, and economic functioning of our museums. We are concerned that the provisions of the Arms Trade Treaty will affect these types of firearms.  For instance, under proposals currently being reviewed, a museum would have to seek the permission of the exporting country, the importing country, and the transit countries to acquire and transport an antique arm or weapon, even for a temporary loan or a research project.

We submit that antique arms and museum weapons pose no threat to anyone. Rather, they are part of our common cultural heritage and current regulatory structures are adequate to control them.  Additionally, in today’s climate of constrained budgets, it is an unnecessary financial burden on museums and governments to require stringent controls over the antiques, curios, and relic arms commonly found in museums.

In short, we believe that there is simply no need for antique and museum arms and weapons to be included within the scope of an Arms Trade Treaty. We therefore request that they be exempted from the scope of any Treaty.

Thank you.

Russia to toughen gun laws?

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Original Story Via:  English.ruvr.ru

Russia’s government is prepared to toughen gun laws after a Moscow lawyer Dmitry Vinogradov killed six of his colleagues in the Rigla office shooting spree.

Opponents to the new legislation claim that it will make life difficult for law abiding citizens but will not stop potential shooters.

Eighteen year-olds are too young to carry guns, even traumatic pistols, believe police and MPs. Russia’s Interior Ministry has prepared a draft law increasing the age for carrying a gun from 18 to 21, banning traumatic guns in public places and making a bullet casing database for all types of civilian arms, not only rifles.

The law also envisages tougher handgun permit procedure. Russia’s Duma deputy-speaker Sergey Zheleznyak believes that the measures will reduce the number of crimes involving guns but they still need reinforcement.

“We should also boost police and public security services and use the Safe City monitoring system and CCTV. More attention should be paid to extremists statements in social networks and blogs. That Vinogradov published a manifesto before the rampage where he wrote that hates all humankind.”

However, some people claim that Russia’s gun laws are already strict enough and new measures are odd and unlikely to prevent crimes similar to the Rigla shooting as Vinogradov wasn’t a youngster but a 30-year old who was carrying a long rifle which is actually banned.

International experience shows that gun bans don’t stop killers but deprive people of self-defense measure, says Gun Rights activist Maria Butina

“We know of dozens of massacres without fire arms. There were kitchen knives in China and lighters in Korea. If a criminal wants to, he can use anything. What I find wrong is to deprive law abiding citizens of self-defense.”

Rights to carry guns as well as migration and multiculturalism issues will be wrangled over forever. Its supporters and opponents refer to culture, traditions and statists. The latter says that legal gun owners commit a petty number of gun crimes.

However, everyone shares one stance – legal responsibility for illegal use of any firearms should be toughened.

UK: SAS War Hero Jailed for Possessing “War Trophy” Pistol

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Original Story Via:  The Telegraph

By

Sgt Danny Nightingale, a special forces sniper who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was sentenced to 18 months in military detention by a court martial last week.

His sentence was described last night as the “betrayal of a war hero”, made worse because it was handed down in the run-up to Remembrance Sunday.

Sgt Nightingale had planned to fight the charge of illegally possessing the 9mm Glock.

But his lawyer said he pleaded guilty after being warned that he could otherwise face a five-year sentence.

The soldier had hoped for leniency given the circumstances. At the court martial, even the prosecution described him as a serviceman of exemplary character, who had served his country for 17 years, 11 in the special forces.

The court was told that he returned to Britain in a hurry after two friends were killed in Iraq, leaving his equipment — including the pistol — to be packed up by colleagues.

It accepted evidence from expert witnesses that he suffered severe memory loss due to a brain injury.

Judge Advocate Alistair McGrigor, presiding over the court martial, could have spared the soldier prison by passing a suspended sentence. Instead he handed down the custodial term.

Sgt Nightingale and his family chose to waive the anonymity usually given to members of the special forces.

His wife, Sally, said her husband’s sentence was a “disgrace”. She called him a “hero who had been betrayed”. She said she and the couple’s two daughters, aged two and five, faced losing their home after his Army pay was stopped.

The soldier’s former commanding officer and politicians have called for the sentence to be overturned.

Lt Col Richard Williams, who won a Military Cross in Afghanistan in 2001 and was Sgt Nightingale’s commanding officer in Iraq, said the sentence “clearly needed to be overturned immediately”.

He said: “His military career has been ruined and his wife and children face being evicted from their home — this is a total betrayal of a man who dedicated his life to the service of his country.”

Patrick Mercer, the Conservative MP for Newark and a former infantry officer, said he planned to take up the case with the Defence Secretary. Simon McKay, Sgt Nightingale’s lawyer, said: “On Remembrance Sunday, when the nation remembers its war heroes, my client — one of their number — is in a prison cell.

“I consider the sentence to be excessive and the basis of the guilty plea unsafe. It is a gross miscarriage of justice and grounds of appeal are already being prepared.”

In 2007, Sgt Nightingale was serving in Iraq as a member of Task Force Black, a covert counter-terrorist unit that conducted operations under orders to capture and kill members of al-Qaeda.

He also helped train members of a secret counter-terrorist force called the Apostles. At the end of the training he was presented with the Glock, which he planned to donate to his regiment as a war trophy.

But in November 2007, two of Sgt Nightingale’s closest friends, Sgt John

Battersby and Cpl Lee Fitzsimmons, were killed in a helicopter crash. He accompanied both bodies back to Britain and helped arrange the funerals.

In Iraq, his equipment was packed by colleagues, one of whom placed the pistol inside a container that was sent first to the SAS regimental headquarters in Hereford, then to his home where it remained unopened until 2010.

In 2009, Sgt Nightingale, now a member of the SAS selection staff, took part in a 200-mile fund-raising trek in Brazil. He collapsed after 30 miles and fell into a coma for three days.

He recovered but his memory was severely damaged, according to two expert witnesses, including Prof Michael Kopleman of King’s College, London, an authority on memory loss.

In May, 2010, Sgt Nightingale was living in a house with another soldier close to the regiment’s headquarters when he was posted to Afghanistan at short notice.

During the tour, his housemate’s estranged wife claimed her husband had assaulted her and kept a stash of ammunition in the house. West Mercia Police raided the house and found the Glock, still in its container.

Sgt Nightingale’s court martial did not dispute that the pistol had been a gift. It accepted statements from expert witnesses, including Dr Susan Young, a forensic psychologist also from King’s College, London. She said that he probably had no recollection that he had the gun.

The court also accepted that Sgt Nightingale had suffered severe memory loss. But the judge did not believe that he had no recollection of being in possession of the weapon.

VIDEO: Gun owners feel forced to defy laws in Mexico

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Original Story Via:  AZFamily.com

[kml_flashembed publishmethod=”static” fversion=”8.0.0″ movie=”untitled.swf” width=”400″ height=”300″ targetclass=”flashmovie”][/kml_flashembed]

Will the Arms Trade Treaty Suppress Second Amendment Rights?

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Original Story via:  Townhall.com

Leah Barkoukis
Blogger, Townhall.com

The first round of UN Arms Trade Treaty talks may have fallen apart at the month-long conference held in NYC this past July, but as Ted Bromund over at Heritage noted at the time, “Now that the concept of the ATT has been invented, it cannot be uninvented. There are too many countries and too many left-wing nongovernmental organizations that want a treaty.” He was right and as Katie reported last week, it didn’t take very long to initiate another attempt. One question she raised in her post deserves more attention: “Is the argument from the U.N. that it won’t suppress Second Amendment rights an honest one?” And what about the Obama administration’s argument that they “will not accept any treaty that infringes on the constitutional rights of our citizens to bear arms”?

Given our president’s feelings about our right to bear arms and his track record on gun control, the ATT has become an issue deserving very close attention.  Americans shouldn’t find comfort in assuming that for UN treaties to take effect, a two-thirds majority in the Senate is necessary. In a separate article Bromund notes that this understanding of the way treaties work is far too simplistic. I’d recommend reading that article in its entirety but to summarize:

“So, in the context of the ATT, if this conference produces a treaty that is open for signature, President Obama may sign it immediately. The U.S. will then hold itself to be under a legal obligation not to defeat the ATT’s “object and purpose.” The interpretation of this phrase will rest with the State Department’s lawyers, perhaps in a way directed by subsequent legislation, whose decisions cannot be predicted and are not easily subject to legislative oversight.”

Americans also shouldn’t be quick to believe the UN’s claims that the ATT will not infringe on Americans’ Second Amendment rights. A report by the UN Coordinating Action on Small Arms titled “The Impact of Poorly Regulated Arms Transfers on the Work of the UN,” recognizes, on the one hand, that states have a right to “individual or collective self-defense” and that “the ATT does not aim to impede or interfere with the lawful ownership and use of weapons.” Yet on the other hand it states that because of the problem of diversion, or the transfer of weapons to the illicit market, “the arms trade must therefore be regulated in ways that would…minimize the risk of misuse of legally owned weapons.”

The Obama administration has also echoed claims that the ATT will not pose a threat to domestic gun owners. A Washington Times editorial sees right through it, however:

“It is hard to take the White House response seriously. The treaty instructs countries to“take the necessary legislative and administrative measures, to adapt, as necessary, national laws and regulations to implement the obligations of this treaty.” The agreement’s language is so broad, vague and poorly defined it could be stretched in a variety of ways that would pose a threat to the Second Amendment.”

In the end, of course, this treaty will do absolutely nothing to stop violence, terrorism and intra-state conflicts as its backers contend. The logistics alone are impossible and the fact that the Obama administration is agreeing to come together as equals with dictatorial regimes like Iran – a country which, by the way, received a top post at the July conference – is unconscionable.

So should we believe the administration (and the UN) when they assure Americans the ATT will not suppress our Second Amendment rights? And moreover, that they will not sign one that does? The administration’s keen interest in the treaty alone is cause for concern, but even more telling is when the adage ‘actions speak louder than words’ is applied to the Obama administration’s record. From Obamacare to Benghazi – honesty and transparency have not been their strong suits. Finally, the soaring gun sales in Obama’s first term and skyrocketing gun stocks since his reelection may tell you everything you really need to know about whether Americans take the administration at their word.

Wave of violence sweeps over ‘Alpha World City’ in spite of restrictive gun laws

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Original Story Via:  David Codrea, Gun Rights Examiner

“A rising wave of violence” has resulted in 140 deaths in Sao Paulo over the past two weeks, Associated Press reported yesterday. Citing Sao Paulo’s Public Safety Department, the report states killings “sharply increased in September” with 144 homicides, tallying the total for the first nine months of the year at 982, including “90 police officers, most of them gunned down while off duty.”

Reports of terrible violence are hardly new, as a Gun Right Examiner column from April 2011 about a mass shooting in Rio de Janeiro reported, along with the telling fact that “Although Brazil has 110 million fewer citizens than the United States, and more restrictive gun laws, there are 50 percent more gun deaths; other sources indicate that homicide rates due to guns are approximately four times higher than the rate in the United States.”

As for those gun laws, there’s a telling workaround with similarities to what’s been noted in “restrictive” Mexico:

Other guns used to commit crimes come from police and military arsenals, either stolen or sold by corrupt soldiers and officers.

The fact is, Brazil could be looked at as a laboratory of sorts to help determine the effectiveness of citizen disarmament proposals being made for the United States under the guise of “common sense” measures that promise to reduce the violence.

A summary of Brazilian gun laws provided by GunPolicy.org, no neutral party in the debate but one that “With its partners and contributors … promotes the public health model of firearm injury prevention, as adopted by the United Nations Programme of Action on illicit small arms,” and is a committed proponent of global norms on government monopolies of violence.

What they reveal about the laws under which this renewed “wave of violence” is occurring is also telling: that in spite of licensing, registration, background checks, training requirements, permissions, proof of “genuine reasons,” reapplication and re-qualification requirements, a minimum purchase age, ammunition controls, restrictions on the number of guns licensed dealers may sell individuals within a given time period (with more lax rules for “retired military officials and non-commissioned officers,” naturally, waiting periods and penalties including prison and a fine for illegal gun possession, authorities have no idea how many unauthorized guns are in circulation, with estimates anywhere between 3.8 and 9.5 million.

In spite of all this, the tide of blood keeps rising, and not just in any city, but in San Paulo, a designated “Alpha World City,” that is, “an important node in the global economic system.” So naturally, Brazil is a big proponent of a “strict” and “universal” United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.

This latest wave puts the Brazilians hot on the heels of top Alpha Chicago as they continue to refuse to accept that those living in soaring fantasy dreams are in for a rude awakening when terrible reality can no longer be denied.

SAF blasts Obama support for UN Arms Trade Treaty day after election

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Original Story Via:  Human Events

By: Neil W. McCabe
11/11/2012

The leader of America’s oldest gun rights legal foundation Nov. 7 called out President Barack Obama for his support of the United Nations Small Arms and Light Weapons Treaty the day after the election.

“It’s obvious that our warnings over the past several months have been true,” said Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, based in Bellevue, Wash.

Less than 24 hours after winning re-election, the Obama’s administration joined with China, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, and more than 150 other governments, in supporting renewed debate on the proposed United Nations arms trade treaty, confirming the worst fears of the American gun rights community,” said the founder of SAF, which was in 1974, and which has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

“Just days ago as he campaigned for re-election,” he csaid. ”Barack Obama told his supporters that voting is the ‘best revenge.’ I guess now we know what he was talking about. The revenge he seeks is against American gun owners and their Second Amendment rights.”

“The election was called about 11 p.m. Tuesday and by 11 a.m. this morning, we got word that the United States was supporting this resolution. We have to be more vigilant in our efforts to stop this proposed treaty,” he said.

The vote came at the U.N. General Assembly’s meeting of the First Committee on Disarmament at the world organization’s headquarters in New York City.

According to a State Department webpage devoted to the Arms Trade Treaty, the Obama administration strongly supports the treaty potential.

“The ATT should include all advanced conventional weapons, including tanks, armored combat vehicles, artillery systems, military aircraft, military helicopters, naval vessels, missiles, missile launchers, small arms and light weapons, and combat support equipment. It should also include parts, components, and/or technology to manufacture, modify, or repair the covered items,” the webpage said.

Julianne Versnel, the SAF operations director, who has been back and forth to the United Nations over this proposal, said the fight is not finished.

The measure will be considered for finalization in March, she said.

“We will continue to monitor this issue and oppose any effort to enforce a global gun control measure,” she said.

Amnesty International issued a statement Wednesday lauding passage of the resolution, saying the treaty will protect human rights, she said.

Suzanne Nossel, executive director of Amnesty International USA, said, “Today’s vote is step one toward a hugely meaningful human rights victory. We will be urging the United States and all other countries to keep today’s momentum going towards the final passage of the first arms trade treaty.”

Nossell said the 157 governments at the U.N. General Assembly’s First Committee on Disarmament in New York voting to finalize Arms Trade Treaty in March is a breakthrough.

“It’s the greatest show of support the treaty has ever received,” she said.

“Among the ‘big six; arms-exporting countries, only Russia abstained from voting,” she said. China joined France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the USA in supporting the resolution.

Gottlieb said Amnesty International does not appreciate that gun rights are enshrined in the Bill of Rights.

“The right of self-defense is a human right,” he said.

“In this country, the Second Amendment protects that right,” he said.

EDITORIAL: Gun ban back on Obama’s agenda – More flexible administration revives U.N. arms treaty

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Original Story Via: The Washington Times

That didn’t take long. Less than a day after President Obama’s re-election, the administration breathed new life into the United Nations‘ previously comatose treaty regulating guns.

Last July, the U.N. General Assembly began formal discussion of the Arms Trade Treaty, which seeks to establish “common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms.” Talks on the controversial agreement were put on indefinite hiatus after the United States requested an extension to the time allotted to negotiate the agreement. Gun rights supporters blasted the treaty as it inched toward approval, and many suspected U.S. procedural maneuvers were intended to delay the treaty so it wouldn’t become a topic of discussion during the election. It appears these suspicions were correct since “indefinite” turned out to mean until hours after Mr. Obama was re-elected.

The administration line is that the treaty applies only to firearms exports and poses no threat to domestic gun owners. “We seek a treaty that contributes to international security by fighting illicit arms trafficking and proliferation, protects the sovereign right of states to conduct legitimate arms trade, and meets the concerns that we have been articulating throughout,” an administration official said. “We will not accept any treaty that infringes on the constitutional rights of our citizens to bear arms.”

It is hard to take the White House response seriously. The treaty instructs countries to “take the necessary legislative and administrative measures, to adapt, as necessary, national laws and regulations to implement the obligations of this treaty.” The agreement’s language is so broad, vague and poorly defined it could be stretched in a variety of ways that would pose a threat to the Second Amendment. Treaty backers also want to insert provisions forcing ratifying states to promote a variety of fashionable left-wing causes including “sustainable development,” even though they have nothing to do with the arms trade.

Though the treaty is supposed to be about “gun exports,” its provisions can still be applied domestically. Activist judges adjudicating cases arising under the treaty and enabling legislation could see to that. The definition of international commerce could follow the same expansive logic liberal courts have used to redefine “interstate commerce.” Anything that indirectly or incidentally affects the trade in arms would fall under its control.

A ratified treaty, with constitutional authority, could be interpreted in a way that applies to any imported weapon or round of ammunition, those made with foreign components, those containing imported materials, those that might some day be exported, and those capable of being exported. If it affects the overall arms market, it could be said to be part of “international” trade, even if the item never leaves our shores. In practice this logic would give the government free rein to regulate all weapons, foreign and domestic. With the election out of the way, the White House can move swiftly to get the treaty through the U.N. General Assembly and up to the Senate by the summer of 2013. Elections have consequences.

The Washington Times

(AUDIO) Gun Rights Policy Conference Panel: Global Gun Control

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Original Story Via: TheGunMag.com

The 2012 Gun Rights Policy Conference was held in Orlando, Florida and jointly hosted by the Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (www.ccrkba.org). Follow news related to the UN ATT at IAPCAR.org.

“Global Gun Control, Down But Not Out”

Gary Burres of LSSA (00.00-06.05)

Sheldon Clare of NFA (06.06-13.14)

Gen. Allen Youngman of DSAAC (13.15-23.52)

 

Drive for defensive gun rights is spreading around the globe

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Original Story Via: TheGunMag.com

by Joseph P. Tartaro

Executive Editor

The debate over the right of law-abiding citizens to possess firearms for defense of self, family and property is not an exclusive American phenomenon.

The subject is currently hot in Russia, in India, in the Philippines, and almost any country around the world.

The self-defense argument seems to be gaining ground worldwide even as more and more Americans seem to be joining the gun owner community and opposing additional gun laws. Further evidence of this people-driven movement comes from the Ukraine, once one of the Soviet Socialist republics, but now an independent democracy.

On Oct. 2, Ukrinform, the Ukrainian Nation News Service, reported that “after numerous stories of armed attacks, especially after the tragedy in the Karavan mall, where guards appeared to be vulnerable to an armed criminal, Ukraine is again discussing the issue of weapons.”, TSN reported.

Days earlier, one man opened fire killed three security guards at the Karavan Mall in Kiev.

“In many countries around the world, any adult citizen can buy a pistol or revolver, TSN noted, as it reported that the legal ownership of firearms has been proposed in the Ukrainian Parliament, and not for the first time, “The draft law, which would make it easy to buy a gun, has undergone the first reading and caused a heated debate,” the report said.

One of the authors of the bill, Member of Parliament Vasyl Hrytsak, believes that after the tragedy in Karavan, there will be more supporters for his legislation. “I think now we have to realize: this is the question of security of citizens,” he said.

Today, the right to guns is a privilege of just some of the Ukrainians: people’s deputies, law enforcement officers, judges and journalists, TSN reported. The essence of the MP’s proposal is simple: any Ukrainian who has no problems with the law and mental health may be authorized to purchase a gun.

The report did not discuss whether the proposal would legalize possession in a home or business, or allow the right to carry outside the home.

The law does prescribe scrutiny by law enforcement before a firearms purchase is authorized.

However, opposition seems to be stoked by some in the Ukrainian mental health community. One so-called expert, who reportedly has been studying the consciousness of the Ukrainians for many years, believes that in the current situation it is hard to establish effective control over arms trafficking.

It is even harder to guarantee the Ukrainians’ responsible attitude to arms, such experts claim. According to the psychologist’s forecasts, people with mental health problems, which are often difficult to see from the first sight, will immediately line up for revolvers and pistols.

“Let even the tenth part of these people are unbalanced, this will be enough for people to start shooting at each other. For example, at a neighbor who listens to loud music, or at a passer-by who turned in a wrong way,” Vadym Vasiutynsky, head of the laboratory at the Institute of Social and Political Psychology, warned.

Mass murder incidents in the US, where the Ukrainian media claims that free sale of weapons is permitted, from time to time there are shootings at school, at work or at the cinema.

Psychologists predict that if this law takes effect in Ukraine, it will be impossible to avoid such tragedies.

The Ukrainian debate over legalizing firearms ownership for any citizen who is not disqualified is far from over and it appears that if the current proposal is rejected, the Ukrainian people will continue to pursue a legal right to arms for self-defense.

U.N. CELEBRATES OBAMA RE-ELECTION BY PUSHING GLOBAL GUN CONTROL

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Less than 24 hours after winning re-election, President Barack Obama’s administration joined with China, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, and more than 150 other governments, in supporting renewed debate on the proposed United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, confirming the worst fears of the American gun rights community.

The vote came at the U.N. General Assembly’s meeting of the First Committee on Disarmament at the world organization’s headquarters in New York City.

“It’s obvious that our warnings over the past several months have been true,” said Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation. “The election was called about 11 p.m. Tuesday and by 11 a.m. this morning, we got word that the United States was supporting this resolution. We have to be more vigilant in our efforts to stop this proposed treaty.”

SAF Operations Director Julianne Versnel, who has been back and forth to the United Nations over this proposal, said the fight is not finished. The measure will be considered for finalization in March 2013.

“We will continue to monitor this issue and oppose any effort to enforce a global gun control measure,” she stated.

Amnesty International issued a statement Wednesday lauding passage of the resolution, saying the treaty will protect human rights.

“The right of self-defense is a human right,” Gottlieb countered, “and in this country, the Second Amendment protects that right.

“Just days ago as he campaigned for re-election,” he concluded, “Barack Obama told his supporters that voting is the ‘best revenge.’ I guess now we know what he was talking about. The revenge he seeks is against American gun owners and their Second Amendment rights.”

UN ATT: REACHING FOR RESET?

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

New Coalition Says Current Draft Arms Trade Treaty Would Be Worse For Humanity

By Jeff MORAN | Geneva

An informal coalition of prominent academics, researchers, and advocates in the fields of international human rights law and small arms control policy-making condemned the 26 July 2012 draft United Nations (UN) Arms Trade treaty (ATT) on 30 October. [1]

According to statements made, the draft ATT is absolutely unacceptable and adopting it without substantial changes would be worse for humanity than if there was no ATT at all.  They expressed their  position during a news briefing at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, where they discussed the publication of “Academy Briefing #2: The Draft Arms Trade Treaty.” [2]

The formal official authors of the publication were Dr. Stuart Casey-Maslen, a Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy, and Ms. Sarah Parker, a Senior Researcher at the Small Arms Survey.  The authors coordinated with and received input from representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Saferworld, and Oxfam. [4]

This is a significant  development in humanitarian advocacy designed to influence the unfinished UN ATT negotiations process, which is expected to formally re-open where it left off and run for 10 days under consensus rules from 18-28 March 2013. [3]  The  condemnation may embolden states aligned with Mexico to kill consensus and to take the ATT negotiations outside the UN.  This would amount to hitting the reset button and clearing the way for a more controversial treaty to be adopted under  less rigorous two-thirds majority rules. [5]

Dr. Stuart Casey-Maslen was unable to be present for the news briefing due to a family emergency and so was unavailable for comment.  Dr. Casey-Maslen was a member of the Swiss delegation to the ATT negotiations.  He was also on the ICRC delegation to the Oslo Diplomatic Conference in 1997 that adopted the 1997 Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, which was a treaty that was developed outside the UN system and championed mainly by non-governmental organizations.

Ms. Sarah Parker sat in Dr. Casey-Maslen’s place and has been a member of the Australian delegation during the UN ATT process.  Ms. Parker was joined by Mr. Gilles Giacca who is a researcher and Ph.D. candidate at the Geneva Academy.  The news briefing was led by Dr. Andrew Clapham, co-Director of the Geneva Academy and author of several books on international humanitarian law.

 

News Briefing Details

Dr. Clapham opened the news briefing, and then passed the floor to Mr. Gilles Giacca who spoke for about six minutes.  This was followed by Dr. Clapham again for about 15 minutes.  This left over 30 minutes for a lengthy question and answer session where nine questions were answered.  The briefing was attended by over 100 people.  One professional reporter self-identified and asked the first question at the end.

Mr. Gilles Giacca first provided some historical context and motivations for the ATT.  He then listed international instruments and declarations designed to increase controls over small arms and light weapons, to reduce arms related violence worldwide:

1.  UN Program of Action on Small Arms,

2.  UN Firearms Protocol,

3.  The UN International Tracing Instrument, and the

4.  Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development.

Then he discussed the main challenges for the negotiations of the ATT so far:

1.  Defining the scope of the weapons to be regulated by the ATT.

2.  Defining the criteria to be used to condition authorized international transfers of weapons subject to the ATT.

3.  Defining the monitoring, compliance, reporting and implementation mechanisms of the ATT, for such things as the provision of victim assistance.

4.  The US insisting on negotiating by consensus rules, and so creating the option for a single country to “spoil” the treaty.

5.  The large gap between two main camps: those who want a narrow scope treaty, and those who want a broad scope treaty.

After Mr. Giacca concluded, Dr. Andrew Clapham opened his comments by stating that the ATT should be an instrument “to prevent arms from fueling human rights violations or violating international humanitarian law.”  He went on to state “what’s at stake here, I think, is that the treaty has a number of flaws or loopholes in it.  And if it were going to be adopted in current form, arguably it could be worse than no treaty.”

Dr. Clapham said further that in various places the ATT appeared to set the bar lower than existing international standards, and that this would amount to a step backwards, or a “retrogression in international standards” as is stated in the Academy Briefing. [6]

He then detailed his main problems with the draft ATT, though he elaborated many problems as discussion developed into the question and answer period.  His short-hand for three main problems were: 1) the complicity problem, 2) definition of war crimes, and 3) the balancing problem.

1.  Complicity Problem.   This criticism focused on Article 3, paragraph 3 and specifically cited the text “A State Party shall not authorize a transfer of conventional weapons within the scope of this Treaty for the purposes of facilitating the commission of genocide, crime against humanity…” Here Dr. Clapham stated that the “for the purposes of facilitating” is too high a standard and is essentially not in line with international customary law.  He said there should be an awareness test or a knowledge test, but not a purpose test. [7]

2.  Definition of War Crimes.  This criticism focused on Article 3, paragraph 3.  In short he stated that limiting war crimes to “grave breaches” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions or serious violations of Common Article 3 of those Conventions would exclude most violations that are thought to be occurring in Syria, violations such as the disproportionate targeting of civilians. [8]

3.  The Balancing Problem.  This criticism focused on Article 4, paragraph 5.  His basic point was that the use of the term “overriding” implied a balancing of peace and security v. human rights violations.  He further stated that that if the “overriding” language was kept in the treaty, and if the common understanding by diplomats was that there should be a balancing of peace and security v. human rights violations, this would be “a step backwards” because “it takes away the idea that human rights are something absolute, that there can be no violations under any circumstances.”  He suggested using other words such as “substantial risk,” “clear risk,” or even “overwhelming risk.” [9]

Other issues Dr. Clapham addressed in passing were:

4.  The treaty scope (e.g. the exclusion of tear gas and rubber bullets for example).

5.  Ambiguity about the definition for ammunition, munitions.

6.  Ambiguity about the definition of trade (e.g. does it include state gifts and loans?)

 

Observations & Other Discussions

Most of the discussion was about loopholes and weak ATT language with respect to promoting human rights.  The news briefing seemed at times, however, to be a public lamentation with the United States essentially blamed first for insisting upon consensus rules at the outset of the negotiations process in 2009, and then spoiling the draft treaty by creating the “balancing problem” between human rights and state security. [10]

While Dr. Clapham acknowledged the ATT as a “trade” and “export” treaty at one point, his commentary was delivered as if the treaty was designed purely to serve as an instrument of global civil society improvement, one that is too important to be frustrated in any way by others concerned about national sovereignty, security, and business interests, and/or the principle of individual right to armed self-defense.

The speakers were clearly frustrated with the draft ATT, and the negotiations process to date.  It was not clear if this was indicative of  just a distaste for the messy multilateral reality of accommodating diverse state interests, an acquired disdain for those diplomats and delegations guided more by how the world is rather than how the world should be, or both.

Yet the mood was not entirely down.  The room became guardedly positive when talk turned to the taking the ATT negotiation process outside the UN, to “do it right” as Mr. Giacca said on the Geneva Academy ATT Legal Blog post that was projected onto the wall behind the stage during the news briefing. [11]  This discussion thread developed in response to a question about the probability of Mexico, for example, leading a push to take the ATT outside the UN.

In response to this question, Dr. Clapham reframed the ATT as a once in a lifetime opportunity to save humanity from rights abuses, and implied that he and others like Dr. Keith Krause  (the Founding Director of the Small Arms Survey, also seated in the audience) were hoping to get a good ATT done “on their watch.”

But Dr. Clapham acknowledged a certain level of fatigue may set in and that diplomats and some humanitarian groups might just settle for a lowest common denominator to get the ATT done.  He went on to state however that “there’s a good chance, that if people realize they are going to get something which is worse than nothing…and if the Mexican leadership…has the stomach for this, it could get taken outside the UN.”  He went on to say this would allow for an ATT text to be approved “with only a two-thirds  majority and we’d arguably get a much better text.” Sarah Parker, and Gilles Giacco also commented on this situation as well.

The discussion got pessimistic again when Dr. Krause actually took the floor to make comments about Article 4 and the national assessment provisions.  He essentially declared that the draft ATT, without fundamental changes, could result in a “pretty instrument that actually doesn’t change anything that actually happens in the world.”  The reasoning being that weapons transfers would be subject to national assessment without any meaningful way for non-governmental organizations and other states to legally challenge a State’s own assessment process and decisions to export/transfer arms abroad, and this, in his words, would be “tragic.”  Dr. Krause seemed to offer that another good reason to take the ATT outside the UN system would be for “limiting the scope of malicious interpretation” of the ATT by state parties.

Sarah Parker, who works for Mr. Krause at the Small Arms Survey, then explained how provisions for increased accountability and transparency on national assessment could be added through an implemented “ATT system” when the “political climate” was better, eventually, after countries become “more comfortable” with the ATT’s obligations.   She elaborated that a State’s own national assessment decisions could be made subject to legal challenges in international courts.

Dr. Clapham even suggested how reports from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch could eventually precipitate court-ordered injunctions halting government arms exports / transfers provided that campaigners and advocates first help bring about appropriate controlling national legislation.  Dr. Clapham and Ms. Parker were presumably referring to more politically open states only, and the United States especially.

At the end, Ms. Parker importantly clarified that the ATT is not about creating a new tier of illegal transfers.  Rather, “the ATT is introducing a new tier which is where [some] arms transfers are considered irresponsible, and therefore illegal.”

 

Looking Forward

Dr. Clapham, Mr. Giacca, Dr. Krause, and all seemed hopeful for an ATT negotiated outside the UN system (i.e. without consensus rules, with fewer countries required for an ATT to enter into force, with higher standards, broader scope, better text overall etc).  [12]  Ironically for them and like-minded partners at the ICRC, Oxfam, and Saferworld, realizing these hopes now seems best assured if nations don’t reach consensus at the UN ATT Conference in March.

Will humanitarian rights groups and sympathetic state delegations help move the UN ATT Conference talks forward by consensus, or will they act to kill consensus themselves?

Deliberately killing consensus will hit the ATT reset button and would be hypocritical at the very least, particularly since such groups were the first to accuse the United States and others of doing this in July. [13]  Regardless of who might kill consensus in March, doing so will certainly lead to further institutional division within the international system.  With Syria now in a full civil war, and the risks of major regional conflict accelerating, more division seems the last thing the world now needs.

 

Indexed Audio

The downloadable audio for this conference is just under 53 minutes and 7MB.   It is complete except for the first few minutes of introductions.  The only edits made to the audio file were to enhance voice and minimize noise.  This said, there are some points where noise may make it difficult to clearly understand speakers.  You can download it here.

00:00 – 05:47 | Presentation by Gilles Giacca
05:48 – 20:18 | Presentation by Dr. Andrew Clapham
20:19 – 21:04 | Question 1 and response (on the United States creating the “balancing problem”)
21:05 – 24:13 | Question 2 and response (on violence against women provisions)
24:14 – 26:41 | Question 3 and response (on implications for private military companies)
24:42 – 27:37 | Question 4 and response (on conflicts between an ATT and international law)
27:38 – 33:13 | Question 5 and responses (on taking the ATT outside the UN system)
33:14 – 34:25 | Question 6 and responses (on individual and business applicability)
34:26 – 36:15 | Question 7 and comment by Keith Krause (on national assessments)
36:16 – 39:09 | Dr. Clapham response to Keith Krause (on national assessments)
39:10 – 41:02 | Sarah Parker comments to Keith Krause (on national assessments)
41:03 – 42:08 | Dr. Clapham second response to Keith Krause (on national assessments)
42:09 – 44:43 | Question 8 and responses (on the definition of authorization)
44:44 – 52:06 | Question 9 and responses (on legitimating the arms trade and exporting to third parties)
52:07 – 52:51 | Dr. Clapham clarification about transfers to third parties, and close)

 

About The Author

Jeff Moran, a Principal at TSM Worldwide LLC, specializes in the international defense, security, and firearms industries.  Previously Mr. Moran was a strategic marketing leader for a multi-billion dollar unit of a public defense & aerospace company, a military diplomat, and a nationally ranked competitive rifle shooter.  He is currently studying international law of armed conflict with the Executive LL.M. Program of the Geneva Academy.  Earlier this year he completed an Executive Master in International Negotiation from the Graduate Institute of Geneva.   Mr. Moran also has an MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School and a BSFS from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.

 

End Notes

[1]  The first session of the UN ATT Conference was held from 3 -28 July and ended with no action on the final draft treaty dated 26 July 2012.  A .pdf version of this draft ATT is available here.

[2]  The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights website is here.  According to the back of the briefing cover, the Geneva Academy “provides post-graduate teaching, conducts academic legal research, undertakes policy studies, and organizes training courses and expert meetings;” and “concentrates on the branches of international law applicable in times of armed conflict.”  A .pdf of the Academy Briefing is available in here.

[3] A draft resolution before the First Committee of the United Nations is available at here.

[4]  The stated authors of the briefing acknowledge collaboration from Roy Isbister, Claire Mortimer, and Nathalie Weizmann on the front inside cover of the Academy Briefing.  These individuals are well-known representatives of Saferworld, Oxfam, and the ICRC respectively.  While a disclaimer states the views expressed “do not necessarily reflect those of the project’s supporters or of anyone who provided input to, or commented on, an earlier draft,” previous public statements by these individuals  indicate strong concurrence with the briefing by these individuals and their respective employers.  You can learn more about the Small Arms Survey here.

[5]  Mexico is most likely to lead the effort to reset the ATT negotiations outside the United Nations based on its prior statements and actions during ATT negotiations process since 2009.  At the conclusion of the UN ATT Conference in July, they spoke on behalf of 90 countries signaling a clear willingness represent the interests of other like-minded states.  A .pdf of this statement is available here.

[6] “Academy Briefing No. 2: The Draft Arms Trade Treaty.”  Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.  30 October 2012.  Page 31.

[7] Ibid., page 23.

[8] Ibid., page 23.

[9] Ibid., page 25.

[10]  Mr. Giacca made reference to the problem of consensus rules and the US  insistence on them in his remarks.  A .pdf of the press statement announcing the US support for the ATT negotiations with consensus rules is available here.  Dr. Clapham specifically identified the US as creating the balancing problem when answering the first question from the audience.  You can hear this starting at 20 minutes and 19 seconds in the audio file referenced above.

[11] A .pdf of the blog post presented during the news briefing is available here.

[12] Among the people making comments at the news briefing, Ms. Parker was alone in declaring her preference for a treaty by consensus through the UN system.

[13] Here are links to press releases from Reuters, Oxfam, Amnesty International, and Control Arms. Sources last accessed 5 November  2012.

First Published: 5 November 2012
Last Updated: 5 November 2012

Online republication and redistribution are authorized when this entire publication (including byline, hyper-links, and Indexed Audio, About the Author and End Note sections) and linkable URL  http://tsmworldwide.com/reaching-for-reset/ are included.

(VIDEO) CANADA: Good riddance, gun registry!

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Original Story Via:  Sun News Canada

Brian Lilley talks to Conservative MP Gary Breitkreuz about the destruction of the long-gun registry data.

[kml_flashembed publishmethod=”static” fversion=”8.0.0″ movie=”untitled.swf” width=”400″ height=”300″ targetclass=”flashmovie”] [/kml_flashembed]

Canada: Conservatives defy UN gun controls

Monday, November 5th, 2012
Original Story Via:  cnews.canoe.ca

By Mark Dunn, Senior National Reporter

Rifle enthusiasts celebrating the destruction of most long-gun registry files last week have more to cheer about after the government again deferred a plan gun-control advocates say would combat illegal arms trafficking.

Opponents argue the United Nations protocol signed by a previous Liberal government would drive up the cost of guns by as much as $200 apiece, killing jobs and creating more red tape in an already overregulated industry.

Proponents argue ignoring the framework is a step backwards to trace traffickers of guns to civil wars and Third World conflicts – some of which end up in the hands of local criminals.

The protocol – on hold until December 2013 – would require all imported guns to be marked with the name of the country and year of import. It’s at least the fourth time the government has punted the regulation since taking office in 2006.

QMI Agency learned of the latest postponement after obtaining a briefing note to Conservative MPs from Public Safety Minister Vic Toews dated Nov. 2.

Toews said he is listening to sports-gun owners, retailers, distributors and importers who say the cost to engrave importation markings on new firearms would come after the manufacturing process and be passed down to buyers.

“We have heard the concerns and will not be moving forward until consultations have occurred,” caucus was told.

The Canadian National Firearms Association (NFA) welcomed the delay.

“There was significant concern in from both firearms businesses and members of the firearms community as well as many MPs about the need to go forward with a regulatory scheme brought in by a previous government when that scheme would add significant cost to products and damage the economy of an already over-regulated business,” said NFA president Sheldon Clare.

A spokesperson for the Coalition For Gun Control wouldn’t comment, but on its website the anti-gun lobby suggests the government has no intention of ever complying.

“After eliminating registration and records of sales, Canada has now eliminated yet another tracing mechanism for firearms and appears to have given up completely complying with the UN Firearms Protocol and with providing police with effective ways to trace guns found in crime and fight illegal gun trafficking.”

Long-gun records destroyed, Quebec data spared because of court case

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Original Story Via: Winnipeg Free Press

OTTAWA — The federal government says millions of records of registered long guns have all been destroyed, with the exception of court-protected data from Quebec.

A spokeswoman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews confirmed the registry’s destruction “as of last night” after gun enthusiasts began spreading the word.

No formal news release appears to have been issued by a Conservative government that has made repeal and destruction of the long-gun registry one of its bedrock promises.

Nor has the government said exactly how much taxpayer money will be saved by repealing the registry, although a study by The Canadian Press suggests it is a small fraction of the millions spent annually on gun licensing.

Last year there were almost eight million firearms logged in the registry, including more than seven million non-restricted weapons.

The latest data from the RCMP shows that, as of last July, there are still more than 564,000 restricted firearms and more than 191,000 prohibited weapons in the federal gun registry.

“Our Conservative government is proud to say that as of last night, all contents of the long-gun registry have been destroyed, except those related to Quebec,” Toews’s director of communications Julie Carmichael said in an email Thursday.

“Make no mistake, the tax-and-spend NDP will not hesitate to bring back the long gun registry. Now that these data have been deleted, they can never be recovered — even by Thomas Mulcair,” she wrote.

While there was no formal news release from Public Safety, groups such as the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters issued public praise for the move after Toews apparently told representatives at a federal-provincial meeting Thursday in Regina.

“We are delighted that the Harper government has followed through on its promise in such a timely fashion,” Greg Farrant of the Ontario association said in a release.

The Canadian Sports Shooting Association, meanwhile, issued a statement telling its members to “rest-assured, we are the envy of international firearms advocates everywhere” because Canada is almost alone internationally in rolling back gun-control laws.

“The removal of the registry is, however, more nibble than bite,” added the commentary from the association.

The emboldened gun lobby now wants to see recent rules on marking guns repealed and some are also calling for an end to the licensing system.

— The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 2, 2012 A22

UK Parliament – A Polite Mad Hatters Tea Party

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Original Story Via: TheyWorkForYou.org

Firearms Controls

Grahame Morris (Easington, Labour)

I am grateful for the opportunity to raise this issue; I know that a number of right hon. and hon. Members on both sides of the House are interested in this subject.

In the early hours of the new year, I was greeted in my constituency by the shocking news that four people had lost their lives in a shooting in the close-knit former mining community of Horden. They were Susan McGoldrick, 47, her sister Alison Turnbull, 44, and niece Tanya Turnbull, 24, as well as the gunman, Michael Atherton, 42, who turned the gun on himself.

Following the shooting, I called for a calm and measured response, but the high emotions at the time were not conducive to constructive debate. In the months that followed, I had the opportunity to meet family members on a number of occasions. They have acted in a considered and dignified manner throughout, and looked for practical improvements that will hopefully avoid such tragic circumstances, and such a tragedy, befalling another family.

A public debate on firearms licensing is still needed, and the time is right for the public and Parliament to consider whether the current level of protection is adequate. It is said that Britain has some of the toughest gun control laws in the world, but we should not be complacent. Current firearms laws consist of 34 separate pieces of legislation, which is complex and difficult to navigate for the police and the public. The Home Office’s official police guidance is more than 200 pages long. The rules are difficult to interpret, and their application can vary greatly across the 43 police forces responsible for issuing firearms licence certificates.

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Photo of Keith VazKeith Vaz (Leicester East, Labour)rose —

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Photo of Grahame MorrisGrahame Morris (Easington, Labour)I will give way to my right hon. Friend, the Chair of the Home Affairs Committee.

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Photo of Keith VazKeith Vaz (Leicester East, Labour)I congratulate my hon. Friend on securing this debate. He will know that it is two years since the Home Affairs Committee published its report on firearms control and suggested that the 34 pieces of legislation be codified. Does he agree that it is now time to bring those pieces of legislation together, and make it clearer for people who have applied for and received licences, and for those who seek to get one?

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Photo of Grahame MorrisGrahame Morris (Easington, Labour)I am grateful for that intervention; it was delivered with some authority and I completely agree. The Home Affairs Committee investigation and report into firearms control urged the Government to codify and simplify the law, introduce one licensing system to cover all firearms, and strengthen the current safeguards.

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Photo of David TredinnickDavid Tredinnick (Bosworth, Conservative)I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for kindly giving me leave to intervene in his Adjournment debate. I wish to raise the issue of the Olympics, and the inability of our pistol team to train in the UK. Does he agree that although we must

consolidate the legislation and perhaps ensure that it works more effectively, we should go back to Lord Cullen’s original suggestion, which would allow gun clubs to keep disabled pistols, so that we can train Olympic athletes of the future in this country?

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Photo of Grahame MorrisGrahame Morris (Easington, Labour)The hon. Gentleman raises an interesting point and I will come to some suggestions about how we might address that issue.

The Association of Chief Police Officers firearms and explosives licensing working group has called for a single form of certificate that

“remains desirable for safety and economic reasons”.

In terms of public safety, and in contrast to a section 1 firearm, shotgun applicants are not required to demonstrate a good reason for wanting a shotgun. I believe it important that people demonstrate that they have a need or use for a firearm, before they are granted a licence.

In evidence to the Home Affairs Committee, Mrs Gill Marshall-Andrews of the Gun Control Network said:

“The starting point should be that guns are lethal weapons and the onus should be on the applicant, somebody who wants to own a gun, to prove that they are”

a fit person to have one.

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Photo of Ian MearnsIan Mearns (Gateshead, Labour)I congratulate my hon. Friend on securing this debate. The House should be concerned about firearms licences and licensees. Just after the summer, it was reported that no fewer than 3,000 legitimately owned and licensed firearms were reported lost, missing or stolen in the previous 12 months.

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Photo of Grahame MorrisGrahame Morris (Easington, Labour)That alarming statistic is one of a number that should exercise the minds of hon. Members, and it adds weight to the need for a full public debate.

It should no longer be acceptable to have a shotgun without a good reason. A good reason would have to be demonstrated by the same criteria that current firearms certificate holders must meet. Good reasons for holding shotgun licences include dealing with vermin or game, target shooting at an approved venue or club, or for professional use in employment, but evidence is needed to justify those reasons. It is difficult for many, including me, to comprehend why someone would need access to firearms in a domestic setting when there is little need for immediate access to a weapon.

One of the greatest weaknesses identified by the shooting fraternity is the variation in standards across police forces. For that reason, a national licensing authority has been proposed to provide central oversight, and to ensure the consistent application of licensing procedures. Such an authority would also have the advantage of removing the police from the administrative aspect of firearms licensing, and will allow them instead to focus on the enforcement of gun controls. The financial burden of the licensing regime could also be removed from the police while ensuring that public safety remains paramount. In evidence to the Home Affairs Committee, Bedfordshire police presented a cost analysis that showed that the firearms application fees in place since 2000 never represented the true cost to the forces processing applications. Rather than the current firearms certificate fee of £50, a fee of £150 has been proposed. I am not advocating that—an appropriate fee could be determined by any new central licensing authority.

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Photo of Jim SheridanJim Sheridan (Paisley and Renfrewshire North, Labour)I perhaps should know, so my hon. Friend might have to excuse my ignorance, but does the proposed legislation cover air guns, which can be just as dangerous?

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Photo of Grahame MorrisGrahame Morris (Easington, Labour)There are concerns across the piece. Whether air guns are covered depends on the definition of air gun, but I hope to come to that in a few moments if my hon. Friend bears with me.

Public safety must be the primary aim of gun control legislation, but it is clear that the police, in view of significant budget cuts, can no longer afford to subsidise the licensing system. We heard in the debate a few moments ago of hon. Members’ concerns about 20% cuts in police budgets in their areas.

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Photo of Ian LaveryIan Lavery (Wansbeck, Labour)I congratulate my hon. Friend on securing this debate, which is on an emotive point for him. Does he agree that all aspects of firearms control should be a major concern and top of the agenda for prospective police and crime commissioners?

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Photo of Grahame MorrisGrahame Morris (Easington, Labour)My hon. Friend makes a good point. We are only a few weeks away from the elections for police and crime commissioners. I have discussed the issue with Ron Hogg, who is a PCC candidate in County Durham, and who has some expertise in the matter. It is important that this is a local priority, but I also suggest that we should have a national framework laying down guidelines—something stricter than guidelines, in fact—to be applied evenly. Part of the problem is that we have a patchwork of arrangements.

We cannot do firearms licensing on the cheap at the risk of compromising public safety. There is also a strong case for strengthening the link between the licensing authority and medical professionals when considering an application or a renewal of a firearms certificate. We need early and proactive intervention when a firearms holder’s mental and physical health deteriorates.

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Photo of Chris WilliamsonChris Williamson (Derby North, Labour)I congratulate my hon. Friend on securing this important debate. Does he agree that public safety would be improved if a prohibition was placed on the private storage of firearms in people’s homes, if people with a firearms certificate were subject to an annual medical test to assess continually whether they were a fit and proper person to hold one, and if a public register was available so that the general public knew who had access to a firearm? The atrocities that we see are often committed by people who have been deemed a fit and proper person when originally given a firearms certificate.

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Photo of Grahame MorrisGrahame Morris (Easington, Labour)That is a good point well made.

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Photo of Karl McCartneyKarl McCartney (Lincoln, Conservative)Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

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Photo of Grahame MorrisGrahame Morris (Easington, Labour)I will respond to the last intervention, and then I will take another one. I do not intend to declare war on the armed wing of the Tory party. I am not opposed to shooting per se. I am saying that people should be able to demonstrate a clear legitimate need before a firearms certificate or shotgun licence is issued.

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Photo of Karl McCartneyKarl McCartney (Lincoln, Conservative)I commend the hon. Gentleman for some of the points he has raised, but I find the naivety of the previous intervention worrying, because producing a public register of those who own any sort of firearm might be a thief’s charter. I would like to know what experience of shooting or holding a firearm or shotgun licence he has.

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Photo of Grahame MorrisGrahame Morris (Easington, Labour)I have no experience. I have never held or shot a gun, but I have experience of a terrible tragedy in my constituency on new year’s day. I am attempting to share my experience with Members and to advocate having a review in the interests of public safety.

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Photo of Jim ShannonJim Shannon (Strangford, DUP)I thank the hon. Gentleman for the balanced way he is approaching this subject. I am concerned that the focus seems to be on legitimate firearms holders, the majority of whom are law-abiding. Will he reassure sporting Members and others throughout our local communities who enjoy the sport that this debate is not going down the road to remove firearms from those who have a legitimate right to hold them?

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Photo of Grahame MorrisGrahame Morris (Easington, Labour)I hope I have made that point. I am not proposing that people with a legitimate need to hold firearms, such as farmers and so on—there is a whole list of such people—are not allowed to hold them. That need should be declared as a reason for holding a certificate, and the police or the licensing authority would take it into account.

In a case in my constituency in 2008, Michael Atherton had his weapons revoked following threats to self-harm, and issues relating to mental health and gun ownership were also a factor in the case of Christopher Foster, who shot his wife, his daughter and himself after confessing suicidal thoughts to his GP.

I understand that the Association of Chief Police Officers and the British Medical Association have an agreement whereby the police alert GPs to any new applications and renewals of firearms licences. However, concerns remain where an applicant fails to disclose full and accurate medical information at the time of application or renewal. Applicants are required to provide a number of medical details, including whether they suffer from any

“medical condition or disability including alcohol and drug…conditions”.

They also have to declare whether they have ever suffered from epilepsy or been treated for

“depression or any other kind of mental or nervous disorder”.

However, that information is not routinely checked. Licensing officers approach medical professionals only when there are doubts about an applicant’s medical history, although Dr John Canning—again, giving evidence to the Home Affairs Committee on behalf of the BMA—stated that GPs are “not very often” asked to provide medical evidence, although it happens “from time to time”.

Following the case of Christopher Foster, the Independent Police Complaints Commission proposed in 2008 that the licensing force should be required to approach the applicant’s doctor in each case, in order to obtain confirmation that the medical information provided

in the application was correct. The omission of information from a firearms application was also an issue in the case of Mark Saunders in 2006, which ended in him being killed by the Metropolitan police. Mr Saunders failed to declare during the application process that he had been treated by a consultant for depression and for his tendency occasionally to drink more than was sensible—indeed, he had been referred by his GP. Unfortunately, on his application for a firearms licence he stated that he had no such health problems.

In my view, the solution is to ensure that each applicant knows that licensing officers will approach their GP as a matter of course to verify statements made on their application about their health, to ensure they are correct and accurate. My proposal would address failures by an applicant to disclose any medical problem that raises questions about their suitability to own and have free access to a firearm. Finally, I call for greater consultation between the licensing authority and those who are or have been a domestic partner of a potential applicant. A similar system is already in place in Canada, where all citizens applying for a firearms licence are required to have their present and past partners in the previous two years sign their application. Refusal to sign for any reason does not automatically mean that the police and licensing authorities will veto an application, but it will trigger further investigation by law enforcement officers. The Canadian requirements merit further exploration, and I would appreciate it if the Minister informed the House of any progress made on this matter.

There has been no knee-jerk reaction. These proposals are considered, practical measures that, if implemented, could allow the consistent application of firearms legislation, strengthen existing safeguards and ensure public safety while maintaining the rights of the shooting fraternity to have access to firearms where there is a good and legitimate purpose for their use.

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7:38 pm
Photo of Damian GreenDamian Green (Ashford, Conservative)I congratulate Grahame M. Morris both on securing the debate and on the tone in which he has addressed this issue, following the tragic events in his constituency. The shootings he talked about shocked the whole country. Obviously our thoughts remain with the family and friends of the victims. I agree with him: it is right that Government and Parliament should reflect on what lessons might be learned from these fortunately rare, but nevertheless tragic events, and how best we can protect public safety. I and the whole House—indeed, it is good to see so many people at an Adjournment debate—share his view that we need to approach the issues in a calm and measured way.

As the hon. Gentleman will be aware, Durham constabulary has asked the Independent Police Complaints Commission to investigate the events leading to the shootings. There has not yet been a coroner’s inquest into the deaths. Because of the investigation and a future inquest, the House will appreciate the need for me to avoid saying anything that might be prejudicial in relation to the circumstances of this case.

I understand that there have been complexities with the IPCC investigation, although it is working through those matters as fast as possible and the investigation is

now close to completion. The final report is now being finalised and it will be shared with the families shortly. Publication of the report will, however, depend on the time scales for the inquest and the wishes of the coroner. The Government will consider carefully the results of the inquest and of the IPCC investigation, paying careful attention to any specific recommendations that they might make and any implications for wider firearms policy, to which I will now turn as I try to address the specific points that the hon. Gentleman has raised.

The Government have always made it clear that controls on firearms should be targeted fairly and proportionately, and that they should strike the right balance by securing public safety without bearing down unnecessarily on legitimate users. With this in mind, I have arranged meetings with a range of stakeholders since assuming responsibility for this work. I met Deputy Chief Constable Andy Marsh, the Association of Chief Police Officers’ lead on firearms, this week, and we discussed a number of the issues that the hon. Gentleman has raised today.

Following the tragic shootings in Cumbria in 2010, the Government undertook to take a fresh look at firearms law and subsequently considered the recommendations of the Home Affairs Select Committee, which looked comprehensively at the whole range of issues. The Government published our response to the Committee’s report in September 2011. Our response sets out a number of commitments in response to the Committee’s recommendations. The Government will update the Committee, and the House, shortly on progress on those recommendations.

As the hon. Gentleman has said, it is generally recognised that the UK has comparatively low levels of gun crime, and some of the strictest gun laws in the world. It is true that these laws are complex, and I would therefore like to give a brief overview of the main controls that are in place. There are two main categories of firearms licensed by the police. First, there are those that are controlled under section 1 of the Firearms Act 1968. They are typically target shooting rifles and rifles used for hunting or vermin control. The second category is shotguns, typically used by farmers and for clay pigeon shooting. Both are possessed by means of separate certificates that are valid for five years. There is a third category of firearm, generally referred to as prohibited weapons, and these can be possessed only with the written authority of the Secretary of State.

My hon. Friend David Tredinnick raised the issue of training for Olympic pistol shooters. In advance of the London games, the Home Secretary provided an exemption for this third category of firearms to allow the Team GB shooting team to train here. She is currently in the process of issuing new authorities to British pistol squad members to train for the 2014 Commonwealth games. This is of course subject to the usual checks on applicants and to ensuring that training is confined to suitably secure ranges. The Government will look at arrangements for the 2016 Olympic games in due course.

The hon. Member for Easington raised concerns about how the licensing process operates. I would like to say something about the processes involved—again, without making reference to the specific circumstances of this case. The procedures are similar for the issue of a shotgun certificate but there are some material differences.

First and foremost, the police must be satisfied that the applicant can be trusted to possess shotguns without danger to public safety. Unlike with section 1 firearms, the applicant does not have to show good reason to have a shotgun, but the police may refuse to grant a certificate if they are satisfied that he has no good reason to have one. This is a different control, but it still allows the police to refuse applicants who have dubious reasons for wanting shotguns.

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Photo of Ian MearnsIan Mearns (Gateshead, Labour)I raised a point with my hon. Friend Grahame M. Morris about the number of firearms that have been lost or stolen in the past year. I understand that the figure was about 3,000. In the light of that, would the people who have lost their firearms or had them stolen have their licences reviewed?

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Photo of Damian GreenDamian Green (Ashford, Conservative)That would be a matter for the individual force concerned. It is clearly a matter that the police forces that do the licensing, who are responsible and sensitive about these things, would take serious note of.

The hon. Member for Easington mentioned national control of firearms and the proposal for a national licensing authority. There is a danger that a central authority might lose touch with the sort of local information that the police need. In his report on the Dunblane tragedy, Lord Cullen recommended that licensing functions should remain with the police. Previous suggestions to replace the current police licensing system with a central civilianised licensing authority have been rejected as more costly and less efficient than the present system.

Although the Government are not in favour of a national firearms control board, the Home Office guidance to the police on firearms legislation—the hon. Gentleman mentioned it, and it is indeed long and complex—is being revised and updated to help ensure that licensing procedures are applied consistently across forces. This is an important piece of work, responding directly to the Home Affairs Select Committee’s wish for more consistency. In particular, we will highlight the need to take full account of any incidences of domestic violence when considering applications for the

grant or renewal of certificates. The comments that I have heard this evening will be particularly pertinent to that.

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Photo of Tessa MuntTessa Munt (Wells, Liberal Democrat)Does the Minister agree that cost is not an issue here? Where people use firearms for recreation, there is no excuse whatever for the process to be subsidised. It is not a matter of cost; it is purely a matter of process—and the costs should be covered by those who require a licence.

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Photo of Damian GreenDamian Green (Ashford, Conservative)The ultimate driver, frankly, is safety; that is what underlies the system. On the issue of cost, the Home Office has received a detailed report from ACPO proposing new firearms fees to allow forces to recover the cost of firearms licensing. In considering the proposal, the Government will look both at the quality of service licence holders receive, which is relevant, and will discuss with ACPO the scope for making some of the current processes more efficient and effective. That will take into account the need to manage risk and ensure public protection.

As we indicated in our response to the Select Committee, we do not consider that separate licensing for shotguns and firearms is causing difficulties. Applying a good reason test in the same way for both categories could be problematic. For example, unlike target shooters, shotgun owners do not always belong to clubs that could vouch that they had shot regularly. However, I assure the House that we will keep this issue under review. As I indicated earlier, the local police must satisfy themselves that an applicant for a certificate is fit to be entrusted with a firearm, and will not present a danger to public safety. This is a particularly heavy responsibility and sits right at the heart of the licensing process. Such is the basis of my discussions with ACPO.

One of the most important points raised by the hon. Gentleman was about the need for medical checks on those who have access to firearms. I completely agree that it is important that the police are made aware of medical conditions that affect a person’s suitability to possess firearms. Both the hon. Gentleman and I will therefore—

House adjourned without Question put (Standing Order No. 9(7)).

Gun control: Crackdown on fake arms licence makers delayed

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012
Original Story Via:  The Express Tribune
LAHORE: The city government has decided to delay a crackdown on makers of fake arms licences till it can gather more evidence on which weapons dealers are involved, The Express Tribune has learnt.

City government officials said that after Eid, they would invite holders of weapons licences made after July 2010 to get their licences verified at the district coordination officer’s (DCO) office. In July 2010, the government started issuing computerised weapons licences with watermarks and other security features.

However, the Licence Branch at the DCO’s office has confiscated some 800 fake licences in the last five months from citizens who had voluntarily come to get their licences verified. These fake licences were made after July 2010, but were prepared manually. Government officials believe that the licences were issued by licensed weapons dealers.

Tariq Zaman, the personal staff officer to the DCO, said that the city government had decided to delay a crackdown on the makers of the fake licences until it had gathered more evidence.

“Even fake licences carry the dealer’s stamp. The more licences we can look at, the more we will get to know of the arms dealers involved. The decision has been made to lodge FIRs against these dealers so we want to get as much information as possible,” he said.

He said that anyone who turned in a fake licence for verification voluntarily would not be prosecuted. But a gun owner who did not turn in their licence for verification and was later caught would be prosecuted, he said.

An official said that there were a total of 55 licensed weapons dealers in the city. He said no new arms sale licences were being issued and these licences were not transferable. He said that the city government knew of around 10 dealers who were involved in preparing fake licences for their customers.

The official said that under the rules, a new gun licence costs around Rs5,000 and the process must be initiated by the licence seekers themselves.

The licence is supposed to be ready in 45 days, but applicants usually have to wait around three months.

An official in the DCO’s office, speaking on the condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media, said that the fake licence holders had claimed that they had obtained the licences through their arms dealers.

Most of them had paid Rs20,000 to Rs25,000 for the licences and had received them in a week.

According to the official procedure, applicants for weapon licences must first get a form, fill it out and get a picture taken at the Licence Branch.

The form must be signed by the DCO, or the official assigned the task by the DCO. The form is then sent to the capital city police officer’s office, which returns the application to the DCO.

The file is then sent to the Pakistan Security Printing Press, Karachi, where the licence is made.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 24th, 2012.

UPDATE: UN Arms Trade Treaty

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

By Philip L. Watson

Julianne Versnel of IAPCAR and SAF last week at the UN Conference of Parties

Executive Director

The evolution of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) from the “Firearms Protocol” and the “Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons” (PoA) for more than a decade continues despite the failure to reach agreement on the ATT this last July.

On October 15-19 the “Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime” was held in Vienna Austria. IAPCAR’s Julianne Versnel and Alan Gottlieb attended the meeting via the WFSA on behalf of the Second Amendment Foundation. In the past, the UN’s “Conference of Parties” has served as a bureaucratic and educational platform supporting the Firearms Protocol, the Programme of Action, and the ATT.

At this meeting the “illegal” trade in small arms used for sport and/or self-defense was lumped in with various forms of crime such as human trafficking, drug trafficking, terrorism, counterfeiting, and organized crime.

A resolution was passed to continue the working group’s study and recognizing the legitimacy of firearms with sporting uses.

Mexico was apparently vehement on not mentioning firearms in civilian possession. Rather, their preferred method of mentioning firearms replaces “civilian possession” with “lawful use.” This proposed verbiage would presumably give governments and the UN more authority to limit civilian use of firearms.

The Mexican delegation also hosted a side event titled “Arms Trade Treaty, Firearms Protocal and Small Arms Programme of Action: Three essential components of effective firearms control. What options for synergies?” The main stated goal of the meeting was to “establish synergies” among the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms, the Firearms Protocol, and the UN Arms Trade Treaty. During the meeting a representative from a different group advised against changing terms and contexts that had already been negotiated.

At the main meeting, a representative from Russia questioned the motives, funding sources, and accuracy of the so called “Small Arms Survey,” a yearly publication distributed by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (GIIDS) and Cambridge Press. The 366 page tome supposedly focuses on “illicit trafficking of small arms;” however, the ‘survey’ frequently veers far off track highlighting domestic laws and issues unrelated to international affairs or the UN. The publication serves as a clear blueprint and source of skewed data for a political agenda against the civilian use of firearms.

In addition to the “Small Arms Survey,” GIIDS also frequently produces “Research Notes” and “Issue Briefs” for dissemination at UN meetings. These smaller, pithier handouts are distributed at meetings backing up the yearly ‘Survey’ to constantly reiterate their request for increased regulation on civilian arms.

The UN ATT is likely to resurface again. Overall, the goals of our opposition have not, and will not change. In the defense of the human right of self-defense, IAPCAR will continue to monitor these events closely.

 

Group petitions W.H. Smith to not treat gun magazines as pornography

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

IAPCAR recently covered this story here and the response from W.H. Smith here.

To view or sign the online petition click on the following link: http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/whsmiths-retract-policy-on-sale-of-shooting-magazines#supporters

CANADA: National gun-owner database lives on despite registry repeal, angering some

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012
Original Story Via:  CTV News
By Bruce Cheadle, The Canadian Press
Published Monday, Oct. 22, 2012 2:40PM CST
Last Updated Monday, Oct. 22, 2012 5:28PM CST

OTTAWA — Seven months after the federal long gun registry was repealed in every province but Quebec, a small but vocal faction of gun owners is feeling deeply betrayed by the Conservative government.

A registry of gun owners — if not their specific weapons — remains in force under federal licensing provisions that were part of the same 1995 Liberal gun control bill so loathed by the gun lobby. It’s a reality to which some sport shooting enthusiasts are just waking up.

Lloyd, a retiree in Uxbridge, Ont., said he was shocked to find a licence renewal form in his mail this summer after celebrating the official April 6 end of the federal registry.

He’s written to a Conservative MP and a cabinet minister seeking an explanation, and so far is without a response.

“I’m not planning to renew it,” said Lloyd, who asked that his full name not be published because he’s about to become an unlicensed gun owner.

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s not the law right now…. I know I’m not alone.”

Lloyd is indeed not alone — so much so that he perhaps need not fear disclosing his full name.

A Saskatoon-based organization called the Canadian Unlicensed Firearms Owners Association has been taking the fight straight to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, whose portfolio includes the RCMP and the Canada Firearms Centre.

“Your duplicity in dealing with firearms owners seems to know no bounds,” Edward Hudson, the unlicensed group’s secretary, thundered in the opening line of a May 9 letter to Toews.

The letter, copied to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, ended several hundred words later with demands for Toews’s resignation.

Announcing oneself as a law-breaker while demanding the ouster of the public safety minister requires a certain chutzpah — especially since Toews was clearly on record describing the reality of the gun registry’s repeal.

“First and foremost, all individuals will still be required to be licensed to possess a firearm,” Toews told the House of Commons last Oct. 26 as the repeal bill was debated.

“We are committed to ensuring that only responsible and qualified individuals own firearms.”

His office did not respond to an interview request.

RCMP spokesman Sgt. Greg Cox confirmed in an email that “everyone who possesses or acquires a firearm must still be licensed to do so, whether the firearm falls into the non-restricted, restricted or prohibited class.”

“To be clear, licences for individuals must be renewed every five years, which requires that applicants for a new or renewed firearms licence be screened for criminal records, as well as provide personal references,” wrote Cox.

That information is then stored in a searchable database that police can use to help determine if weapons may be on a premise — one of many arguments used by police groups and the gun-control lobby to advocate for keeping the weapons-specific registry in place.

Gun owners must have a licence to legally buy ammunition, said Cox, and the Criminal Code includes a mandatory three-year minimum sentence for the “unlawful purchase” of ammunition.

As for any anti-licence protest movement by gun owners — whether wilfully or in the mistaken belief that licences have been repealed — Cox said there’s no evidence to date.

Citing 2011 figures, the RCMP put licence renewals at over 90 per cent “so the vast majority of firearms owners understand the difference between their firearms licence, which is a plastic photo ID card, and a registration certificate,” for firearms, said Cox.

In fact, it may still be too early to see what impact the gun registry’s repeal has had on licensing.

The most recent RCMP numbers available for this year — as of June — show 1,889,650 licensed gun owners in Canada.

That’s down more than 13,000 from December 2011, but it does not necessarily indicate a trend. In June 2011, for instance, there were 12,400 fewer licensed gun owners than in June 2012.

Gun enthusiasts complain they continue to get mixed messages from a Conservative government they’ve long felt was their champion.

Last month, Toews greeted a Quebec court ruling to preserve the registry information in Quebec with a blanket denunciation: “Our Conservative government will continue to fight against any measures that needlessly target law-abiding hunters, farmers and sport shooters.”

And so gun lobby groups continue to push the Conservatives to fully gut the licensing provisions.

Earlier this month, Sheldon Clare, the president of the Edmonton-based Canada’s National Firearms Association, or NFA, wrote Toews to “strongly recommend the repeal of the requirement to hold a firearms licence merely to own one’s own property and that limiting of access be done to those specific individuals who have been convicted of violence.”

Coupled with the well-documented unhappiness of gun control advocates at the registry’s repeal, both sides of the rancorous gun debate appear to be deeply dismayed.

Into this atmosphere of suspicion and uncertainty, a federal government that has budgeted at least $64 million for government advertising this year has committed none of it towards informing Canadians about the current reality of gun legislation.

“The RCMP has no advertising budget for the changes brought about by the recent legislation; however the RCMP (Canadian Firearms Program) website and online fact sheets have been updated accordingly,” wrote Sgt. Cox.

Spin on ‘Gun Mags are Porn’ Backlash: ‘You’ll shoot your eye out kid’

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Original Story Via:  TheGunMag.com

“You’ll shoot your eye out kid.” A pop-culture saying attributed to the classic American holiday movie A Christmas Story.

Earlier this week, mainstream news outlets surveyed a policy by a large UK retail book store W.H. Smith of treating gun and hunting publications the same as pornography.

The policy prompted a response from the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR) denouncing the move by the bookstore. Some blogs and other news outlets picked up the story and W.H. Smith is now attempting to do some damage control.

An official response from W.H. Smith (read below) essentially tries to pass the buck. The excuse was that in the past some of the magazines allegedly offered free deals on “firearms related products” that may be illegal to sell to youngsters in the UK.

What are these horrible and dangerous items in question? Well, stuff like BB pellets, and knives. Granted knives can be lethal; however, if a youngster wanted to acquire a knife the first place they would probably look is the family kitchen.

As another olive branch, the official statement offered that the policy is not new. An odd way to justify the policy and ignore the entire underlining principles of the matter.

The official statement is below:

“Our till prompt process has been in place for over 6 years and has never previously generated any customer complaints. In this respect, we have made no recent changes to these procedures. The introduction of till prompts with regards to certain shooting titles originated from the fact that a number of these publications included ‘cover mounts’ attached to the front of the magazine, that have historically included certain firearm related products. With regard to the application of these procedures across our store chain, these till prompts have only been applied to a section of gun related and shooting titles, in respect of a limited number of publications. 

We continually look at all store procedures, including the use of till prompts,  to determine whether they are appropriate in light of changing customer needs, legislative amendments and other regulatory monitoring. Our desire going forwards is to work more closely with the shooting magazine publishers to address the concerns that have been highlighted by all of the customers who have recently contacted us, in order to ensure that appropriate monitoring procedures can be applied, prior to these publications being sent to the store for placing on sale.”

SPSC/IAPCAR Shooting Event A Success

Friday, October 19th, 2012

–Photos and Notes from Christian Werbik, SPSC Director–

SPSC – Sport & Practical Shooting Club, located in Upper Austria and consisting of 35 some members, recently hosted an exceptional shooting event:

Only civilian-legal semi-automatic rifles were allowed – no bolt action ones. This is somewhat unique, as only very few semi-auto rifles are approved by Austrian authorities, e.g. Steyr AUG-Z, Oberland Arms OA-15 Austria, H&K SL6. In order to purchase such a rifle in Austria, law-abiding citizens need either a firearm possession license or a concealed carry permit. With 21 participants and the proceeds to be donated to IAPCAR, Austrian shooting enthusiasts can speak of a successful day! Firearms legislation in Austria, measured against Central European standards, is still considered ‘reasonable’ by many. However, preserving the human right to keep and bear arms on an international level is crucial to any sport shooter, hunter, arms collector and re-loader.

proTELL

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

How the 2012 UN Arms Trade Treaty Conference Really Died

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

(H/T Jeff Moran, TSM Worldwide)

By Jeff Moran | Geneva

Advocacy and diplomatic discussions started again last week with the opening day of the UN General Assembly First Committee meetings.[1]  These meetings end on 6 November 2012 (Election Day in the United States), and  follow-up the failed United Nations (UN) Conference in July to formally negotiate by consensus a legally binding Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).[2]

Contrary to prevailing reportage and opinion, the UN ATT Conference was less a failure in diplomacy, or a victory by the firearms industry and the National Rifle Association for that matter, than it was the result of abortive advocacy lead by the UK-based Control Arms campaign and its unrealistically expansive vision for a more extreme trade treaty than consensus could sustain.[3]

The Control Arms vision for the ATT encompasses 14 specific treaty issue areas under three categories: Scope, Transfer Criteria, and Implementation.  Scope issues areas include Ammunition, Brokering/Dealers, Other Conventional Weapons, and Small Arms/Light Weapons.  Transfer Criteria issue areas include Armed Violence, Corruption, Gender-based Violence, Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law, and Socio-Economic Development.  Implementation issue areas include Final Provisions, Implementation, Verification, and Victim Assistance.

The Control Arms vision across these treaty issue areas can be found on their subsidiary armstreaty.org website.[4]  The details of their ATT vision are quoted below:

1.  Ammunition.  Including in the scope of the ATT all “ammunition, munitions, and explosives.”

2.  Brokering/Dealers.  Including in the scope of the ATT brokering and dealing.  “Brokering generally refers to arranging or mediating arms deals and buying or selling arms on one’s own account or for others, as well as organizing services such as transportation, insurance or financing related to arms transfers, and the actual provision of such services.”

3.  Other Conventional Weapons.  Including in the scope of the ATT “all conventional weapons, related components and production equipment, beyond Small Arms and Ammunition” which are “covered by the 7 categories in UN Register of Conventional Arms and of other conventional weapons, components and equipment.”

4.  Small Arms/Light Weapons.  Including in the scope of the ATT “conventional weapons that can be carried by an individual or a group of individuals (including revolvers, machine guns, hand-held grenade launchers; portable anti-aircraft and anti-tank guns and missile systems; and mortars of calibers less than 100 mm. etc).”

5.  Armed Violence.  Including as a parameter of the ATT “provisions to restrict transfers that could provoke, fuel or exacerbate armed conflict and armed violence.”

6.  Corruption.  Including as a parameter of the ATT “provisions to restrict transfers that could exacerbate or institutionalize ‘corruption’ or ‘corrupt practices’. In the context of arms transfers, corrupt practices include bribing of state officials with commissions and kickbacks provided by arms producers and traders to facilitate a transfer agreement.”

7.  Gender-based Violence.  Including as a parameter of the ATT   provisions to “restrict the transfer of arms where there is a substantial risk that the arms under consideration will be used to perpetuate or facilitate acts of gender-based violence, including sexual violence.”

8.  Human Rights.  Including as a parameter of the ATT “provisions to restrict transfers when there is substantial risk that the arms will be used in serious violations of international human rights law, including fueling persistent, grave or systematic violations or patterns of abuse.”

9.  International Humanitarian Law.  Including as a parameter of the ATT “provisions to restrict transfers when there is substantial risk of the arms being used in serious violations of international humanitarian law (IHL). This assessment would include consideration of whether a recipient that is, or has been, engaged in an armed conflict has committed serious violations of IHL or has taken measures to prevent violations of IHL, including punishing those responsible.”

10.  Socio-Economic Development.  Including as a parameter of the ATT “provisions to restrict transfers that could hinder, undermine or adversely affect socio-economic development.”

11.  Final Provisions.  Including in the text of the ATT “effective implementation mechanisms of the Arms Trade Treaty, including criminalization of treaty violations and an Implementation Support Unit (ISU) to coordinate international cooperation.”

12.  Implementation.  Including in the text of the ATT final provisions and entry into force mechanisms. “Effective final provisions would not allow reservations that would be incompatible with the Treaty’s purpose. Effective entry into force mechanisms would not include a requirement for excessive number of ratifications, nor for specific states or groups of states to ratify the treaty, before it could enter into force.”

13.  Verification.  Including in the text of the ATT “effective verification mechanisms of the Arms Trade Treaty.  Effective verification includes meaningful and specific annual reporting, external referral for dispute resolution, annual meetings of states party (MSP) and five-yearly Treaty Review Conferences (RevCons), and the creation of an Implementation Support Unit (ISU) to assist with, collect and analyze reports.”

14.  Victim Assistance.  Including in the text of the ATT “the recognition of the rights of victims of armed violence and acknowledgment of States’ commitment to provide assistance to victims.”

Reaching consensus during the UN ATT Conference was certainly possible, and potentially a constructive endeavor for all nations from an interest point of view.  But consensus was not likely because a lot of countries thought aspects of the emerging ATT were potentially threatening to national sovereignty for example.[5]  Nonetheless, the popular narrative is that the United States killed the Conference when it asked for more time to consider the draft treaty on the final day of the Conference.[6]  This expedient and seemingly anti-American explanation doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, especially when you put the Conference into context and examine the armstreaty.org database about opposition to the ATT.

The relevant historical context for what happened at the Conference extends back to at least the creation of the International Action Network On Small Arms (IANSA) in 1999.  Important context also includes the recorded debate between the leaders of IANSA and the National Rifle Association in 2004 along with several formal rounds of preparatory negotiations since 2009 for example.   This is admittedly a lot of history for one to casually consider, but after surveying this period, and listening to diplomats based in Geneva, a pattern of overdone, unfocussed, and ultimately counterproductive advocacy emerges.  This appears to be due, at least in part, to self-inflicted wounds from years of overselling positions and distractive issue framing, which, in turn, appears to have damaged their credibility and cause.[7]  Ultimately, humanitarian groups, led by an unraveling Control Arms coalition, sabotaged consensus for an ATT by pushing diplomats too hard for far too much and provoked dispositive sovereignty concerns across the Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East in addition to the United States.[8]

Not only was there no consensus on the final draft ATT as a whole in those final days of the Conference, but there remains no consensus for any of the 14 treaty elements Control Arms continues to advocate for, and opposition to them is growing.  This can be evidenced in detail on armstreaty.org.[9]  While the data on armstreaty.org are not an official record of country delegation viewpoints during the final days of the ATT conference, they serve as a useful proxy indicating size, scope, and direction of opposition to the ATT as Control Arms envisions it.

Clearly, the most widely opposed ATT issue areas fall under the creation of transfer conditionality / restrictive criteria on the international transfers of arms.  The most objected-to transfer criteria remain those related to Socio-Economic Development and Human Rights.  Thirty-nine and 35 countries oppose these criteria respectively, the US not being among them.  The US opposed only three provisions cutting across treaty scope and implementation issue areas only.[10]

The accompanying table below is made from armstreaty.org data and evidences the above points.  It also conveys more important details about the lack of consensus for an ATT.  The table indicates, from a treaty content point of view, where opposition is greatest, the relative size of the opposition, and the direction of opposition since the Conference. [11]

In short, the table below helps show why the assertion that the US is mainly responsible for killing consensus at the UN ATT Conference is not only false, but absurd.  Here are nine take-aways:

1.  There are 195 total instances where a country opposes an aspect of the envisioned ATT (consensus requires zero instances or at least a willingness to no longer publicly oppose, and Control Arms attributes just  3 of these 195 to the US).

2.  There is no consensus for any of the provisions across the all three treaty issue area categories (Scope, Transfer Criteria, and Implementation).

3.  Total opposition to the Control Arms vision has actually grown in the months after the UN ATT Conference (by 12 net instances, or 7%).

4.  There is a two-way tie for issue areas experiencing the fastest opposition growth: Socio- Economic Development and International Humanitarian Law (both together account for 2/3 of the growth in total opposition).

5.  The most-opposed category of treaty issue area is Transfer Criteria (54% share of total opposition) and opposition has grown (by 11 instances, or 6%, since 29 August 2012).

6.  The most-opposed treaty issue area by country count is Socio-Economic Development (39 countries opposed).

7.  The most-opposed issue area by percentage of countries opposed (relative to total number of countries assessed) is Human Rights (33%).

8.  The least-opposed provision by country count relates to including the activities of arms Brokering/Dealing within the scope of the ATT (2 countries opposed).

9.  There is a three-way tie for the least opposed provisions by percentage of countries opposed (relative to total number of countries assessed): Brokering/Dealers, Armed Violence, and Final Provisions (all at 2% opposed).

 

Rightly understood, Control Arms’ own data help to correct the false narrative about why the UN ATT Conference failed to reach consensus this summer.  Such data clearly show that the prospects for consensus were grim at best, and are getting worse.  The data also suggest that even if the US enthusiastically embraced the final draft ATT, other countries would have probably worked together to prevent consensus anyway.

It is not a giant leap in logic to see that Cuba, Iran, or Venezuela (countries that each oppose many more treaty provisions than the US does) probably would have killed consensus themselves, especially if the United States indicated it was going to sign the treaty.  Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, for one, faced an election within months.  Being the consensus breaker would have surely boosted President Chavez’ domestic political standing, and perhaps his image as a regional guardian against outside meddling.

In conclusion, UN ATT Conference died from lack of consensus.  This death was due less to failed diplomacy, or pressure by the firearms industry and gun rights groups, than it was the result of many years of abortive advocacy lead by an unraveling UK-based Control Arms campaign.  Control Arms’  broad vision for the ATT was more extreme than consensus could sustain.  Ultimately, humanitarian groups sabotaged consensus for an ATT by pushing diplomats too hard for far too much and provoked dispositive sovereignty concerns across the Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East in addition to the United States.

Perhaps a more extreme version of the ATT will be born outside the UN altogether.  If this happens, it would likely share a destiny not unlike like the 1997 Ottawa Treaty banning anti-personnel landmines.  Ottawa was born outside the UN because an anti-personal mine ban did not get traction inside it.  Russia, China, and the United States have still not ratified or acceded to the treaty.  And while 33 other states have not ratified or acceded to the Ottawa Treaty either, supporters argue that the treaty is emerging as an international norm on its way to acquiring the force of international law over time.[12]

Most likely, within a year, the UK, the lead country responsible for putting the ATT on the UN agenda in 2006, will introduce the draft ATT to the UN General Assembly and seek signatures from countries willing to sign it as is.  Unfortunately, regardless of what course the ATT takes, moving forward with an ATT not based on consensus will only serve to divide the international community.  As the specter of major conflict looms larger over volatile regions of the world, more division is now the last thing the international community needs.

 

About The Author

Jeff Moran, a Principal at TSM Worldwide LLC, specializes in the international defense, security, and firearms industries.  Previously Mr. Moran was a strategic marketing leader for a multi-billion dollar unit of a public defense & aerospace company, a military diplomat, and a nationally ranked competitive rifle shooter.  He is currently studying international law of armed conflict with the Executive LL.M. Program of the Geneva Academy.  Earlier this year he completed an Executive Master in International Negotiation from the Graduate Institute of Geneva.   Mr. Moran also has an MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School and a BSFS from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. 

 

End Notes

[1]  The First Committee “deals with disarmament, global challenges and threats to peace that affect the international community and seeks out solutions to the challenges in the international security regime.”  It meets in October each year.   See http://www.un.org/en/ga/first/ for more information about this.  Opening day official statements can be found at http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2012/gadis3453.doc.htm. Oxfam International has a blog associated with this series of meetings at http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/12-10-12-fighting-arms-trade-treaty-un-general-assembly.  All links last accessed 15 October 2012.

[2]  The key deliverable from the UN ATT Conference was an unsigned final draft treaty dated 26 July 2012.  This draft is available at http://www.un.org/disarmament/convarms/ATTPrepCom/Documents/PrepCom4%20 Documents/PrepCom%20Report_E_20120307.pdf.  Last accessed 14 October 2012.

[3]  The Control Arms Campaign is the flagship civil society campaign advocating for an ATT.  It started-up in 2003 as a powerful collaboration among the UK offices of Amnesty International, the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA), and Oxfam International.  In addition to having been funded by a few governments, Control Arms has support from under a 100 mostly Western advocacy groups yet views itself as a “global civil society alliance.”  There are many different humanitarian groups and campaigns, but Control Arms is the biggest.  Another campaign, the Campaign Against the Arms Trade, is loud and vocal, but is not taken seriously by governments because it advocates for a total ban on the Arms Trade.

[4]  Armstreaty.org is the leading ATT negotiations tracking website created by the Control Arms campaign and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.  http://armstreaty.org/mapsstates.php.  Last accessed 15 October 2012.

[5]  Such views underpin many official views  found the May 2012 official UN document  “Compilation of Views on the Elements of an Arms Trade Treaty (A/CONF.217/2.” http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/CONF.217/2.  Last accessed 15 October 2012.

[6]  Here are links to press releases from Reuters, Oxfam, Amnesty International, and Control Arms:  http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/27/us-arms-treaty-idUSBRE86Q1MW20120727http://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressrelease/2012-07-28/battle-arms-trade-treaty-continues-governments-opt-delay-final-deahttp://amnesty.org/en/news/world-powers-delay-landmark-arms-trade-deal-2012-07-27, and http://www.controlarms.org/battle-continues. Sources last accessed 14 October 2012.

[7]  Author conducted interviews with numerous diplomats and country delegates in and around the Geneva-based UN disarmament community in 2012.  A consistent portrait painted by them was that Control Arms campaigners exhibited a profound lack of collective unity and focus, and that messaging was  redundant, superficial, grossly insufficient to help in a technical or practical sense, and largely amounted to a waste of time even for diplomats and delegates who were sympathetic to their cause.  Additionally, Control Arms Campaigners undermined their own efforts by insisting on adding controversial provisions to the treaty, such as Victim Assistance, which made consensus all the more unattainable.

[8]   Control Arms is described as “unraveling” because, by 2012, Control Arms had essentially disintegrated as a cohesive coalition.  This appears to be a key reason for a lack of focus in campaign execution.  The proximate cause for this appears to be a case of disintegration due to interpersonal problems and hubris among its leaders, and organizational self-interest.   Amnesty International essentially left Control Arms to pursue its own agenda in 2011.  This information was corroborated by interviews with several diplomats and an interview with a professional arms trade researcher with direct knowledge of the situation and people concerned, May 2012.

[9]  TSM Worldwide LLC conducted a comparative analysis of the website using snapshots taken 29 August and 14 October 2012.

[10]  The only Scope issue area the US objected to was the inclusion of ammunition in the treaty.  The implementation issue areas the US objects to are Final Provisions and Victim Assistance.  Source: armstreaty.org.  Last accessed 14 October 2012.

[11]  The graphic represents outright country opposition to given issue areas as gauged by Control Arms only.  The totals at the bottom of the table are counts of distinct instances of country / issue-area opposition and do not reflect the count of countries opposed to the ATT as a whole.

[12]  One group is Handicap International, sponsors of the Campaign to Ban Landmines and co-winner of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.  http://en.handicap-international.ca/Ottawa-treaty-good-news-and-bad-news_a186.html  Last accessed 1 October 2012.

 

First Published: 17 October 2012
Last Updated: 18 October 2012

Republication and redistribution are authorized when author Jeff Moran and linkable URL http://tsmworldwide.com/consensus-killed/ are cited.

Honduras to reevaluate gun control laws

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Original Story Via: CSMonitor.com

The Honduran government is reportedly set to conduct a review of its gun laws in an apparent effort to combat rising violence levels, though equal emphasis will need to be made on addressing endemic corruption and weak institutions to solidify any gains.

Matias Funes, a representative from the independent Commission on Public Security Reform (CRSP), said on Oct. 16 that Honduras’ gun laws are in need of urgent revision if efforts are to be made to combat the country’s endemically high level of violence, reported La Tribuna.

Security Minister Pompeyo Bonilla said the government agreed a review of the law should be undertaken and that President Porfirio Lobo had asked that he begin conducting one.

Under the existing law, citizens are allowed to own as many as five personal firearms. According to statistics released last month by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Honduras’ homicide rate for 2011 was 92 per 100,000, up from 82 the previous year.

IAPCAR DENOUNCES TREATMENT OF GUN PUBLICATIONS AS PORN

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Original Story Via:  TheGunMag.com

The International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR) denounced a change in policy by the British book store W.H. Smith to now treat hunting and self-defense publications featuring guns the same as pornography.

Julianne Versnel of IAPCAR and SAF this week at the UN Conference of Parties meeting in Vienna Austria.

Even though youngsters under the new age requirement are permitted to hold a shotgun license, W.H. Smith’s new policy bans legitimate self-defense and hunting publications from young people under 14-years-old. The new policy also requires the purchaser show identification to purchase the magazines the same as they require for the purchase of pornography.

The new policy was backed by a group called Animal Aid, Britain’s largest “animal rights” organization. Among other beliefs, the group clams in one of its own reports that “lurid, pro-violence content” of the country’s shooting sports magazines could have a “corrosive, long-lasting effect on impressionable young minds.”

IAPCAR executive director Philip Watson denounced the store’s policy.

“Clearly this store is allowing itself to be governed by a fringe group,” Watson said. “There is no legitimate proof that censorship like this will improve a youngster’s understanding of gun safety, or self-defense and hunting. In fact, I think it will probably have the opposite effect.”

“The fact that youngsters under the age requirement to purchase these publications are permitted to license a shotgun outlines the stupidity of this new rule,” Watson concluded.

“A parent has an obligation to educate their children about the use of firearms. As a mother and gun owner, I am offended that publications about self-defense, target shooting, or hunting are being treated as pornography,” added IAPCAR Co-Founder Julianne Versnel.

The International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (http://iapcar.com/) is the only worldwide political action group focusing on the human right to keep and bear arms. Founded in 2010, IAPCAR has grown to 23 major gun-rights organizations and conducts campaigns designed to inform the public and promote the right of self-defense and gun-ownership.

Russia develops its own DARPA for advancing military hardware

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Original Story Via: TheGunMag.com

by Bob Lesmeister

National Correspondent

In the old days, it might have meant a one-way trip to Siberia for a team of engineers. Luckily, there have been some positive changes in Russia since the Soviet Union government collapsed. For example, as reported by the Russian news agency Interfax, Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, while touring TsNIITochMash, was shown an upgraded Kalashnikov military rifle. He praised its comfortable butt stock but was not amused to find that this wonderful stock was marked “Made in Israel.”

He exclaimed, “We can make them too!” The Russian deputy prime minister overseeing the defense industry, Dmitriy Rogozin, assured him that yes they can.

“I should hope so,” grumbled Medvedev.

TsNIITochMash stands for the Central Research Institute for Precision Machine Building, a Russian industrial design bureau. TsNIITochMash is a major designer and producer of weapons for the Russian military and MVD Internal Troops. Medvedev warned that Russian arms manufacturers risk falling behind foreign competition for both military and commercial firearms and equipment. TsNIITochMash develops most cartridges, from small arms up to the 14.5 x 114 mm, a large anti-personnel/sniper round most recently integrated in Iran’s first homemade sniper rifle, the Shaher (See related TGM story.)

TsNIITochMash also develops small arms and simulators and individual field equipment for the Russian military and conducts R&D on control systems for precision-guided munitions and field artillery systems. It is also responsible for developing new materials as well.

It seems Medvedev’s major complaint is that Russian arms producers have been too inclined to rest on their laurels. “In our country, some of our well-known defense-industry enterprises, even those that have a good international reputation, sometimes reason that what we invented back in nineteen-God-knows-when is the best thing produced anywhere in the world. We cannot see anything else; we do not want to read anything else, so ours are the best arms in the world.”

Medvedev reasons that if the Russian engineers cannot invent anything new, then they will not be producing the best arms in the world. “So, one should encourage research,” he pleads. “It is a good thing that there are many doctors and candidates of science among the workforce. The main thing, however, is not even the number of people with degrees but new products.”

In order to fix the problem, Russia is developing a counterpart to America’s DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), the agency tasked with the job of developing new materials and weapon systems. They say what goes around comes around and it couldn’t be truer in this case. Actually DARPA was established in 1958 to prevent technological surprises like the launch of Sputnik, which caught the US napping and allowed the Soviets to beat the US into space. Now, Russia is establishing its own DARPA in order to keep up with the US and other countries’ rapidly developing offense and defense systems.

In an interview on Sept. 26 with the Moscow Rossiyskaya Gazeta Online, Dmitriy Rogozin, deputy Russian Federation Government chairman and chairman of the Military-Industrial Commission, stated that Russia would have its own version of DARPA by the end of 2012. Declared Rogozin, “We have had and continue to have pilot projects in which we are not only at the level of, but also ahead of, all the rest.” He also laid a hint of things to come. “There are things to be proud of here also. It is commonly acknowledged that the air defenses of the Ground Troops are probably among (the) world’s best in terms of equipment and organization. The prototype of the fifth-generation fighter is being tested.”

According to Rogozin, Russian troops won’t be covering any new territory or leading expeditions. “What do the Americans do? They land Marines at the other end of the world not because they are big bullies and brawlers, not to accomplish some humanitarian objectives but always and only to secure their economic interests. We have no military-expedition plans in remote parts of the world. Russia is itself a whole world with a gifted, but not always harmonious and organized, people and vast reserves of land, forest, fresh water, and minerals. We have seas and oceans around us. This is all ours and we need to be able to defend it.”

Versatility could be for what the new Russian DARPA will strive. For example, according to Rogozin, the small arms producing plant Izhmash, where most of the Kalashnikov rifles are made, can also be used to produce aircraft carriers. “Few know that the possibility of manufacturing entirely different products, not assault rifles and machineguns at all, was embedded in the design and construction of this giant plant,” he revealed. “We will hardly be needing Maxim guns,” Rogozin told Rossiyskaya Gazeta Online. “We should not be reserving shops and locking them up but insuring that the lathes and transfer machinery operating on one or two shifts can, if necessary, operate without loss of quality on three shifts.”

Getting Russia’s DARPA program off the ground will cost about 20 trillion rubles ($641,419,000). “This money will pass through production and science, in any event: for the payment of research and experimental design and the purchase of the arms themselves,” said Rogozin.

While the US outsources jobs at an alarming rate and shrinks its military capabilities under President Obama, Russia’s Putin is transferring military technology to commercial technology, to boost defense spending and to create new high-skill jobs. According to Rogozin, this is Putin’s objective. The defense industry should be a catalyst for the country’s new industrialization.

If Russia’s DARPA program continues to strengthen while ours weakens, you can expect more Sputnik surprises in the future.

UK Judge to burglars: Being shot is a ‘chance you take’

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Original Story Via:  BurtonMail.co.uk

A judge has told two burglars permanently injured when they were shot by a homeowner: “That is the chance you take.”

Judge Michael Pert QC jailed Joshua O’Gorman and Daniel Mansell for four years each after rejecting a plea that he take the shooting into account.

O’Gorman and Mansell, who have a string of convictions between them, were blasted with a legally-owned shotgun by Andy Ferrie as they attempted to ransack his isolated farm cottage in the early hours of September 2.

O’Gorman, who was shot in the face, and Mansell, who was hit in his right hand, had pleaded guilty to the break-in in Welby, near Melton Mowbray, at an earlier hearing.

Sentencing them at Leicester Crown Court, the judge said: “I make it plain that, in my judgment, being shot is not mitigation. If you burgle a house in the country where the householder owns a legally held shotgun, that is the chance you take. You cannot come to court and ask for a lighter sentence because of it.”

He was responding to a mitigation plea from Andrew Frymann, representing O’Gorman, who said being shot was for his client akin to a “near-death experience” for which he was not prepared. His injuries left him with blurred vision, severe pain and problems with his balance.

Replying to Mr Frymann’s suggestion that O’Gorman was traumatised, Judge Pert said the arrest of Mr and Mrs Ferrie on suspicion of grievous bodily harm could be considered just as disturbing. He said: “Some might argue that being arrested and locked up for 40 hours is a trauma.”

Mr Ferrie, 35, and his wife Tracey, 43, were held in custody for nearly two days after Mr Ferrie called police to tell them he fired his shotgun at the intruders. Their arrests prompted widespread criticism. The couple were later bailed and told they would not face criminal charges.

Mansell, 33, and O’Gorman, 27, both from Leicester but with no fixed addresses, appeared in the court dock each wearing a grey sweatshirt and showing physical evidence of the confrontation. A scar was clearly visible on the right side of O’Gorman’s face and Mansell had his arm in a sling.

Commenting after sentencing, a spokesman for Leicestershire Police said: “The decision made by the Crown Prosecution Service, after reviewing all the evidence, was to take no further action against the homeowners involved. We are unable to comment any further as we have an ongoing investigation with three men currently on police bail.”

College Says No to Nintendo Guns (Canada)

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Original Story Via: Forbes.com

A Canadian university has stopped a college game club from putting up posters that featured an image of a pistol. Except that the pistol in question wasn’t even real, but a Nintendo weapon from the 1980s.

A game club at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, decided to hold a “game-themed social event”, according to a local student newspaper. Naturally, because it was a gaming party, they drew up a poster with images of a Nintendo game controller and the Zapper, a gray-and-red electronic pistol that came with the 1985 Nintendo Entertainment System. But Saint Mary’s must have feared it was a call for armed insurrection; when the poster was submitted to the university for approval, the gamers were told to get rid of the gun, which they replaced with a graphic of a Nintendo Power Glove. Presumably because a toy pistol that pots virtual ducks sends a dangerous message, while punching out assorted lifeforms with a Power Glove does not.

I’m all for campus safety, including banning real firearms on campus. Even toy and replica weapons can be mistaken for real ones in some situations. But a crude drawing on a poster? Last week, a Maine political candidate was vilified by her opponents because she plays World of Warcraft. Now college game clubs can’t mention guns, because the mere sight of a video game weapon might induce crazoid gamers to disembowel their fellow students with plastic lightsabers. I’m sure the good citizens of Halifax will sleep better tonight, knowing that they’ve been saved from the Nintendo Apocalypse.

Philippines – PNP plans early for 2013 elections, focuses on gun control

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Original Story Via:  INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has started planning and preparations to ensure a peaceful midterm elections in 2013, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II said.

“The PNP has begun formal planning for peaceful elections,” Roxas told reporters in a press briefing Tuesday.

“There will be strategic moves by the PNP now while it is still early and there will be tactical moves closer to elections so that there will less chances of violence come election,” Roxas said.

Among the innovations that Roxas wants to implement will be the consolidation and sharing of information between the many police forces. “For example, we want to provide the list of all those who have gun licenses and permits to carry in certain areas so that police [authorities on all levels] can identify the groups who are carrying guns,” Roxas said.

This will better prepare the police, especially in election hotspots, he added.

Roxas also said that they will also be doing intelligence gathering work as well as training and resource deployment. He said some localities have requested for V-150 armored vehicles because of anticipated election-related violence in the area.

“We shall be able to secure and mobilize these resources so that as election draws closer our police will be ready to respond to any need,” he said.

When asked that there might be a new PNP chief come the poll season, Roxas said assured that Director General Nicanor Bartolome, the PNP Chief, will still be on top of the preparations and planning even if his term ends before the elections.

“The more important thing is the planning for the election, planning for eight months away has begun and it has been formalized,” Roxas said.

He said that all the data and intelligence operations will be “integrated and consolidated” so that the PNP “will be more effective in ensuring peaceful elections.”

“We will ensure consolidated and integrated efforts of all units, particularly the home support units. All the data from firearms and explosives bureaus, as well as investigative units, will be consolidated so that the men on the ground will have all the data and support they need,” Roxas said.

Gun clamp call after robberies – Bahrain

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Calls for gun control are coming after a string of robberies in Bahrain.

Original Story Via: Gulf-Daily-News.com

Bahrain urgently needs to tighten its gun control laws following six armed robberies in just over five months, says a leading MP. An investigation should be launched to find out if the arms are being smuggled into the country or how weapons used by the security forces are getting into the hands of criminals, said Parliament Foreign Affairs Defence and National Security Committee chairwoman Sawsan Taqawi.

“There has been a surge in robberies this year, with robbers entering money exchange outlets with a gun and fleeing with thousands of dinars,” she told the GDN.

“No one is allowed to keep weapons and there are no shops selling them in Bahrain.

“Only people who are authorised to keep guns are Public Security forces or BDF officers.

“The question is, how are these robbers getting guns in Bahrain? Are they smuggling them? If so, from where?

“If it’s through the King Fahad Causeway or another country, what is the Interior Ministry doing about it?

“We need the ministry to answer these questions for us and we are going to highlight this issue in the upcoming parliament session.”

The Bahrain Bloc member also called for extra police patrols in trouble hotspots to try and prevent more robberies.

Her comments come as police yesterday continued to hunt for a masked man who held up a currency exchange shop at gunpoint in Maqaba.

He reportedly escaped with BD2,000 from the Bahrain Finance Company (BFC), off Budaiya Highway, at around 11.30am on Saturday.

A police forensic team was sent to the scene to check for fingerprints and CCTV footage.

The shop was temporarily closed, but had re opened yesterday.

BFC general manager Errol Fonseca said five staff members were inside the shop when the robbery took place.

“The man had a gun and he escaped with BD2,000,” Mr Fonseca said.

“One of the staff members called the head officer and we called police, who arrived with forensic team at the scene and launched an investigation.

“Although there was a robbery, we are open for business and our staff members are there to serve our customers.

“We are taking care of our staff members and have asked them to call us immediately if they sense any danger or notice any illegal activity in the branch.”

It is the second time the BFC has been targeted this year after two armed men fled with more than BD20,000 from its branch in Salmabad in May. Police arrived at the scene after the cashier pressed the alarm button, but the robbers had fled by then.

It happened just over a week after a masked gunman dressed in a thobe robbed a Travelex outlet in Riffa and escaped with around BD5,000, after threatening an Indian cashier at gunpoint.

The Money Exchange in East Eker was also robbed by gunmen who fled with BD9,000 in August. A masked gunman escaped with BD376 from the Zenj Exchange in Salmabad on September 25.

A masked man also held up a 24 Hours supermarket in West Riffa at gunpoint last Wednesday and escaped with an unknown amount.

Meanwhile, police are also investigating an armed robbery at the Najad Market in Hoora on Saturday.

Three Bahrainis reportedly threatened owner Balacheeri Mohammed Ali and worker Mohammed Yousif with a knife and escaped with a till containing BD150.

Forensic teams recovered the weapon from the scene.

Mr Ali told police the suspects, aged between 20 and 25, had visited the market three days before the robbery. aneeqa@gdn.com.bh

Costa Rica set to ban hunting, a first in the Americas

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Original Story Via:  France24.com

AFP – Costa Rica is set to be the first country in the American continent to ban recreational hunting after the country’s legislature approved the popular measure by a wide margin.

The bill, which bans hunting for sport but still allows culling and subsistence hunting, was approved late Tuesday by a 41-5 vote. Congress will revisit the issue on Thursday, but the second round is seen as just a formality.

President Laura Chinchilla, who supports the measure, is expected to sign it into law in the next days.

The ban, which does not affect fishing for sport, does allow researchers to hunt for scientific purposes.

Hunters violating the ban would have to pay a fine of up to $3,000.

Costa Rica supports an enormous variety of fauna, and is one of the countries with the highest density of biodiversity in the world.

Wildlife in Costa Rica include jaguars, armadillos, deer, sloths and several species of monkeys, as well as a variety of birds, amphibians and reptiles.

Some two million people visit Costa Rica each year — a $2 billion business — and the country’s natural reserves and variety of species are a great attraction.

U.S. May Block Gun Sales to Citizens Living Abroad

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Original Article Via:  Court House News

By BONNIE BARRON

WASHINGTON (CN) – The government can prohibit sales of guns for self-defense to American citizens residing outside its borders, a federal judge ruled.

U.S. citizen Stephen Dearth lives in Canada and was unable to buy firearms in the U.S. on two occasions. Federal Form 4473 requires purchasers of firearms to provide their state of residence, preventing Dearth from legally completing the document.

Dearth and the Second Amendment Foundation, a nonprofit committed to the right to bear arms, sued Attorney General Eric

Holder for declaratory and injunctive relief in March 2009.

The District of Columbia District Court dismissed the complaint for lack of standing. However, the D.C. Circuit Court reversed the dismissal and remanded Dearth’s claims in April 2011.

U.S. District Judge Robert Wilkins granted the government’s motion for summary judgment on Thursday.

Wilkins found that none of the six counts alleged by Dearth amounted to constitutional violations.

The judge stated that, “an initial point of contention is how to construe the challenged laws. Are they restrictions on possession, or are they longstanding conditions and qualifications on commercial sale?

“The court concludes they are the latter,” Wilkins wrote.

Much like the state laws that have prevented non-residents from buying firearms for more than 100 years, the federal restrictions have a similar intent, the judge found.

“The effect of the federal statute is to require a firearm purchaser to be a state resident so that he or she submits to the jurisdiction and authority of some state – any state – so that the firearms purchase can be regulated by state law,” Wilkins wrote. “Thus, the federal statutes serve a similar purpose as the longstanding state statutes governing the commercial sale of firearms.”

Dearth argued that his inability to buy a gun for self-defense while visiting his friends and relatives in the U.S. violated his Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

But Wilkins found that Dearth “…has the ability to bring his firearm from Canada with him when he visits the United States. Critically, Dearth concedes that ‘he would access [firearms] for lawful sporting purposes as well as for other purposes, including self-defense, while visiting the United States’…Thus, Dearth clearly has the ability to borrow or rent a firearm for lawful sporting purposes and then also use that firearm for self-defense. This would be a much different case if Dearth had none of those options.”

Dearth also failed to show that the gun restrictions infringe on the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment by requiring him to give up his ability to buy firearms if he chooses to travel internationally.

“As the government correctly points out, these provisions do not prevent Dearth from travelling internationally and, therefore, they do not implicate any Fifth Amendment liberty interest in international travel,” Wilkins wrote. “There is nothing to suggest that the challenged statutes present either a direct or coincidental restriction on a U.S. citizen’s ability to travel internationally.

The statutes merely require that Dearth establish residency in a state in order to purchase or acquire additional firearms for purposes other than sporting purposes. The statutes place no direct restriction on Dearth’s ability to travel within the United States or internationally.”

Wilkins found that the restrictions were rationally based. “The provisions serve the substantial government interests of protecting public safety, combating violent crime, and controlling the flow of firearms across state and international borders,” Wilkins stated.

The order concludes that the same rational basis holds true against Dearth’s Equal Protection claims.  

UN launches first “standards” during August follow-up to ATT

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Original Story Via:  TheGunMag.com

by Joseph. P. Tartaro

Executive Editor

In late August, an umbrella organization of 23 separate United Nations (UN) agencies known as the Coordinating Action on Small Arms (CASA) adopted the first portion of International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS). The ISACS text is made up of 33 separate modules, some 800 pages in total. So far, eight modules have been adopted as the result of a process begun in the spring.

An Experts Reference Group (ERG), which included a small number of professionals with firearms experience, including Richard Patterson, managing director of the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute (SAAMI), provided constructive criticisms on the first draft text of these modules.

A second draft, however, revealed that numerous issues identified by the ERG had not been addressed; a fundamental violation of the legitimate standard-setting process.

In response, SAAMI prepared a detailed minority report that Patterson submitted to the ISACS project coordinator covering a range of these issues.

“Sadly, SAAMI is forced to conclude that ISACS has and will continue to fail in the creation of clear and effective guidance because of breaches in standards- setting protocols, and dogmatic adherence to unsubstantiated assumptions, agendas and biases,” Patterson said in a March statement before a UN committee working on the matter.

In another statement delivered at an Aug. 29 UN conference, Patterson described ISACS as “… nothing more than a platform for adoption and pseudo-legitimization of the ‘wish lists’ of special interest groups.” “Advocates of gun control make two fundamental assumptions: First, that more guns will equal more violence and, second, that more gun control will equal less violence. Both of these assumptions are confounded by history and by facts. They are simply not true.

Countries with high rates of gun ownership have low rates of violence and countries in which civilian ownership of guns is banned have high rates of violence. Ignoring these facts can cause harm by removing the means by which people protect themselves, their families and their communities—and thereby protect their rights to self-determination,” Patterson said.

Patterson was not the only one to speak against many of the protocols under consideration under the umbrella of the Programme of Action (PoA) launched in 2001. The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), a binding agreement that included small arms and ammunition, was supposed to be adopted in July but failed when the United States, Russia, and several other countries did not agree to draft language. Rather than abandon the global gun control agenda, proponents of the ATT focused on moving forward incrementally under the PoA.

Others besides SAAMI speaking out at the UN in August against the planned implementation of global gun control under the PoA included representatives of the World Forum on the Future of the Shooting Sports (WSFA), Canada’s National Firearms Association (NFA), Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), and Defense Small Arms Advisory Council (DSAAC).

SAF’s Director of Operations Julianne Versnel, reminded the UN that “if women have the right to be protected against violence, then they have the right to protect themselves against violence.” Supporters of the global gun control agenda have been trying to play the “women’s rights” card, but Versnel’s remarks were unlike anything many delegates at the UN had ever heard before.

Noting that she had reviewed what had already been written and said about the violence against women as it relates to the Programme of Action, Versnel emphasized that, “I am struck by what is not said.” “If there is a basic sanctity of a woman’s person,” she observed, “if there is a right to not be a victim of sexual or personal violence, then that right involves the right to defend one’s self.” Versnel stressed that any new global gun control initiatives must “do nothing to disarm women who legitimately and rightfully want to defend themselves.” Perhaps Versnel’s warnings may open up a new and politically uncomfortable arena for the prohibitionists.

“The drive for human rights is a force throughout the world,” Versnel stated, “and especially here at the UN. A woman’s right to be free from violence is a fundamental human right. That fundamental right is to defend one’s self. The report of this conference should state that without reservation.” Canada’s NFA was the only Canadian pro-firearms group represented during the non-governmental organization presentations at the Second Review Conference of the PoA.

NFA President Sheldon Clare told TGM, “It was important for the NFA to be present at this conference for four main reasons. First, the PoA is alive and potentially dangerous—this was a well-attended conference and vigilance is critical. Second, it was necessary for us to make sure that there was no attempt to make this the Arms Trade Treaty consolation round, or in any way broaden the scope of the PoA. Third, we needed to make our concerns known about the aims of some to include firearms components and ammunition, and to make it clear that we are speaking out strongly in support of civilian rights of self-defense—the only Canadian organization to do so. The fourth reason we were there was to use our strong voice to support our friends.” According to Clare, “The government (Canada) seems to be headed in the right direction. I was pleased to hear the concise and clear presentation by Senior Policy Advisor Kim Joslin of the Canadian Delegation which was in strong support of firearms owners. In particular, Canada supported the US position which opposes including any aspect of components or ammunition being included in the PoA.”

UN’s “Outcome document” for the Programme of Action to Prevent Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Document can be seen at:  UN’s “Outcome document” for the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects

Original Document Via:  United Nations Review Conference 2012 Programme of Action on small arms and light weapons

 

Ottawa will appeal Quebec gun registry ruling

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Original Story Via: CBC News

The federal government plans to appeal a Quebec court ruling blocking it from destroying Quebec’s portion of gun registry records and ordering that the data be given to the province.

Minister of State Maxime Bernier told the House of Commons Monday the government will appeal the Quebec Superior Court decision.

On Sept. 10, Superior Court Judge Marc-Andre Blanchard voided two sections of the Conservative government’s legislation to scrap the long-gun registry.

Blanchard ordered the federal government to give all records on Quebec-owned rifles and shotguns in the registry to the provincial government within 30 days.

The Conservatives have been adamant about scrapping the long-gun registry and destroying the existing data.

“The will of Parliament and Canadians has been clear,” said Public Security Minister Vic Toews Monday, in a prepared statement. “We do not want any form of a wasteful and ineffective long-gun registry.

“The NDP has consistently said that if given the chance they would try and use this data to target law-abiding hunters, farmers and sport shooters in the regions of Quebec. Our Conservative government will always stand up for the rights of law-abiding gun owners.”

The federal government has said in the past that any province that wants its own registry is welcome to start from scratch.

Sportlich-Praktischer Schützen Club Holding IAPCAR Charity Shoot Competition! Trophy and Cash Prizes! Saturday 13, October 2012

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Courtesy of Sportlich-Praktischer Schützen Club (SPSC)

To read original charity shoot invitation from SPSC please click here!

Location:  Innviertler Schützenhof, Miinsteuer 8, 4980 Antiesenhofen (Schießstätte IHS – Innviertler Hofschützen)

Organizer:  SPSC – Sporty and Practical Shooting Club

Date:  Saturday 13, October 2012

Time:  From 13:00 to 17:00 (close)

Entry fee:  20 – Eur. including state fee. The Excess of revenues competition our expenses we will give to IAPCAR – International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights http://iapcar.org/!

Weapons:  Require approval from including automatic rifles Caliber .223 Rem up (eg Steyr AUG-Z, Oberland Arms Austria OA-15 / OA-10 Austria, Austria SG 550, HK SL-6)

Sights:  Each optical sights or magnification allowed; also open sights!

Program:  100m sitting launched; SPSC pistol target, 5 shots for Sample – then 2x 10 shot score (maximum 220 points, timeout 5 minutes); trophy and cash prizes!

Important:  Prior notification by e-mail are welcome! Weapons and Ammunition from the shooter bring your own! No lasers!

For more information please contact:

www.sportlich-praktisch.org

info@sportlich-praktisch.org

SPSC – Sportlich-Praktischer Schützen Club
ZVR# 039439401
Tel.: +43 660 733 5990

 

United Nations Launches First Small Arms Control “Standards”

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Original Story Via: TheDailyCaller

NEWTOWN, Conn. — In late August, an umbrella organization of 23 separate U.N. agencies known as the Coordinating Action on Small Arms (CASA) adopted the first portion of International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS). The ISACS text is made up of 33 separate modules, some 800 pages in total. So far, eight modules have been adopted as the result of a process begun in the spring.

An Experts Reference Group (ERG), which included a small number of professionals with firearms experience, including Richard Patterson, managing director of the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute (SAAMI), provided constructive criticisms on the first draft text of these modules. A second draft, however, revealed that numerous issues identified by the ERG had not been addressed, a fundamental violation of the legitimate standard-setting process.

In response, SAAMI prepared a detailed minority report that Patterson submitted to the ISACS project coordinator covering a range of these issues.

“Sadly, SAAMI is forced to conclude that ISACS has and will continue to fail in the creation of clear and effective guidance because of breaches in standards-setting protocols, and dogmatic adherence to unsubstantiated assumptions, agendas and biases,” Patterson said in a March statement before a U.N. committee working on the matter.

In another statement delivered at an Aug. 29 U.N. conference at the U.N., Patterson described ISACS as “. . . nothing more than a platform for adoption and pseudo-legitimization of the ‘wish lists’ of special interest groups.”

“Advocates of gun control make two fundamental assumptions: First, that more guns will equal more violence and, second, that more gun control will equal less violence. Both of these assumptions are confounded by history and by facts. They are simply not true. Countries with high rates of gun ownership have low rates of violence and countries in which civilian ownership of guns is banned have high rates of violence. Ignoring these facts can cause harm by removing the means by which people protect themselves, their families and their communities — and thereby protect their rights to self-determination.”

About SAAMI
Founded in 1926 at the request of the U.S. Federal Government, SAAMI is an association of the nation’s leading manufacturers of sporting firearms, ammunition and components. It publishes voluntary industry standards, coordinates technical data and promotes safe and responsible firearm use. It handles both domestic and international technical and regulatory issues that affect safety and reliability of firearms, ammunition and components. For more information, visit www.saami.org.

IAPCAR’s Phil Watson featured as leadership graduate of the week

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Original Story Via:  LeadershipInstitute.org

Phil Watson of IAPCAR was featured this week as the Leadership Institute’s Graduate of the Week.

Click here to read the article directly from Leadership Institute’s website.

Article text below

Protecting and Defending: Second Amendment Liberty

These famous words in the Bill of Rights have stirred countless emotion and action for centuries: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

The right to keep and bear arms is what Leadership Institute graduate Phil Watson has devoted his time and talent toward preserving.

“You are born sovereign with rights given by God, not government. The right of self-defense is one of those rights,” Phil told the Leadership Institute. “Gun rights groups are here to protect your human and civil rights. The police can’t be everywhere at once and are technically not even bound by law to protect you, so you have to take your Second Amendment rights seriously.”

Phil is the Second Amendment Foundation’s (SAF) director of special projects, where he researches Second Amendment court litigation and news surrounding gun issues on a national and international scale.

“Keeping track of the dozens of current Second Amendment lawsuits and opposing the UN Arms Trade Treaty takes up a lot of my time,” Phil said. “Our network of member groups now extends to 23 groups in 15 different countries. Communicating with your base and your members in a timely manner is very important. I also assist in writing and editing various Second Amendment publications.”

Additionally, he’s executive director at the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arm Rights.

“The numbers don’t lie: gun-free zones suffer from high crime rates and only create more victims,” Phil said. “People who have a problem with self-defense usually have a problem with other freedoms and rights as well, which are historically why tyrannical governments like to disarm their people. We are here to stick up for your rights and speak out against those that would force others to be helpless.”

However, Phil hasn’t always been involved in public policy. It’s been a career in the making.

Phil was raised in a “minimum-wage-working world,” where he delivered newspapers to neighbors to earn an extra dime. He also remembers doing yard work and washing dishes at a local restaurant to collect some additional money.

“After I graduated high school, I entered the military and waited awhile to start college,” Phil said. “History, economics, and politics became my favorite subjects after trying most other classes. Later, I had the pleasure of graduating from the University of Washington with a B.A. in Political Economy.”

With a degree in hand, he met some political activists who were regular patrons at the large neighborhood convenience store where he worked.

After several long talks, one of the individuals invited him to work on his campaign.

“It sounded interesting, so I decided to give it a shot. Several people highly recommended the Leadership Institute, so I took the Campaign Management School and was off and running,” Phil shared.

In April 2010, Phil came to LI’s headquarters in Arlington, Virginia to attend the week-long Campaign Management School.

Shortly after, he was asked to be the deputy campaign manager for the 2010 WA-6 congressional race. The opponent was a 17-term incumbent, Rep. Norm Dicks, and while Phil’s candidate didn’t win, Phil valued the experience he gained.

After the election, Phil fought against Proposition 1 – a local sales tax increase. “We won with some creative campaigning and tactics I picked up from LI’s Campaign Management School,” Phil said. “We were outgunned on money by 95 percent, but ended up winning. We defeated the sales tax increase.”

After the campaign, Phil came to the Leadership Institute in the spring of 2011 to intern in the Grassroots department. He’s taken 16 LI trainings from Public Speaking, Campaign Management, New Media, High-Dollar Fundraising, Television Techniques, Youth Leadership, and Conservative Career workshops and schools.

“LI is a political boot camp in many ways,” Phil shared. “I jumped in the political world and was serious about learning how to be effective as an activist. The Leadership Institute taught me how to be effective within a political organization and I still talk with a lot of the people I met there. LI is a great place to learn and connect with other people on the same path.”

After LI’s internship, Phil received a press internship in the office of Congresswoman Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, vice chair of the House Republican Conference and highest ranking Republican woman in Congress.

Next, he trekked across America back to his home state of Washington to influence public policy and protect the right to keep and bear arms.

Read Phil’s interview with the Russian Legal Information Agency here.

His employer—the Second Amendment Foundation—has their 2012 Gun Rights Policy Conference in Orlando, Florida in a few weeks. To learn more, go here.

“LI trainings helped give me a good foundation for the journey ahead,” Phil said.

You too can build a good foundation for your public policy career. Register for one of LI’s upcoming trainings here.

Please welcome Phil Watson as LI’s Graduate of the Week.

Farm tenant arrested after burglars shot, was ‘plagued by break-ins’ (UK)

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Original Story Via:  The Telegraph

By

A farm tenant and his wife who were arrested after two suspected burglars were shot at their isolated home had been the victims of a number of robberies.

The man is believed to have grabbed a legally owned gun after they were disturbed by the break-in early yesterday.

He is understood to have fired at the intruders who then fled the isolated house at Melton Mowbray, Leics, before calling the police.

Minutes later, an ambulance was called to treat a man with gunshot injuries nearby. It is understood that call was made by one of the suspected burglars.

The arrested man’s mother said: “This is not the first time they have been broken into.

“They have been robbed three or four times. One of them was quite nasty.

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“They have not been injured but property has been stolen.”

Local farmers said the area has been increasingly targeted by car thieves.

One said: “We had three Land Rovers stolen. We had fitted one with a tracker and it was recovered in Birmingham.”

A second man was later treated for gunshot injuries after arriving at Leicester Royal Infirmary, 10 miles from the scene of the shooting. Neither of the men is said to be seriously injured.

Yesterday the businessman and his wife were arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm. Four men, understood to be the suspected burglars, were also arrested.

The case will reignite the debate over a householder’s right to defend his property, which began in the late 1990s after the farmer Tony Martin shot two burglars at his remote Norfolk home. In 1999, Martin fired at Brendan Fearon, 29, and Fred Barras, 16, after they broke into the house in Emneth Hungate.

Three shots were fired, Barras was hit in the back and despite escaping through a window died moments later. Martin was convicted of murder and jailed for life, which was reduced on appeal to manslaughter and five years’ jail.

In 2009, the millionaire businessman Munir Hussain fought back with a metal pole and a cricket bat against a knife-wielding burglar who tied up his family at their home in Buckinghamshire. Hussain was jailed for two and a half years, despite his attacker being spared prison.

Appeal judges reduced the sentence to a year’s jail, suspended.

The case prompted David Cameron to announce that home owners and shopkeepers would have the right to protect themselves against burglars and robbers.

Last year, Peter Flanagan, 59, who fatally stabbed a burglar armed with a machete at his home in Salford, Great Manchester, escaped prosecution after the Crown Prosecution Service ruled that he was acting in self defence.

Yesterday the Melton Mowbray cottage was sealed off by police. Welby Grange Farm is owned by John Hobill, 84, and his wife Evelyn, 76, and is the registered address for JT and RT Hobill, which lists itself as a farming business.

A woman who answered the phone said they were “not allowed” to talk about the incident. She said the cottage was privately rented and the incident was nothing to do with the family that owned the farm. She said the person living there was not a farmer.

A Leicestershire Police spokesman said: “A 35-year-old man and a 43-year-old woman were arrested in Melton on suspicion of GBH and four men, aged 27, 23, 31 and 33, were arrested at Leicester Royal Infirmary on suspicion of aggravated burglary.” All remain in custody.

Continuous drip-drip of distorted gun-related news reporting

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Derek Bernard

6th September 2012

During the afternoon of Wednesday, 5th September, a British family were attacked in their car while on holiday in France, near Chevaline. The 3 adults were shot to death, together with a cyclist, while 2 little girls in the car survived the attack.

Many of the news reports attempt to link the event to the strictness, or lack of it, of gun control in France.

For instance, Henry Samuel, Daily Telegraph, 5th September 2012, included the following:

“France has one of the highest levels of civilian gun ownership in Europe, with far more relaxed gun laws than the UK.

Handguns, semi-automatic weapons and pump-action shotguns are legal if held by active gun club members who must have a licence for them and undergo a medical check.”

As with virtually everything uttered by governments, police and the media on the subject of gun control, gun ownership and criminal violence, the purported linkage has no connection to reality. But this constant, almost subliminal, flow of distortion maintains and strengthens the fearful fantasy that guns, in and of themselves, are dangerous, nasty things that will turn ordinary, non-violent people into criminals and ordinary criminals into murderers.

This fantasy is what drives the European love of complex, expensive, slow and inconvenient gun control procedures, such as gun registration.

In 2007 the Harvard Journal on Law & Public Policy published an article by 2 of the world’s leading researchers, Professor Gary Mauser and lawyer Don Kates. It contained this interesting paragraph:

“One statistic stands out: There are 9 European nations which have less than 5,000 guns per 100,000 population and 7 that have more than 15,000 guns. The average murder rate of the 9 low-gun ownership nations is 3 times higher than the murder rate of the 7 high gun ownership nations. That is apparently because nations w/ high murder rates adopt stringent gun laws, but these don’t work, so high murder rates come to coincide w/ low gun ownership.”

I don’t expect it to be published, but I have sent the following letter to the Editor of the Daily Telegraph:

Dear Sir,

It was very disappointing to read your correspondent, Henry Samuel (5th/6th September), attempting to link the laxity or otherwise of French gun control laws with the murder of a family of British tourists.

French gun laws are not “relaxed”. Like the UK’s they are complex, expensive and highly anti-social in their effects. In addition to their negative effects on sport, pest control, hunting, manufacture and distribution, as well as police efficiency, they, just as in the UK, disarm honest victims.

Does Mr Samuel think that these killers, who clearly wanted to kill every witness to whatever they were up to, went to the “relaxed” French police and asked if they could have a gun or two as they had some murders to commit?

Yours faithfully,

Derek Bernard

Jersey

Gun owners shuffle weapons to confuse registry (Canada)

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Original Story Via:  WellandTribune.ca

By Kris Sims

BRIDGEWATER, N.S. – Thousands of gun owners are swapping their shotguns and rifles with friends and neighbours in an effort to obliterate the defunct federal long-gun registry.

“More than two million law abiding Canadians are sick of being portrayed as criminals so we are calling on them to swap their guns so we can make the old data totally useless,” said Tony Bernardo, spokesman with the Canadian Shooting Sports Association.

“More than 2,000 guns were shuffled on Thursday.”

Firearms ownership advocates worry that because the Quebec has filed an injunction to save the data in the long-gun registry so it can set up its own, that it will one day come back from the dead and be used to track long-gun owners across Canada once again.

A women’s shelter in Toronto is also in court trying to keep the data.

Dubbed “The Great Canadian Gun Registry Shuffle,” owners are trading and selling firearms without using the old registry numbers, making the old data inaccurate.

“We are taking the new law all the way, doing what the House of Commons said we could because these left-wing groups seem to want to put up blocks to what the government decided,” Bernardo said.

Introduced by the federal Liberal government in 1995, the long-gun registry was a database used to track owners of rifles and shotguns in Canada.

It ran over budget and was largely loathed in rural and Western Canada, with many farmers and hunters feeling targeted by police and politicians.

The Reform Party, the Canadian Alliance and eventually the Conservative Party all promised to scrap the registry. After winning a majority, the Tories passed a law this past spring to officially stop the registry and ordered the data destroyed.

Many groups wanted to keep the registry, saying that it assisted police in finding guns and reduced violence against women.

Quebec has gone to court asking to keep the data for their own purposes and has stalled the destruction of all files.

kris.sims@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @kris_sims

Canada’s NFA to UN: ‘Self-defense is a natural right’

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Original Story Via:  TheGunMag.com

Canada’s National Firearms Association was the only Canadian pro-firearms group represented during the non-governmental organization presentations at the Second Review Conference of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons.  (PoA)

According to NFA President Sheldon Clare, “It was important for the NFA to be present at this conference for four main reasons.  First, the PoA is alive and potentially dangerous – this was a well-attended conference and vigilance is critical.  Second, it was necessary for us to make sure that there was no attempt to make this the Arms Trade Treaty consolation round, or in any way broaden the scope of the PoA.  Third, we needed to make our concerns known about the aims of some to include firearms components and ammunition, and to make it clear that we are speaking out strongly in support of civilian rights of self-defense – the only Canadian organization to do so.   The fourth reason we were there was to use our strong voice to support our friends.”

According to Clare, “The government seems to be headed in the right direction.  I was pleased to hear the concise and clear presentation by Senior Policy Advisor Kim Joslin of the Canadian Delegation which was in strong support of firearms owners.  In particular, Canada supported the US position which opposes including any aspect of components or ammunition being included in the PoA.  Government representatives Habib Massoud and Steve Torino will be attending the second week of the conference.    It was clear to me in listening to the speeches from delegates that it will be difficult to achieve consensus on several aspects of the PoA‘s implementation plan in the two weeks allotted”.

The NFA and other World Forum (WFSA) members, presented to the UN Conference during the NGO session on Wednesday, August 29 and the text of the speech given by NFA President Sheldon Clare is reproduced below:

STATEMENT TO UNITED NATIONS ON PROGRAMME OF ACTION ON SMALL ARMSS and LIGHT WEAPONS

Madame President, I am Sheldon Clare, President of Canada’s National Firearms Association.

The NFA is Canada’s largest advocacy organization representing the rights of Canadian firearms owners.  Our members are concerned that UN attempts to regulate small arms and light weapons are misdirected and will have an unjustifiably harmful effect upon the ability of free people to have access to firearms and ammunition for perfectly legitimate purposes. The NFA rejects as false that civilian access to small arms is the problem.

Canada’s National Firearms Association (NFA) recommends that controls on small arms and light weapons be limited solely to major crew-served weapon systems possessed or sold by nation states – not individually operated firearms owned or desired to be owned by civilians, also called non-state actors. The rights and property of Canadians, and our firearms businesses engaged in the lawful trade in firearms and ammunition, including surplus firearms and ammunition, must not be subject to UN edict or control.  Quite simply, firearms ownership and use are matters of national sovereignty, civil freedoms, property rights, and are related to national culture.  Also, control of ammunition, including marking beyond caliber, date, and manufacturer would be excessive; it is unreasonable, unnecessary, and fiscally impossible to uniquely mark ammunition.

Small arms in civilian hands allow people to defend themselves from aggression. Self-defense is a natural right of all individuals. This is especially important in the event of unrest and disorder, or in case of state-mandated crimes against humanity. Civilian ownership of arms is an important factor in preventing and limiting the effect of government-encouraged murders such as what occurred in Srebrenica and Rwanda. Disarmed in Srebrenica by UN peacekeepers and in Rwanda by their own government, these people were helpless in the face of organized aggression, especially when in both cases the UN was powerless to provide protection. While governments need to act against terrorism, disarming civilians violates fundamental democratic principles.  Perhaps Governments should deal with unrest by addressing the economic situations, political differences, and human rights issues that contribute to people agitating for change rather than engaging in one size fits all solutions affecting the rights of free people to own and use firearms.
Thank you for your consideration Madame President.”

Clare concluded: “Other matters to be watchful of are the UN International Small Arms Control Standards, (see http://www.smallarmsstandards.org/isacs/) and what happens with the Arms Trade Treaty talks (ATT) which broke up without consensus in July.  There will need to be a vote at the General Assembly if it is to come back next year, which may not be possible due to the UN’s two year budgetary cycle.  Simply put, there may not be much support to reopen the ATT so soon in the face of no consensus. Nonetheless, strange things happen at the UN and the NFA has been present to protect the civil and property rights of Canadian Firearms Owners.”

UN hits and misses between the illegal arms trade and the right to bear arms

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Original Story Via:  Russian Legal Information Agency

MOSCOW, August 30 – RAPSI, Ingrid Burke. The United Nations is currently hosting its second conference in as many months aimed at regulating illicit arms trafficking. July’s conference strived, albeit unsuccessfully, to reach consensus on a binding international treaty that would regulate the global arms trade as a whole. The conference currently underway aims only to review the progress made by UN member nations individually and the international community as a whole in terms of the implementation of an action plan adopted by consensus in 2001 in order to combat the illegal trade of small arms and light weapons.

Both conferences centered on documents- the first a working document that never earned its wings and the second a binding agreement. Both documents are rooted in concern over the illicit arms trade, but one reached consensus and has entered into force on national, regional, and global levels, and one provoked a heated public controversy that endured beyond the deadline for approval by consensus.

To get into the spirit of things, RAPSI has decided to compare and contrast the documents underlying and the controversies surrounding the two initiatives in an effort to better understand what caused the former to sink and the latter to swim.

The UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty

Between 2-27 July, representatives of all 193 member nations gathered at the UN headquarters in New York with the common goal of establishing: “a robust and legally binding arms trade treaty that will have a real impact on the lives of those millions of people suffering from the consequences of armed conflict, repression and armed violence,” in the words of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. Negotiations deteriorated in the last few days of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) conference as competing national interests gave way to stubborn resistance.

A draft of the treaty released shortly before the conference deadline was harshly criticized both by right-to-bear-arms activists and by their human rights/disarmament counterparts. The former took issue with what they perceived to be an overly broad range of arms and activities sought to be regulated. The latter took issue with what they perceived to be an insufficiently comprehensive document that left numerous gaping loopholes.

The document included among the list of arms sought to be regulated: battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, large-caliber artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles and missile launchers, and small arms and light weapons. This range of weapons has received criticism from both sides of the advocacy spectrum, for being both too broadly and too narrowly tailored.

The inclusion of small arms and light weapons came under fire by advocacy groups that support the right to bear arms. Speaking to this point, International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR) Executive Director Philip Watson explained to RAPSI during the conference, “We are appalled they deemed it appropriate to place civilian firearms used for self-defense in a treaty with tanks, bombs, and attack helicopters. It is dangerous to include civilian self-defense weapons in such an international treaty that could curtail legitimate use or trade of small civilian weapons.  Personal security and the defense of one’s home and family are values shared across international borders, regardless of an individual’s background or nationality.”

The opposite side of the spectrum was comprised of disarmament and human rights advocacy groups who argued that the list of arms and activities covered was too narrow. Toward this end, Amnesty International [AI] noted in a press release toward the end of the conference that, “Major loopholes in the draft text include ammunition not being subject to tight decision-making controls, an array of weapons, munitions and related equipment not being covered, as well as the treaty only applying to the international trade of conventional arms instead of all international transfers including gifts and aid.”

A similarly concerned Oxfam released a statement by head of its arms control unit Anna Macdonald around the same time urging that “[t]here are more holes in this draft treaty than in a leaky bucket and these must be urgently closed if we are going to stop weapons from flowing into the world`s worst conflict zones.”

As it became clear toward the end of the conference that hope was lost, some viewed the stalemate as the fault of the US. In a widely publicized move, 51 US senators pledged to vote against ratification of the treaty if it failed to protect the constitutional right of US citizens to bear arms. As US ratification of an international treaty requires the approval of two-thirds of the senate, these numbers were sufficient to ensure against US ratification of the bill.

The pledge came in the form of a letter addressed to the Obama administration. A press release issued shortly thereafter by Republican Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi quoted a portion of the letter that urged the Obama administration to break the conference’s required consensus if doing so was necessary to protect the right of US citizens to bear arms. The relevant passage stated:  “As the treaty process continues, we strongly encourage your administration not only to uphold our country’s constitutional protections of civilian firearms ownership, but to ensure – if necessary, by breaking consensus at the July conference – that the treaty will explicitly recognize the legitimacy of lawful activities associated with firearms, including but not limited to the right of self-defense. As members of the United States Senate, we will oppose the ratification of any Arms Trade Treaty that falls short of this standard.”

Later that day, the US State Department (USDOS) issued a statement acknowledging both the failure of the conference to produce tangible results and the refusal of the US to move to accept the treaty in its ultimate form. USDOS spokesperson Victoria Nuland stated, “we do not support a vote in the UNGA on the current text. The illicit trafficking of conventional arms is an important national security concern for the United States. While we sought to conclude this month’s negotiations with a Treaty, more time is a reasonable request for such a complex and critical issue. The current text reflects considerable positive progress, but it needs further review and refinement.”

Some US-based right-to-bear-arms advocacy groups attributed the stalemate to their own grassroots efforts. The most well-known such group, the National Rifle Association (NRA) took personal credit for the failure of the conference to produce results, stating on its website Friday: “The Conference on the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has broken down and will not report a draft treaty to the member nations… This is a big victory for American gun owners, and the NRA is being widely credited for killing the [conference.]”

The conference’s launch was drenched with optimism. Prior to the start of negotiations, many lauded the potential of the conference to make the world a safer place through the regulation of the international arms trade. Ban expressed optimism in the face of the daunting task that lay ahead, noting, “It is ambitious, but I believe it is achievable.” During his opening statement, Ban urged the necessity of the conference’s success: “Every day, we at the United Nations see the human toll of an absence of regulations or lax controls on the arms trade.  We see it in the suffering of civilian populations trapped by armed conflict or pervasive crime.  We see it in the killing and wounding of civilians — including children, the most vulnerable of all.  We see it in the massive displacement of people within and across borders.  We see it through grave violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law.”

As negotiations fizzled, he lamented, “The Conference’s inability to conclude its work on this much-awaited ATT, despite years of effort of Member States and civil society from many countries, is a setback.”
The Second UN Conference to Review Progress Made in the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects

The conference currently underway has been scheduled to run from 27 August to 7 September. A list of member nations in attendance has not yet been released, but a UN official speaking to RAPSI Thursday confirmed that at least 75-80% of UN states are represented.

The document at issue is the politically binding “Programme of action to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects,” (POA) which was adopted by consensus in 2001.

From the start, the UN has made clear its intention to refrain during the course of the conference from restricting firearm ownership rights. A UN press statement explained, “The Review Conference only reviews progress made in the implementation of the Programme of Action which was adopted in 2001 to combat the illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons… It is not about banning firearms or any other type of small arms or prohibiting people from owning legal weapons.”

The release emphasized the conference’s disinterest in imposing lofty regulations, stating: “Each sovereign State determines its own laws and regulations for the manufacture, sale and possession of firearms by its citizens. The United Nations has no jurisdiction over such matters.”

After denying rumors that the conference would essentially serve as a component part of a broader UN conspiracy—in connection with the Arms Trade Treaty—to prohibit civilian gun ownership, the release reiterated the recent failure of the ATT to come into existence: “The Arms Trade Treaty does not yet exist. It was discussed throughout July 2012 and focused on setting common standards for how States could regulate the international trade of all types of conventional arms. No consensus was achieved on a draft Treaty text. “

This conspiracy theory denial points to a critical difference between the conferences and the documents at their core. The ATT sought to regulate the international trade of all types of conventional arms. The POA sought to eliminate the illicit trade of small arms. The goals of the former were extraordinarily lofty; those of the latter, quite narrow.

The POA was born the successful outcome of a conference similar to that which failed to produce the ATT. UN members came together with the goal of combatting, preventing, and eradicating the small arms trade in July 2001, and reached a consensus on how to do so: by targeted, limited means.

Regardless of where one stands on the right to bear arms, it is worth noting the different reactions elicited from the two texts with similar goals but diametrically opposed scopes.

It should be noted that the POA has been criticized by its own implementation support system for lacking key mechanisms to ensure its implementation. It is possible that the inclusion of such mechanisms would have created obstacles to its approval similar to those faced by the ATT.

SAF/IAPCAR DEFEND WOMAN’S RIGHT OF SELF-DEFENSE AT UNITED NATIONS

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Original Story Via:  TheGunMag.com

The Second Amendment Foundation today reminded the United Nations that “if women have the right to be protected against violence, then they have the right to protect themselves against violence.”

So spoke SAF’s Director of Operations Julianne Versnel, whose remarks to the U.N. Programme of Action conference were unlike anything many delegates had ever heard before.

The conference is seen as the first step toward rekindling discussions about an on-going process to continue development of a small arms and light weapons treaty, which earlier this summer collapsed when several nations opposed it.

Noting that she had reviewed what has already been written and said about the violence against women as it relates to the Programme of Action, Versnel emphasized that, “I am struck by what is not said.”

“If there is a basic sanctity of a woman’s person,” she observed, “if there is a right to not be a victim of sexual or personal violence, then that right involves the right to defend one’s self.”

Alan Gottlieb, Laura McDonald, Otis McDonald and Julianne Versnel at the 2011 Gun Rights Policy Conference in Chicago, Illinois.

Versnel stressed that any new global gun control initiatives must “do nothing to disarm women who legitimately and rightfully want to defend themselves.”

While international gun prohibitionists have been pushing a civilian disarmament agenda, Versnel’s warnings may open up a new and politically uncomfortable arena. It is impossible to dismiss female victims of violence as “male American gun nuts.”

“The drive for human rights is a force throughout the world,” Versnel stated, “and especially here at the U.N. A woman’s right to be free from violence is a fundamental human right. That fundamental right is to defend one’s self. The report of this conference should state that without reservation.”

The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control. In addition to the landmark McDonald v. Chicago Supreme Court Case, SAF has previously funded successful firearms-related suits against the cities of Los Angeles; New Haven, CT; New Orleans; Chicago and San Francisco on behalf of American gun owners, a lawsuit against the cities suing gun makers and numerous amicus briefs holding the Second Amendment as an individual right.

REVCON 2012 – Prelude To A New Arms Trade Treaty

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Original Story Via:  Ammoland

With the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) currently on the back burner, in just a few days, weapon-prohibitionists will be holding another firearms conference in New York City: the Review Conference 2012 (RevCon 2012).

RevCon 2012 re-visits the UN’s Programme of Action (PoA) to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects, adopted in 2001.

While the PoA enumerates many lofty-sounding objectives, to those unfamiliar with the UN’s agenda, to date, with regard to civilian firearm ownership, this might sound like a template for the elimination of human rights abuses. But armed with knowledge of the UN’s past efforts to achieve civilian disarmament, and reading all the provisions contained in the Programme, it is difficult to come away with any impression other than the PoA was really nothing short of a template to accomplish that.

But if the PoA’s proponents said what they really wanted –just like the rest of the weapon-prohibitionists– they likely wouldn’t have gotten to the stage we’re at now: the implementation of a global, legally -binding Arms Trade Treaty!

So they camouflaged their real goals a decade ago, and used the PoA as a guideline.

The goal of this Second Review Conference “[W]ill offer the opportunity to review the progress made in the implementation of the PoA, including the separately agreed International Tracing Instrument (ITI) (2005).”  And the goal of the ITI is the “Undertaking [of] effective measures in marking, record-keeping and tracing [which] is vital for curbing the illicit trade and combating the diversion of small arms to unintended users. Although many weapons are marked when produced and some when imported, international cooperation in marking and tracing of small arms is in its infancy.”

RevCon 2012 will take place at the UN from August 27 to September 7, 2012, and one can find its agenda described at the Reaching Critical Will (RCW) website. RCW describes itself as “a project of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)…. to protest the killing and destruction of the war then raging in Europe. WILPF created Reaching Critical Will in 1999 in order to promote and facilitate engagement of non-governmental actors in UN processes related to disarmament.”

Unlike the Arms Trade Treaty, which will encompass 8 classes of weapons, the PoA is specifically limited to Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW). Just as ATT proponents insist that the ATT was not intended to eliminate civilian weapons, PoA proponents (many of whom are members of the same anti-gun groups) also insist that the PoA is not about the elimination of the private ownership of firearms.

And this is how they laid the trap.  Since governments control the definition of what is “lawful,” when the time is ripe, governments can re-define lawful civilian firearm ownership and possession right out of existence.

The weapon-prohibitionists maintain that “Most illicit small arms and light weapons begin as legally manufactured or imported weapons that are subsequently diverted to the illicit realm.” They have no qualms about allowing government to retain strong control over privately-owned weapons. They appear to believe, with utmost confidence, that through their elaborate tracing and tracking schemes, they can locate the points where weapons are diverted into the illicit arms trade, thereby halting further illegal transfers, and punishing violators, as well.

But what their schemes will actually accomplish is decrease licit transfers of arms to civilians, who will then increasingly turn to the black market to obtain what government denies them.

Sadly, many Americans already accept the fact that our government controls just who is allowed to own which weapons, and under what circumstances those weapons can be owned and used. Although not stated outright, it seems apparent to us that PoA restrictions are intended only to reduce the lists –of permissible weapons, of those who can own them, and of how those weapons can be used.

And these lists are rapidly shrinking, day by day.

In a 2001 paper sponsored by Small Arms Survey, “Removing Small Arms From Society,” Sami Faltas, Glenn McDonald & Camilla Waszink confirm the PoA’s goal.

The authors state: “Finally, using a mix of incentives and sanctions and working together with business and civil society, governments must recover stocks of firearms held by the population and dispose of them definitively, preferably through destruction.”

The weapon-prohibitionists have been busy preparing a set of international standards, the International Small Arms Control Standard (ISACS), an early draft of which is currently online. Its update, which has been kept under wraps, is not easily accessible to the public (log-in credentials are required for viewing the document). The update is scheduled to be launched to the public on Wednesday, August 29, 2012.

It is often stated that “actions speak louder than words,” and the weapon-prohibitionists never come up short in this regard. We can best understand the RevCon 2012 advocates’ camouflaged designs to disarm civilians by watching their actions. Although they claim that their intent is to reduce violence and to reduce human rights violations, their acts indicate otherwise.

When voluntary civilian disarmament fails, as it has in the past, forceful disarmament will follow. The weapon-prohibitionists apparently know this, but they don’t seem to care. In an  article entitled “Lessons From the Frontiers: Civilian Disarmament in Kenya and Uganda,” the authors discuss attempted civilian disarmament. And, they acknowledge, “In some cases the use of force was clearly excessive, with grave human rights violations occurring.”

The human rights violations referred to included rape, torture, and murder.

If those who condemn the use of such inhumane methods are willing to see them used to achieve their goal of disarmament at any cost, including the loss of innocent life, we should never believe that their goal is benign.  Nor should we ever accept their pretense of innocence. We must always seek the hidden lie, for it is there just waiting to be found.

With the knowledge that total civilian disarmament–and government monopoly of force–is the ultimate goal, it is imperative that we watch RevCon 2012 with extreme scrutiny and skepticism.

About the authors:

Dr. Paul Gallant and Dr. Joanne D. Eisen practice optometry and dentistry, respectively, on Long Island, NY, and have collaborated on firearm politics for the past 20 years. They have also collaborated with David B. Kopel since 2000, and are Senior Fellows at the Independence Institute, where Kopel is Research Director. Most recently, Gallant and Eisen have also written with Alan J. Chwick.  Sherry Gallant has been instrumental in the editing of virtually all of the authors’ writings, and is immensely knowledgeable in the area of firearm politics.

Almost all of the co-authored writings of Gallant, Eisen, Kopel and Chwick can be found at http://gallanteisen.incnf.org, which contains more detailed information about their biographies and writing, and contains hyperlinks to many of their articles. Their recent series focusing on the Arms Trade Treaty can be found primarily at http://gwg.incnf.org .

UN Arms Trade Treaty: A threat to the 2nd amendment?

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Original Story Via:  Chron.com

Negotiations at a United Nations conference over a proposed Arms Trade Treaty, which would regulate conventional arms sales across borders, ended in July without a report. The talks will likely resume, however, and many are concerned about the treaty’s implications for the Second Amendment. The concern is justified, given the treaty’s goal is weapons control. Its terms are vague and could be used to launch efforts to attack the constitutional right to bear arms.

Foreign treaties are signed by the president and ratification is approved or rejected by the U.S. Senate, thereby bypassing the House of Representatives. The current administration has stated on more than one occasion it believes Congress is an impediment to its policies; thus, attempting gun control by foreign treaty may be considered the path of least resistance, particularly if the treaty specifics do not come to light prior to approval. Once passed, vague treaty terms could be more restrictively defined.

How did we get here? The United Nations process started in 2001. In 2006, the U.N. General Assembly requested opinions on an arms treaty, and the results were published in a 2007 report by the Secretary-General. This was followed by a 2008 report and the establishment of an open-ended working group. In 2009 the General Assembly resolved to convene a conference on the Arms Trade Treaty in 2012 “to elaborate a legally binding instrument on the highest possible common international standards for the transfer of conventional arms.”

The initial U.N. conference on the treaty was held July 2-27, 2012. A Review Conference will be held Aug. 27 to Sept. 7, 2012. The supporting resolutions and documents for these conferences reference a “Programme of Action,” but not the points of action themselves. Thus, the original document is critical, and by referencing only the “Programme of Action” the full implications of the treaty language have not been central to the public debate.

The initial goals of the “Programme of Action” were set out in 2001, and subsequent meetings have been held to propose measures to be taken to trace, monitor and control small arms (see page 7 of the hyperlinked document, which is also page 13 of 29 in the pdf file). Among other things, the Programme of Action resolves to “prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects” by “strengthening or developing agreed norms and measures at the global, national and regional levels … placing particular emphasis on the regions of the world where conflicts come to an end and where serious problems with the excessive and destabilizing accumulation of small arms and light weapons have to be dealt with urgently.”

Potential concerns about the process and the language might include:

  1. References to “regions of the world … [with] serious problems with the excessive and destabilizing accumulation of small arms” and the focus on “porous borders” in more recent U.N. documents, lead many to the conclusion the U.S.-Mexico border is a focus of the treaty. Mexico is part of the leadership of the treaty conference.
  2. The treaty resolution is to control the “illicit” trade. That leaves “illicit” open for interpretation, and it is not clear what party or parties will set the interpretation. If the U.N. passed a resolution that the manufacture or ownership of any type of gun (or ammunition) was illegal, then all small weapons could be “illicit.”
  3. If gun (or ammunition) ownership is illicit, the treaty could conceivably justify an international effort to put in place “adequate laws” in the United States as deemed acceptable to the U.N.
  4. If gun ownership was illicit, the treaty would require criminal penalties.
  5. Similar issues arise with the interpretation of “stockpiling.” Could the term be defined as a single weapon? More than three bullets?
  6. The treaty encourages moratoria on weapons.
  7. Treaty implementation encourages the use of regulations and administrative procedures to accomplish the goal, again bypassing the full Congress.

Experience has taught that an idea or policy can be approved or passed, only to have the idea and concept redefined to implement an entirely different outcome that never would have passed the vote in the first place. This U.N. treaty raises the concern that the U.S. may sign away its sovereignty on the gun ownership issue.

One might wonder what this Arms Trade Treaty would look like when implemented. The answer hinges on the interpretation of specific terms mentioned above, such as “illicit” and “stockpiling,” as well as “adequate laws, regulations and procedures,” “legal” and  “destabilizing accumulation.” For one possible outcome, one needs to look no farther than Venezuela. On June 1, 2012, a new Venezuelan gun control law promoted by the administration of President Hugo Chavez went into effect that makes the sale and manufacture of weapons and ammunition illegal and requires all weapons to be registered. Only the military, police and security personnel are permitted to purchase a firearm or ammunition. It is interesting to note that Venezuela’s close ally, Iran, is on the leadership committee for the Arms Trade Treaty.

With mistrust surrounding the recent Fast and Furious scandal, the federal government’s efforts to provide U.S. citizen gun information to foreign governments through eTrace, and a belief Obama administration officials would like to see greater gun control, it is no wonder there is serious concern about the U.N. Arms Control Treaty. The treaty appears to be yet another tactic “under the radar” aimed at the Second Amendment.

As early as last summer, 13 U.S. Senators sent a letter to the president reflecting this concern. On July 26, 2012, a bipartisan group of 51 U. S. Senators sent another letter to President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton threatening to oppose the treaty if it did not protect America’s constitutional right to bear arms. When the Arms Trade Treaty conference group announced on July 27, 2012, that it had failed to come to an agreement, it cited the changing U.S. position the day before as issue. One could therefore assume the Arms Trade Treaty was a U.S.-led effort that could neither stand without the current administration’s participation, nor without language that might infringe on the American right to bear arms.

Have efforts for gun control slowed?  No. As a separate move toward gun regulation, a Senate amendment was submitted on July 25, 2012, the day before 51 Senators sent a letter to Obama regarding the Arms Trade Treaty. The amendment was submitted for attachment to the Cyber Security Act (S.B. 3414) and would make it illegal to transfer or possess large capacity feeding devices such as gun magazines, belts, feed stripes and drums of more than 10 rounds of ammunition with the exception of .22 caliber rim fire ammunition. As reported in the Congressional Record for July 25, 2012, the amendment has been tabled for the time being.

What will likely happen in current months? A variety of tactics may be at work. U.N. committee members are discussing efforts to bring the proposed report and treaty before the U.N. General Assembly in September.  Mexican representatives have been quoted as saying there will certainly be a treaty in 2012. Western diplomats believe the negotiations will be revived after the election. The State Department has stated the U.S. would support a second round of negotiations next year. Then there may also be continued efforts to attach amendments to legislation that otherwise is deemed vital to the nation.

Joan Neuhaus Schaan is the fellow in homeland security and terrorism at the Baker Institute, and the coordinator of the Texas Security Forum, and serves on the advisory board of the Transborder International Police Association. She has served as the executive director of the Houston-Harris County Regional Homeland Security Advisory Council and on the board of Crime Stoppers of Houston, Inc.

Global gun control treaty may return in the fall at UN

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Original Story Via:  TheGunMag.com

by Dave Workman

Senior Editor

Following a stunning last-minute derailment of the United Nations’ highly-touted international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) negotiations, global gun control proponents are expected to bring the issue back again in the fall.

That was the forecast from Julianne Versnel with the Second Amendment Foundation and International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR). She was at the UN when the ATT meltdown occurred, as was Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Both were instrumental in creating IAPCAR, which now has member organizations all over the globe.

The treaty talks essentially imploded in the final 24 hours when ATT proponents did not produce a final draft of their proposed treaty until late in the afternoon of the day prior to a scheduled vote. Another problem was that the document was printed only in English, leaving many delegates from non-English speaking nations in the lurch because they had no document to study.

The US delegation and other delegations simply did not have enough time to study the proposal, and there were problems with it even if they had.

The final draft came barely 48 hours after an initial document was circulated that met with tepid reactions from several delegations including North Korea and Iran. In a press release, Gottlieb called the proposed treaty, “a blatant attempt to negate the recent Second Amendment court victories we’ve had in the United States, and to get around Second Amendment protections.” A coalition of global gun control organizations has been pushing for the most extreme language and tenets in the proposed treaty, and now they are apparently back at the drawing board trying to come up with language that will be acceptable. That group includes International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA), Oxfam International and Control Arms. The latter group was apparently responsible for a handout depicting their vision of the treaty provisions highlighted in Olympics-style rings, timed with the opening of the summer games in London.

Two of those items were “Arms and Bullets” and “Global Standards Over National Views.” The former alluded to privately owned firearms, and the latter was a veiled but direct threat to the Second Amendment, Gottlieb said.

Various gun rights organizations, including CCRKBA and the National Rifle Association, had been lobbying against this treaty for weeks. If the Obama administration signs it, the document must still be ratified by the US Senate, and after intense lobbying by the National Rifle Association, that doesn’t seem likely.

Now, with the national elections looming, President Barack Obama may be painting himself into an ever-tightening corner with American gun owners, if the treaty comes up again in October as anticipated.

Did the NRA Kill the Arms Trade Treaty?

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Original Story Via:  The Duck of Minerva

By

UN members last month failed to reach agreement on the Arms Trade Treaty after a month-long conference.  This is the latest setback in a decades old attempt to control the trade in small arms.  A broad network of states, NGOs, and the UN bureaucracy had pushed for the treaty and earlier measures.  In their view, proliferation of guns contributes to hundreds of thousands of casualties per year in conflict zones and to large numbers of shooting deaths in countries at peace.

But the international campaign to control the illicit trade in small arms has long faced skepticism from certain states, most notably the U.S, but also Russia, China,  India, and others.  For an interactive map of state views on the ATT, click here. Since its start in the early 1990s, the campaign has also faced outright opposition from NGOs such as America’s National Rifle Association.  The NRA and other American gun groups have joined with overseas counterparts to promote gun rights and the right to self-defense.  Most notable is the World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities (WFSA) and more recently the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR).  The groups help one another in their own countries and work together to lobby states against international gun control.

It is this network, spanning governments and NGOs, that killed the ATT.  The Obama administration administered the coup d’grace, but other American politicians and civil society groups strongly influenced this decision.  Other states cheered them on, if only privately. All of this holds important  lessons for studying international policymaking and transnational advocacy.

The ATT had been billed as an alternative to a prior, failed try at controlling the illicit trade, in the late 1990s and early 2000s.  This began as the Cold War ended and ethnic warfare became the fear du jour of the early ’90s (as terrorism is today), with gun proliferation blamed for much of the bloodshed.  The Bush administration gutted that attempt in 2001, using a UN conference’s consensus rules to allow only the nonbinding Programme of Action on Small Arms (PoA).  The PoA was so weak that a key proponent of small arms control, Human Rights Watch, dubbed it a “program of inaction” and shuttered its campaign.  Nonetheless, this zombie policy—alive on paper but in reality dead—lurched along until 2006, when the U.S. finally killed the PoA completely at another UN confab.

The ATT was supposed to be different, negotiated only by likeminded states and without the consensus rules that allowed key opponents to block an effective PoA.  In the Bush era, this seemed the best that could be achieved, given the close ties between gun groups and the U.S. administration.  But keeping America out of the ATT negotiations would have led to another form of zombieism—a key arms exporter not part of the treaty, notwithstanding the fact that the U.S. already has some of the world’s toughest export controls.  Thus when the Obama administration took office and expressed interest in the ATT, members of the ATT coalition opted to allow it in, accepting its demand that consensus rules again be followed and U.S. laws be used as a basis for negotiations.  (At the time, a number of activists raised red flags, warning that it could end with the ATT’s failure, but to no avail.)

From the start, American gun groups decried the ATT because of its supposed threat to American gun rights.  State negotiators did their best to reduce controversial issues.  And by the end of the conference last month, a cascade of some 90 states supported the text.  But opposition remained strong in many states, particularly to the marking of ammunition and to sales of guns to nonstate actors.  In the U.S., opposition was particularly ferocious, as encapsulated in a letter signed by 51 U.S. Senators, including Democrats, expressing “grave concern” about the “dangers” to U.S. sovereignty and individual rights under the Second Amendment.  The Senators, voicing the views of American gun groups, warned that the treaty’s draft text could force the U.S. to monitor and control domestic transfers, to maintain records of imports and shipments, and to increase regulations to prevent transfers to illicit or unintended end users.

Farfetched?  Although the intent of the draft was clearly to control the illicit international trade, its terms, if broadly construed, could be read in these ways.  And there is little doubt that in an issue as hot as guns, American control advocates would have read them in this way, to score points and influence judicial and legislative outcomes.  The real menace to American gun rights is doubtless small, given the power of the Second Amendment and the fact that, even if the U.S. had signed, the 51 Senators opposing the draft, meant that the ATT could not be ratified.  But the vehement opposition is nonetheless explicable as part of the bitter warfare between gun and gun control proponents in the U.S.

Ultimately, in an election year, the Obama administration bowed to these pressures and refused to agree to the final draft of the ATT.  Some gun groups celebrated this “grassroots victory” for the right to self-defense, but others, like a commentator at Ammoland, were more cautious: “We cannot view this as a victory for us because the Treaty has not been abandoned. Nor can we view it as a defeat for its proponents—merely a temporary setback.”

Indeed, it is likely that some form of ATT will be reintroduced at the next UN session, and it is possible that a substantial number of states will agree to controls.   Whatever the precise outlines of the final ATT, there are some broader lessons here:

  • States remain key players in transnational advocacy networks.  Focusing on the NGOs, as much of the academic literature does, is too narrow a perspective.
  • NGOs and civil society networks nonetheless influence states, especially democratic states.  But they probably do so more through everyday lobbying at home, than by efforts in UN hallways or in some kind of transnational normative space.
  • International civil society, just like domestic civil society, is ideologically diverse and conflictive.  Conservative groups are powerful there, as activists in the trenches well know.  It is by no means the exclusive preserve of progressive groups, notwithstanding scholars’ focus on them.
  • As a result, zombie policy and failed policy are far more common than policy successes—although, as the gun control case shows, one network’s failure is usually another’s triumph.  As scholars, we can learn a great deal by dissecting the corpses and living-dead that strew policy battlefields.  By contrast, to focus only on the relatively few policies that stagger, battered and bruised, off the field (typically to face further attacks in ongoing policy wars) is misleading.

Finally, the requisite plug:  For more on battles over transnational gun control—as well as lots more on conservative transnationalism, policy conflict, and zombie policy—see my new book, The Global Right Wing and the Clash of World Politics.

 

Governments not people craft UN Arms Trade Treaty

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Original Story Via:  TheGunMag.com

By Joseph P. Tartaro

Executive Editor

Perhaps the United Nations should have a motto that reflects its focus on “government stability” and the balance of power between the people of the world and their respective governments.

I’d suggest the UN consider clearly stating, “The most despicable government we’ve ever known was pretty good.” If you need evidence beyond the fact that the lambs have been feeding at the same trough as the crocodiles all of these years, just look what the UN did as the much anticipated and dreaded conference on a binding Arms Trade Treat (ATT) began in July.

With the shadow of Syrian repression cast across most news media in the world and clouding the ATT talks, the UN turned to Iran to help negotiate a global arms treaty in a move that is drawing scorn and ridicule around the globe. But apparently not among the striped-pants diplomats meeting in New York City.

The appointment was made by members of the UN Conference on the ATT shortly after the month-long conference began in July. The committee to which Iran was appointed is tasked with coming up with a treaty regulating the international trade of conventional small arms and, proponents hope, ammunition.

“Right after a UN Security Council report found Iran guilty of illegally transferring guns and bombs to Syria, which is now murdering thousands of its own people, it defies logic, morality, and common sense for the UN to now elect this same regime to a global post in the regulation of arms transfers,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a non-governmental monitoring group based in Geneva.

“This is like choosing Bernie Madoff to police fraud on the stock market.

And the UN’s scandalous choice of Iran is exactly why we fear that Syria’s declared bid for a UN Human Rights Council seat is not impossible.” The 15-nation committee is led by Argentina, which serves as president, and includes the US, Iran, China, and Russia as nations that serve as vice presidents.

UN Watch called on UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon to condemn the decision to name Iran to the committee.

“He should remind the conference that the Security Council has imposed four rounds of sanctions on Iran for refusing to halt its prohibited nuclear program, and that Iran continues to defy the international community through illegal arms shipments to the murderous Assad regime,” Neuer said.

US officials played down the significance of the appointment.

“Obviously we oppose (Iran’s appointment), but it’s a symbolic position with little impact on a month-long negotiation that must be decided by consensus,” one senior State Department official told Fox News.

“It will ultimately face the approval of the United States regardless of which country holds one of 14 powerless vice president positions. At that point, we will be looking for an arms trade treaty that makes the legitimate global weapons trade safer by bringing the rest of the world’s arms trade regulations up to the high US standard.” However, two weeks into the deliberations on the ATT, there seems to be a wide divergence of position by different governments. There is no guarantee the negotiations now in progress will produce a treaty, let alone a good one. In February, preparatory talks on the ground rules for this month’s talks nearly collapsed due to procedural wrangling and other disagreements.

In the end, the US and other countries succeeded in ensuring the treaty must be approved unanimously, so any one country can effectively veto a deal.

In spite of Iran and Syria, there are still deep divisions on key issues to be tackled in the treaty negotiations, such as whether human rights should be a mandatory criterion for determining whether governments should permit weapons exports to specific countries.

China wants to exempt small arms, while several Middle East states oppose making compliance with human rights norms a mandatory criterion for allowing arms deliveries. Meanwhile, Canada wants to exclude civilian small arms and ammunition altogether.

Britain has joined France, Germany and Sweden in calling for a solid, effective and legally binding treaty.

According to Peter Brookes of the Heritage Foundation, a treaty would damage US foreign policy and prevent it helping friends such as Taiwan. But he noted the treaty was not yet a done deal.

“Diplomats will natter away about it all month over cappuccinos in Turtle Bay,” he wrote. “But the White House isn’t doing the country any favors by playing footsie with a UN effort to take aim at our liberties and disarm our foreign policy.” Meanwhile, many organizations opposed to the treaty have been allowed to speak at the UN, and more than 130 congressmen, led by Rep.

Mike Kelly (R-PA), signed a letter sent to President Barack Obama in early July expressing their opposition to a UN arms trade treaty if it violates US gun owner rights and sovereignty.

The letter includes specific demands— that the treaty leave out small arms and ammunition and recognize an individual’s right to self-defense.

The Obama administration has claimed that there are safeguards to their treaty approach, but the safeguard is insufficient for opponents of the US participation, not least because UN talks invariably involve compromise.

“The administration swears they have a whole bunch of red lines, and they will block consensus if anyone crosses them,” said a government relations consultant as senior associate with the Commonwealth Consulting Corporation.

“But the dynamics of international negotiations are that once you get 90% of what you seek, you say, ‘Maybe there is a way we can finesse the final 10%.’ ” A clause permitting arms transfers solely between UN member states would allow UN member China to object to US arms sales to Taiwan, a non-UN member that China considers to be a renegade province.

This would be highly problematic for the US at a time when Beijing is engaged in an unprecedented arms buildup.

Another fear is that Arab or other states critical of Israel may use any treaty language on human rights standards to argue against US arms transfers to the Israeli government—as they currently use the UN Human Rights Council to condemn Israel.

US gun lobby concern focus on the emphasis the treaty places on governmental— as opposed to individual— rights to guns, according to Wayne LaPierre, NRA executive vice president.

“They’re trying to impose a UN policy that gives guns to the governments— but the UN doesn’t in turn make moral judgments as to whether these governments are good or bad,” he said.

“If you’re the government, you get the guns, if you’re a civilian, you don’t.

This will just end up helping evil governments and tyrants.”

 

Pakistan – Extortion, killings: Businessmen may take up arms for their defence

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Original Story Via:  The Express Tribune

KARACHI: Office-bearers of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Thursday said they would take up weapons to defend themselves if law enforcement agencies failed to end extortion, targeted killings and kidnappings for ransom.

Addressing the business community and media in the presence of Sindh Inspector General of Police Fayyaz Ahmed Leghari at KCCI, former KCCI president Siraj Kassam Teli said he would quit chamber politics for good if the poor law and order situation persisted after Eid.

“Enough is enough. We’ve lost patience with the government as well as the Sindh police,” said Teli, who is also the chairman of the Businessmen Group, whose favoured candidates have won KCCI elections unopposed for many years. KCCI is the largest chamber of commerce and industry in Pakistan with over 18,000 members.

Taking a cue perhaps from the influential gun lobby of the United States, Teli said he was going to ask every businessman to carry arms and be responsible for his own security. “I’m in favour of a free-for-all. A criminal wouldn’t have the courage to pull a gun in a crowded bazaar if no gun rules existed.”

Calling Interior Minister Rehman Malik a “liar,” Teli said the federal and provincial governments, along with the Sindh police, had shown little willingness to curb rising incidents of extortion so far.

Expressing his dismay over the frequent use of unregistered mobile phone SIMs to send death threats to the business community, he accused the federal government of criminal negligence and deliberate ineffectiveness.

Responding to the comments of Teli, Sindh IGP Leghari said the biggest challenge facing the provincial police was extortion. Kidnappings for ransom and street crimes are the next priorities of the police department, he said.

“I’ve proposed that neighbourhood committees should be formed in all markets where members of traders’ associations, in cooperation with police personnel, take care of law and order,” Leghari said.


India – Delhi women gun for arms licences

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Original Story Via:  The Times of India

NEW DELHI: It could be a new measure of women’s emancipation or just a passing fad, but Delhi Police has been stumped by the huge number of working women seeking gun licences. The trend is partly a response to the city’s lawlessness but may also reflect the growing need of women to be in control, claim senior officers.

In the past two years, Delhi cops have received over 900 applications for guns from women. While year 2010 saw around 320 applications, the figure had grown to around 500 in 2011. But it’s not only the numbers that’s a break from the past. There’s a change as well in the reasons cited by women for bearing arms.

“Women earlier mostly cited the inheritance clause – saying their fathers or husbands had a licence which they want to continue holding. Many women applying under this clause were proxies for men who themselves would not have got a licence. But of late women are citing ‘self-defense’ to apply for a licence,” said an officer in the licencing department.

In general, 20-22% of all applicants are now women. The officer said 27 licences were issued to women in 2010. Of these, 17 were those who had applied under the inheritance clause. In 2011, 33 women were granted gun licences, 12 of whom had cited self-defense as a reason.

Till July this year, five women have been granted licences on the basis of personal threats and six on the inheritance clause. In 2010 and 2011, over 600 rejected applications were rejected as no “personal safety threat was assessed”.

Rajya Sabha MP Renuka Chaudhry, herself a gun licence holder, was recently quoted as saying that women need guns more than men “who flaunt the weapons at weddings”.

Mridula Nandy, who unsuccessfully attempted to get a license last year, expresses a similar view. “They kept on asking what do I have to fear. Well, I stay in a place where I am taunted on the roads. At night, I feel unsafe. I will not necessarily fire at someone but a gun boosts confidence,” she said.

Interestingly, even as Indian shooters are doing reasonably well at the Olympic Games bagging silver and a bronze, some women are also applying for gun licences to pursue sport. While two women were granted license under the sports quota, the number doubled in 2011. This year, three women have already been granted licences for pursuing shooting.

In general, police are accused of being too strict while granting women licenses, with the age old inheritance clause still being is the surest way of acquiring a licence. Some allege “a recommendation from a higher up” is crucial in securing a licence.

Cops deny the charges, claiming the criteria for both sexes remain the same. “We grant licenses on three accounts. We check whether the woman has to travel alone at night, whether she is being stalked or harassed or whether she visits a crime-prone area,” said a senior police officer.

He added, “India cannot be seen as a state that promotes guns, unlike some western nations. We will ask everyone to go through the necessary checks and balances.”

UN ATT: Anti-gunners not finished with push for global gun control

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Original Story Via:  Dave Workman, Seattle Gun Rights Examiner

Despite Friday’s breakdown on the global Arms Trade Treaty, international gun control proponents are determined to push their agenda, according to a report carried in the Saturday issue of the Seattle P-I.com.

Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Bellevue-based Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, watched it all unfold at the United Nations, tipping this column early in the day that the United States would not be signing on, as American anti-gunners had hoped. He told Examiner via e-mail and telephone that the ATT’s momentum hit a massive speed bump because the final draft of the treaty was not produced until late in the day.

Anti-gunners are blaming the National Rifle Association for riling up its members, but that’s hardly the entire story. It’s just that the NRA is an easy target. The NRA did a remarkably effective job alerting its members, and NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre left no doubt when he spoke at the U.N. that his organization would fight this treaty with every available resource.

Amnesty International’s Suzanne Trimel, quoted by the Huffington Post, accused the NRA of “spreading lies” about the treaty.

“Basically,” Trimel reportedly stated, “what they’re saying is that the arms trade treaty will have some impact on domestic, Second Amendment gun rights. And that is just false, completely false.”

Gottlieb’s CCRKBA also mounted a massive grassroots effort to thwart the treaty, and gun owners responded by calling Capitol Hill. This resulted in a groundswell of gun owner fury over a document that was far too much in flux. One wonders what Trimel might say about that organization.

And in the background, domestic firearms and ammunition manufacturers were none-too-thrilled with the proposed treaty, either because it could have had a severe impact on their international business. Likewise, European gun makers were not happy because they sell a lot of firearms here in the United States and elsewhere.

This column’s revelation that the treaty would create a new gun control “secretariat” — translation: a new international bureaucracy — raised even more alarms. That detail was buried several pages back in the treaty draft, and as the saying goes, the Devil is in the details.

The meetings actually went on for about three weeks with little or no movement until the past few days. Gottlieb, who was at the U.N. with his wife, Julianne Versnel, both told Examiner that many people were frustrated at the process. Because the final treaty draft was not delivered until late Thursday afternoon, people simply did not have the opportunity to study it. Versnel noted that other countries — China and Russia most notably — threw up roadblocks as well.

Global gun control proponents are determined to bring this treaty proposal back to the table in September. They are an unhappy lot, so much so that Suzanne Nossel, executive director of Amnesty International USA, felt compelled to say this:

“This was stunning cowardice by the Obama administration, which at the last minute did an about-face and scuttled progress toward a global arms treaty, just as it reached the finish line. It’s a staggering abdication of leadership by the world’s largest exporter of conventional weapons to pull the plug on the talks just as they were nearing an historic breakthrough.”—Suzanne Nossel, quoted by USAToday.

The irony of this statement is perhaps most stunning to American gun owners, who see the Obama administration as the archenemy of gun rights. It was, after all, President Obama who appointed two liberal anti-gunners to the U.S. Supreme Court. It was Mr. Obama who provided last-minute cover to embattled Attorney General Eric Holder in his effort to withhold documents from the Fast and Furious investigation. It was the president who said in 2009 that he supported the ATT and indicated he would sign it.

Now the president is taking a verbal beating from those with whom he might be most closely allied, both politically and philosophically.

Victoria Nuland, spokeswoman for Hillary Clinton’s State Department is quoted by the Associated Press story that appears in the Seattle P-I.com. She reportedly said the U.S. — meaning the Obama administration — wants another round of negotiations next year, as in “after the November election.”

Gun owners are coming to full realization just how important the election is, not only on domestic issues but also on an international scale. Because this treaty still has a genuine possibility of resurrection, it remains a threat and in the collective mind of the firearms community the most effective way to stop it is to replace the administration that wants to sign it.

NFA Canada shares thoughts on the UN ATT

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Original Story Via:  National Firearms Association (Canada)

UN Arms Trade Treaty Talks Close Without Consensus

The United Nations talks on an Arms Trade Treaty ended today without consensus on any of the latest proposed treaty drafts.  The UN’s self-imposed deadline of July 27 saw considerable disagreement remaining on the part of many nations as to the content and goals of various draft treaty language.

Speaking from Orangeville, Ontario NFA President Sheldon Clare stated that, “While many may view this as a relief, it is important to realize that there is still significant pressure from many anti-gun NGOs and governments to achieve such a treaty.  In short, the international and domestic firearms communities must continue to be informed about what happens next as part of the larger UN programs of disarmament and any potential effect on civilians who own firearms.”

Clare praised the Canadian delegation, “Canada’s National Firearms Association wishes to acknowledge the professionalism and patience of the Canadian government’s delegation during what were clearly very difficult negotiations to achieve a treaty that would impose “no new burdens” on Canadians.”   He continued, “While the NFA has stronger views on the talks than some of those of the government, I believe that Canadians were well served by our national representatives.  In particular, the Canadian delegation was vocal in supporting the NFA’s right to have our voice heard at the talks.”

Mr. Clare continued, “The key question for Canadians is what will happen next.  Canada’s National Firearms Association will be watching the UN’s next moves and it is important that all firearms owners stay tuned for new developments.  One thing is clear, vigilance is important to ensure that we are able to fully protect all aspects of our rights and freedoms.”

In addition to its participation at the UN with the World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities, Canada’s National Firearms Association is a founding member of The International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR) which includes many national and international organizations promoting civilian ownership of firearms. At over 62,000 members, Canada’s National Firearms Association is this country’s largest advocacy organization promoting the rights and freedoms of all responsible firearm owners and users.

For more information contact:

Blair Hagen, Executive VP Communications, 604-753-8682 Blair@nfa.ca

Sheldon Clare, President, 250-981-1841 Sheldon@nfa.ca

Canada’s NFA toll-free number – 1-877-818-0393

NFA Website: www.nfa.ca

BREAKING NEWS: CCRKBA CREDITS GRASSROOTS FOR U.S. DECISION TO NOT SIGN ARMS TREATY

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Original Story Via:  TheGunMag.com

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today applauds the decision by the United States to not sign the proposed International Arms Trade Treaty, and CCRKBA credits grassroots action for the gun rights victory.

CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, who is at the United Nations in New York, said the announcement came Friday morning after a week of intense negotiations.

“I think the grassroots surge by American gun owners against this treaty convinced our government to not sign this document,” Gottlieb said. “The proposed treaty, as written, poses serious problems for our gun rights, and the sovereignty of our Second Amendment.”

CCRKBA has been active in raising public awareness about the proposed treaty, and Gottlieb said he is proud of members and supporters who made “stepped up to the plate” and contacted their U.S. senators.

“This is freedom in action,” Gottlieb stated. “We are gratified that so many did so much to protect their Second Amendment rights from an international gun rights grab.

HARD COPY: UN Arms Trade Treaty Final Draft

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

UN Arms Trade Treaty Final Text

 

The draft of the Arms Trade Treaty

 

 

Submitted by the President of the Conference

 

 

Preamble

 

The States Parties to this Treaty,

 

Guided by the Purposes and Principles of the Charter of the United Nations;

 

Recalling that the Charter of the United Nations promotes the establishment and maintenance of international

peace and security with the least diversion for armaments of the world’s human and economic resources;

 

Underlining the need to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade of conventional arms and to prevent their diversion to the illicit market and for unauthorized end use;

 

Recognizing the legitimate political, security, economic and commercial rights and interests of States in the international trade of conventional arms;

 

Reaffirming the sovereign right and responsibility of any State to regulate and control transfers of conventional arms that take place exclusively within its territory, pursuant to its own legal or constitutional systems;

 

Recognizing that development, human rights and peace and security, which are three pillars of the United

Nations, are interlinked and mutually reinforcing;

 

Recalling the United Nations Disarmament Commission guidelines on international arms transfers adopted by the

General Assembly;

 

Noting the contribution made by the 2001 UN Programme of Action to preventing, combating and eradicating the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects, as well as the 2001 Protocol against the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in Firearms, their parts and components and ammunition, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime;

 

Recognizing the security, social, economic and humanitarian consequences of the illicit trade in and unregulated trade of conventional arms;

 

Recognizing also the challenges faced by victims of armed conflict and their need for adequate care, rehabilitation and social and economic inclusion;

 

Bearing in mind that women and children are particularly affected in situations of conflict and armed violence;

 

Emphasizing that nothing in this Treaty prevents States from exercising their right to adopt additional and more rigorous measures consistent with the purpose of this Treaty;

 

Taking note of the legitimate trade and use of certain conventional arms, inter alia, for recreational, cultural, historical, and sporting activities and lawful ownership where such ownership and use are permitted and protected by law;

 

Recognizing the active role that non-governmental organizations and civil society can play in furthering the object and purpose of this Treaty; and

 

Acknowledging that regulation of the international trade in conventional arms should not hamper international cooperation and legitimate trade in materiel, equipment and technology for peaceful purposes.

 

Principles

 

Guided by the Purposes and Principles of the Charter of the United Nations, States Parties, in promoting the object and purpose of this Treaty and implementing its provisions, shall act in accordance with the following principles:

 

1.  The inherent right of all States to individual or collective self-defence;

 

2.  The settlement of international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered;

 

3.  To refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the Un ited Nations;

 

4.  Non-intervention in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any State;

 

5.  The duty to respect and ensure respect for international humanitarian law and to respect and ensure human rights;

 

6.  The responsibility of all States, in accordance with their respective international obligations, to effectively regulate and control international transfers of conventional arms, as well as the primary responsibility of all States in establishing and implementing their respective nation al export control systems;

 

7.  States Parties should respect the legitimate interests of States to acquire conventional weapons for legitimate self-defence and peacekeeping operations and to produce, export, import and transfer conventional arms; and

 

8.  The necessity to implement this Treaty consistently and effectively and in a universal, objective and non – discriminatory manner.

 

Have agreed as follows:

 

Article 1

Goals and Objectives

 

The goals and objectives of the Treaty are:

 

a.    For States Parties to establish the highest possible common standards for regulating or improving the regulation of the international trade in conventional arms; and

 

b.    To prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and their diversion to the illicit market or for unauthorized end use;

 

in order to:

 

c.     contribute to international and regional peace, security and stability;

 

 

d.    Prevent the international trade in conventional arms from contributing to human suffering; and

 

e.     Promote cooperation, transparency and responsibility of States Parties in the trade in conventional arms, thus building confidence among States Parties.

 

 

Article 2

Scope

 

A.   Covered Items

 

1.     This Treaty shall apply to all conventional arms within the following categories at a minimum:

 

a.    Battle Tanks;

b.   Armoured combat vehicles;

c.     Large-calibre Artillery systems;

d.   Combat aircraft;

e.     Attack helicopters;

f.     Warships;

g.   Missiles and missile launchers; and h.   Small Arms and Light Weapons

 

2.    Each State Party shall establish or update, as appropriate, and maintain a national control list that shall include the items that fall within paragraph 1 of this article, as defined on a national basis and, at a minimum, based on relevant United Nations instruments. Each State Party shall publish its control list to the extent permitted by national law.

 

B.         Covered Activities

 

3.    This Treaty shall apply to those activities of the international trade in conventional arms set out in articles 5, 6, 7,

8 and 9, hereafter referred to as “transfer,” for the conventional arms covered under the scope of this Treaty.

 

4.    This Treaty shall not apply to the international movement of conventional arms by a State Party or its agents for its armed forces or law enforcement authorities operating outside its national territories, provided the conventional arms remain under the State Party’s ownership.

 

Article 3

Prohibited Transfers

 

 

1.    A State Party shall not authorize any transfer of conventional arms if the transfer would violate its obligations under measures adopted by the United Nations Security Council acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, in particular arms embargoes.

 

2.     A State Party shall not authorize any transfer of conventional arms within the scope of this Treaty if the transfer would violate its relevant international obligations, under international agreements to which it is a Party, in particular those relating to the  international transfer of, or illicit trafficking in, conventional arms.

 

 

3.     A State Party shall not authorize a transfer of conventional arms within the scope of this Treaty for the purpose of facilitating the commission of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes constituting grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, or serious violations of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.

 

Article 4

National Assessment

 

1.    In considering whether to authorize an export of conventional arms within the scope of this Treaty, each State Party shall assess whether the proposed export would contribute to or undermine peace and security.

 

2.    Prior to authorization and pursuant to its national control system, the State Party shall assess whether the proposed export of conventional arms could:

 

a.    be used to commit or facilitate a serious violation of international humanitarian law;

 

b.   be used to commit or facilitate a serious violation of international human rights law; or

 

c.     be used to commit or facilitate an act constituting an offense under international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism to which the transferring State is a Party.

 

3.    In making the assessment, the exporting State Party shall apply the criteria set out in paragraph 2 of this article consistently, and in an objective and non-discriminatory manner, taking into account relevant factors, including information provided by the importing State.

 

4.    In assessing the criteria set out in paragraph 2 of this article, the exporting State Party may also take into consideration the establishment of risk mitigation measures, including confidence-building measures and jointly developed programmes by the exporting and importing States.

 

5.                       If, after conducting the assessment called for in paragraph 1 and 2 of this article, and after considering the mitigation measures provided for in paragraph 4 of this article, the State Party finds that there is an overriding risk of any of the consequences under paragraph 2 of this article, the State Party shall not authorize the export.

 

6.                       Each State Party, when considering a proposed export of conventional arms under the scope of this Treaty, shall consider taking feasible measures, including joint actions with other States involved in the transfer, to avoid the arms:

 

a.    being diverted to the illicit market or for unauthorized end use;

 

b.       being used to commit or facilitate gender-based violence or violence against children;

 

c.       being used for transnational organized crime;

 

d.       becoming subject to corrupt practices; or

 

e.       adversely impacting the development of the importing State.

 

Article 5

General Implementation

 

1.    Each State Party shall implement this Treaty in a consistent, objective and non -discriminatory manner, in accordance with the goals and objectives of this Treaty.

 

2.    The implementation of this Treaty shall not prejudice obligations undertaken with regard to other instruments. This Treaty shall not be cited as grounds for voiding contractual obligations under defence cooperation agreements concluded by States Parties to this Treaty.

 

3.    Each State Party shall take all appropriate legislative and administrative measures necessary to implement the provisions of this Treaty and shall designate competent national authorities in order to have an effective and transparent national control system regulating the international transfer of conventional arms.

 

4.    Each State Party shall designate one or more national points of contact to exchange information on matters

related to the implementation of this Treaty. A State Party shall notify the secretariat, established under article 12, of its national point(s) of contact and keep the information updated.

 

5.    States Parties involved in an international transfer of conventional arms shall, in a manner consistent with this

Treaty, take appropriate measures to prevent diversion to the illicit market or for unauthorized end use.

 

6.    If a diversion is detected, the State or States Parties that made the detection may notify the State or States Parties that could be affected by such diversion, to the extent permitted in their national laws, in particular those States Parties that are involved in the transfer or may be affected, without delay.

 

Article 6

Export

 

1.    Each exporting State Party shall conduct national assessments, as detailed in paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of article

4 and taking into account the considerations as detailed in paragraph 6 of article 4, whether to authorize the export of conventional arms under the scope of this Treaty under its jurisdiction. Each State Party shall apply articles 3 and 4, taking into account all relevant information.

 

2.    Each State Party shall take measures to ensure all authorizations for the export of conventional arms under the scope of this Treaty are detailed and issued prior to the export. Appropriate information about the export in question shall, upon request, be made available to the importing, transit and transshipment State Parties, in accordance with national laws.

 

3.    If, after an authorization has been granted, a State Party becomes aware of new relevant information that causes it to reassess that there is an overriding risk of any of the consequences of paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of article 4, the State Party may suspend or revoke the authorization.

 

4.    Each State Party shall establish and maintain a national control system to regulate the export of ammunition for conventional arms under the scope of this Treaty, and shall apply article 3, and paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 o f article 4 prior to authorizing any export of ammunition.

 

5.    Each State Party shall establish and maintain a national control system to regulate the export of parts and components, to the extent necessary, for the conventional arms under the scope of this Treaty, and apply article 3 and paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of article 4 prior to authorizing any export of those parts and components.

 

 

Article 7

Import

 

1.    Each importing State Party shall take measures to ensure that appropriate and relevant information is provided, upon request, in accordance with its national laws, to the exporting State Party to assist the exporting State Party in its national assessment.

 

2.    Each importing State Party shall put in place adequate measures that will allow them to regulate, where necessary, imports of conventional arms under the scope of this Treaty. Each importing State Party shall also adopt appropriate measures to prevent the diversion of imported conventional arms under the scope of this Treaty to the illicit market or for unauthorized end use.

 

3.    Each importing State Party may request information from the exporting State Party concerning any pending authorizations where the importing State Party is the country of final destination.

 

Article 8

Brokering

 

Each State Party shall take the appropriate measures, within its national laws, to regulate brokering taking place under its jurisdiction for conventional arms under the scope of this Treaty. Such controls may require brokers to register or obtain written authorization before engaging in brokering transactions.

 

Article 9

Transit and Transshipment

 

1.    Each State Party shall adopt appropriate legislative, administrative or other measures to regulate, where necessary and feasible, conventional arms covered by this Treaty that transit or transship through its territory.

 

2.    Importing and exporting States Parties shall cooperate and exchange information, where feasible and upon request, to transit and transshipment States Parties, in order to mitigate the risk of diversion.

 

Article 10

Reporting and Record-Keeping

 

1.    Each State Party shall maintain national records, in accordance with its national laws and regulations, of the export authorizations or actual exports of the conventional arms under the scope of this Treaty and, where feasible, details of those conventional arms transferred to their territory as the final destination or that are authorized to transit or transship territory under its jurisdiction.

 

2.    Such records may contain, inter alia, quantity, value, model/type, authorized international transfers of conventional arms under the scope of this Treaty, conventional arms actually transferred, details of exporting State(s), importing State(s), transit and transshipment State(s) and end users, as appropriate. Records shall be kept for a minimum of ten years, or longer if required by other international obligations applicable to the State Party.

 

3.    Each State Party may report to the secretariat, when appropriate, any actions taken to address the diversion of conventional arms to the illicit market or for unauthorized end use.

 

 

4.    Each State Party shall, within the first year after entry into force of this Treaty for that State Party, provide an initial report to the secretariat of relevant activities undertaken in order to implement this Treaty, including national laws, regulations and administrative measures. States Parties shall report on

any new activities undertaken in order to implement this Treaty, when appropriate. Reports shall be made available and distributed to States Parties by the secretariat.

 

5.    Each State Party shall submit annually to the secretariat by 1 July a report for the preceding calendar year concerning the authorization or actual transfer of conventional arms under the scope of this Treaty. Reports shall be made available and distributed to States Parties by the secretariat. The report submitted to the secretariat may contain the same information submitted by the State Party to relevant United Nations frameworks, including the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms. Reports may exclude commercially sensitive or national security information

 

 

Article 11

Enforcement

 

Each State Party shall adopt appropriate national measures and policies as may be necessary to enforce national laws and regulations and implement the provisions of this Treaty.

 

Article 12

Secretariat

 

1.    This Treaty hereby establishes a secretariat to assist States Parties in the effective implementation of this Treaty.

 

2.    The secretariat shall be adequately staffed. Staff shall have the necessary expertise to ensure the secretariat can effectively undertake the responsibilities described in paragraph 3 of this article.

 

3.    The secretariat shall be responsible to States Parties. Within a minimized structure, the secretariat shall undertake the following responsibilities:

 

a.    Receive, make available and distribute the reports as mandated in this Treaty;

 

b.    Maintain and distribute regularly to States Parties the list of national points of contact;

 

c.     Facilitate the matching of offers of and requests for assistance for Treat y implementation and promote international cooperation as requested;

 

d.    Facilitate the work of the Conference of States Parties, including making arrangements and providing the necessary services for meetings under this Treaty; and

 

e.     Perform other duties as mandated by this Treaty.

 

 

Article 13

International Cooperation

 

1.    States Parties shall cooperate, as appropriate, to enhance the implementation of this Treaty, consistent with their respective security interests and national laws.

 

2.    Each State Party is encouraged to facilitate international cooperation, including the exchange of information on matters of mutual interest regarding the implementation and application of this Treaty in accordance with its respective security interests and national legal system.

 

3.    Each State Party is encouraged to consult on matters of mutual interest and to share information, as appropriate, to support the implementation of this Treaty.

 

4.    Each State Party may cooperate, as appropriate, in order to enforce the provisions of this Treat y, including sharing information regarding illicit activities and actors to assist national enforcement and to counter, prevent and combat diversion to the illicit market or for unauthorized end use, in accordance with national laws. States Parties may also exchange experience and information on lessons learned in relation to any aspect of this Treaty, to assist national implementation.

 

Article 14

International Assistance

 

1.    In implementing this Treaty, each State Party may seek, inter alia, legal or legislative assistance, institutional capacity building, and technical, material or financial assistance. Each State Party in a position to do so shall, upon request, provide such assistance.

 

2.    Each State Party may request, offer or receive assistance, inter alia, through the United Nations, international, regional, subregional or national organizations, non-governmental organizations, or on a bilateral basis.

 

3.    States Parties may also contribute resources to a voluntary trust fund to assist requesting States Par ties requiring such assistance to implement the Treaty. The voluntary trust fund shall be administered by the secretariat under the supervision of States Parties.

 

 

Article 15

Signature, Ratification, Acceptance, Approval or Accession

 

1.    This Treaty shall be open for signature at the United Nations Headquarters in New York by all States and shall remain open for signature until its entry into force.

 

2.    This Treaty is subject to ratification, acceptance or approval by each signatory State.

 

3.    This Treaty shall be open for accession by any State that has not signed the Treaty.

 

4.    The instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession shall be deposited with the depositary.

 

Article 16

Entry into Force

 

1.    This Treaty shall enter into force ninety days following the date of the deposit of the sixty-fifth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with the depositary.

 

2.    For any State that deposits its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession subsequent to the entry into force of this Treaty, the Treaty shall enter into force for that State ninety days following the date of deposit of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

 

 

Article 17

Provisional application

 

Any State may at the time of its ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, declare that it will apply provisionally articles 3 and 4 of this Treaty pending its entry into force for that State.

 

Article 18

Duration and Withdrawal

 

1.    This Treaty shall be of unlimited duration.

 

2.    Each State Party shall, in exercising its national sovereignty, have the right to withdraw from this Treaty.

It shall give notice of such withdrawal to the depositary, which shall notify all other States Parties. The instrument of withdrawal shall include an explanation of the reasons motivating this withdrawal. The

instrument of withdrawal shall take effect ninety days after the receipt of the instrument of withdrawal by the depositary, unless the instrument of withdrawal specifies a later date.

 

3.    A State shall not be discharged, by reason of its withdrawal, from the obligations arising from this Treaty while it was a party to the Treaty, including any financial obligations that may have accrued.

 

Article 19

Reservations

 

1.    Each State Party may formulate reservations, u nless the reservation is incompatible with the object and purpose of this Treaty.

 

2.    Reservations may be withdrawn at any time.

 

Article 20

Amendments

 

1.    At any time after the entry into force of this Treaty, a State Party may propose an amendment to this

Treaty.

 

2.    An y proposed amendment shall be submitted in writing to the secretariat, which shall then circulate the proposal to all States Parties, not less than 180 days before the next meeting of the Conference of States Parties. The amendment shall be considered at the next Conference of States Parties if a majority of States Parties notify the secretariat that they support further consideration of the proposal, no later than

120 days after its circulation by the secretariat.

 

3.    An y amendment to this Treaty shallbe adopted by consensus of those States Parties present at the Conference of States Parties. The depositary shall communicate any adopted amendment to all States Parties.

 

4.    A proposed amendment adopted in accordance with paragraph 3 of this article shal l enter into force for all States Parties to the Treaty, upon deposit with the depositary of the instruments of acceptance by a majority of States Parties at the time of the adoption of the amendment. Thereafter, it shall enter into force for any remaining State Party on the date of deposit of its instrument of acceptance.

 

 

Article 21

Conference of States Parties

 

1.    A Conference of States Parties shall be convened no later than one year following the entry into force of this Treaty. The  Conference of  States  Parties shall  adopt  rules  of  procedure and  rules  governing its activities,  including  frequency  of  meetings  and  rules  concerning  payment  of  expenses  incurred  in carrying out those activities.

 

2.      The Conference of States Parties shall:

 

a.    Consider and adopt recommendations regarding the implementation and operation of this Treaty, in particular the promotion of its universality;

 

b.    Consider amendments to this Treaty;

 

c.     Consider and decide the tasks and budget of the secretariat;

 

 

d.    Consider the establishment of any subsidiary bodies as may be necessary to improve the functioning of the Treaty; and

 

e.     Perform any other function consistent with this Treaty.

 

3.  If circumstances merit, an exceptional meeting of States Parties may be convened if required and resources allow.

 

Article 22

Dispute Settlement

 

1. States Parties shall consult and cooperate to settle any dispute that may arise between them with regard to the interpretation or application of this Treaty.

 

2. States Parties shall settle any dispute between them concerning the interpretation or application of this

Treaty through negotiations, mediation, conciliation or other peaceful means of the Party’s mutual choice.

 

3. States Parties may pursue, by mutual consent, arbitration to settle any dispute between them, regarding issues concerning the implementation of this Treaty.

 

Article 23

Relations with States not party to this Treaty

 

States Parties shall apply articles 3 and 4 to all exports of conventional arms within the scope of this Treaty to

States not party to this Treaty.

 

Article 24

Relationship with other instruments

 

States Parties shall have the right to enter into agreements in relation to the international trade in conventional arms, provided that those agreements are compatible with their obligations und er this Treaty and do not undermine the object and purpose of this Treaty.

 

Article 25

Authentic Texts and Depositary

 

 

The original text of this Treaty, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

International gun banners pulling out all stops at UN

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Original Story Via: TheGunMag.comUN Olympics Gun Control Flyer

By Dave Workman

Senior Editor

The gloves have come off at the United Nations as negotiations over the proposed global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) are moving toward a climax, and two leading gun rights advocates on the scene are convinced treaty proponents want to include small arms and ammunition in the document, and slip around the Second Amendment.

Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, told TGM that, “Some movement in our direction is anticipated, but it will not be enough to make a difference. These would be minor modifications to placate us, but they will not be enough to address the concerns of American gun owners.”

“This is a blatant attempt to negate the recent Second Amendment court victories we’ve had in the United States, and to get around Second Amendment protections,” he asserted.

His wife, Julianne Versnel, said the ATT “is, in essence, an attempt by the rest of the world to impose their view of civilian firearms ownership on us, and negate the Second Amendment.”

They are at the UN representing the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, the Second Amendment Foundation and the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR). Both helped create IAPCAR, which now has member organizations around the world.

A coalition of global gun control organizations is pushing for the most extreme language and tenets in the treaty, which is supposed to be signed this week. That group includes International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) and Oxfam International and Control Arms. The latter group is apparently responsible for a handout depicting their vision of the treaty provisions highlighted in Olympics-style rings.

Ominously, two of those items are “Arms and Bullets” and “Global Standards Over National Views.” The former alludes to privately owned firearms, and the latter is a veiled but direct threat to the Second Amendment, Gottlieb said.

Various gun rights organizations have been lobbying against this treaty for weeks. If the Obama administration signs it, the document must still be ratified by the U.S. Senate, and after intense lobbying by the National Rifle Association, that doesn’t seem likely.

But with less than four months to go before the national elections, Barack Obama is painting himself into an ever-tightening corner with American gun owners. That represents a significant and influential voting bloc, and a global gun control treaty could easily push many undecided voters into the Romney camp.

Int’l gun control lobby sets sights on ammo, 2A at United Nations

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Original Story Via: Dave Workman, Seattle Gun Rights Examiner

UN Olympics Gun Control Flyer

UN Olympics Gun Control Flyer

The gloves are definitely off at the United Nations as negotiations continue over the proposed global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), where Bellevue’s Alan Gottlieb and Julianne Versnel are raising alarms about a handout distributed Thursday morning by Control Arms, one of the gun control groups pressing for the most extreme provisions.

They say global gun control proponents are directly targeting small arms and ammunition – including civilian-owned rifles, shotguns and handguns – and the Second Amendment. With a layout deliberately designed to mimic the Olympic rings, the handout specifies “Arms and Bullets” and “Global Standards Over National Views.”

The latter, they suggest, is a thinly-veiled reference to world gun control regardless of what the U.S. Constitution might say.

Gottlieb and Versnel are in New York representing the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, the Second Amendment Foundation and the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR).

Versnel supplied Examiner with the image above that makes it clear the gun ban crowd – a coalition which includes the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) and Oxfam International – are after small arms and ammunition.

In a telephone interview, Versnel made it clear what that means.

“The ATT is, in essence, an attempt by the rest of the world to impose their view of civilian firearms ownership on us, and negate the Second Amendment,” she said.

Negotiators recessed Thursday morning but were to resume in the afternoon. Gottlieb said there are “rumors” that a slightly revised document, discussed by this column yesterday and posted on the IAPCAR website, might be introduced.

“Some movement in our direction is anticipated,” he said, “but it will not be enough to make a difference. These would be minor modifications to placate us, but they will not be enough to address the concerns of American gun owners.”

Gottlieb’s bottom line: “This is a blatant attempt to negate the recent Second Amendment court victories we’ve had in the United States, and to get around Second Amendment protections.”

Various gun rights organizations have been lobbying against this treaty for weeks. If the Obama administration signs it, the document must still be ratified by the U.S. Senate, and after intense lobbying by the National Rifle Association, that doesn’t seem likely.

But with less than four months to go before the national elections, Barack Obama is painting himself into an ever-tightening corner with gun owners. As this column noted earlier, he is “out of the closet” as a gun control proponent, even hinting at renewed focus on so-called “assault weapons.”

Unfortunately for gun prohibitionists, the proverbial horse has left the barn on that subject. With millions of semiautomatic rifles and shotguns now in circulation, banning them is out of the question unless the president thinks he can charm gun owners into surrendering them.

In that, the president and the United Nations are in the same leaky boat, with a gun rights tidal wave coming right at them.

NFA Warns of Problems With UN Arms Trade Treaty

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

NFA Warns of problems with UN Arms Trade Treaty

25 July 2012

A near final draft and the closing days of the UN Arms Trade Treaty talks could spell trouble for Canadian interests.  There is tremendous pressure to conclude a deal by July 27 and if the latest draft is any indication, the deal will not be a good one for Canadians.

“The draft treaty still affects civilian ownership of firearms and could cause trouble for Canadians travelling with firearms,” according to Sheldon Clare, President of Canada’s National Firearms Association who was present for part of the talks. “Even more significantly though, are clauses which would establish an expensive and intrusive Implementation Support Unit, a body which would be engaged in keeping firearms trade records.  The ISU would be a likely conduit for providing money to unscrupulous regimes from UN coffers partially funded by Canadian taxpayers.  That is certainly not something that Canadians want or need.”

Clare continued, “One of the most potentially dangerous clauses is the proposed amending formula which under Article 20 introduces a two-thirds majority requirement to amend the ATT.  Such a clause is a direct threat to national sovereignty in that it removes the traditional need for consensus in UN decision making.  It could easily lead to despots and dictators making amendments that would be binding on Europe and North America.  When combined with Article 23 which would mean that even countries that don’t sign it are subject to it, we have a clear step towards a dangerous system of world governance that would harm the interests of Canada and individual Canadians.“

“In addition, there are aspects of the draft treaty that could prevent Canada from providing aid to its needy allies, especially if such aid conflicted with the aims of countries opposed to Canadian values.  The recent draft of the Arms Trade Treaty is bad for Canada and Canadians, and our government should not sign it,” stated Mr. Clare.  “While governments need to act against terrorism, perhaps better ways to deal with unrest would be to address the economic situations, political differences, and human rights issues that contribute to people agitating for change.”

“A global ATT would only be in the interests of those who would seek economic advantage by limiting market opportunity and of regimes who would use such a treaty to disarm their citizens in order to rule through fear.”

In addition to its participation at the UN with the World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities, Canada’s National Firearms Association is a founding member of The International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR) which includes many national and international organizations promoting civilian ownership of firearms.  At over 62,000 members, Canada’s National Firearms Association is this country’s largest advocacy organization promoting the rights and freedoms of all responsible firearm owners and users.

For more information contact:

Blair Hagen, Executive VP Communications, 604-753-8682 Blair@nfa.ca

Sheldon Clare, President, 250-981-1841 Sheldon@nfa.ca

Canada’s NFA toll-free number – 1-877-818-0393

NFA Website: www.nfa.ca

Examiner exclusive: UN releases proposed Arms Trade Treaty text

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Original Story Via:  Dave Workman, Seattle Gun Rights Examiner

The proposed United Nations international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is out, and it is already running into trouble as many of the tenets are apparently contrary to United States law, to say nothing of the collision they might have with the Second Amendment.

Julianne Versnel-Gottlieb with the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation reports from the U.N. headquarters in New York that the head of the U.S. delegation, Thomas Countryman, was quick to point out that provisions in the proposed treaty will run into trouble with existing law.

However, Versnel-Gottlieb notes that the proposed treaty is still getting support from the United Kingdom and the French delegation let slip that their ultimate goal is to regulate legitimately-owned “weapons.” Gun rights activists will quickly note that this has not worked too well for the British.

The entire document has been posted on the website of the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR), an organization that Versnel-Gottlieb and her husband, Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and founder of SAF, were instrumental in creating.

The important section of this document is the Preamble, according to Alan Gottlieb, who leaves for New York Wednesday in order to be on hand during the anticipated final negotiations later this week. This is what it says:

The States Parties to this Treaty:
1. Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
2. Recalling that the charter of the UN promotes the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security with the least diversion for armaments of the world’s human and economic resources;
3. Reaffirming the obligation of all State Parties to settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered, in accordance with the Charter of the UN;
4. Underlining the need to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade of conventional arms and to prevent their diversion to illegal and unauthorized end use, such as terrorism and organized crime;
5. Recognizing the legitimate political, security, economic and commercial rights and interests of States in the international trade of conventional arms;
6. Reaffirming the sovereign right and responsibility of any State to regulate and control transfers of conventional arms that take place exclusively within its territory pursuant to its own legal or constitutional systems;
7. Recognizing that development, human rights and peace and security, which are three pillars of the United Nations, are interlinked and mutually reinforcing.
8. Recalling the United Nations Disarmament Commission guidelines on international arms transfers adopted by the General Assembly;
9. Noting the contribution made by the 2001 UN Programme of Action to preventing combating and eradicating the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects, as well as the 2001 Protocol against the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in Firearms, their parts and components and ammunition, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime;
10. Recognizing the security, social, economic and humanitarian consequences of the illicit trade in and unregulated trade of conventional arms;
11. Recognizing the challenges faced by victims of armed conflict and their need for adequate care, rehabilitation and social and economic inclusion;
12. Bearing in mind that the women and children are particularly affected in situations of conflict and armed violence;
13. Emphasizing that nothing in this treaty prevents States from exercising their right to adopt additional more rigorous measures consistent with the purpose of this Treaty;
14. Recognizing the legitimate international trade and lawful private ownership and use of conventional arms exclusively for, inter alia, recreational, cultural, historical and sporting activities for States where such ownership and use are permitted or protected by law;
15. Recognizing the active role that non-governmental organizations and civil society can play in furthering the goals and objectives of this Treaty; and
16. Emphasizing that regulation of the international trade in conventional arms should not
hamper international cooperation and legitimate trade in material, equipment and technology for peaceful purposes;

Have agreed as follows:

Principles

Guided by the Purposes and Principles of the Charter of the United Nations, States Parties, In promoting the goals and objectives of this Treaty and implementing its provisions, shall act in accordance with the following principles:

1. The inherent rights of all States to individual or collective self-defense;

2. Settlement of individual disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered;

3. The rights and obligations of States under applicable international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law;

4. The responsibility of all States, in accordance with their respective international obligations, to effectively regulate and control international transfer of conventional arms as well as the primary responsibility of all States to in establishing and implementing their respective national export control systems; and

5. The necessity to implement this Treaty consistently and effectively and in a universal, objective and non-discriminatory manner.

But as Gottlieb puts it, the Devil is always in the details. It is still not clear whether ammunition will be targeted by this proposed agreement, and that is an important consideration.

ATT proponents were hoping to have this treaty signed and in the bag by this Friday, but there is a possibility that may not happen if enough concerns are raised.

BREAKING NEWS: UN Arms Trade Treaty – Full Proposed Document

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

PREAMBLE             

The States Parties to this Treaty.

  1. Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
  2. Recalling that the charter of the UN promotes the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security with the least diversion for armaments of the world’s human and economic resources;
  3. Reaffirming the obligation of all State Parties to settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered, in accordance with the Charter of the UN;
  4. Underlining the need to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade of conventional arms and to prevent their diversion to illegal and unauthorized end use, such as terrorism and organized crime;
  5. Recognizing the legitimate political, security, economic and commercial rights and interests of States in the international trade of conventional arms;
  6. Reaffirming the sovereign right and responsibility of any State to regulate and control transfers of conventional arms that take place exclusively within its territory pursuant to its own legal or constitutional systems;
  7. Recognizing that development, human rights and peace and security, which are three pillars of the United Nations, are interlinked and mutually reinforcing.
  8. Recalling the United Nations Disarmament Commission guidelines on international arms transfers adopted by the General Assembly;
  9. Noting the contribution made by the 2001 UN Programme of Action to preventing combating and eradicating the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects, as well as the 2001 Protocol against the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in Firearms, their parts and components and ammunition, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime;
  10. Recognizing the security, social, economic and humanitarian consequences of the illicit trade in and unregulated trade of conventional arms;
  11. Recognizing the challenges faced by victims of armed conflict and their need for adequate care, rehabilitation and social and economic inclusion;
  12. Bearing in mind that the women and children are particularly affected in situations of conflict and armed violence;
  13. Emphasizing that nothing in this treaty prevents States from exercising their right to adopt additional more rigorous measures consistent with the purpose of this Treaty;
  14. Recognizing the legitimate international trade and lawful private ownership and use of conventional arms exclusively for, inter alia, recreational, cultural, historical and sporting activities for States where such ownership and use are permitted or protected by law;
  15. Recognizing the active role that non-governmental organizations and civil society can play in furthering the goals and objectives of this Treaty; and

16. Emphasizing that regulation of the international trade in conventional arms should not

hamper international cooperation and legitimate trade in material, equipment and technology

for peaceful purposes;

Have agreed as follows:

Principles

Guided by the Purposes and Principles of the Charter of the United Nations, States Parties, In promoting the goals and objectives of this Treaty and implementing its provisions, shall act in accordance with the following principles:

  1. The inherent rights of all States to individual or collective self-defense;

2. Settlement of individual disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered;

3. The rights and obligations of States under applicable international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law;

4. The responsibility of all States, in accordance with their respective international obligations, to effectively regulate and control international transfer of conventional arms as well as the primary responsibility of all States to in establishing and implementing their respective national export control systems; and

5. The necessity to implement this Treaty consistently and effectively and in a universal, objective and non-discriminatory manner.

 

Article 1

Goals and Objectives

Cognizant of the need to prevent and combat the diversion of conventional arms into the illicit market r to unauthorized end users through the improvement of regulation on the international trade in conventional arms,

The goals and objectives of this Treaty are:

–          For States Parties to establish the highest possible common standards for regulating or improving regulation of the international trade in conventional arms;

–          To prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and their diversion to illegal and unauthorized end use;

In order to:

–          Contribute to international and regional peace, security and stability;

–          Avoid that the international trade in conventional arms contributes to human suffering;

–           Promote cooperation, transparency and responsibility of States Parties in the trade in conventional arms, thus building confidence among States Parties,

 

Article 2

–          A. Covered Items

–          1. This Treaty shall apply to all conventional arms within the following categories:

–          a. Battle Tanks

–          b. Armored combat vehicles

–          c. Large-caliber Artillery systems

–          d. Combat aircraft

–          e. Attack helicopters

–          f. Warships

–          g. Missiles and missile launchers

–          h. Small Arms and Light Weapons

–          2. Each State Party Shall establish and Maintain a national control system to regulate the export of munitions to the extent necessary to ensure that national controls on the export of the conventional arms covered by Paragraph a1 (a)-(h) are not circumvented by the export of munitions for those conventional arms.

–          3. Each State Party shall establish and maintain a national control system to regulate the export of parts and components to the extent necessary to ensure that national controls on the export of the conventional arms covered by Paragraph A1 are not circumvented by the export of parts and components of those items.

–          4. Each State Party shall establish or update, as appropriate, and maintain a national control list that shall include the items that fall within Paragraph 1 above, as defined on a national basis, based on relevant UN instruments at a minimum. Each State Party shall publish its control list to the extent permitted by national law.

–          B. Covered Activities

–          1. This Treaty shall apply to those activities of the international trade in conventional arms covered in paragraph a1 above, and set out in Articles 6-10, hereafter referred to as “transfer.”

–          2. This Treaty shall not apply to the international movement of conventional arms by a State Party or its agents for its armed forces or law enforcement authorities operating outside its national territories, provided they remain under the State Party’s ownership.

 

Article 3

Prohibited Transfers

  1. A State Party shall not authorize any transfer of conventional arms within the scope of this Treaty if the transfer would violate any obligation under any measure adopted by the United Nations Security Council acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, in particular arms embargoes.
  2. A State Party shall not authorize any transfer of conventional arms within the scope of this Treaty if the transfer would violate its relevant international obligations, under international agreements, to which it is a Party, in particular those relating to the international transfer of, or illicit trafficking in, conventional arms.
  3. A State Party shall not authorize a transfer of conventional arms within the scope of this Treaty for the purpose of facilitating the commission of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes constituting grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, or serious violations of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention of 1949.

 

Article 4

National Assessment

  1. Each State Party, in considering whether to authorize an export of conventional arms within the scope of this Treaty, shall, prior to authorization and through national control systems, make an assessment specific to the circumstances of the transfer based on the following criteria:
  2. Whether the proposed export of conventional arms would:
    1. Be used to commit or facilitate serious violations of international humanitarian law;
    2. Be used to commit or facilitate serious violations of international human rights law;
    3. Contribute to peace and security;
    4. Be used to commit or facilitate an act constituting an offense under international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism or transnational organized crime, to which the transferring State is a Party;
  3. In making the assessment, the transferring State Party shall apply the criteria set out in Paragraph 2 consistently and in an objective and non-discriminatory manner and in accordance with the principles set out in this Treaty, taking into account relevant factors, including information provided by the importing State.

4. In assessing the risk pursuant to Paragraph 2, the transferring State Party may also take into consideration the establishment of risk mitigation measures including confidence-building measures and jointly developed programs by the exporting and importing State.

5. If in the view of the authorizing State Party, this assessment, which would include any actions that may be taken in accordance with Paragraph 4, constitutes a substantial risk, the State Party shall not authorize the transfer.

 

Article 5

Additional Obligations

  1. Each State Party, when authorizing an export, shall consider taking feasible measures, including joint actions with other States involved in the transfer, to avoid the transferred arms:
  2. being diverted to the illicit market;
  3. be used to commit or facilitate gender-based violence or violence against children;
  4. become subject to corrupt practices; or
  5. adversely impact the development of the recipient State.

 

Article 6

General Implementation

  1. Each State Party shall implement this Treaty in a consistent, objective and non-discriminatory manner in accordance with the goals and objectives of this Treaty;
  2. The implementation of this Treaty shall not prejudice previous or future obligations undertaken with regards to international instruments, provided that those obligations are consistent with the goals and objectives of this Treaty. This Treaty shall not be cited as grounds for voiding contractual obligations under defense cooperation agreements concluded by States Parties to this Treaty.
  3. Each State Party shall take all appropriate legislative and administrative measures necessary to implement the provisions of this Treaty and designate competent national authorities in order to have an effective, transparent and predictable national control system regulating the transfer of conventional arms;
  4. Each State Party shall establish one or more national contact points to exchange information on matters related to the implementation of this Treaty. A State Party shall notify the Implementation Support Unit (See Article 13) of its national contact point(s) and keep the information updated.
  5. State Parties involved in a transfer of conventional arms shall, in a manner consistent with the principles of this Treaty, take appropriate measures to prevent diversion to the illicit market or to unauthorized end-users.  All State Parties shall cooperate, as appropriate, with the exporting State to that end.
  6. . If a diversion is detected the State or States Parties that made the decision shall verify the State or States Parties that could be affected by such diversion, in particulate those State Parties that are involved in the transfer, without delay.
  7.  Each State Party shall take the appropriate measures, within national laws and regulations, to regulate transfers of conventional arms within the scope of the Treaty.

 

Article 7

Export

  1. Each State Party shall conduct risk assessments, as detailed in Articles 4 and 5, whether to grant authorizations for the transfer of conventional arms under the scope of this Treaty.  State Parties shall apply Articles 3-5 consistently, taking into account all relevant information, including the nature and potential use of the items to be transferred and the verified end-user in the country of final destination.
  2. Each State Party shall take measures to ensure all authorizations for the export of conventional arms under the scope of the Treaty are detailed and issued prior to the export.  Appropriate and relevant details of the authorization shall be made available to the importing, transit and transshipment State Parties, upon request.

 

Article 8

Import

  1. Importing State Parties shall take measures to ensure that appropriate and relevant information is provided, upon request, to the exporting State Party to assist the exporting State in its criteria assessment and to assist in verifying end users.
  2. State Parties shall put in place adequate measures that will allow them, where necessary, to monitor and control imports of items covered by the scope of the Treaty.  State Parties shall also adopt appropriate measures to prevent the diversion of imported items to unauthorized end users or to the illicit market.
  3. Importing State Parties may request, where necessary, information from the exporting State Party concerning potential authorizations.

 

Article 9

Brokering

  1. Each State Party shall take the appropriate measures, within national laws and regulations, to control brokering taking place under its jurisdiction for conventional arms within the scope of this Treaty.

 

Article 10

Transit and Transshipment

  1. Each State Party shall adopt appropriate legislative, administrative or other measures to monitor and control, where necessary and feasible, conventional arms covered by this Treaty that transit or transship through territory under its jurisdiction, consistent with international law with due regard for innocent passage and transit passage;
  2. Importing and exporting States Parties shall cooperate and exchange information, where feasible and upon request, to transit and transshipment States Parties, in order to mitigate the risk of discretion;

 

Article 11

Reporting, Record Keeping and Transparency

  1. Each State Party shall maintain records in accordance with its national laws and regardless of the items referred to in Article 2, Paragraph A, with regards to conventional arms authorization or exports, and where feasible  of those items transferred to their territory as the final destination, or that are authorized to transit or transship their territory, respectively.
  2. Such records may contain: quantity, value, model/type, authorized arms transfers, arms actually transferred, details of exporting State(s), recipient State(s), and end users as appropriate. Records shall be kept for a minimum of ten years, or consistent with other international commitments applicable to the State Party.
  3. States Parties may report to the Implementation Support Unit on an annual basis any actions taken to address the diversion of conventional arms to the illicit market.
  4. Each State Party shall, within the first year after entry into force of this Treaty for that State Party, provide an initial report to States Parties of relevant activities undertaken in order to implement this Treaty; including inter alia, domestic laws, regulations and administrative measures. States Parties shall report any new activities undertaken in order to implement this Treaty, when appropriate. Reports shall be distributed and made public by the Implementation Support Unit.
  5. Each State Party shall submit annually to the Implementation Support Unit by 31 May a report for the preceding calendar year concerning the authorization or actual transfer of items included in Article 2, Paragraph A1. Reports shall be distributed and made public by the Implementation Support Unit. The report submitted to the Implementation Support Unit may contain the same type of information submitted by the State Party to other relevant UN bodies, including the UN Register of Conventional Arms. Reports will be consistent with national security sensitivities or be commercially sensitive.

 

ARTICLE 12 

ENFORCEMENT

  1. Each State Party shall adopt national legislation or other appropriate national measures regulations and policies as may be necessary to implement the obligations of this Treaty.

 

ARTICLE 13

IMPLEMENTATION SUPPORT UNIT

  1. This Treaty hereby establishes an Implementation Support Unit to assist States Parties in its implementation.
  2. The ISU shall consist of adequate staff, with necessary expertise to ensure the mandate entrusted to it can be effectively undertaken, with the core costs funded by States Parties.
  3. The implementation Support Unit, within a minimized structure and responsible to States Parties, shall undertake the responsibilities assigned to it in this Treaty, inter alia:
    1. Receive distribute reports, on behalf of the Depository, and make them publicly available;
    2. Maintain and Distribute regularly to States Parties the up-to-date list of national contact points;
    3. Facilitate the matching of offers and requests of assistance for Treaty implementation and promote international cooperation as requested;
    4. Facilitate the work of the Conference of States Parties, including making arrangements and providing the necessary service es for meetings under this Treaty; and
    5. Perform other duties as mandated by the Conference of States Parties.

 

ARTICLE 14

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

  1. States Parties shall designate national points of contact to act as a liaison on matters relating to the implementation of this Treaty.
  2. States Parties shall cooperate closely with one another, as appropriate, to enhance the implementation of this Treaty consistent with their respective security interests and legal and administrative systems.

States Parties are encouraged to facilitate international cooperation, including the exchange of information on matters of mutual interest regarding the implementation and application of this Treaty in accordance with their national legal system. Such voluntary exchange of information may include, inter alia, information on national implementation measures as well as information on specific exporters, importers and brokers and on any prosecutions brought domestically, consistent with commercial and proprietary protections and domestic laws, regulations and respective legal and administrative systems.

4.   Each State Party is encouraged to maintain consultations and to share information, as appropriate, to support the implementation of this Treaty, including through their national contact points.

5. States Parties shall cooperate to enforce the provisions of this Treaty and combat breaches of this Treaty, including sharing information regarding illicit activities and actors to assist national enforcement and to counter and prevent diversion. States Parties may also exchange information on lessons learned in relation to any aspect of this Treaty, to develop best practices to assist national implementation.

Article 15
International Assistance

  1. In fulfilling the obligation of this Treaty, States Parties may seek, inter alia, legal assistance, legislative assistance, technical assistance, institutional capacity building, material assistance or financial assistance. States, in a position to do so, shall provide such assistance. States Parties may contribute resources to a voluntary trust fund to assist requesting States Parties requiring such assistance to implement the Treaty.
  2. States Parties shall afford one another the widest measure of assistance, consistent with their respective legal and administrative systems, in investigations, prosecutions and judicial proceedings in relation to the violations of the national measures implemented to comply with obligations under of the provisions of this Treaty.
  3. Each State Party may offer or receive assistance, inter alia, through the United Nations international, regional, subregional or national organizations, non-governmental organizations or on a bi-lateral basis. Such assistance may include technical, financial, material and other forms of assistance as needed, upon request.

Article 16
Signature, Ratification, Acceptance, Approval or Accession

  1. This Treaty shall be open for signature on [date] at the United Nations Headquarters in New York by all States and regional integration organizations.
  2. This Treaty is subject to ratification, acceptance or approval of the Signatories.
  3. This Treaty shall be open for accession by any state and regional integration organization that has not signed the Treaty.

4. The instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession shall be deposited with the Depositary.

5. The Depositary shall promptly inform all signatory and acceding States and regional integration organizations of the date of each signature, the date of deposit of each instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession and the date of the entry into force of this Treaty, and of the receipt of notices.

6. “Regional integration organization” shall mean an organization constituted by sovereign States of a given region, to which its Member States have transferred competence in respect of matters governed by this Treaty and which has been duly authorized, in accordance with its internal procedures, to sign, ratify, accept, approve or accede to it.

7.  At the time of its ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, a regional integration organization shall declare the extent of its competence with respect to matters governed by this Treaty.  Such organizations shall also inform the Depositary of any relevant modifications in the extent of it competence.

8.  References to “State Parties” in the present Treaty shall apply to such organizations within the limits of their competence.

 

Article 17

Entry into Force

  1. This Treaty shall enter into force thirty days following the date of the deposit of the sixty-fifth instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval with the Depositary.
  2. For any State or regional integration organization that deposits its instruments of accession subsequent to the entry into force of the Treaty, the Treaty shall enter into force thirty days following the date of deposit of its instruments of accession.
  3. For the purpose of Paragraph 1 and 2 above, any instrument deposited by a regional integration organization shall not be counted as additional to those deposited by Member States of that organization.

 

Article 18

Withdrawal and Duration

  1. This Treaty shall be of unlimited duration.
  2. Each State Party shall, in exercising its national sovereignty, have the right to withdraw from this Convention. It shall give notice of such withdrawal to all other States Parties from this Convention.  It shall give notice of such withdrawal to all other States Parties and to the Depositary.  The instrument of withdrawal shall include a full explanation of the reasons motivating this withdrawal.
  3. A state shall not be discharged, by reason of its withdrawal, from the obligations arising from this treaty while it was a party to the Treaty, including any financial obligations, which may have accrued.

 

Article 19
Reservations

  1. Each State party, in exercising its national sovereignty, may formulate reservations unless the reservation is incompatible with the object and purpose of this Treaty.

 

Article 20
Amendments

  1. At any time after the Treaty’s entry into force, a State Party may propose an amendment to this Treaty.
  2. Any proposed amendment shall be submitted in writing to the Depository, which will then circulate the proposal to all States Parties, not less than 180 days before next meeting of the Conference of States Parties. The amendment shall be considered at the next Conference of States Parties if a majority of States Parties notify the Implementation Support Unit that they support further consideration of the proposal no later than 180 days after its circulation by the Depositary.
  3. Any amendment to this Treaty shall be adopted by consensus, or if consensus is not achieved, by two-thirds of the States Parties present and voting at the Conference of States Parties. The Depositary shall communicate any amendment to all States Parties.
  4. A proposed amendment adopted in accordance with Paragraph 3 of this Article shall enter into force for all States Parties to the Treaty that have accepted it, upon deposit with the Depositary. Thereafter, it shall enter into force for any remaining State Party on the date of deposit of its instrument of accession.

 

Article 21
Conference of States Parties

  1. The Conference of States Parties shall be convened not later than once a year following the entry into force of this Treaty. The Conference of States Parties shall adopt rules of procedure and rules governing its activities, including the frequency of meetings and rules concerning payment of expenses incurred in carrying out those activities.

The Conference of States Parties shall:
a. Consider and adopt recommendations regarding the implementation of this Treaty, in particular the promotion of its universality; TR

b. Consider amendments to this Treaty;

c. Consider and decide the work and budget of the Implementation Support Unit;

d. Consider the establishment of any subsidiary bodies as may be necessary to improve the functioning of the Treaty;

e. Perform any other function consistent with this Treaty.

3. If circumstances merit, an exceptional meeting of the State Parties may be convened if required and resources allow.

 

Article 22
Dispute Settlement

  1. States Parties shall consult and cooperate with each other to settle any dispute that may arise with regard to the interpretation or application of this Treaty.
  2. States Parties shall settle any dispute between them concerning the interpretation or application of this Treat though negotiations or other peaceful means of the Parties mutual choice.
  3. States Parties may pursue, by mutual consent, third party arbitration to settle any dispute between them, regarding issues concerning the implementation of this Treaty.

 

Article 23
Relations with States not party to this Treaty

  1. States Parties shall apply Articles 3-5 to all transfers of conventional arms within the scope of this Treaty to those not party to this Treaty.

 

Article 24
Relationship with other instruments

  1. States Parties shall have the right to enter into agreements on the trade in conventional arms with regards to the international trade in conventional arms, provided that those agreements are compatible with their obligations under this Treaty and do not undermine the objects and purposes of this Treaty.

 

Article 25
Depositary and Authentic Texts

  1. The Secretary-General of the United Nations is the Depositary of this Treaty.
  2. The original text of this Treaty, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic.

 

 

The Arms Trade Treaty – Falling Apart?

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Original Story Via:  AmmoLand.com

By Paul Gallant, Sherry Gallant, Alan Chwick, & Joanne D. Eisen

Manasquan, NJ –-(Ammoland.com)- With only a week left for treaty negotiations, one might surmise from the multitude of complaints of its proponents that the Treaty, as it is being drafted, is destined to fail because it is becoming too weak.

But no matter how “strong” its language, it will fail very simply because it’s a foolish idea, concocted with fantasies that cannot work.

Deepayan Basu Ray,of anti-gun group Oxfam, stated: “Under no circumstances should countries agree to a watered down Treaty that fails to control the arms trade and failsto reduce human suffering.”

And here we thought all along that the objective of an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was to control the illegal arms trade, not to control the actions of tyrants (an impossible goal)!

Attempting to press home a sense of urgency, Anna MacDonald, Head of the Arms Control Campaign at (anti-gun) Oxfam, stated: “The negotiations are running at least a week behind schedule. The clock is ticking now and we need to see a greater sense of urgency from delegates, who must agree a strong treaty text [sic]. The world is watching, and people across the globe are demanding a treaty that will tighten up controls on the arms trade and close the loop holes that allow the illicit and irresponsible part of the trade to flourish. There is not a moment to lose.”

The arguments and complaints being bandied about by Treaty proponents are abundant.

For example,the July 19 issue of the Arms Trade Treaty Monitor states:

On Wednesday morning, the Chair of Main Committee I released a new draft text on the goals and objectives of the arms trade treaty (ATT). The most glaring change to the text was the removal of language stating that preventing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law is an objective of the treaty. Leaving this out will have serious repercussions for the negotiation of other sections of the treaty and for the treaty’s implementation. It is an abso­lute necessity that this be corrected [sic].

The revised language, written by the Chair of the Main Committee I, states that “The goals of the treaty are….in order to…. ensure that the international trade in conventional arms does not contribute or facilitate human suffering….” This is upsetting to the Treaty’s advocates because “Without an explicit reference to gender-based violence, international humanitarian law (IHL), and international human rights law (IHRL), the treaty is in substantial danger of failing to meet its original purpose.

The Treaty’s proponents further complain about language that is watered down:

Achieving the fundamental goals of the ATT also means the treaty will need strong, clear, and effective implementation mechanisms. Unfortunately, the draft text on implementation does not yet meet this requirement. It suggests notification of export authorizations to relevant transit and transshipment states would be voluntary when it should be mandatory. It indicates that contractual obligations to sell arms would supersede the ATT when clearly the ATT should take precedence. It suggests actions states “may” take on brokering, when such actions should be mandatory.In general, it is vague on binding language. If adopted as written, the implementation section would undermine the treaty’s objectives [emphasis ours].

There are practical reasons for these complaints. The Treaty’s proponents need to pressure those countries that expect to be on the receiving end of generous financial gifts, and which are expected to increase their capacity to comply with the Treaty’s obligations. They also need to keep their supporters eager for the next “iterations”(revisions) to come.

The only benefits to us of a weaker treaty is that it will take longer to implement —and longer to fail— giving us the time we need to ride out the destructive waves of futile and foolish attempts to control the actions of evil-doers, and to destroy legal civilian firearm ownership.

We certainly should not be depending on U.S. politicians to safeguard our right to self-protection, as they have not done so in the past. We cannot depend on our national firearm organizations, as they are only as strong as we make them. (With an estimated 70-80 milliongun-owners in the U.S., how many support the various national firearm organizations??)

We need time to prepare for a new century of attempts to break the strength of civilian sovereignty, and a rash of new weapon-control laws attempting to bring us into compliance with “global norms,” luring us with the hint of paradise on earth.

About the authors:
Dr. Paul Gallant and Dr. Joanne D. Eisen practice optometry and dentistry,respectively, on Long Island, NY, and have collaborated on firearm politics forthe past 20 years. They have also collaborated with David B. Kopel since 2000, and are Senior Fellows at the Independence Institute, where Kopel is Research Director. Most recently, Gallant and Eisen have also written with Alan J.Chwick. Sherry Gallant has been instrumental in the editing of virtually all ofthe authors’ writings, and is immensely knowledgeable in the area of firearm politics; she actively co-authored this article.

Almost all of the co-authored writings of Gallant, Eisen, Kopel and Chwick can be found at www.gallanteisen.incnf.org, which contains more detailed information about their biographies and writing, and contains hyperlinks to manyof their articles. Their recent series focusing on the Arms Trade Treaty can be found primarily at www.gwg.incnf.org

26 NEW CO-SPONSORS TO 2A PROTECTION ACT IS ‘GOOD NEWS,’ SAYS CCRKBA

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Original Story Via:  TheGunMag.com

Twenty-six more members of Congress have signed on as co-sponsors to the Second Amendment Protection Act, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms announced today.

“This is good news,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan M. Gottlieb. “With a vote looming on the proposed United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, this sends a clear message to the Obama administration that the president will face real trouble if he or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signs any document that threatens our constitutionally-protected individual right to keep and bear arms.”

Sponsored by Illinois Republican Congressman Joe Walsh, H.R. 3594 was written with help from CCRKBA staff, Gottlieb noted.  It now has 60 co-sponsors, and has been referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. CCRKBA has been urging members and supporters to contact Congress and demand action on this bill.

“The U.N. is scheduled to vote on the proposed treaty next week,” Gottlieb said. “Right now they are pushing to include small arms and ammunition, and because the Devil is always in the details, when they finally hammer out a document that the Obama administration has already indicated it will sign, this could be extremely bad for American gun owners.

“Fortunately, Congressman Walsh had the foresight to understand this,” he continued, “so he introduced this legislation to protect Second Amendment sovereignty. We want the United Nations gun grabbers, and the Obama administration to understand that they are treading in perilous waters if they adopt a treaty that even remotely threatens the firearms freedoms of our citizens.

“We are coming down to the wire on this treaty,” Gottlieb stated. “Our constitutional rights far outweigh the administration’s desire to push its ‘citizen-of-the-world’ philosophy down the throats of American gun owners. We want to see action on the Second Amendment Protection Act, and with 26 new co-sponsors, we are one step closer to achieving that goal.”

With more than 650,000 members and supporters nationwide, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is one of the nation’s premier gun rights organizations. As a non-profit organization, the Citizens Committee is dedicated to preserving firearms freedoms through active lobbying of elected officials and facilitating grass-roots organization of gun rights activists in local communities throughout the United States. The Citizens Committee can be reached by phone at (425) 454-4911, on the Internet at www.ccrkba.org or by email to InformationRequest@ccrkba.org

UN gun control treaty will reveal gun laws Obama really supports

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Original Story Via:  / FoxNews.com

Sometime later this week, the UN will finally unveil its Arms Trade Treaty. The exact date the treaty will be released is a secret.

Russia, China, France — with its new Socialist government — Britain and the Obama administration are writing the treaty behind closed doors. Yet even if the final treaty is being kept under wraps, we still have a pretty good idea of some of the requirements that will be in it.

The group writing the treaty is not promising. Russia and Britain ban handguns and many other types of weapons. The possession of guns for self-defense is completely prohibited in China. The Obama administration is undoubtedly the most hostile administration to gun ownership in US history, with Obama having personally supported bans of handguns and semi-automatic weapons before becoming president. And remember the recent scandal where the Obama administration was caught allowing guns go to Mexican drug gangs, hoping it would help push for gun control laws.

The treaty seems unlikely to ever receive the two-thirds majority necessary to be ratified by the US Senate, but that doesn’t mean it still won’t have consequences for Americans. In other countries with parliamentary systems, even if the relatively conservative parties oppose approval, ratification is just a matter of time until a left-wing government takes power. Reduced private gun ownership around the world will surely lead to more pressure for gun control in our own country.

The treaty officially aims to prevent rebels and terrorist groups from getting hold of guns. The treaty claims that at least 250,000 people die each year from armed conflicts and that the vast majority of deaths arise from so-called “small arms” — machine guns, rifles, and handguns.

Regulations of private ownership will supposedly prevent rebels and terrorist groups from getting ahold of guns. But governments, not private individuals, are the sources for these weapons. For example, the FARC fighting in Colombia get their guns from the Venezuelan government.

The most likely regulations to be pushed by the UN treaty are those that have been the favorites of American gun control advocates for years — registration and licensing, micro-stamping ammunition, and restrictions on the private transfers of guns. Unfortunately, these measures have a long history of failure and primarily just inconvenience and disarm law-abiding gun owners.

Gun registration and licensing are pushed as a way to trace those who supply these illicit weapons. Yet, to see the problem with these regulations, one only needs to look at how ineffective they have been in solving crime. Canada just recently ended its long gun registry as it was a colossal waste of money.

Beginning in 1998, Canadians spent a whopping $2.7 billion on creating and running a registry for long guns — in the US, the same amount per gun owner would come to $67 billion. For all that money, the registry was never credited with solving a single murder. Instead, it became an enormous waste of police officers’ time, diverting their efforts from traditional policing activities.

Gun control advocates have long claimed registration is a safety issue. Their reasoning is straightforward: If a gun is left at a crime scene, and it was registered to the person who committed the crime, the registry will link it back to the criminal.

Unfortunately, it rarely works out this way. Criminals are seldom stupid enough to leave behind crime guns that are registered to themselves.

From 2003 to 2009, there were 4,257 homicides in Canada, 1,314 of which were committed with firearms. Data provided last fall by the Library of Parliament reveal that murder weapons were recovered in less than a third of the homicides with firearms. About three-quarters of the identified weapons were unregistered. Of the weapons that were registered, about half were registered to someone other than the person accused of the homicide.

In only 62 cases — that is, nine per year, or about 1 percent of all homicides in Canada — was the gun registered to the accused. Even in these cases, the registry did not appear to have played an important role in finding the killer. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Chiefs of Police have not yet provided a single example in which tracing was of more than peripheral importance in solving a case.

Note that the Canadian data provided above cover all guns, including handguns. It isn’t just the long-gun registry — there is also no evidence that Canada’s handgun registry, started in 1934, has ever been important in solving a single homicide.

Micro-stamping involves putting unique codes on a bullet. The most commonly discussed method is to have a special etching that is on the tip of a firing pin, the piece of metal that strikes a bullet and sets off the explosion, that will leave a mark on the bullet casing. The notion then is that if the casing is left a crime scene, the bullet can be traced back to the owner of the gun. The problem is that firing pins can easily be replaced or altered.

As to restrictions on the private transfers of guns, the most common type of regulation involves background checks. Yet, whether one is talking about the Brady Act or the so-called gun show loophole, economists and criminologists who have looked at this simply don’t find evidence that such regulations reduce crime and may even increase it. Indeed, as the surges in murder rates after gun bans in the US and around the world show, such regulations don’t stop criminals from getting guns. A huge percentage of violent crime in the US is drug gang related, and just as those gangs can bring in the illegal drugs, they can bring in the weapons that they use to protect that valuable property.

The treaty will give Americans yet another insight into the types of gun control laws that President Obama really supports. The good news is that the US Senate will almost certainly prevent him from getting the treaty adopted here. Most rest of the world won’t be so lucky.

A sneaky way to control guns: UN treaty could curtail our rights

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Original Story Via:  / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Gun-control advocates and the Obama administration are rushing to complete negotiations in New York on a proposed international agreement called the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.

They hope to finish the drafting within weeks, perhaps having a document ready for signature so that President Obama could press a lame-duck Senate to ratify it after our Nov. 6 elections.

Because these UNATT negotiations had long escaped serious media attention, many Americans are only now learning about their disturbing direction.

Gun-control groups, frustrated by years of failing to impose harsh measures on American firearms owners, have pursued a covert strategy. Instead of constant defeats in Congress and local legislatures, they instead shifted their attention to the international realm, hoping to achieve by indirection what they had consistently failed to do at home.

Ostensibly, UNATT is about regulating government-to-government arms transfers or direct sales by manufacturers to foreign governments. But the hidden agenda of the gun controllers is to craft treaty language that, while seemingly innocuous, has long-range implications for the use and ownership of guns here in America.

The real danger lies in vague, ambiguous stipulations gun-control advocates could later cite as requiring further domestic restraints. In other words, they hope to use restrictions on international gun sales to control gun sales at home.

Indeed, the theme underlying the negotiations is that the private ownership of guns is inherently dangerous.

There is, of course, little doubt why dictatorships and authoritarian regimes don’t want their oppressed citizens to have weapons — but such positions do not merit American support.

There are compelling arguments for closely monitoring foreign sales of truly military weapons such as machine guns, crew-served mortars and shoulder-fired missiles. Keeping such arms out of the hands of rogue states and terrorists is, beyond dispute, in our national interest.

But the United States already has a strong regulatory regime under the Arms Export Control Act to license the export of American-made weapons.

Extensive controls surround the ultimate purchasers and the uses to which the weapons are put.

We can be justifiably proud of our regulatory system. Unfortunately, however, there is little or no evidence the proposed UNATT will have any material effect on illicit international trafficking of weapons.

Many other nations, such as Russia, are much less scrupulous than we are. And countries that are unwilling or unable to police their own domestic manufacturers are not likely to change merely by signing yet another international agreement.

Moreover, there is a world of difference between weapons for military campaigns and those used for recreation and hunting. The U.S. has a long history of respecting the individual ownership of firearms. It is against this legitimate tradition of private ownership that gun-control advocates are exerting their efforts.

Their strategy surfaced most clearly in 2001 at a UN conference aiming to restrict international sales of “small arms and light weapons,” a precursor to the current negotiations. I was part of the Bush administration’s diplomacy to block this effort, which we ultimately succeeded in doing.

During the 2001 debate, I spoke at the UN General Assembly in New York, and the reaction to my remarks revealed the gun-controllers’ hidden agenda.

I said merely that the United States would not agree to any proposed treaty that would violate our Second Amendment freedoms. From the gun-control lobby’s reaction, you would have thought I said something outrageous or even dangerous. In truth, they knew we had uncovered their agenda and spiked it.

Indeed, during the Bush administration’s remaining years, despite occasional flareups of activity, the gun controllers laid low, waiting for their opportunity.

They may have waited too long, because their current frantic efforts betray their fear that Obama could lose in November, replaced by a pro-Second Amendment Romney administration. Significantly, a bipartisan letter signed by 58 senators has already rejected any treaty that seeks, however cleverly, to impose gun-control obligations on the U.S.

The gun-control crowd’s strategy of trying to do through treaties what it cannot accomplish in America’s domestic political process is not unique to that issue.

We have seen and will undoubtedly see many more examples of frustrated statists, unable to prevail in free and open debate, seeking to take their issues global, hoping to find more sympathetic audiences.

Stopping UNATT will be one clear way to send a message that such strategies are doomed to failure.

Bolton was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush.

American Legion Calls for Rejection of Arms Trade Treaty

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Original Story Via: MarketWatch

INDIANAPOLIS, Jul 10, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Calling a proposed United Nations Arms Trade Treaty a “potential threat to our Constitutional rights,” the head of the nation’s largest organization of wartime veterans said the White House and the U.S. Senate should reject any proposal that usurps the sovereignty of the American people.

“Since the American Revolution, America’s veterans have defended the U.S. Constitution,” said American Legion National Commander Fang A. Wong. “Many died. Many bled. The American Legion has always opposed usurpation of U.S. sovereignty by an international body. We opposed the International Criminal Court on the grounds that it left U.S. service members vulnerable to charges of alleged war crimes. We opposed the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) because it created a precedent for future share-the-wealth schemes. We opposed U.S. troops being placed under the command of U.N. forces. And any Arms Trade Treaty that not only threatens the Second Amendment rights that are enshrined in our Constitution, but also represents the growing movement to place an international entity above our governing and founding document will be opposed. While we understand the effort to combat the international trade in arms that make possible human rights violations and genocide, the drafters should be cognizant that the United States views its Constitution, including the Second Amendment, as preeminent.”

The American Legion has been a staunch defender of the U.S. Constitution since the organization was founded in 1919. It has repeatedly passed national resolutions reaffirming support for the Second Amendment and other constitutional rights. At its 1996 national convention in Salt Lake City, American Legion delegates unanimously passed a resolution reaffirming that “the efforts of government should be directed to the enforcement of existing laws rather than banning the possession of firearms by the millions of our citizens who desire them for traditionally legitimate purposes…”

The American Legion was founded on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 14,000 posts across the nation.

SOURCE: The American Legion

From whom are ATT proponents getting their talking points?

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Original Story Via:  Dave Workman, Seattle Gun Rights Examiner

Two opinion pieces by retired U.S. military personnel published on the same day in two different publications – both supporting the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty – bear strikingly similar comments, leading Gun Rights Examiner to question who provided talking points to a retired Navy rear admiral and retired Army major general.

These Op-Ed pieces appeared Thursday in Newsday and The Hill, at the same time that Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Bellevue-based Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, was blitzing the Internet to urge gun owners to oppose the treaty, and contact their two U.S. Senators. Gottlieb will be at the U.N. during the fateful week when negotiations on this treaty are to be wrapped up.

Gottlieb was instrumental in the creation of the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR).

Retired military offices have just as much right to support or oppose an issue as any other American citizen. They just shouldn’t say it from what appears to have been the same script.

Rear Admiral (Ret.) Stuart F. Platt, joined by Galen Carey, vice president of government relations for the National Association of Evangelicals, had this to say in their July 12 Op-Ed that appeared in Newsday:

There’s less oversight on sales of grenade launchers in international markets than of iPods or bananas. Yes, you read that right: We have strict international rules and regulations on selling fruit and MP3 players, but no unifying international laws governing the sale of weapons…

“… While the United States maintains some of the strictest regulations on the import and export of tanks, guns, missiles, ammunition and other arms, many countries have little to no regulation at all. This patchwork system makes it all too easy for traffickers to sell powerful weapons and ammunition to terrorists and warlords that they can then use against our troops and innocent civilians.’

Compare those remarks to what appeared under the byline of Major General Roger R. Blunt (Ret.) in Thursday’s edition of The Hill:

We have international agreements regulating the cross-border sale of iPods and bananas, but we have no global treaties governing the international sale of weapons. The ATT would fix that by becoming the first-ever treaty governing the international trade of conventional weapons.

“The United States has some of the strictest regulations when it comes to the import and export of tanks, attack helicopters, guns, grenades and ammunition, but many countries — especially in the developing world — have little to no regulation. This patchwork system of national laws rewards bad actors by making it easy for them to exploit loopholes. These loopholes are used to arm the terrorists and insurgents killing our troops and warlords who are responsible for untold suffering throughout the developing world.’

A remarkable coincidence of commentary?

One would hardly question the patriotism of men who devoted their lives to the defense of this country. However, the issue at hand isn’t patriotism, but United States constitutional sovereignty. In this case, the Second Amendment-protected individual right to keep and bear arms is allegedly at risk, according to CCRKBA and other gun rights organizations, including the National Rifle Association.

NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre spoke at the U.N. this week, as reported by this column, and CCRKBA was involved in crafting House and Senate legislation to prevent a global gun control treaty from affecting the Second Amendment.

Today’s exercise is about the First Amendment, which gun rights advocates also hold dear, along with the other amendments that delineate individual rights in the Bill of Rights. This column has no dispute with Maj. Gen. Blunt, Rear Admiral Platt or Mr. Carey about exercising their right to free speech.

It’s just curious how they managed to say it so similarly on the same day in two different publications.

The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty and the Second Amendment

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Original Story Via:  Foundry.org

By Ted R. Bromund, Ph.D.

For much of the past two weeks, I’ve been attending the U.N.’s Arms Trade Treaty conference in New York and blogging on the craziness of Turtle Bay. A number of comments on my blogs—and many external commentators—have raised the question of whether the ATT is, pure and simple, a “gun grab” treaty.

Let’s start with three basic points:

  1. No external power, and certainly not the U.N., can disarm U.S. citizens or deprive us of our Second Amendment rights by force. If there is a Second Amendment problem, it comes from the actions of U.S. authorities.
  2. The U.N. and many of its member states are hostile to the private ownership of firearms.
  3. The U.S. is exceptional: It is one of the few nations that has a constitutional provision akin to the Second Amendment.

Thus, the default U.N. tendency—partly out of malevolence, partly out of ignorance—is to act in ways contrary to the Second Amendment, and the fundamental job of the U.S. at the U.N. is to try to stop bad things from happening. The alternative of completely quitting the entire U.N. is appealing but unwise, because the U.N. would keep doing things that would affect the U.S. even if we were not in it.

The U.N. is aware of the political dangers of appearing to stomp openly on the Second Amendment. It uses code words; it runs closed meetings—a veteran of the process tells me that meetings were normally open until the National Rifle Association began showing up at them—and, above all, it plays a long game. A big problem with talking about the ATT as a “gun grab” treaty is that the U.N. works by taking slices: when it comes to the U.N., being outraged by one development is no substitute for focusing on how the slices pile up over time.

I don’t give much too much credit to the U.S. for stating as a red line that it will uphold the Second Amendment, because that raises the question of what relevant activities are (as the State Department puts it in its red line) “permitted by law or protected by the U.S. Constitution.” Simply backing the Second Amendment is good, but it is better to spell out—as Senator Jerry Moran (R–KS) did at Heritage recently—exactly what rights and activities you believe the Second Amendment protects. Only in that way does a promise to uphold the Second Amendment carry the full weight that it deserves.

So what are the domestic concerns posed by the ATT? Four are important.

  1. Transfer requirements. First, there are specific textual requirements. The most recent draft text states, for example, that the ATT will apply to “all international transfers of conventional arms” but then goes on to define “international transfers” as “the transfer of title or control over the conventional arms.”

Does this mean that any transfers, including domestic ones, count as international and are thus subject to the treaty’s provisions? There are similar concerns related to the potential reporting requirements of the treaty and thus to the possible creation of a U.N.-based gun registry. If it is to be true to its published red lines, the U.S. cannot accept any of this.

  1. International business. Second, most major U.S. arms manufacturers have an international financing, insurance, and parts and components chain. The ATT could become a means for foreign countries to pressure U.S. firms to exit the market, reducing the ability of Americans to make effective use of their firearms rights.
  2. Further review of the rules. This is not the end of the process. The ATT will be elaborated at review conferences, where the U.S. goal is to develop “best practices” for its implementation. Similarly, if President Obama were to sign the ATT but not submit it to the Senate for ratification, the U.S. would hold itself obligated to “refrain from acts which would defeat the object and purpose” of the ATT.
  3. Constitutional interpretation. Finally, the ATT is part of a process that will inspire judges and legal theorists who believe that the Constitution needs to be reinterpreted in light of transnational norms. This is the most important problem of all, though it is broader than the ATT.

Just because the ATT is not a “gun grab” treaty does not mean it raises no domestic concerns: “Gun grabs” are less plausible than “death by a thousand cuts.” On the other hand, the ATT should raise concerns beyond the Second Amendment. Representative Mike Kelly (R–PA) recently led 130 of his colleagues in expressing a range of concerns about the ATT to the Administration.

It makes sense to balance legitimate expressions of concern for the Second Amendment with concerns on economic, foreign policy, and national security grounds. There’s enough to dislike about the ATT to keep everyone busy.

SAAMI official statement at UN ATT negotiations

Friday, July 13th, 2012

SAAMI – the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute – delivered the following official statement at the UN Arms Trade Treaty negotiations.

Click here for the official copy via SAAMI

UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty

New York, 11 July 2012

Statement by Richard Patterson, Managing Director

Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute, Inc.

Thank you, Mr. President. My name is Richard Patterson and I’m the Managing Director of the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute, also known as SAAMI. SAAMI was created in 1926 at the request of the US government to create safety and reliability standards in the design, manufacture, transportation, storage and use of firearms, ammunition and components.

The true success of this conference requires a focus on the big picture. Guns are tools, and like any tool can be used for great good and great harm. We all know the tragedy caused by those few who choose the path of violence, regardless of the tools they use. But you must also remember that hundreds of millions of citizens regularly use firearms for the greater good. Regulated hunting keeps wildlife populations in balance with healthy ecosystems and is a major contributor to economic stability—and thereby promotes peace—in rural areas and developing countries. Target shooting has its roots in the very beginnings of civilization. This is an Olympic year, and shooting events attract the third largest number of participating nations of any sport at the Olympic Games. And people in every nation in this room—including the UN itself—use firearms to protect the law abiding and enforce peace. A well-meaning treaty that does not support the positive use of firearms is doomed to cause more harm than good. A simple step in the right direction is to focus on the fully automatic weapons of war and exclude sporting firearms.

There are some who want to see the inclusion of small arms ammunition in this treaty. As the UN’s Group of Government Experts has determined, the shear numbers involved in ammunition—the US alone produces more than 8 billion rounds of ammunition per year and there are potentially hundreds of billions of rounds in stockpiles around the world—prevent any sort of realistic marking and tracing scheme. But even if the treaty includes a general requirement for shipments, what will that do? The US has some great legal and technical points supporting their position, but let me focus for a minute on the practical side of the equation. Millions of dollars would be spent creating and implementing an export and import authorization process for ammunition. Even more money must be spent for a system of verification. As an example, let’s say a shipment of 1 ton of small arms ammunition goes through this bureaucratic process and is approved. An expensive follow-up system results in a trained inspector showing up at the intended point of delivery. The inspector sees there is far less than 1 ton of ammunition and says “Where’s the rest of the shipment?”

And the answer is “we shot it.”

Now what does the inspector do? Millions of dollars would have been wasted—diverted into a system that cannot work. This money could otherwise have been used to fight those who choose violence.

Just as you cannot be all things to all people, this treaty can’t either. Focus on the real problems, that can be managed—focus on military weapons, and avoid being distracted by topics like ammunition, which are laudable in their idealism, but completely lacking in their practicality. Be focused, be specific, and draft a treaty with precise definitions that minimize the loopholes of “creative interpretation.” This is the path to a successful Arms Trade Treaty.

Thank you.

VIDEO: NFA’s Sheldon Clare on the UN ATT

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Original Story Via:  Sun News Canada

Global Gun Grab: Sheldon Clare from the Canadian National Firearms Association (NFA) talks about the UN’s infatuation with getting it wrong when it comes to guns.

For more information on IAPCAR member NFA visit http://www.nfa.ca/

[kml_flashembed publishmethod=”static” fversion=”8.0.0″ movie=”untitled.swf” width=”400″ height=”300″ targetclass=”flashmovie”] [/kml_flashembed]

 

Canada’s National Firearms Association Statement to UN on ATT

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Click here to read document: NFA UN Presentation on ATT July 2012

More information about IAPCAR member NFA of Canada is available at http://www.nfa.ca/

STATEMENT TO UNITED NATIONS ON ATT

Mr. President, I am Sheldon Clare, President of Canada’s National Firearms Association.  Our members are collectors of everything from cartridges to fully automatic firearms; they’re sports shooters and Olympic competitors, wholesalers and retailers, re-enactors, members of the movie industry, hunters, people who hand load ammunition, and those who own firearms for defence.  Our members are concerned that UN attempts to regulate trade in arms are misdirected and will have an unfair and unreasonable effect upon the ability of free people to have access to firearms and ammunition for perfectly legitimate purposes. It is a false premise that civilian access to small arms is the problem.

Canada’s National Firearms Association (NFA) recommends that controls on small arms and light weapons be limited solely to major weapon systems possessed or sold by nation states – not firearms owned or desired to be owned by civilians, also called non-state actors. The rights and property of Canadians, and our firearms businesses engaged in the lawful trade in firearms and ammunition, including surplus firearms and ammunition, must not be subject to UN edict or control.  Quite simply, these are matters of national sovereignty, civil freedoms and property rights, and are related to national culture.  Also, marking and accounting for ammunition would be exceptionally onerous and expensive for manufacturers and firearm owners alike. Control of ammunition would be unreasonable, unnecessary, and impossible.

The proposed Implementation Support Unit (ISU) could potentially serve as a form of promotional and enforcement agency for the ATT and thus interfere with national sovereignty over laws affecting firearms ownership and use. It could be used to operate a form of international registration system. Funds given to this body and other initiatives such as the Victims Assistance Fund could be directed to terrorist states. Supporting these potentially huge and inappropriate expenses is not in the best interests of Canadians.

Reducing arms in civilian hands can significantly limit the ability of people to defend themselves. This is especially important in the event of unrest and disorder, or in case of state-mandated crimes against humanity. Civilian ownership of arms is an important factor in preventing and limiting the effect of events such as what occurred in Sebrinica and Rwanda. While governments need to act against terrorism, perhaps better ways to deal with unrest would be to address the economic situations, political differences, and human rights issues that contribute to people agitating for change.

A global ATT would only be in the interests of those who would seek economic advantage by limiting market opportunity and of regimes who would use such a treaty to disarm their citizens in order to rule through fear.   Thank you for your consideration Mr. President.

 

The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty: Are Our 2nd Amendment Rights Part Of The Deal?

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Original Story Via:  Forbes.com

By Larry Bell

One year ago I wrote an article titled “U.N. Agreement Should Have All Gun Owners Up In Arms” which has recently gained a great deal of renewed public interest. This update reviews some more recent developments, offering additional perspective about an immediate matter which should be of great concern to all who value rights guaranteed by our Second Amendment.

The Obama administration is actively engaged in negotiations to finalize details for a new global agreement premised to fight “terrorism”, “insurgency” and “international crime syndicates”. As U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon describes its purpose, “Our goal is clear: a robust and legally binding Arms Trade Treaty that will have a real impact on the lives of those millions of people suffering from consequences of armed conflict, repression and armed violence…It is ambitious, but it is achievable.”

Under the George W. Bush administration, the U.S. originally voted against a resolution that began the process in 2006. However, the current administration reversed that policy, and strongly supports its enactment. In January 2010, U.S. representatives joined with those of 152 other countries in endorsing a U.N. Arms Treaty Resolution to draft a blueprint for enactment in 2012. This activity is planned to be completed by July 27, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has pledged to push hard for Senate ratification. Previously led by the United Kingdom, there can be no doubt that the U.N.’s 193-member General Assembly will approve it.

Foreign ministers of the U.K., France, Germany and Sweden want the treaty to cover all types of conventional weapons, notably including small arms and light weapons, all types of munitions, and related technologies. They also advocate that it include strong provisions governing human rights, international humanitarian law and sustainable development. (More about sustainable development later.)

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Internal Security and Nonproliferation, Thomas Countryman, has stated that the Obama administration does not support regulation of ammunition, but only wants to make it more difficult to “conduct illicit, illegal and destabilizing transfers of arms”. In addition, a press release issued by the U.N. Office for Disarmament Affairs says that “The outcome will not seek to prohibit citizens of any country from possessing firearms or to interfere with the legal trade in small arms and light weapons.”

Such statements have many very strong skeptics, both inside and outside Congress. One reason, among many, is that Iran, a country that is one of the world’s worst human rights violators, yet often chaired the U.N. Human Rights Council…yes Iran, arms supplier to many of America’s most determined adversaries… was selected for a top Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) planning conference position. The members, apparently including U.S. representatives, authorized this selection shortly after the same U.N. found the very same Iran guilty of transferring guns and bombs to the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad who is presently slaughtering thousands of its own citizens. Meanwhile, the U.N., America included, purporting to be distraught about illicit, illegal and destabilizing transfers of arms, watches in the wings as these tragedies unfold. Of course, they’re very busy. Those arms control planning conferences require a lot of attention.

On June 29, 130 Republican House members sent a letter to President Obama and Secretary Clinton arguing that the proposed treaty infringes on the “fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms”. The letter charges that “…the U.N.’s actions to date indicate that the ATT is likely to pose significant threats to our national security, foreign policy, and economic interests as well as our constitutional rights.” The lawmakers adamantly insist that the U.S. Government has no right to support a treaty that violates the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Democrats have accused Republicans of making this a political issue, maintaining that the treaty poses no Second Amendment threat. Others, such as former U.N. ambassador John Bolton, caution gun owners to take this initiative seriously. He believes that the U.N. “is trying to act as though this is really just a treaty about international arms trade between nation states, but there is no doubt that the real agenda here is domestic firearms control.”

So let’s review some recent history and see if gun owners and other Second Amendment defenders might have very good reasons to take issue with this treaty. Actually, we don’t have to look back very far at all.

Consider the Fast and Furious debacle, an operation that was represented to be all about targeting bad guys who are committing violent crimes on both sides of our border with Mexico. There can be no remaining doubt that the program was really aimed at border gun shops and their right to conduct legal civilian firearms sales.

And after the 2010 Republican House cleaning dashed President Obama’s dream of a carbon cap-and-trade program, he wasted no time finding a way to circumvent that pesky obstacle. His EPA is gleefully pursuing that same anti-fossil energy agenda. Meanwhile, Congress sits idly by and allows this breach of its constitutional responsibility established by separation of powers to continue.

Then there’s the currently proposed, Obama-endorsed, Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) which would subordinate U.S. naval and drilling operations beyond 200 miles of our coast to a newly established U.N. bureaucracy. If ratified by Congress, it will grant a Kingston, Jamaica-based International Seabed Authority (ISA) the power to regulate deep-sea oil exploration, seabed mining, and fishing rights. As part of the deal, as much as 7% of U.S. government revenue collected from oil and gas companies operating off our coast will be forked over to ISA for redistribution to poorer, landlocked countries.

The U.S. would have one vote out of 160 regarding where the money would go, and be obligated to hand over offshore drilling technology to any nation that wants it… for free. And who are those lucky international recipients? They will most likely include such undemocratic, despotic and brutal governments as Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Sudan and Zimbabwe…all current voting members of LOST.

Both President Bill Clinton and George W. Bush supported the treaty during their tenures, yet they never sent it to the Senate for ratification because of opposition over concerns that it will limit commerce and allow international bodies to wield control over U.S. interests. During W’s term of office, then-Senator Joe Biden introduced LOST before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee he chaired in 2007, yet it was never brought to the floor for a vote.

Steven Groves, an international law fellow at the Heritage Foundation, believes that opposition from Republican members of Congress who have objected to LOST reflects a legitimate deep-seated distrust of the United Nations and other international bodies, observing: “This seems to me a bit of a Trojan Horse for the ability of one country to affect another country’s environmental policy. That’s generally something we do not like as conservatives and Americans.”

Given good prospects that the White House and Senate may have fewer Democrat residents after November, Senator Kerry and other proponents have been working hard to speed up the approval process before moving vans arrive.

But, like LOST, the Arms Trade Treaty can’t be enacted unless Congress ratifies it. Right? And, of course, they would never approve any global agreement that will infringe upon our constitutional Second Amendment protections. Right? Well, let’s assume for argument’s sake that they won’t. But now consider another possibility, something called a “soft law”.

Remember that sustainable development agenda mentioned earlier that the European foreign ministers want to incorporate into the treaty provisions? Originally intended to be implemented in connection with a U.N. treaty, an “Agenda 21” plan was enacted as a soft law in 1993 creating a nongovernmental organization, the “International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives” (ICLEI), by Executive Order after the Clinton administration was unsuccessful in getting Congress to ratify the program. They wouldn’t approve the treaty because it would transfer massive regulatory control over broad aspects of U.S. energy production and consumption. In 2003 the NGO’s name was changed to “ICLEI- Local Governments for Sustainability” to emphasize “local” and diminish concerns about “international” influence and associations with U.N. political and financial ties. ICLEI’s are now active in most of our counties On its web page, “ICLEI: Connecting Leaders”, the organization explains that their networking strategy connects cities and local governments to the United Nations and other international bodies.

Agenda 21 envisions a global scheme for healthcare, education, nutrition, agriculture, labor, production, and consumption. A summary version titled AGENDA 21: The Earth Summit Strategy to Save Our Planet (Earthpress, 1993), calls for “…a profound reorientation of all human society, unlike anything the world has ever experienced—a major shift in the priorities of both governments and individuals and an unprecedented redeployment of human and financial resources.” The report emphasizes that “This shift will demand a concern for the environmental consequences of every human action be integrated into individual and collective decision-making at every level.”

ICLEI’s web page states that its Local Agenda 21 [LA21] Model Communities Programme is “designed to aid local governments in implementing Chapter 28 of Agenda 21, the global action plan for sustainable development.” As Gary Lawrence, a planner for the city of Seattle and an advisor to the Clinton-Gore administration’s Council on Sustainable Development and to U.S. AID commented at a 1998 U.N. Environmental Development Forum in London titled “The Future of Local Agenda 21 in the New Millennium”, “In some cases, LA21 is seen as an attack on the power of the nation-state.” He went on to say, “Participating in a U.N. advocated planning process will very likely bring out many…who would work to defeat any elected official…undertaking Local Agenda 21 …So we will call our process something else, such as comprehensive planning, growth management or smart growth.”

And so they have. “Comprehensive planning”, “growth management” and “smart growth” (which is Agenda 21 with a new name). All mean pretty much the same thing… centralized control over virtually every aspect of urban life: energy and water use, housing stock and allocation, population levels, public health and dietary regimens, resources and recycling, “social justice” and education.

So this time the U.N.-sponsored ATT initiative, whether enacted by Congress or through a soft law Executive Order, can be expected to receive an appealing identity as well. Most likely it will purport to protect us from “terrorism”, “insurgency” and/or “international crime syndicates”. Perhaps, without saying so, it will be pitched to protect us even from ourselves.

Don’t forget that an Illinois senator named Barack Obama was an aggressive advocate for expanding gun control laws, and even voted against legislation giving gun owners an affirmative defense when they use firearms to defend themselves and their families against home invaders and burglars. That was after he served on a 10-member board of directors of the radically activist anti-gun Joyce Foundation in Chicago which contributed large grants to anti-Second Amendment organizations.

But then, as a former lecturer in constitutional law, wouldn’t he certainly realize that the U.N.’s gun- grab agenda violates our sovereign rights? Perhaps the answer to that question warrants some serious reflection!

UN arms treaty could put U.S. gun owners in foreign sights, say critics

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Original Story Via: FoxNews.com

UNITED NATIONS –  A treaty being hammered out this month at the United Nations — with Iran playing a key role — could expose the records of America’s gun owners to foreign governments — and, critics warn, eventually put the Second Amendment on global trial.

International talks in New York are going on throughout July on the final wording of the so-called Arms Trade Treaty, which supporters such as Amnesty International USA say would rein in unregulated weapons that kill an estimated 1,500 people daily around the world. But critics, including the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre, warn the treaty would mark a major step toward the eventual erosion of the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment gun-ownership rights.

Americans “just don’t want the UN to be acting as a global nanny with a global permission slip stating whether they can own a gun or not,” LaPierre said. “It cheapens our rights as American citizens, and weakens our sovereignty,” he warned in an exclusive interview with FoxNews.com from the halls of the UN negotiating chambers.

The world body has already been criticized for appointing Iran to a key role in the talks, even as Tehran stands accused by the UN of arming Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s bloody crackdown on rebels. The Obama administration in 2009 reversed Bush administration policy by agreeing to take part in the talks. But in another exclusive interview with FoxNews.com, the top government official on the issue under President Bush says he’s seen nothing new to convince him the U.S. should be at the table today.

While the treaty’s details are still under discussion, the document could straitjacket U.S. foreign policy to the point where Washington could be restricted from helping arm friends such as Taiwan and Israel, said Greg Suchan, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs from 2000 to 2007.

Suchan also highlighted ongoing concern that the treaty may end up giving foreigners access to U.S. gun-ownership records.

On that score, LaPierre, who serves as NRA executive vice president, warns that the “UN’s refusal” to remove civilian firearms and ammunition from the scope of the treaty amounts to a declaration that only governments should be gun owners.

But he revealed he was set Wednesday to tell the UN gathering that 58 U.S. senators had signed a letter saying that they would refuse to ratify any treaty that includes controls over civilian guns or ammunition.

Ratification by two-thirds of the Senate is necessary before an international treaty negotiated by the executive branch can become U.S. law. But the treaty could still go into effect elsewhere once 65 countries ratify it. Such a development could change the pattern of world arms transfers and reduce the U.S. share, which stands at about 40 percent of up to $60 billion in global deals.

The Bush administration opposed a 2006 UN General Assembly resolution launching the treaty process, but President Obama decided the U.S. would take part on condition the final agreement be reached by consensus — thereby giving any of the 193 participating states an effective veto.

The safeguard is insufficient for opponents of the U.S. participation, not least because UN talks invariably involve compromise.

“The administration swears they have a whole bunch of red lines, and they will block consensus if anyone crosses them,” said Suchan, now a government relations consultant as senior associate with the Commonwealth Consulting Corporation in Arlington, Va.

“But the dynamics of international negotiations are that once you get 90 percent of what you seek, you say, ‘Maybe there is a way we can finesse the final 10 percent.’”

A clause permitting arms transfers solely between UN member states would allow UN member China to object to U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, a non-UN member that China considers to be a renegade province.

This would be highly problematic for the U.S. at a time when Beijing is engaged in an unprecedented arms buildup.

Another fear is that Arab or other states critical of Israel may use any treaty language on human rights standards to argue against U.S. arms transfers to the Israeli government – much in the same way they currently use the UN Human Rights Council to repeatedly condemn Israel.

Suchan said U.S. arms trade law is seen as the global “gold standard” for regulating arms transfers, but doubted many countries would be willing to raise the bar that high. Instead, the treaty that emerges is expected to set a lower global standard – which Suchan said would have the effect of reducing Washington’s ability to press for voluntary arms embargoes against rogue states.

“We might want to urge a country to not sell arms to a state whose government is particularly odious,” Suchan explained.

“But that government could then ask whether the sale is prohibited under the Arms Trade Treaty – and if it is not, they would argue they are meeting the international standard.”

U.S. gun lobby concern focuses on the emphasis the treaty places on governmental – as opposed to individual – rights to guns, LaPierre explained.

“They’re trying to impose a UN policy that gives guns to the governments – but the UN doesn’t in turn make moral judgments as to whether these governments are good or bad,” he said.

“If you’re the government, you get the guns, if you’re a civilian, you don’t. But this will just end up helping evil governments and tyrants.”

For LaPierre, the emphasis he sees at the UN on governmental rights reflects what he believes is a wider international tradition that contrasts with the historical American emphasis on individual rights.

“The UN view is that governments – not individual citizens – ought to protect people,” he said, signaling that this principle permeates the draft that negotiators are currently working with.

LaPierre says the treaty that is likely to emerge will have the effect of squeezing individual gun owners in the United States and elsewhere by imposing on them an onerous collection of regulations.

“If they get this through, then what comes along is the institutionalizing of the whole gun control-ban movement within the bureaucracy of UN – with a permanent funding mechanism that we [in America] will be mainly paying for,” he said.

“The world’s worst human rights abusers will end up voting for this, while the Obama administration has not drawn a line in the sand like the previous administration did. Instead, it is trying to be a part of this train wreck because they think they can somehow finesse it. But, to me, there is no finessing the individual freedoms of American citizens.”

Steven Edwards is a UN-based freelance journalist

AUDIO: Panel on UN Arms Treaty, IAPCAR

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Original Story Via:  TheGunMag.com

Last year the Gun Rights Policy Conference in Chicago held a panel discussion on how to fight international limitations on civilian arms rights.

The topics ranged from legal actions in other countries, the actual actions at the UN, and the formation of the new international gun rights group IAPCAR.

The Gun Rights Policy Conference scheduled for September 28th 29th and 30th in Orlando Florida is currently accepting registration at http://saf.org/default.asp?p=GRPC

 

UN ATT Chairman’s Paper

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Their official UN ATT proposal: Chair Paper 3 July 2012

Proposal does include civilian firearms and ammunition, not limited to tanks, missiles, bombs, jets, and helicopters.

More info available at the UN’s Arms Trade Treaty Website: http://www.un.org/disarmament/ATT/

 

In case you missed it: Dishonest Humanitarianism

Monday, July 9th, 2012

In case you missed it, the article Jeff Moran of TSM Worldwide published on TheGunMag.com and IAPCAR.org was featured in an AmmoLand.com blog article.

Linked: AmmoLand.com

IAPCAR WELCOMES PHILIPPINES GUN RIGHTS ORGANIZATION

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Original Story Via:  TheGunMag.com

The A2S5 Coalition of the Philippines is the latest organization to join forces with the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR), raising their international membership to 23 member organizations in 15 different nations around the globe.

With member groups on every continent, IAPCAR executive director Philip Watson has been more than pleased with the positive response the group has received.

“With nine new member groups all from different countries since last fall, IAPCAR’s steady growth has been a welcome sign among those that love freedom and a warning to those that do not.” Watson also noted, “It proves that people in all corners of the globe believe in the right of personal security and the defense of one’s home and family. The human right of self-defense is a value we share across all international borders, regardless of race, nationality, or ethnic origin.”

“This is a significant development for us,” said Mike Melchor, the A2S5 Coalition’s director for strategic plans.

Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, who was instrumental in creating IAPCAR, was very happy to have A2S5 as IAPCAR’s newest affiliate in the Philippines.

“We are very excited to welcome our friends from the Philippines,” he observed. “Gun owners in the Philippines are currently faced with increasing regulatory actions on civilian ownership of firearms. We can be helpful to each other in our movement to protect firearms rights in our home countries and around the world.”

The Arms Trade Treaty is currently under negotiation at the United Nations and set to be signed the last week of July, placing many arms rights groups at odds with global gun control advocates. “IAPCAR strongly opposes any UN treaty infringing on national sovereignty or individual gun rights,” noted Julianne Versnel, director of operations at the Second Amendment Foundation, the second influential gun rights group instrumental in forming IAPCAR.

The International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (http://iapcar.com/) is the only worldwide political action group focusing on the human right to keep and bear arms. Founded in 2010, IAPCAR has grown to 23 major gun-rights organizations and conducts campaigns designed to inform the public and promote the right of self-defense and gun-ownership.

A2S5 Coalition – Philippines

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Disarmed America: Tying UN treaty to DC’s 2A resistance

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Original Story Via:  – Seattle Gun Rights Examiner

The same political mindset that is pushing the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) talks this month is also at work keeping residents of Washington, D.C. from exercising their Second Amendment rights, and one might suggest that Bellevue’s Alan Gottlieb is strongly linked to both quagmires.

As this column has noted, Gottlieb has been actively battling the ATT through his international activities related to the formation of IAPCAR (the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights) and his participation in the World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities (WFSA).

And, though not identified by name, the handiwork of the Gottlieb-led Second Amendment Foundation was alluded to by the Washington Times Thursday in a piece about resistance to federal concealed carry reciprocity is stymied over amendments that would allow firearms carrying in the District of Columbia. The newspaper discussed the resistance to District carry by noting, “Currently, the District and Illinois stand alone in banning the bearing of arms outright. This could be legally problematic. A federal court recently ruled in the Woollard case that Maryland’s carry laws were too strict, and the state appealed the ruling.”

The Woollard case was a SAF effort. Why there is some mental block in the mainstream press toward reporting SAF court activities is a mystery. In much of the reportage dealing with the 2010 McDonald v. City of Chicago victory, SAF was also not mentioned. Instead, reporters frequently alluded to it as “a victory for the gun lobby” or “a victory for gun rights advocates.”

In Washington, D.C. the political climate is definitely overcast by anti-gun paranoia and elitism. The Washington Times piece quoted Phil Mendelson, chairman of the D.C. city council, who stated, “I do think carrying has severe implications for the nation’s capital. “We’re different from Maryland because we have motorcades, the president around town, members of Congress going to the supermarket unescorted.”

Imagine that. Members of Congress going to the supermarket unescorted. Millions of law-abiding, tax-paying citizens do that every day, and they manage to get back home in one piece, even though millions of their fellow citizens are legally carrying — unobtrusively in their presence, one might add.

The same mindset that wants to keep District residents disarmed wants to plant the seeds for global civilian disarmament with the ATT. As a story carried by CNS News Thursday explained, there are grave concerns about the ATT and what it could ultimately mean to Second Amendment sovereignty. President Obama may glibly dismiss such concerns in his strutting, hip upscale down-his-nose public speaking style, but this is the same guy who reversed long-standing U.S. policy on global gun control by embracing the ATT back in 2009 after the Bush administration previously stood firm in singular opposition.

He’s also the same guy who said Obamacare is not a tax, but Chief Justice John Roberts certainly corrected him on that one.

Gottlieb’s Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms had a hand in creating legislation in the House and Senate that would derail ATT threats to the Second Amendment, as this column noted. There is considerable Capitol Hill concern about the ATT, especially in the wake of the Obamacare surprise, that it was constitutional after all…because it is a tax.

Bureaucrats and politicians who seek to disarm people, whether through local resistance to gun rights expansion in this country, or promotion of broad international treaties that are prone to misuse and abuse, are misguided at best. Public disarmament has never had a good outcome for the public.

Such disarmament comes in many forms, typically by increments and by the time the damage is done, how it got started is less important than how it can be reversed. In this country we’ve had help from the courts, with cases pushed by SAF and others, but an international treaty will be beyond the power of U.S. courts, and that might just be what global gun control proponents are counting on.

Palestinian status snit delays UN ATT talks

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Original Story Via Dave Workman, Gun Rights Examiner

American gun rights advocates might thank the Palestinians and their supporters for delaying, until Tuesday afternoon, anyway, the start of the long-awaited Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) negotiations at the United Nations, although it leaves two key players from Washington State in a bit of a lurch.

Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Bellevue-based Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and his wife, Julianne, have been key players in organizing the opposition to the ATT. Both are planning to be at the U.N. sometime during the negotiation process. It is widely known that CCRKBA staff had a role in crafting legislation sponsored by Congressman Joe Walsh (R-IL) and Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) that would protect the Second Amendment from any such international treaty.

The session is now scheduled to begin at noon Pacific Time. It is not clear when representatives from Non-Government Organizations (NGO) will get to speak. Not only will the Gottliebs be attending at some point, so also is Wayne LaPierre from the National Rifle Association.

What has become clear lately is that despite the eagerness of many U.N. members to adopt some sort of treaty, there is opposition from powerful corners, including China and Russia.

The United States under Barack Obama reversed position a couple of years ago, and now officially supports a treaty, but that does not mean the document has a chance of getting through the Senate ratification process. If there is any question about Unites States constitutional sovereignty, the ATT is probably a non-starter.

Alan Gottlieb has been working to counter international gun control efforts for several years. He was a key player in the formation of IAPCAR, the International Association for Protection of Civilian Arms Rights. Both Gottliebs have been back and forth to Europe several times, participating in the World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities.

The irony about Obama’s support for the treaty should not be lost on gun owners following the Fast and Furious debacle. While the current administration wants to clamp down on global gun trafficking, it continues withholding documents key to the investigation of that scandal by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

While President Obama will apparently sign the treaty – which proponents want to be legally binding – his own attorney general stands in contempt of Congress.

Wednesday is Independence Day, but there could be fireworks of the political variety starting Tuesday afternoon, and continuing through the month.

Obama Contributor, Who Helped Enact Assault-Weapons Ban, Ran ‘Fast and Furious’

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Original Story Via:  CNS News | Fred Lucas

Dennis K. Burke, who as a lawyer for the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee in the 1990s was a key player behind the enactment of the 1994 assault-weapons ban, and who then went on to become Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano’s chief of staff, and a contributor to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential primary campaign, and then a member of Obama’s transition team focusing on border-enforcement issues, ended up in the Obama administration as the U.S. attorney in Arizona responsible for overseeing Operation Fast and Furious.

When Obama nominated Burke to be U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, Burke told the Arizona Capitol Times he believed he understood what the president and his attorney general wanted him to do.

“There’s clearly been direction provided already by President Obama and Attorney General Holder as to what they want to be doing, and this is an office that is at the center of the issues of border enforcement,” said Burke.

Over the course of several days, CNSNews.com left multiple telephone messages with Burke for comment on this story. He did not respond.

Dennis K. Burke has had a long career working as an aide and political appointee to Democratic elected officials. From 1989 to 1994, he was a counsel for the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, working in that capacity for several years on an assault-weapons ban, which was finally enacted on Sept. 13, 1994 as the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. That act expired on Sept. 13, 2004. (See NYT: Dennis Burke, Sen. DeConcini, Weapons Ban.pdf)

From 1994-95, Burke served in the Clinton Justice Department in the Office of Legislative Affairs, and in 1997-99, he was an assistant U.S. attorney in Arizona.

From 1999 to 2003, Burke was chief deputy and special assistant to Arizona Attorney General Janet Napolitano.

In 2003, when Napolitano became governor, Burke became her chief of staff. He stayed in that job until the fall of 2008, when he left to help Democratic political campaigns, including then-Sen. Obama’s presidential campaign.

Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show that on Jan. 9, 2008, while working as Gov. Napolitano’s chief of staff, Burke contributed $2,000 to then-Sen Obama’s presidential primary campaign. Since 1997, according to FEC records, Burke has contributed a total of $16,350 to various Democratic candidates.

After Obama was elected in November 2008, Burke joined his presidential transition team, serving on the Immigration Policy Working Group.

Eight days before Obama’s inauguration, on Jan. 12, 2009–while Burke was working on the transition team–Obama met with Mexican President Felipe Calderon at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, D.C. At that meeting, Obama “pledged” to take action to stop the flow of guns from the United States to Mexico.

Obama also decided to put Burke’s old boss, incoming Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, in a leadership role in making the gun-trafficking problem a top priority.

“President-elect Obama expressed support for efforts in the border states in both the United States and Mexico to eradicate drug-related violence and stop the flow of guns and cash,” incoming White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement at the time. “He told President Calderón that he intends to ask the Secretary of Homeland Security to lead an effort to increase information sharing to strengthen those efforts. He pledged to take more effective action from the United States to stem the flow of arms from the United States to Mexico.”

When Napolitano became Homeland Security secretary, Burke moved from the Obama transition team to become her senior adviser. On Feb. 25, 2009, a little more than a month after Obama had made his “pledge” to Calderon, Napolitano testified in the House Homeland Security Committee. She stressed that stopping the flow of guns to Mexico was a top priority of the Obama administration and key focus of her work.

Responding to a question about violence on the border, Napolitano said the administration was going to work with the Mexican government on the issue. Then she said: “Secondly, it is looking at, government-wide, at what we can do to stop the southbound export of weaponry, particularly assault-type weapons and grenades that are being used in that drug war.”

Napolitano further noted that drug cartels were targeting Mexican government officials and law enforcement officers, and that, given the seriousness of the threat, Obama’s national security adviser, the attorney general, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Customs (of which the Border Patrol is part) would all be working on the issue.

“I’ve met with the attorney general of Mexico and the ambassador already,” said Napolitano during the February 2009 hearing. “One of the things that I particularly am focused on is southbound traffic in guns, particularly assault weapons, and cash that are being used to funnel and fund these very, very violent cartels.”

The same day Napolitano testified in the Homeland Security Committee, Attorney General Holder addressed the issue of drug-trafficking-related gun violence in northern Mexico. He said he had had conversations about the issue with the Mexican attorney general and that the Obama administration believed that re-instating the assault-weapons ban in the United States–the one Dennis Burke had initially helped push through as Senate aide in 1990s–would help the situation in Mexico.

“Well, as President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons,” Holder said. “I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a minimum.”

Four-and-a-half months later, on July 10, 2009, Obama nominated Burke to be the U.S. attorney in Arizona. The Senate confirmed Burke on Sept. 15 of that year.

It was in July 2010, after his nomination as U.S. attorney, that Burke told the Arizona Capitol Times that he had “been working on homeland security and border enforcement issues” during the transition, and that there had “clearly been direction provided already by President Obama and Attorney General Holder as to what they want to be doing.”

“What I hope to do, if confirmed by the Senate,” Burke told the paper, “is to ensure that those plans and strategies are being implemented and we’re moving quickly on prosecutions.”

After the nomination, former Sen. Dennis DeConcini (D-Ariz.) had high praise for Burke’s work in getting the assault weapons ban through Congress back in the 1990s.

“We ended up getting senators who had never voted for a gun bill, like Lloyd Benson of Texas and Sam Nunn of Georgia and Al D’Amato of New York, who were friends of mine that I worked real hard,” DeConcini told the Arizona Capitol Times. “But Dennis worked the staff. He was responsive to them and several of the senators mentioned to me what a great staffer you’ve got there, and I said, ‘Boy, you’re telling me.’”

The Arizona Republic has reported that “DeConcini said Burke fostered the measure in concert with a key figure in the White House, policy analyst Rahm Emanuel, who years later would become chief of staff for President Obama. … ‘Dennis was the one who worked with everyone on the Judiciary Committee to line up these members and votes,’ DeConcini said. ‘Dennis had all these pictures of these guns–the Streetsweepers and the AK-47s. And it passed by one vote. A lot of it was not my eloquence on the bill, it was stuff that Dennis had done.’”

Six weeks after Burke was confirmed, on Oct. 26, 2009, Eric Holder named him to the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC) of U.S. Attorneys. In his capacity as an adviser to Holder, Burke chaired the AGAC subcommittee on border and immigration law enforcement while Operation Fast and Furious was happening.

The same month that Burke joined Holder’s advisory committee with a specific responsibility to report to Deputy Attorney General David Ogden on border and immigration enforcement, Ogden’s office made a significant change in the federal government’s strategy for dealing with gun-trafficking on the Mexican border.

“This new strategy directed federal law enforcement to shift its focus away from seizing firearms from criminals as soon as possible, and to focus instead on identifying members of trafficking networks,” House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa wrote in a May 3 memo to other members of his committee, summarizing what the committee had learned about Fast and Furious.

“The Office of the Deputy Attorney General shared this strategy with the heads of many Department components, including ATF,” said Issa.

The next month, November 2009, the ATF in Arizona moved forward with the new strategy by creating Operation Fast and Furious.

“Members of the ATF Phoenix Field Division, led by Special Agent in Charge Bill Newell, became familiar with this new strategy and used it in creating Fast and Furious,” Issa wrote in his May 3 memo. “In mid-November 2009, just weeks after the strategy was issued, Fast and Furious began. Its objective was to establish a nexus between straw purchasers of firearms in the United States and Mexican drug-trafficking organizations (DTOs) operating on both sides of the United States-Mexico border.”

“Straw purchasers,” Issa explained, “are individuals who are legally entitled to purchase firearms for themselves, but who unlawfully purchase weapons with the intent to transfer them to someone else, in this case DTOs or other criminals.”

Remarkably, under Operation Fast and Furious, the ATF deliberately allowed guns to move south across the U.S.-Mexico border and into the hands of the drug cartels. Weapons were allowed to be sold to straw purchasers with the intent of tracing the guns to the cartels.

“During Fast and Furious, ATF agents used an investigative technique known as ‘gunwalking’–that is, allowing illegally purchased weapons to be transferred to third parties without attempting to disrupt or deter the illegal activity,” Issa wrote in the May 3 memo. “ATF agents abandoned surveillance on known straw purchasers after they illegally purchased weapons that ATF agents knew were destined for Mexican drug cartels.”

The purpose of the operation was to trace the guns recovered from crimes scenes “to their original straw purchaser, in an attempt to establish a connection between that individual and the DTO.”

The ATF Phoenix Field Division applied to Justice Department headquarters to become an “Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force” (OCDETF) case. In preparing their application in early January 2009, the ATF in Phoenix wrote a memo explaining the investigative technique of Fast and Furious.

The application for Fast and Furious was approved and, in January 2010, as Issa stated in his memo, it “became a prosecutor-led OCDETF Strike Force case, meaning that ATF would join with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service, and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement under the leadership of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona.”

In other words, it was under the leadership of Dennis Burke.

“Although ATF was the lead law enforcement agency for Fast and Furious, its agents took direction from prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” Issa says in his May 3 memo. “The lead federal prosecutor for Fast and Furious was Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley, who played an integral role in the day-to-day, tactical management of the case.”

Issa states in his memo that Burke’s U.S. attorney’s office made it more difficult for ATF agents to interdict guns.

“Many ATF agents working on Operation Fast and Furious came to believe that some of the most basic law enforcement techniques used to interdict weapons required the explicit approval of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and specifically from Hurley,” Issa wrote. “On numerous occasions, Hurley and other federal prosecutors withheld this approval, to the mounting frustration of ATF agents. The U.S. Attorney’s Office chose not to use other available investigative tools common in gun trafficking cases, such as civil forfeitures and seizure warrants, during the seminal periods of Fast and Furious.”

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office advised ATF that agents needed to meet unnecessarily strict evidentiary standards in order to speak with suspects, temporarily detain them, or interdict weapons,” Issa said. “ATF’s reliance on this advice from the U.S. Attorney’s Office during Fast and Furious resulted in many lost opportunities to interdict weapons.”

A report on Fast and Furious released by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Democrats in January 2012, indicates that on Jan. 5, 2010, officials from the ATF Phoenix office met with Assistant U.S. Attorney Hurley and determined that the gun-trafficking investigation should continue because it wasn’t ready for prosecution. The Democrat report quotes a briefing paper prepared by the ATF three days after the meeting–which would be Jan. 8, 2010–that says U.S. Attorney Burke was briefed on the matter and agreed that the investigation should continue.

“Investigative and prosecutions strategies were discussed and a determination was made that there was minimal evidence at this time to support any type of prosecution,” said the ATF briefing paper, “therefore, additional firearms purchases should be monitored and additional evidence continued to be gathered. This investigation was briefed to United States Attorney Dennis Burke, who concurs with the assessment of his line prosecutors and fully supports the continuation of this investigation.”

Eight days after this briefing paper was produced, on Jan. 16, 2010, straw buyers bought three assault-weapon rifles, two of which would figure prominently in the unraveling of the program. They were the weapons that would later be found at the scene of the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

On. Nov. 24, 2010, just a few weeks before Terry was murdered, Burke–who had begun his career in public service working to enact an assault-weapons ban–had an email exchange with another U.S. attorney about an investigation he was working on that involved “straw purchasing of assault weapons.”

“What a great investigation. What is the ETI (estimated time of indictment!)” U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan for the Western District of Washington said to Burke in an email.

Burke responded, “Would love to chat. We are about to indict around [REDACTED] clowns for a Gun Trafficking to Mexico operation. It’s a T-III investigation that we have been working w/ATF for a long time and IRS is all over some money laundering charges. It’s going to bring a lot of attention to straw purchasing of assault weapons. Some of the weapons bought by these clowns in Arizona have been directly traced to murders of elected officials in Mexico by the Cartels, so Katie-bar-the-door when we unveil this baby.”

The e-mail exchange, with the subject line “Gun Shows,” did not specifically mention Operation Fast and Furious.

Operation Fast and Furious was halted after Dec. 14, 2010 after two of the guns that a straw buyer had been allowed to purchase during the operation ended up at the murder scene of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. Fast and Furious later became the subject of a congressional investigation, and an investigation by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General.

On Dec. 14, the same day of Terry’s murder, Burke sent an email replying to an e-mail from Monty Wilkinson, Attorney General Holder’s deputy chief of staff. In this email, Burke said his office had a large firearms trafficking case that he wanted to discuss. In a follow up e-mail the next day–Dec. 15, 2010–Burke alerted Wilkinson that Agent Terry had been murdered. Wilkinson responded, “Tragic, I’ve alerted the AG, the Acting DAG, Lisa, etc.”

The exchanges between Burke and Holder’s deputy chief of staff at the time of Agent Terry’s murder are reported in the report published by the committee Democrats.

“Several hours later on December 15, 2010, U.S. Attorney Burke learned that Agent Terry had been murdered,” says the Democratic report. “He alerted Mr. Wilkinson, who replied, ‘Tragic, I’ve alerted the AG, the Acting DAG, Lisa, etc.'”

“Later that same day, U.S. Attorney Burke learned that two firearms found at Agent Terry’s murder scene had been purchased by a suspect in Operation Fast and Furious,” says the Democratic report. “He sent an email to Mr. Wilkinson forwarding this information and wrote: ‘The guns found in the desert near the murder [sic] BP officer connect back to the investigation we were going to talk about—they were AK-47’s purchased at a Phoenix gun store.’ Mr. Wilkinson replied, ‘I’ll call tomorrow.’

Despite this email from Wilkinson, Burke told the committee he did not recall actually having such a phone conversation, and the Department of Justice told the committee that Wilksonson does not recall making the call. Also Attorney General Holder himself testified that his deputy chief of staff never told him about the tie between the gun-trafficking investigation and Agent Terry’s murder.

“In his interview with Committee staff, U.S. Attorney Burke stated that he did not recall having any subsequent conversation with Mr. Wilkinson that ‘included the fact that Fast and Furious guns were found at the scene’ of Agent Terry’s murder,” the Democrat report said.

“In a November 2011 hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Charles Grassley asked Attorney General Holder, ‘Did Mr. Wilkinson say anything to you about the connection between Agent Terry’s death and the ATF operation?'”

The Democratic report says: “Attorney General Holder responded, ‘No, he did not.” In a January 27, 2011, letter to the Committee, the Department stated that Mr. Wilkinson ‘does not recall a follow-up call with Burke or discussing this aspect of the matter with the Attorney General.'”

Brian Terry’s murder caused an apparent change of plans for the Justice Department.

“Washington-based Justice Department officials had earlier discussed bringing Attorney General Eric Holder to Phoenix for a triumphant press conference with Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke to herald the conclusion of the Department’s flagship firearms trafficking case,” said a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee memo from May 3, 2012. “In the aftermath of Agent Terry’s death, the task of announcing indictments at a press conference fell to ATF Phoenix Division Special Agent in Charge William Newell and Burke. Holder did not attend.

“At the press conference on January 25, 2011, Newell triumphantly announced the indictment of 20 members of an arms trafficking syndicate that had been supplying weapons to the Sinaloa Cartel, Mexico’s largest and most powerful cartel led by the notorious Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman,” the May 3 memo said.

When Newell was asked if ATF agents purposefully allowed weapons to enter Mexico, he responded, “Hell no.”

Two days after the press conference, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote then-Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson about reports from whistleblowers regarding gunwalking and Agent Terry’s death.

Allegations of gunwalking “are based on categorical falsehoods,” Burke said in a Jan. 31, 2011 e-mail to Jason Weinstein, the deputy assistant attorney general for the criminal division.

Days later, on Feb. 4, 2011, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich responded to Grassley denying that the Justice Department “sanctioned” the sale of guns to people they believed were going to deliver them to Mexican drug cartels.

As the scandal began to build by that summer, Brian Terry’s mother–Josephine Terry–testified at the hearing of the House Oversight Committee. The mother of the slain Border Patrol agent told the committee that Burke informed the family of the agent’s death, but did not provide details about Operation Fast and Furious.

“He was just trying to explain to us exactly what happened and–roundabout way–we really never got anything out of the visit that he did have,” Josephine Terry told the committee on June 15, 2011. Asked how she found out about Fast and Furious, she responded, “Most of it I heard is from the media. We haven’t really got anything direct–phone calls or nothing from anybody.”

At the same hearing, Weich, who wrote the Feb. 4, 2011 letter to Grassley, told the committee, “Everything that we say is true to the best of our knowledge at the time we say it. As more facts come out, obviously our understanding of the situation is enhanced.”

On June 29, 2011, a reporter asked the Oversight Committee about leaked documents related to whistleblower ATF Agent John Dodson.

“Congressional investigators later determined that the individual who was behind the leaked documents was the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, Dennis Burke–the Obama Administration political appointee who led the office in charge of Operation Fast and Furious,” said Issa’s May 3 Oversight Committee memo.

“Burke later testified that the reporter contacted him, and that he believed the reporter had already seen the documents or had them read to him from someone else in the Department of Justice. Instead of e-mailing the documents to the reporter in Washington, Burke, who was in Arizona at the time, e-mailed them to a friend of his in Washington, who then printed out the documents and then delivered them to the reporter personally,” Issa said in his May 3 memo. “These efforts successfully kept Burke’s fingerprints off of the leak until he publicly admitted his role more than two months after his August 2011 resignation as blame for Fast and Furious spread.”

On Aug. 18, 2011, House Oversight Committee staff interviewed Burke. They asked him: “To your knowledge as the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, did the highest levels of the Department of Justice authorize [the] non-interdiction of weapons, cutting off of surveillance, as an investigative tactic in Operation Fast and Furious?”

Burke responded, “I have no knowledge of that.”

The committee also asked, “Did you ever authorize those tactics?”

Burke answered, “No.”

During that same Aug. 18, 2011 interview, the committee staff asked Burke: “And did anyone ever—from the Department of Justice, Main Justice I will call it–ever tell you that you were authorized to allow weapons to cross the border when you otherwise would have had a legal authority to seize or interdict them because they were a suspected straw purchase or it was suspected that they were being trafficked in a firearms scheme?”

Burke answered, “I have no recollection of ever being told that.”

Twelve days after this interview, on Aug. 30, 2011, Burke resigned as U.S. attorney. Burke’s assistant U.S. attorney, Emory Hurley, the lead prosecutor in Operation Fast and Furious, also resigned, as did ATF Director Melson.

During an Oct. 19, 2011 hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Charles Grassley asked Burke’s old boss, Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano, “Have you had any communications with Mr. Burke about Operation Fast and Furious?”

Napolitano said, “No.”

Grassley followed up: “So you then obviously didn’t talk to him, anything about Agent Terry’s death?”

Napolitano said that after Agent Terry was killed, “I went to Arizona a few days thereafter to meet with the FBI agents and the assistant U.S. attorneys who were actually going to look for the shooters. At that time, nobody had done the forensics on the guns and ‘Fast and Furious’ was not mentioned. But I wanted to be sure that those responsible for his death were brought to justice, and that every DOJ resource was being brought to bear on that topic. So I did have conversations in–it would have been December of ’09 [actually 2010]–about the murder of Agent Terry. But at that point in time, there, nobody knew about Fast and Furious.”

It was not until Dec. 2, 2011 that the Justice Department withdrew its Feb. 4, 2011 letter from Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich to Grassley in which DOJ had denied that gun-walking had occurred.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has subpoenaed about 100,000 documents from the Department of Justice. The department has produced about 7,600 documents. The committee believes that is insufficient.

Last week, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted on a resolution of contempt against Attorney General Holder for withholding documents that the committee has subpoenaed.

Just hours before the vote, on June 20, Deputy Attorney General James Cole notified the committee that President Barack Obama was invoking executive privilege to deny the committee access to the documents.

On June 28, the full House of Representatives voted, 256-67, with 17 Democrats joining the Republican majority, to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to release the documents requested by the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. should be posted on the walls of every Post Office in the land. Most wanted criminals of all time.

UN ATT UPDATE: ATT Stalls on Palestinian Issue, US Lawmakers saying “NO” to ATT

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

ATT Stalls

A dispute over the status of the Palestinian delegation delayed the official start of negotiations, which are now set to begin in New York on Tuesday. Some countries have called for a quick agreement; however, others have major reservations about the ATT.

US Lawmakers Saying “NO” to ATT

More than 130 Congressmen, signed a letter sent to President Barack Obama Monday expressing their opposition to a U.N. Arms Trade Treaty if it violates U.S. gun owner rights and sovereignty in any way.

Click here to view the letter.

 

 

‘CONTEMPT VOTE AGAINST HOLDER NECESSARY FOR JUSTICE,’ SAYS CCRKBA

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Original Story Via:  TheGunMag.com

The historic 255-67 vote by the House of Representatives to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to provide documents relating to the investigation of Operation Fast and Furious was “necessary for justice to be served,” the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said.

Holder repeatedly did not comply with a subpoena issued last October by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Instead, he successfully appealed to President Barack Obama to claim executive privilege at the last minute in an attempt to shield the documents from Congressional review.

“As the highest ranking law enforcement officer in the nation, the attorney general is not above the law,” CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb declared. “It should not have come to this. Eric Holder should have complied with the subpoena. If he had cooperated fully with the Fast and Furious investigation from the outset, none of this would have been necessary and he knows it.

“The only conceivable reason that Holder and the Obama administration do not want to turn these documents over,” he said, “is that they contain damning evidence of either incompetence or complicity, or both.

“We are disappointed, but not surprised,” Gottlieb continued, “that Holder’s Democrat cheerleaders tried to portray this as a witch hunt, and tried to blame the Bush administration, but their arguments do not wash. This is about the rule of law and finding the truth about a horribly mis-managed gun trafficking operation, the murder of an American Border Patrol agent and what appears to have been a cover-up by the Department of Justice.”

CCRKBA had urged gun owners to contact their congressional representatives in support of the contempt vote.

“We are proud,” Gottlieb noted, “of the 17 Democrats who joined the Republican majority on this vote. This was not about partisanship, but accountability and transparency. Fast and Furious has a body count, and so long as people provide cover to the attorney general, the blood is on their hands.”

With more than 650,000 members and supporters nationwide, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is one of the nation’s premier gun rights organizations. As a non-profit organization, the Citizens Committee is dedicated to preserving firearms freedoms through active lobbying of elected officials and facilitating grass-roots organization of gun rights activists in local communities throughout the United States. The Citizens Committee can be reached by phone at (425) 454-4911, on the Internet at www.ccrkba.org or by email to InformationRequest@ccrkba.org.

Lone Star Shooting Association – USA

Monday, June 25th, 2012

VIDEO: Alan Gottlieb of IAPCAR Speaks out Against New Italian Gun Law

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Alan Gottlieb, Vice President of the Second Amendment Foundation and co-founder of IAPCAR issues a message:  IACAR and FISAT stand strongly in opposition against law 79/2012 in Italy.

VIDEO: Misfiring on Gun Safety (CANADA)

Monday, June 25th, 2012

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Jerry Agar looks at why criminals will continue breaking laws, so increased gun regulations are not the answer.

UN Arms Trade Treaty – Targeting U.S. Guns as a Cure-All for Global Violence?

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Original Story VIA:  AMMO LAND

New York, NY –-(Ammoland.com)- In a matter of days, officials and activists will descend upon the U.N. in NYC to create a finished version of an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

The stated goal of an ATT has always been to reduce weapons-related violence by controlling the global trade in arms.

The Treaty will never accomplish that laudable goal. It will succeed only in strengthening the power of thieves and tyrants.

Proponents of the ATT will likely accept any treaty at all —weak or strong— in order to have something for President Obama to sign. Obama’s signature is their goal, and they will beg, intimidate and lie shamelessly in order to set to paper an ATT prior to his departure from office, and obtain that essential scrawl.

As it now stands, in order for an ATT to be accepted, there is a requirement for unanimous agreement for the Treaty’s provisions, which was the only way to get States to agree to enter into negotiations. Therefore, the primary goal of the weapons-prohibitionists is to change the meaning of the word “consensus.”

A February 2012 ControlArms briefing paper urged participating States to “Define consensus in line with most common U.N. practice in a way that does not give every country veto power, but rather only requires ‘wide agreement’ on the final treaty text.”

Don’t Forget the Ammo
But since they may not be able to change the meaning at this late date, the weapons-prohibitionists have kept up a barrage of propaganda intended to get their demands heard and enacted. For example, they have been attempting to get ammunition covered by the Treaty in order to eliminate the crucial component of small arms.

  • In 2011, Hilde Wallacher an anti-gun researcher, whose focus is on the international arms trade, complained: “attempting to exclude any type of small arms ammunition will cause significant loopholes to the treaty, and leave it significantly weakened in its ability to prevent arms transfers that risks contributing to human rights violations or other humanitarian problems.”
  • A May 2012 Oxfam paper stated the obvious: “Guns are useless without bullets….”
  • And a UNIDIR (United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research) paper commented that “while some states may have legitimate concerns about including ammunition in an ATT, ultimately there is no compelling reason for its exclusion.”

However, there is no point of including ammunition in an ATT, since about 50% of the world’s countries produce arms and ammunition, and can supply themselves regardless of any global restrictions.

What such an inclusion of ammunition into the treaty will do is mandate laws for the use of special markers known as “taggants.”  These taggants are added to the round’s powder, and they are used to identify the place of manufacture, just like a serial number. The use of such taggants will increase the price of ammunition, and will increase the difficulty of lawful acquisition of ammunition and components by civilians. But an even greater issue with these are the danger of creating ammunition with both too much or too little powder, as the taggants will change the powder weight and volume density, thus greatly affecting the quality of the ammunition and its accuracy. And this leads to possibilities of all kinds of personal injuries or even deaths—to the shooter and innocent bystanders if the barrel should blow up because the pressure of a round is higher than a firearm can withstand, and to the intended target (e.g. rapist or other violent perpetrator) by impairing the accuracy of the firearm, and where that bullet will end up.

Guns Impeding Economic Development
Lately, we’ve been hearing of a push to incorporate the concept of “development” into the Treaty. For example, a UNIDIR paper stated: “An ATT with strong criteria will help establish the necessary security conditions for economic and social development to flourish, while helping to stem the flow of arms that has prevented such progress in the past.”

This recent “concern—impeded development by the mere presence of firearms— is an indication of the degree of frustration felt by proponents of a strong Treaty. Since they are unable to control tyrants directly, they need to blame weapons for the lack of social and economic development seen in many countries. Yet despite years of futile attempts to control weapons and weapons-related violence, they have failed. So they changed strategy to push for a global, legally binding treaty that —they hope— will finally lead to some relief from the ills of the world.

What they will discover, instead, is that a treaty attempting to control weapons will never control tyrants or violence, or lead to productive human development.

However, this factoid —that the presence of arms impedes development— was put to rest in a paper published in a 2005 issue of Engage, by David B. Kopel, Paul Gallant & Joanne D. Eisen, entitled “Does the Right to Arms Impede or Promote Economic Development?”

The paper’s authors show how and why a corrupt dictatorial government is a much better explanation for the failure of development than the presence of weapons:

At the simplest level, there is an obvious connection between SALW and underdevelopment: SALW are among the weapons used in war. Although wartime can be a period of economic development in countries which are producing goods for the war…it is rare for countries where combat is taking place to advance economically during the fighting….Blaming SALW for development failure serves several political purposes.

The rhetoric attempts to enlist the development community in the arms prohibition movement, and even to divert development funds into arms confiscation projects….We suggest instead that corrupt and dictatorial government is a better explanation of underdevelopment….The 2004 annual report of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) highlights the manmade tragedy of underdevelopment: “Chronic hunger plagues 852 million people worldwide…Hunger and malnutrition cause tremendous human suffering, kill more than five million children every year, and cost developing countries billions of dollars in lost productivity and national income”….The governments which keep their victim populations hungry and diseased are the true obstacles to development.

Empowering victim populations is an essential precondition to development, and disarming victim populations, leaving them helpless against tyrants, simply makes things worse.

Doomed To Fail, Just Not In The USA
It should be obvious by now that an ATT is doomed to fail, because the only States which will abide by its terms are those States which are law-abiding in the first place. Those States governed by dictators and human rights abusers may sign onto an Arms Trade Treaty, but are not likely to obey its terms, placing the U.S. in a much more vulnerable position than before the Treaty was enacted.

Ted Bromund, Senior Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, and an expert on ATT affairs, summed it up when he cautioned in his June 4, 2012 issue brief, “The Risks the Arms Trade Treaty Poses to the Sovereignty of the United States”:

All treaties impose limits on U.S. freedom of action….But the ATT will effectively bind only the democracies that accept it. The failure of other states to live up to their commitments under the ATT will not cause its restrictions on the U.S. to lapse. In a world of states that do not respect human rights, a universal treaty based on the vague and wide-ranging human rights criteria that the ATT will seek to apply to arms transfers will always apply with more force to the law-abiding [e.g. the U.S.] than it does to the lawless. It will always be used by the naïve and the evil to apply the powerful weapon of shame against those with a deeply ingrained respect for the rule of law.

About the authors:
Dr. Paul Gallant and Dr. Joanne D. Eisen practice optometry and dentistry, respectively, on Long Island, NY, and have collaborated on firearm politics for the past 20 years. They have also collaborated with David B. Kopel since 2000, and are Senior Fellows at the Independence Institute, where Kopel is Research Director. Most recently, Gallant and Eisen have also written with Alan J. Chwick. Sherry Gallant has been instrumental in the editing of virtually all of the authors’ writings, and is immensely knowledgeable in the area of firearm politics; she actively co-authored this article. Almost all of the co-authored writings of Gallant, Eisen, Kopel and Chwick can be found at http://gallanteisen.incnf.org, which contains more detailed information about their biographies and writing, and contains hyperlinks to many of their articles. Their recent series focusing on the Arms Trade Treaty can be found primarily at http://gwg.incnf.org . Respective E-Mail addresses are:

PaulGallant2A@verizon.net, JoanneDEisen@cs.com,  AJChwick@iNCNF.org, Sherry.Gallant@gmail.com

Read more at Ammoland.com: http://www.ammoland.com/2012/06/25/un-arms-trade-treaty-targeting-u-s-guns/#ixzz1yprUdnuJ

The push for micro-stamping is really a push for national gun registration

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Original Story VIA:  The Daily Caller

By AWR Hawkins, Ph.D.

Like a storm that returns stronger each time, efforts to push micro-stamping regulations onto gun-owning Americas are here again. And this time around, The New York Times is pushing it, Time magazine is pushing it and other outlets of the same political persuasion are doing their level best to show us how micro-stamping the firing pins in our firearms could reduce crime by miraculous levels overnight.

Of course, they don’t mention the gun registration, the new powers of gun taxation or the all-out gun bans associated with the scheme. Nor are they bothered with another major sticking point — micro-stamping doesn’t really work.

Micro-stamping is a way of imbedding a specific mark on the end of a firing pin so that when it strikes the primer of a bullet casing, it leaves a micro-stamp that allows police to trace spent shells back to the guns that fired them. In theory, it’s literally like putting a fingerprint on each shell casing fired. Yet ours is not a theoretical world, but a real one. And in the real world there are serious problems with this proposition.

Number one, the passage of micro-stamping legislation would require us not only to have a government-issued firing pin for each gun we own, but would also force us to list every gun we own with the government so bureaucrats can keep a list of which firing pin is in which weapon. Enter gun registration.

Number two, upon sending our weapons in or even taking them to a special, government-certified gunsmith for the micro-stamped firing pin to be added, we’d have to pay a per-gun fee. With a straight face, Time magazine contributor Adam Cohen predicts the cost for this would be between 50¢ and $6 a gun, while The New York Times pegs the cost at $12 a gun. But what both of these outlets fail to recognize is that a new “fee” to the government, regardless of how small, is nothing more than a new tax placed upon the people. Thus micro-stamping will lead to yet one more tax that gun owners must pay in order to exercise the right that “shall not be infringed.”

By the way, the National Shooting Sports Foundation has compiled data to show the cost for retrofitting a micro-stamped firing pin would be $200-plus for each gun. (Nothing is ever cheap when the government is involved.)

And what are we to do about revolvers which don’t leave shell casings behind to begin with? For instance, if someone commits a crime with a .38 Special revolver, how is a micro-stamp on the firing pin or hammer of the gun going to contribute to solving a crime?

Answer — it’s not.

So, to those who dreamed up micro-stamping to begin with, it will probably make sense to ban guns that can’t be traced via an imbedded mark on the firing pin or hammer. Seen in this light, micro-stamping opens the door for myriad guns bans and limitations.

Lastly, it’s important to note that micro-stamping doesn’t work, at least not all the time. There are proven problems with both the durability of the micro-stamps upon the firing pins and the legibility of the marks those firing pins leave on the primer of a bullet casing.

The bottom line: Micro-stamping is just another way for anti-gun bureaucrats to reach into our closets, guns safes and glove compartments to find our guns and register them, to tax us for owning them and to ban those that don’t fit their micro-stamping ideal.

The fact that the entire micro-stamping scheme has been flawed from the start will be no hindrance to these gun-grabbers once the legislative hurdle is cleared.

AWR Hawkins is a conservative columnist who has written extensively on political issues for HumanEvents.com, Pajamas Media, Townhall.com, and Andrew Breitbart’s BigPeace.com, BigHollywood.com, BigGovernment.com, and BigJournalism.com. He holds a Ph.D. in U.S. military history from Texas Tech University, and was a visiting fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal in the summer of 2010. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/06/22/the-push-for-micro-stamping-is-really-a-push-for-national-gun-registration/#ixzz1yYocfyk6

VIDEO: Senator Jerry Moran on the UN ATT

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

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The U.N. Speaks: The Arms Trade Treaty Will Affect “Legally Owned Weapons”

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Original Story VIA:  The Heritage Foundation

Ted R. Bromund, Ph.D.

Yesterday, the U.N. released its press kit for the July conference that will finalize the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The most interesting item in the kit is a lengthy paper by the U.N.’s Coordinating Action on Small Arms (CASA) program titled “The Impact of Poorly Regulated Arms Transfers on the Work of the UN.”

This paper perpetuates the belief, on which much of the ATT is based, that the big problem the world faces is a lack of agreed standards on arms transfers. That’s wrong: The big problem the world faces in this regard is that many U.N. member states are dictatorships, supporters of terrorists, or simply incapable of controlling their own borders.

But the paper makes it clear that the job of the U.N.—as the U.N. itself sees it—is to make the case for a very broad treaty. As CASA puts it, “Advocacy efforts should be developed…through relevant reports and op-eds, messages, and statements at relevant meetings and to the press.” So watch out for U.S. taxpayer-funded funded U.N. propaganda in a newspaper near you.

But in spite of its desperate efforts to rebut Second Amendment concerns, the U.N. can’t stop stepping on its own shoelaces. After proclaiming that the ATT “does not aim to impede or interfere with the lawful ownership and use of weapons,” the CASA paper goes on to say that “United Nations agencies have come across many situations in which various types of conventional weapons have been…misused by lawful owners” and that the “arms trade must therefore be regulated in ways that would…minimize the risk of misuse of legally owned weapons.”

How, exactly, would the ATT do that if it doesn’t “impede” or “interfere” with lawful ownership? The U.N. would have a lot more credibility on the ATT if it didn’t imply so regularly that the problem is as much lawful ownership as it is the international arms trade.

Of course, CASA isn’t just concerned with lawful ownership; it’s also campaigning against “community attitudes” that “contribute to the powerful cultural conditioning that equates masculinity with owning and using a gun, and regards gun misuse by men as acceptable.”

All this just goes to show that the U.N. regards gun ownership—even under national constitutional protection and for lawful activities—as a cultural failure that it needs to redress and that it has no patience at all with the idea that self-defense is an inherent right.

And that is exactly why the concerns that Senator Jerry Moran (R–KS) expressed at Heritage on Tuesday are so important—and why his criteria to ensure that the ATT does not infringe on Second Amendment rights are so valuable.

Analysis: House Vote on Holder Contempt Only Part of Dilemma

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Original Story VIA:  TheGunMag.com

The full House of Representatives may vote on whether to cite Attorney General Eric Holder for Contempt of Congress sometime during the final week of June, but now that President Barack Obama has asserted executive privilege over subpoenaed documents, it appears a confrontation is imminent between Congress and the White House.

Holder asked the president for executive privilege protection after he met with Congressman Darrell Issa and Senator Charles Grassley June 19.  Fireworks erupted when Holder, after suggesting he might provide some documents to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, instead only offered Issa and Grassley a briefing on what is in the documents in exchange for an end to the contempt proceeding. Both Issa and Grassley said that offer was a non-starter. They wanted the documents.

The president’s last-minute leap into the middle of the Operation Fast and Furious is seen by some observers as a well-timed strategic move to bog down the investigation – and prevent further revelations that may be embarrassing to the White House – until after the November election. Critics including Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Indiana Congressman Dan Burton have questioned what may be in the documents that President Obama doesn’t want the public to see.

After all, as noted by Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) during the heated committee debate, if there is nothing in those documents to link the White House directly to the scandal, then why claim privilege?

In an interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, Issa put it bluntly: “We were asked to take a pig in a poke…I think they knew we couldn’t accept that. Brian Terry’s family couldn’t accept that. The American people couldn’t accept that.”

Just 45 minutes before the Oversight Committee began debate on the contempt citation June 20, Issa received notification that the White House had invoked executive privilege on the subpoenaed documents. That announcement ignited a firestorm in the committee, and across the airwaves as debate erupted between Obama administration defenders and those demanding full disclosure on the gun walking operation.

Democrats seemed to quickly retreat to the “Bush did it” defense, noting that former President George W. Bush invoked executive privilege at least a half-dozen times during his administration. Republicans quickly dredged up an embarrassing video of then-Sen. Obama blasting Bush during a March 19, 2007 interview with CNN’s Larry King for claiming executive privilege.

“There’s been a tendency on the part of this administration,” Obama said at the time, “to try to hide behind executive privilege every time there’s something a little shaky taking place. The administration would be best served by coming clean on this.”

The Oversight Committee’s 23-17 vote was split rigidly along party lines, with Democrats circling the wagons around Holder and the president’s executive privilege claim.

Still, the documents remain out of reach for the committee, and that is troubling.

For 18 months since Grassley launched the initial Fast and Furious probe to find out how guns from Fast and Furious wound up at the murder scene of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, the White House had insisted it had no prior knowledge of Operation Fast and Furious, and did not approve it. By taking that position, the White House was able to keep some distance between the scandal and the Oval Office.

By raising the stakes with executive privilege, the president inserted himself right into the middle of the controversy. That surprised many people, because it elevated the dispute between Issa and Holder over the Fast and Furious documents to the highest level possible, and opened the door to speculation that there must be something in those documents that could cause considerable embarrassment to Holder, or even the president. But until the documents are actually read, nobody could know that for sure.

Gowdy, in an interview one day after the Oversight Committee vote, told Fox News that, “There’s something in those documents that the Department of Justice or the White House doesn’t want us to have.”

“I don’t know who they’re protecting or what they’re protecting,” Gowdy said.

He suggested that Obama and Holder might be trying to provide cover for Lanny Breuer, the assistant attorney general in charge of the department’s criminal division.

“His fingerprints are all over Fast and Furious,” Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, stated.

House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Kantor held out some hope that a crisis could be avoided if the attorney general provided an acceptable compromise prior to a contempt vote by the full House. However, the odds of a compromise get lower as the clock ticks down to the House vote.

CCRKBA SAYS OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ‘TRYING TO HIDE BLOOD ON HANDS’

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

BELLEVUE, WA – President Obama’s claim of executive privilege to prevent Congressional access to documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious smacks of monumental hypocrisy and looks like an attempt to cover blood on the administration’s hands, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

It did not prevent the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform from voting 23-17 to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.

In a March 2007 interview with Larry King on CNN, then-Senator Barack Obama complained about a ‘tendency’ on the part of the Bush administration to ‘hide behind executive privilege’,” CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb recalled. “Now we must find out what is in those documents that the White House wants to hide from the American public.”

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has been investigating Fast and Furious since March 2011. Guns linked to the operation are also linked to the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, and untold numbers of Mexican citizens.

“Today’s action by the White House creates the strong suspicion that the Obama administration is trying to hide from the fact that they have blood on their hands,” Gottlieb observed. “That’s not rhetoric; we’re talking about the deaths of countless Mexican citizens and especially a dead federal officer. Fast and Furious has given us a verifiable body count.

“There is evidence that those involved in Fast and Furious thought it could bolster calls for additional gun control,” Gottlieb said. “If that’s accurate, it demonstrates a callousness that goes beyond the limits of human decency. It is imperative that that the American public knows all the facts of this case prior to the election. The people responsible for this disaster must be held accountable, and that will not happen so long as the administration continues to stonewall, and hiding behind executive privilege suggests that Holder and the president have no intention of coming clean.”

With more than 650,000 members and supporters nationwide, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is one of the nation’s premier gun rights organizations. As a non-profit organization, the Citizens Committee is dedicated to preserving firearms freedoms through active lobbying of elected officials and facilitating grass-roots organization of gun rights activists in local communities throughout the United States. The Citizens Committee can be reached by phone at (425) 454-4911, on the Internet at www.ccrkba.org or by email to InformationRequest@ccrkba.org.

DISHONEST HUMANITARIANISM? The invalid assumptions behind the United Nations’ small arms control initiatives

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

DISHONEST HUMANITARIANISM? The invalid assumptions behind the United Nations’ small arms control initiative

By Jeff Moran

Next month diplomats from the world over will converge at the United Nations in New York to formally negotiate a legally binding Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). This is the culmination of over a decade of humanitarian advocacy and pre‐negotiations inside and outside the United Nations. It’s part of a larger global effort kick‐started in 2001 with the passage of a non‐legally binding resolution by the UN General Assembly. This resolution was called the “Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects” (PoA).(1) This led to the creation of many initiatives, the most visible and contentious of which has been the ATT.

The ATT process formally got underway with two subsequent UN resolutions lead by the United Kingdom and is still Chaired by Argentine Ambassador Roberto Moritán. In 2006, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 61/89 entitled “Towards an arms trade treaty: establishing common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms.”(2) This resolution enabled the UK and like‐minded countries to assemble experts to assess the feasibility of formally launching an ATT negotiation process. Then, in 2009, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 64/48, entitled “The Arms Trade Treaty,” which established a schedule for pre‐negotiation meetings (known as Preparatory Committees, or PrepComs) resulting in a final Diplomatic Conference in July 2012.(3)

The goal of the ATT is to “to elaborate a legally binding instrument on the highest possible common international standards for the transfer of conventional arms.”(4) The scope is likely to include everything from helicopters to hand grenades, from tanks to target pistols and ammunition. It is hoped by humanitarians that a legally binding UN ATT championed by like‐minded states could be shaped to complement the merely politically‐binding 2001 UN PoA.

While all this treaty advocacy was going on, many of the same actors adopted a more discreet approach to binding international law for small arms and ammunition. Rather than just pursue their ambitious goals through a treaty out in the open, they also quietly started developing small arms control standards and customs. An example of this is the UN CASA (Coordinating Action on Small Arms) project, which is overseen by the UN’s Office of Disarmament Affairs.(5) UN CASA is euphemistically described as the “small arms coordination mechanism within the UN” to “frame the small arms issue in all its aspects, making use of development, crime, terrorism, human rights, gender, youth, health and humanitarian insights.”(6) In practice this organization is like a lawmaking committee or agency, but not nearly as accountable.

In 2008, CASA launched what they themselves described as “an ambitious initiative to develop a set of International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS).”(7) UN CASA’s ISACS project includes eighteen mostly small and developing countries (none of them permanent security council members), fifteen international, regional and sub‐regional organizations, 33 humanitarian civil society groups, 23 other UN bodies, and just one Belgian firearms company, and one Italian national sporting arms and ammunition industry association.(8)

Ultimately, UN CASA’s ISACS initiative will eventually result in customary international law. Customary international law is the result of international administrative rule making which acquires the same weight as treaty law over time. States can be bound by customary international law regardless of whether the states have codified these laws domestically. Along with general principles of law and treaties, customary law is considered by the International Court of Justice, jurists, the United Nations, and its member states to be among the primary sources of international law.(9)

Truth be told, the UN’s PoA, the ATT, and CASA ISACS are predicated on false assumptions regarding small arms and ammunition. The two most important of which I will discuss here. Both of these assumptions are generally false in view of recent statistical studies and published scholarship.

The first assumption is that proliferation of small arms is a universal threat to human security, or, alternatively, that greater availability of small arms means more gun deaths in a given society. This is best quoted by the Geneva‐based Small Arms Survey (SAS), a special interest research group funded by various United Nations organizations, and other countries advocating stricter small arms controls.(10) The SAS officially states that the driving assumption behind all their research is the unqualified universal idea that “proliferation of small arms and light weapons represents a grave threat to human security.”(11) In fact, Nicholas Florquin, a senior researcher at SAS, started his talk during a two day seminar on Small Arms and Human Security in November 2011 with a stronger statement that, “proliferation of small arms causes problems” for humanity. (12)

Clearly, the small arms situation in some places may indeed be threatening to human security. But proliferation, i.e. the distribution of arms or expanding private ownership of arms, is not intrinsically a bad thing for everyone everywhere, especially in an ordered society. Proliferation, in fact, can be a force for good even in a disordered societal situation.

The American experience alone invalidates the global causative relationship between small arms proliferation and human insecurity. For example, trend data over the past nearly 20 years shows the US has been experiencing a phenomenal 35% decline in the number of gun deaths, even more in per‐capita terms.(13) This is part of a long term general trend in lower criminality. Over the same period firearms‐related suicides per 100,000 people declined by nearly 20%, the population grew over 20%, gun availability spiked (firearms sales boomed while statistically insignificant numbers of guns were bought back or otherwise destroyed), and, in 2011, indicators of national gun ownership rates increased to their highest level since 1993.(14,15) In other words, what we see in the US is the flipside of the assumption, that proliferation of small arms coincides with less gun violence. While this situation doesn’t necessarily mean more guns causes less gun violence, it does mean that the “more guns means more violence” assumption is simply not valid.

The French experience arming revolutionaries abroad invalidates the moral aspect of this first assumption, that proliferation is intrinsically bad. In fact, France alone has shown there can be a democratic and human rights upside of small arms proliferation. Have humanitarian campaigners forgotten that France armed liberty‐seeking American revolutionaries against colonial Britain? Are they denying that France also armed liberty‐seeking Libyan revolutionaries last year, and, ultimately, facilitated the demise of a regional dictator and notorious human rights abuser? These experiences prove even legally questionable state‐sponsored small arms proliferation to “insurgents” and “revolutionaries” can actually be a good thing for some societies and their local humanity.

The second assumption is that there is a plague of international illegal weapons trafficking threatening humanity everywhere. In fact, Rachel Stohl, the long‐time private consultant and insider working directly for Ambassador Moritán managing the ATT processes, has even published that “Without a doubt, it is the illegal arms trade and its various actors, agents, causes and consequences that capture our attention and motivate our action.”(16)

New research suggests the problem of illicit international trade in arms is not nearly as bad as first hypothesized over 10 years ago. Humanitarian campaigners’ evidence about the vast size, global scope, and cataclysmic impact of international illicit trafficking simply does not exist. Granted, it’s hard to quantify such illegal activity. Nontheless, the assertion that illicit international small arms trafficking is a major problem for the world has in fact been disproven over 10 years of progressively improved knowledge on the topic by academics and specialist researchers.(17)

To this day, however, the UN still claims on its Office of Disarmament Affairs website that international trafficking is a “worldwide scourge,” and that it “wreaks havoc everywhere.”(18) Campaigners, and their UN organizational sympathizers, must embrace the truth and acknowledge that the world is NOT actually suffering from a scourge of illegal international arms trafficking everywhere. At best, some failed or fragile states, conflict or post‐conflict regions may be suffering from illegal trafficking, but even this is of dubious importance ranked against other concerns like local diversion of small arms from government arsenals. Deaths and violence by small arms and light weapons are, on the whole, symptomatic of more local causes rooted within societies, and not cross‐border transfers.

The inconvenient truth today for humanitarian campaigners for international small arms controls is that for most countries around the globe, even for most developing or fragile states, a combination of deficient domestic regulation of legal firearms possession with theft, and loss or corrupt sale from official inventories is a more serious problem than illicit trafficking across borders.(19) The much touted scourge of illicit trade in small arms must be recognized, therefore, as hyperbolic humanitarian catastrophizing, or as we say in business, “marketing hype.”

In conclusion, while hyping of the size, scope, and impact of the illicit aspects of the arms trade was a de facto condition for first building consensus and momentum for the PoA, the ATT, and programs like CASA ISACS, continuing to do so presents serious reputational risk.(20) Continuing to assert that proliferation of small arms in society is intrinsically a bad thing for humanity presents serious reputational risk as well. Ultimately, such apparent dishonestly in the pursuit of otherwise admirable humanitarian goals raises questions about hidden agendas, institutional credibility, integrity, and organizational subject matter expertise. If the UN and humanitarian organizations really want to promote human security around the globe, honesty is still the best policy.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeff Moran, a Principal at TSM Worldwide LLC, is a business consultant specializing in the international defense & security industry. He studies negotiations & policy‐making at the Executive Masters Program of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. Previously Mr. Moran was a strategic marketing leader for a multi‐billion dollar unit of a public defense & aerospace company, a military diplomat, and a nationally ranked competitive rifle shooter. Jeff Moran has an MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School and a BSFS degree from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service

© 2012. Jeff Moran and TSM Worldwide LLC. All Rights Reserved. Distribution and republication are authorized when Jeff Moran and URL are referenced. http://tsmworldwide.com/dishonest‐humanitarianism/  DISHONEST HUMANITARIANISM? The invalid assumptions behind the United Nations small arms control initiatives.

 

END NOTE

1 http://www.poa‐iss.org/PoA/poahtml.aspx

2 http://daccess‐dds‐ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N06/499/77/PDF/N0649977.pdf

3 http://daccess‐dds‐ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N09/464/71/PDF/N0946471.pdf

4 Ibid.

5 http://www.poa‐iss.org/CASA/CASA.aspx, http://www.un‐casa.org

6 http://www.poa‐iss.org/CASA/CASA.aspx

7 http://www.un‐casa‐isacs.org/isacs/Welcome.html

8 http://www.un‐casa‐isacs.org/isacs/Partners.html

9 http://www.ll.georgetown.edu/intl/imc/imcothersourcesguide.html, http://www.mpepil.com/sample_article?id=/epil/entries/law‐9780199231690‐e1393&recno=29&, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Customary_international_law

10 Small Arms Survey, established in 1999, is supported by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, and by sustained contributions from the Governments of Canada, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The Survey is also grateful for past and current project support received from the Governments of Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, New Zealand, Spain, and the United States, as well as from different United Nations agencies, programs, and institutes.

11 http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/about‐us/mission.html

12 November 4, 2011. This author was a note‐taker and participant in this seminar, which was hosted by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.

13 http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/homicide/tables/weaponstab.cfm, http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/mortrate10_us.html.

14 http://www.gallup.com/poll/150353/self‐reported‐gun‐ownership‐highest‐1993.aspx?version=print

15 http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/mortrate10_us.html

16 Rachel Stohl and Susan Grillot. The International Arms Trade. Polity Press: 2009. P. 93

17 Owen Greene and Nicholas Marsh, eds. Small Arms, Crime and Conflict: Global Governance and the Threat of Armed Violence. Routledge: 2012. P. 90.

18 http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2010/dc3247.doc.htm.

http://www.un.org/disarmament/convarms/SALW/

19 Owen Greene and Nicholas Marsh, eds. P. 91.

20 Anna Stavrianakis. Taking Aim At the Arms Trade: NGOs, global civil society, and the other world military order. Zed Publishing Ltd: 2010. P. 143‐4S

 

IAPCAR Featured in July Gun Trade World

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Click here to view article:  IAPCAR GunTradeWorld Article

 

Arms Trade Treaty Risks Increasing the Threat of Armed Terrorism

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Report VIA:  The Heritage Foundation

By
June 5, 2012

The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) will be negotiated at a conference held July 2–27 in New York. The ATT purports to seek, in part, to reduce the ability of terrorists to acquire conventional weapons. But as the U.N. has not defined terrorism, it is at best unclear how the ATT will achieve this aim. Moreover, if the U.N. negotiations follow precedent, the ATT will include a clause that legitimates the supply of arms to terrorists.

Terrorism Frequently Cited as a Reason to Negotiate an ATT

The ATT has never focused exclusively on terrorism, but the U.N. General Assembly and influential U.N. member states have frequently asserted that one reason to negotiate an ATT is to reduce terrorists’ ability to acquire conventional weapons. For example, the most recent substantive resolution in the U.N. General Assembly on the ATT, Resolution 64/48, adopted on January 12, 2010, states that “problems relating to the unregulated trade in conventional weapons…can fuel instability, transnational organized crime and terrorism.” In his April 16, 2012, statement of “Positions for the United States in the Upcoming Arms Trade Treaty Conference,” Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Countryman said that an ATT would “help prevent the acquisition of arms by terrorists and criminals.”

The U.N. Has Never Defined Terrorism

It would, therefore, be logical to assume that the U.N. has a definition of terrorism that will apply in the context of the ATT. But the U.N. has never adopted a definition of terrorism.

In the run-up to the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “called again for the creation of an international antiterror accord,” which “has been stymied by disagreements over what acts and which groups should be labeled as terroristic.” The Chairman of the U.N. Counterterrorism Implementation Task Force, Robert Orr, noted, “Legally, international law covers almost everything that you would want it to cover…. [but] if someone is accusing someone else of engaging in terrorist activities, there’s no clinical definition of whether they are or not.”[1] The ATT cannot prevent nations from arming terrorists if nations do not agree on who the terrorists are, or on what constitutes terrorism.

U.N. Security Council Has Already Addressed This Question

The U.N.’s inability to define terrorism has not prevented it from taking action in the past. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1373, passed unanimously on September 28, 2001, in the wake of 9/11, already requires all U.N. members to take wide-ranging actions against terrorism, including “eliminating the supply of weapons to terrorists.” The council is supposedly responsible for maintaining international peace and security, and, under Chapter 5 of the U.N. Charter, has the power to back up its resolutions with armed force. The ATT, by contrast, will be based on national implementation and will not fall under Chapter 5. It will have less authority than Resolution 1373, and yet it is supposed to succeed where that resolution has palpably failed.

Relevant U.N. Declarations Regularly Legitimate Terrorism

At best, then, the ATT would have no effect on terrorism. But it could easily increase the risk of armed terrorism. U.N. declarations regularly contain a clause to the effect that the U.N. recognizes:

the right of self-determination of all peoples, taking into account the particular situation of peoples under colonial or other forms of alien domination or foreign occupation, and…the rights of peoples to take legitimate action in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations to realize their inalienable right of self-determination.

This quotation comes from the Chairman’s Draft Paper, the closest equivalent to a draft ATT currently available.[2] But it is also part of many other U.N. declarations. For example, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, produced by the U.N. World Conference on Human Rights in 1993, contains a nearly identical statement.[3] As it is also included in the ATT’s precursor, the 2001 U.N. “Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects,” the precedent for its incorporation into the ATT has been clearly established.[4]

Those new to the U.N. system may not realize the meaning of this clause. It was originally intended by African nationalists to refer to the European colonial empires, and by Islamic nations to refer to the Palestinians (“peoples under…foreign occupation”). The African context has faded, but the coded reference to Israel—and to India, because of its dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir—has endured. In recent years, the clause has also come to be understood as a reference to the U.S. and allied presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. The entire clause, therefore, recognizes the supposed right of Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban, and other terrorist organizations—in the name of pursuing the “inalienable right of self-determination”—to attack Israel, India, the U.S., and its allies.

ATT Risks Becoming a “Get Out of Jail Free” Card for Terrorism’s Backers

An ATT that contains this clause would give any nation that wishes to assist a terrorist organization a “get out of jail free” card. If confronted by the U.S. with the claim that their supply of weapons to terrorists constituted a violation of the ATT, they could simply reply that the ATT had recognized the right of all peoples to realize their self-determination, and that the terrorists in question represented peoples who were engaged in an armed struggle with a nation that did not respect this right. This is why the U.N. has never been able to define terrorism: Too many U.N. member states argue that what the U.S. describes as terrorism is a legitimate struggle for self-determination.

Efforts to define terrorism have been blocked by the members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which contains 56 U.N. member states and has successfully prevented the development of any definition that would apply, for example, to the terrorist organizations that attack Israel. The OIC Charter, adopted in 2008, notes that it is dedicated to supporting “the struggle of the Palestinian people, who are presently under foreign occupation.”[5] This is the same phrase that appears regularly in U.N. declarations. Since the ATT is centrally concerned with the transfer of conventional arms, it is particularly important that it does not legitimate the supply of weapons to terrorists. This will be difficult to achieve: The ATT’s supporters want it to be a universal treaty, i.e., one signed and ratified by all U.N. member states, but is unlikely that the OIC members will agree to any ATT that does not include this clause.

What the U.S. Should Do

The U.S. should never sign, and the Senate should never ratify, a treaty containing a clause that legitimates terrorism. In the July negotiations, this should be a red line, and the U.S. should publicly state that it will break consensus on the adoption of the treaty text if any such clause—including one similar to the standard U.N. declaration—appears in it.

The U.S. should also state that an ATT that does not define terrorism cannot hope to have any effect on the ability of terrorists to acquire conventional weapons. It should announce that the only definition of terrorism it can accept is one that is fully compatible with U.S. law, which states that terrorism is “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.”[6] If those who claim to support the ATT in the name of its impact on terrorism cannot accept the need for it to define terrorism, or resist a definition that is compatible with U.S. law, the treaty is not worth negotiating.

Ted R. Bromund, PhD, is Senior Research Fellow in the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, a division of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, at The Heritage Foundation.

[1]“U.N. Chief Urges Creation of International Pact Against Terrorism,” Global Security Newswire, September 9, 2011, http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/un-chief-urges-creation-of-international-pact-against-terrorism/ (accessed June 4, 2012).

[2]“Report of the Preparatory Committee for the United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty,” U.N. General Assembly, March 7, 2012, http://www.un.org/disarmament/convarms/ATTPrepCom/Documents/PrepCom4%20Documents/PrepCom%20Report_E_20120307.pdf (accessed June 4, 2012).

[3]“Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action,” U.N. General Assembly, July 12, 1993, http://www.unhchr.ch/huridocda/huridoca.nsf/%28symbol%29/a.conf.157.23.en (accessed June 4, 2012).

[4]“Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects,” United Nations, 2001, http://www.poa-iss.org/PoA/poahtml.aspx (accessed June 4, 2012). For more on the program, see Ted R. Bromund and David Kopel, “As the U.N.’s Arms Trade Treaty Process Begins, U.N.’s ‘Programme of Action’ on Small Arms Shows Its Dangers,” Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 2969, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/07/as-the-uns-arms-trade-treaty-process-begins-uns-programme-of-action-on-small-arms-shows-its-dangers.

[5]Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, “OIC Charter,” March 14, 2008, http://www.oic-oci.org/page_detail.asp?p_id=53 (accessed June 4, 2012). See also the definition offered by the OIC in 2002, in “Report of the Ad Hoc Committee Established by General Assembly Resolution 51/210 of 17 December 1996,” United Nations, 2002.

[6]“Terrorism Definitions,” National Counterterrorism Center, August 27, 2010, http://www.nctc.gov/site/other/definitions.html (accessed June 4, 2012).

UN Arms Trade Treaty may put Taiwan at risk

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Original Story VIA:  THE TAIPEI TIMES

LOOPHOLES: Academics speculated that China might use the UN Arms Trade Treaty to claim that the US sale of weapons to Taiwan violated the treaty’s terms.

Washington-based academics are warning US President Barack Obama not to sign the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) because it could make it more difficult to sell weapons to Taiwan.

The treaty is to be negotiated next month in New York.

“The US is obligated by the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act [TRA] to make available the hardware and services necessary for Taiwan’s defense,” Heritage Foundation Research Fellows Ted Bromund and Dean Cheng (成斌) wrote.

In a paper published on Friday, Bromund and Cheng said that because Taiwan is not a UN member state — and is not recognized by a majority of UN members — the ATT would not recognize its right to buy or import arms.

“The ATT thus provides the basis for a Chinese argument that US sales of arms to Taiwan would circumvent the PRC’s [People’s Republic of China] import control system, violate China’s territorial integrity, and thus violate the treaty,” Bromund and Cheng wrote.

They said the ATT would “very likely” establish a series of criteria that treaty signatories are required to apply to proposed arms transfers. One of these criteria is likely to be that arms transfers should not seriously undermine peace and security or provoke, prolong or aggravate internal, regional, subregional or international instability.

“Since the Chinese Civil War has never been formally concluded, a state of war still exists between Taiwan and the PRC,” Bromund and Cheng said.

They said that this criteria offers the PRC a third argument that the US weapons sales or transfers to Taiwan would violate the terms of the ATT.

Bromund and Cheng said that the ATT poses three distinct threats to the legal obligation of the US to provide for the defense of Taiwan, or to the ability of Taiwan to provide for its own defense.

“A US administration that earnestly wished to fulfill its obligations under the TRA would likely do so, regardless of the ATT,” the academics said.

However, they said a US administration that believed US sales to Taiwan endangered US relations with the PRC, or did not want to sell arms to Taiwan for some other reason, would be able to cite the ATT as a reason not to proceed with those sales.

“Even if the US does not sign or ratify the ATT, US legal scholars who interpret it as customary international law could use it to argue that the US should not proceed with a proposed sale,” Bromund and Cheng said.

They conclude: “The ATT can only raise yet another hurdle to US arms sales to Taiwan.”

Arms sales, like international relations as a whole, are always a matter for judgement. In next month’s negotiations, the US should make it clear that it will not accept any treaty that would impinge on its ability to apply that judgement to its legal obligation to provide for the defense of Taiwan, they said.

“Elected officials have the broader responsibility to make it clear that they recognize the importance of the US commitment to Taiwan, and to stand by that commitment in word and deed,” Bromund and Cheng said.

In Taipei, Director-General of the Department of North American Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bruce Linghu (令狐榮達) said the ministry is aware of the proposed UN treaty and would keep abreast of any developments.

Issues related to the proposed UN treaty have not been placed on the agenda between Taiwan and the US, but the ministry will look into the matter, Linghu said.

 

Greece: Demand for guns up over worries for personal safety

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Original Story VIA:  Digital Journal

Desperate times are fueling an unprecedented crime wave in Greece. Criminals are targeting Greek homes and attacking pensioners. Worries over personal safety have fueled the demand for hunting rifles for protection.

Digital Journal recently reported the Greek Citizen Protection Ministry reported “one homicide every two days, 18 robberies every 24 hours and 11 thefts every hour: all this in a country that once enjoyed one of the lowest crime rates in Europe.”

On Wednesday Eleftheros Typos reported two men armed with Kalashnikovs burst into a café before noon, in Melissochori,Thebes. Their intent was to seize the pensions of the elderly. The thieves shot two men, including the postman who was delivering the pensions, before stealing €10,000 and escaping on motorbikes. The two victims were both hospitalized.

In the early hours of Thursday morning Albanian robbers broke into three homes in Paiania. Digital Journal reported the thieves threatened a woman at knife-point in her own home. According to Dimokratia News the home of 55-year-old Kyriakos Davaris, who had just been released from hospital, is surrounded by iron railings. Davaris owns a family taverna in Paiania and his two sons both help him when they are back in the village from their university studies. Locals are incensed at the wave of crime targeting the area where hard working people are turned into victims. In this incident one of the Albanian burglars was shot dead.

In the wake of the Paiania shooting Ekathimerini reports a sharp rise in the number of people asking about hunting rifles. They report they spoke to gun shop owners that related most of the requests for rifles were from people that “were quite open about the fact they wanted the guns for personal safety, not hunting.”

Authorities are concerned that more people may begin to take the law into their own hands in vigilante fashion due to the perceived ineffectiveness of the police.

VIDEO: Global Gun Registry – Canada

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Original Story Via: Sun News Canada

If you thought the Canadian gun registry is bad, how do you feel about a global registry? Brian Lilley and Daniel Proussalidis discuss the UN’s latest brilliant idea.

[kml_flashembed publishmethod=”static” fversion=”8.0.0″ movie=”untitled.swf” width=”400″ height=”300″ targetclass=”flashmovie”] [/kml_flashembed]

 

Canada flip flops on UN arms trade treaty

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Original Story VIA:  CBC News

Canada has modified its controversial position on a United Nations arms control treaty.

In a new position paper submitted to the UN, the federal government has dropped its proposal to exclude all sporting and hunting firearms from the international Arms Trade Treaty, an agreement that seeks to regulate the import, export and transfer of all conventional weapons.

Last summer Canada surprised many and attracted heaps of scorn from countries such as Nigeria, Brazil, Mexico and Australia, when it changed its stance on the treaty and advocated for the exclusion of so-called “civilian” firearms.

In particular, the Mexicans said that in their experience, a great number of arms confiscated from its notorious gangs are sporting and hunting firearms that have been modified and transformed into assault weapons.

Some non-governmental observers predicted Canada’s new position could have helped derail the entire process.

The proposal to exclude those weapons is absent from Canada’s new position paper, submitted to the UN last month.

Instead, Canada recommends changes to the treaty’s preamble to underline that the agreement “acknowledges and respects responsible and accountable trans-national use of firearms for recreational purposes, such as sport shooting, hunting and other forms of similar lawful activities, whose legitimacy is recognized by the States Parties.”

Change welcomed

Project Ploughshares, which was among the non-governmental organizations that registered its opposition to the exclusion of hunting and sports firearms from the ATT, said it welcomed the changes, calling it a compromise.

“We’re pleased to see that Canada has toned down its call for exemptions on certain classes of firearms and is now calling for preamble language in the treaty that would recognize legitimate uses of firearms,” said Ken Epps, a senior program officers with the group.

Epps said the new document is helpful.

“In fact it will help to clarify that the treaty is not about domestic gun ownership or use or even transfers of firearms within states like Canada.”

Tony Bernardo, executive director of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association, is also pleased with the changes.

“We would support this version of the Arms Trade Treaty document from Canada as it empowers independent nations to set their own discretionary policies regarding civilian-owned firearms within their borders.”

Bernardo said his take on the preamble is that Canada does not want “civilian” firearms included within the scope of the treaty.

In its position paper, Canada says it supports the inclusion of small arms, light weapons and ammunition within the ATT, “in keeping with the principle of national discretion.”

Epps said he feels that section needs tightening up, “because national discretion could be another term for states deciding whether or not to implement the treaty and that shouldn’t be up for different interpretations.”

HARD COPY: Letter from anti-gun groups to Obama pressing for a strong UN ATT

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

CLICK HERE TO VIEW LETTER: Anti-Gun UN Arms Trade Treaty Letter to Obama

Or copy paste link into browser:

http://iapcar.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Robust-UN-ATT-Letter.pdf

 

Minister calls for support for tough new arms trade treaty

Thursday, May 24th, 2012
Original Story VIA:  Guardian.co.uk

 

Alan Duncan hopes to persuade the US to back the new treaty. He says: ‘Our resolve is clear and we are taking a lead’.

The international arms trade has become the greatest threat to development and has to be controlled by a tough treaty to regulate weapons and munitions sales, a government minister warns.

In a speech to the International Institute for Strategic Studies thinktank, Alan Duncan, the minister for international development, will urge allies such as the US to set aside their concerns and sign up to the comprehensive arms trade treaty (ATT), which will be hammered out during a month-long negotiation at the UN in July.

Britain has been one of the key supporters of a treaty that could prevent countries selling arms to any regime that might use them to violate human rights.

Speaking to the Guardian, Duncan said: “The arms trade has become the greatest threat to development, beyond disease and disaster. We are making some progress on issues such as polio and malaria.The factor that is most restraining development is conflict, which is why this new treaty is so important. It has massive implications for development.”

The UN conference in July is the culmination of six years’ lobbying and haggling by governments, arms companies and aid agencies. It should lead to a treaty that harmonises and toughens up international laws governing the sale of arms into one comprehensive, legally binding, document.

Oxfam has estimated that the absence of a single binding treaty has allowed at least $2.2bn [£1.38bn] worth of arms and ammunition to be imported under arms embargoes between 2000 and 2010.

At the moment, the new ATT would ban all weapons sales to countries that could use them to abuse human rights, or encourage corruption or armed violence.

Such a treaty might have stopped Syria importing arms in 2010, the year before an uprising brutally suppressed by the Assad regime.

Duncan admitted there would be difficulties defining the banning of arms sales in this way, but insisted it was right to include the concept.

“It is nebulous, but we are in favour of it being there. It will be left to the signatory countries to implement. We are not setting up an international police force. There will be a shared obligation among signatory countries to police the treaty.”

Duncan added that it was essential the ATT included “from fighter planes down to portable weapons, small arms and ammunition”.

He said: “Including the portable weapons is vitally important. It is one of the most dramatic drivers of conflict and development decay. This treaty has to cover the full spectrum of weaponry. Crucially, there will also be a register of brokers, to stop middlemen from being able to dump arms into areas.”

In recent months the US has expressed concern about the treaty being too prescriptive, as have China and Russia.

But Duncan hopes Washington can still be persuaded and ensure there is “a quantum leap forward”. He said: “The US is less enthusiastic than we are, but you never know. If our defence industries can be in favour of this, so can theirs. Our resolve is clear and we are taking a lead.”

The global weapons market is estimated to be worth $55bn, and the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs says: “The trade in conventional weapons – from warships and battle tanks to fighter jets and machine guns – remains poorly regulated.

“No set of internationally agreed standards exist to ensure that arms are only transferred for appropriate use.”

In a recent report, Oxfam claimed that in the first decade of this century several states broke embargoes and continued to trade weapons on a large scale. The report cited a list of countries, which included Burma ($600m of trade from 2000 to 2010), Iran ($574m from 2007 to 2010) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo ($124m, 2000 to 2002).

Costa Rican Organization Joins IAPCAR

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Original Story VIA:  Inside Costa Rica

ProDefensa of Costa Rica is the latest organization to join forces with the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR), which now boasts 22 affiliated groups in 14 different nations around the globe.

With member groups on every continent, IAPCAR executive director Philip Watson has been elated with the positive response the group has received.

“IAPCAR’s steady growth has been a welcome sign among those that love freedom,” Watson noted, “it proves that people in every corner of the world believe in the right to keep and bear arms. Personal security and the defense of one’s home and family are values shared across international borders, regardless of nationality or ethnic origin.”

“We are very excited to be the newest and proudest member of IAPCAR,” said Pro Defensa’s Miguel Cifuentes.

Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, was instrumental in creating IAPCAR, Gottlieb was pleased to have Pro Defensa as IAPCAR’s newest affiliate.

“We are excited to welcome our friends from Costa Rica,” he observed. “Gun owners in Costa Rica are currently facing some tough regulatory actions on gun registration and severe penalties for improper registration, we can learn a great deal from each other in our effort to protect firearms rights around the world.”

The United Nations prepares to consider an Arms Trade Treaty this July, placing many arms rights groups at odds with global gun control advocates.

“IAPCAR will strongly oppose any UN treaty infringing on national sovereignty or individual gun rights,” noted Julianne Versnel, director of operations at the Second Amendment Foundation, the second influential group instrumental in forming IAPCAR.

The International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (http://iapcar.com ) is the only worldwide political action group focusing on the human right to keep and bear arms. Founded in 2010, IAPCAR has grown to more than 20 major gun-rights organizations and conducts campaigns designed to inform the public and promote the right of self-defense and gun-ownership.

IAPCAR Says “G’day, Mate” to Australian Gun Rights Group

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Original Story VIA:  Guns.com

The Firearm Owners Association of Australia (FOAA) has joined up with the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR).

The more the merrier!

When talking guns rights, the thing that we Americans tend to discuss the most is the Second Amendment, and since the US Constitution really only applies to the US (of course) it’s not always clear how other countries handle gun rights. Well, all over the world people want to carry guns to protect their families against threats. Even if the flag they wave looks different, that basic desire will always be present.

The international force for gun rights has just gotten a little bit beefier now that our Aussie buddies have teamed up with IAPCAR. This new addition officially means that IAPCAR has representation from every single continent.

Philip Watson, the Executive Director of IAPCAR, was thrilled about the news, “IAPCAR’s steady growth over the past two years has been gratifying.” Chairman Alan Gottleib of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, which has been a central organization in IAPCAR, welcomed “our colleagues from Down Under.”

These increased numbers may give IAPCAR the added influence it needs to oppose the United Nations’ Arms Trade Treaty coming up this July.

With IAPCAR’s membership now encompassing 21 affiliated groups spread across 12 different nations, it’s only a mere 6.6 billion members away from being able to secure universal gun rights.

IAPCAR WELCOMES COSTA RICAN GUN RIGHTS GROUP

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Original Story VIA:  TheGunMag.com

BELLEVUE, WA – Pro Defensa of Costa Rica is the latest organization to join forces with the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR), which now boasts 22 affiliated groups in 14 different nations around the globe.

With member groups on every continent, IAPCAR executive director Philip Watson has been elated with the positive response the group has received.

“IAPCAR’s steady growth has been a welcome sign among those that love freedom,” Watson noted, “it proves that people in every corner of the world believe in the right to keep and bear arms. Personal security and the defense of one’s home and family are values shared across international borders, regardless of nationality or ethnic origin.”

“We are very excited to be the newest and proudest member of IAPCAR,” said Pro Defensa’s Miguel Cifuentes.

Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, was instrumental in creating IAPCAR, Gottlieb was pleased to have Pro Defensa as IAPCAR’s newest affiliate.

“We are excited to welcome our friends from Costa Rica,” he observed. “Gun owners in Costa Rica are currently facing some tough regulatory actions on gun registration and severe penalties for improper registration, we can learn a great deal from each other in our effort to protect firearms rights around the world.”

The United Nations prepares to consider an Arms Trade Treaty this July, placing many arms rights groups at odds with global gun control advocates. “IAPCAR will strongly oppose any UN treaty infringing on national sovereignty or individual gun rights,” noted Julianne Versnel, director of operations at the Second Amendment Foundation, the second influential gun rights group instrumental in forming IAPCAR.

 

Pro Defensa – Costa Rica

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Tasmania: Calls for tighter gun laws as thefts rise

Monday, May 14th, 2012

May 12, 2012

Original Story VIA:  ABC.net.au

There are calls for tougher gun storage laws in Tasmania, with police reporting hundreds of thefts over the past five years.

Police say 760 guns have been stolen since 2008 and there is evidence some are being stolen to order for criminal use.

The Assistant Commissioner Donna Adams said police conducted 800 random checks of licenced gun owners last year to make sure their firearms were properly secured.

“Ensuring that they’re securely retained will hopefully minimise the opportunities for them to be illegally obtained,” Ms Adams said.

The Coalition for Gun Control’s Roland Browne has called for even tougher storage requirements and spot checks.

“There’s something like 60,000 gun owners in Tasmania and 1500 police,” he said.

“It’s a huge job.”

There have been seven drive-by shootings in Tasmania in the past six months but police do not believe they are related to interstate gang turf wars.

Shots were fired at a house in the Launceston suburb of Ravenswood this week and last month a 17-year-old boy suffered serious injuries in a drive-by shooting at his Glenorchy home.

Assistant Police Commissioner Adams said the attacks were not gang-related.

“They’ve actually been the result of feuding parties so they’ve actually been directly targeted at a particular individual,” she said.

About 120,000 firearms are registered in the state.

IAPCAR Welomes Australian Gun Rights Organization

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Story Via:  TheGunMag.com

BELLEVUE, WA – The Firearms Owners Association of Australia (FOAA) has become the latest organization to join forces with the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR), which now boasts 21 affiliated groups in 12 different nations around the globe.

According to IAPCAR Executive Director Philip Watson, the affiliation of one of Australia’s premier firearm owners’ groups with IAPCAR means there is now representation from every continent.

“IAPCAR’s steady growth over the past two years has been gratifying,” Watson noted, “because it proves that firearms owners from every corner of the world believe in their right to keep and bear arms. Personal security and the defense of one’s home and family are values shared across international borders, regardless of an individual’s background or nationality.”

Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, was instrumental in creating IAPCAR, and he was delighted that FOAA is now affiliated.

“We welcome our colleagues from Down Under,” he observed. “Australian gun owners have had unique experiences over the years with firearms regulations and gun prohibitionists, and we can learn a great deal from each other in our effort to protect firearms rights around the world.”

Timing of the announcement is important, because this boosts the influence of the international gun rights movement as the United Nations prepares to consider an Arms Trade Treaty in July. IAPCAR strongly opposes such a treaty if it infringes on national sovereignty or individual rights, noted Julianne Versnel, director of operations at the Second Amendment Foundation, which was also instrumental in launching IAPCAR.

The International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (www.iapcar.org) is the only worldwide political action group focusing on the human right to keep and bear arms. Founded in 2010, IAPCAR has grown to more than 20 major gun-rights organizations and conducts campaigns designed to inform the public and promote the right of self-defense and gun-ownership.

Firearms Owners Association of Australia

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Jakarta: Stringent gun control ‘could curb trigger-happy incidents’

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Original Story VIA:  The Jakarta Post

Rabby Pramudatama, Jakarta | Mon, 05/07/2012

Tighter gun-controls are being demanded by politicians and activists following a spike in firearm-related violence across the country.

Poengky Indarti, executive director of human rights watchdog Imparsial, urged the government and the House of Representatives to work together to change the firearms policy.

“Both should amend the law on the control of firearms and explosive, audit all firearm possession in the country and strengthen supervision and control,” she said.

Indonesian civilians possessed 17,983 guns in 2010, according to data from Imparsial. Civilians have firearm licenses for self-protection.

Imparsial also found that 11,869 guns are used by the National Police Special Forces, 6,551 for sports and 699 by private security companies.

Between 2005 and 2012, Imparsial recorded 46 cases of guns being misused by members of law enforcement agencies and civilians.

Data from the National Police shows that there were 453 cases of possession of illegal firearms between 2009 to 2011.

Politicians have also weighed into the gun-control debate.

People’s Consultative Assembly deputy speaker Lukman Hakim Saifuddin has called on the police to seize all firearms belonging to civilians, including lawmakers, businessmen and lawyers.

“It’s better to collect all the firearms from the hands of civilians,” he said on Sunday.

He said that social and economic insecurities had made it easier for people to pull the trigger.

“Tempers can easily flare these days, and people can easily overreact over trivial matters,” he said.

The House of Representatives said that it planned to summon National Police Chief Gen. Timur Pradopo for questioning over the rampant use of illegal firearms.

A member of House Commission III overseeing human rights and legal affairs, Sarifuddin Sudding, said the hearing would occur after the recess period wraps up on May 13.

“We will demand National Police chief to give his explanation as to why there are so much gun-related violence recently,” he said.

He suspected that the police had not done enough to monitor gun ownership by civilians.

“How can civilians have easy access to guns and use them in criminal acts?” Sudding said.

Russian Gun Rights Group Joins IAPCAR

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Original Story VIA: TheGunMag.com

BELLEVUE, WA – The International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR) added Russia’s The Right to Arms as its newest member working to protect and expand the right to keep and bear arms around the globe. Right to Arms joins a coalition of 20 other groups from 11 countries on five different continents that represent millions of firearm owners and citizens concerned about civilian arms rights.

“IAPCAR is quickly expanding as the premier international arms rights organization with groups like Right to Arms as new allies in securing the human right to keep and bear arms,” said IAPCAR executive director, Philip Watson.

“The push for civilian arms rights continues to grow at a fast pace as this week we’ve added ANARMA of Spain and now Right to Arms of Russia as new members.” Watson observed.

“It is a great honor for our group to join IAPCAR,” said Right to Arms chairman Maria Butina. As Russia’s highest profile gun rights advocacy organization, Right to Arms also runs the popular website (http://vooruzhen.ru/).

Julianne Versnel, director of operations for the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and Alan Gottlieb, Chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) established IAPCAR to serve as a vehicle to unify arms rights groups against international threats to the human right of self-defense and the legitimate use of guns.

“IAPCAR strongly opposes any U.N. Arms Trade Treaty that infringes on national sovereignty and civilian arms rights for self-defense,” said SAF’s Versnel.

CCRKBA’s Gottlieb added, “The growth of this international movement to protect the individual right to keep and bear arms is an unprecedented advancement for freedom.”

Right to Arms – Russia

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Spanish Gun Rights Group Joins IAPCAR

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Original Story VIA:  TheGunMag.com

BELLEVUE, WA – The International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR) added the National Arms Association of Spain (ANARMA) as a new member of the international gun rights association working to protect and expand the right to keep and bear arms around the globe. ANARMA joins 19 other groups from 10 countries on five different continents that represent millions of firearm owners and citizens concerned about civilian arms rights.

“Our international coalition is growing by the day with groups like ANARMA as new allies in securing the universal right to keep and bear arms,” said IAPCAR executive director, Philip Watson.

“I think the positive dialogue on civilian arms rights is only going to grow as we’ve recently added the Austrian group SPSC and now ANARMA of Spain as new members.” Watson observed.

As Spain’s highest profile gun rights advocacy association, ANARMA also runs the popular online website (http://anarma.org).

Guy Weisz, ANARMA’s VP of communication technology and press confirmed ANARMA’s membership with IAPCAR.

Julianne Versnel, director of operations for the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and Alan Gottlieb, Chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) established IAPCAR to serve as a vehicle to unify arms rights groups against international threats to the human right of self-defense and the legitimate use of guns.

“IAPCAR strongly opposes any U.N. Arms Trade Treaty that infringes on national sovereignty and the individual right to keep arms,” said SAF’s Versnel.

CCRKBA’s Gottlieb added, “Events over the past decade have emphasized the urgent need to protect the individual right to defend oneself and one’s family against grave threats, including crime, civil unrest and terrorism. IAPCAR is dedicated to preserving this human right.”

National Arms Association of Spain

Monday, April 30th, 2012

The Right to Bear Arms is a Human Right

Friday, April 20th, 2012

by Newt Gingrich

Original Story VIA: Human Events

At the United Nations, the governments (and the dictatorships) of the world are conspiring to deny their people a means to defend their families and their liberty.

The Small Arms Treaty and the U.N.’s project on International Small Arms Control Standards seek to impose global restrictions on gun ownership that would apply to Americans and the citizens of every country that ratified the agreements. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has pledged to support the treaty, an excuse for governments everywhere to empower themselves and limit their citizens instead of the other way around.

As long as we’re limited to fighting over the Left’s gun control agenda we’re debating on their terms. We have to go on offense.

The Constitution does not give us the right to bear arms. It says the right to bear arms shall not be infringed. We already have the right, because it doesn’t come from government—it comes from God.
Our founders understood this right is essential to the defense of liberty. It was a lesson they learned firsthand at the Battles of Lexington and Concord, 237 years ago this week. As David Hackett Fischer’s Paul Revere’s Ride recounts, in order to quench the beginnings of the American Revolution, British soldiers marched to confiscate gunpowder and other militia supplies, an act that they hoped would incapacitate the colonial rebels. Thus, it was in defense of the right to bear arms as a means of securing the other liberties that the first battle of the American Revolution was fought.

As the Second Amendment implies, the right to bear arms isn’t given to us by the government, and it isn’t just an American right. It is a human right. As a fundamental component of self-defense, the right to bear arms is intimately tied to those universal truths expressed in our Declaration of Independence—that all men have rights to life and liberty, with which they are endowed by their Creator. And they have not just a right but a duty to throw off despotic government.

These truths are universal. The Second Amendment is an amendment for all mankind.

Every person on the planet has the right to defend themselves from those who would oppress them, exploit them, harm them, or kill them.

Far fewer women would be raped, far fewer children would be killed, far fewer towns would be destroyed, and far fewer dictators would survive if people everywhere on the planet had this God-given right to bear arms recognized. Mass killings and rapes like those that took place in Darfur might have been prevented if the people had the right and the means to defend themselves. When citizens have the power to defend themselves against a violent and tyrannical regime, governments think twice about trampling the lives and liberty of the people.

The United Nations has an extensive Declaration of Human Rights, including the right to join a labor union and the right to social services and security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood or old age.

Nowhere does it provide for the right to keep and bear arms that in many places around the world is so critical to self-defense. And the Small Arms Treaty is a deliberate attempt to restrict these human rights.

I believe the United States should submit to the U.N. a treaty that extends the right to bear arms as a human right to every person on the planet.

It is critical not just for those living under oppressive regimes, but for the many people who live in conditions in which the government cannot secure their safety. From dangerous neighborhoods even here in the United States to lawless regions of the world run by gangs and warlords, firearms are often the only means of personal security.

When criminals have weapons, taking away the right to bear arms is nothing less than eliminating the right to self-defense. Only the elites, who’ve never had to live in a dangerous place or fear for their own lives, could be so confident that denying ordinary citizens the right to bear arms would make everyone safer.

It isn’t enough to watch people move from one dictatorship to another, nations lurching from disaster to disaster. In submitting a treaty to the U.N. guaranteeing that right, America can represent its trust in the basic decency of millions of people around the world and our belief that the God-given rights in the Declaration of Independence apply to them, too. We can let them know that if they had a government that recognized their inherent rights; a government that understood that they were a citizens, not subjects; a government that understood it is government which is to be limited, not people, they too would the chance to pursue happiness and live in safety.

That’s the message our president and secretary of state should be standing up for, not a document designed for the protection of dictators.

CANADA: Quebec long-gun battle set for June

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Original Story VIA: Sun News Canada

MONTREAL – A Superior Court judge said he will decide next week on whether or not the federal government can begin destroying long-gun registry data related to Quebec gun owners.

Quebec brought the federal government to court in order to preserve the gun records kept on Quebecers. The province wants to create its own registry.

The trial between Quebec and the federal government begins in June. Quebec wants Judge Marc-Andre Blanchard to prevent the Conservatives from destroying long-gun data before June proceedings begin. The Conservatives want to start destroying the data immediately, regardless of the trial.

The House of Commons voted to destroy the registry – including the Quebec records – in February. The bill was given royal assent April 5.

CANADA: Tories disarm proposed new ammo rules

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Original Story VIA:  Sun News Network

DANIEL PROUSSALIDIS | QMI AGENCY

OTTAWA – The Conservative MP who led the fight against the long-gun registry appears to have the backing of the prime minister in shooting down proposed changes to ammunition storage rules that have upset hunters and other firearms users.

“They’re not changing,” Candice Hoeppner told Sun News Network. “So I think law-abiding gun owners can rest assured the storage requirements that are currently in place will continue.”

The Prime Minister’s Office confirmed Hoeppner is right.
“Correct,” Andrew McDougall, the prime minister’s director of communications, said in an e-mail. “Our government will not make changes that unfairly target law-abiding citizens with unnecessary or arbitrary obligations.”

That seems to trump National Resources Minister Joe Oliver, whose ministry proposed the new ammunition storage rules as part of an update of decades-old explosives regulations.

Oliver has said the rules need to be updated “without unduly burdening gun owners.”

Firearms lawyer Solomon Friedman said gun owners need clarity because the regulations are unworkable for people who use firearms as tools – or who live far from police and may have to defend themselves against a home invader.

“We’re going to see a whole new set of traps for the unwary, which is really what these regulations will become,” Freidman said. “What this does is it creates a whole new class of paper criminals – people who’ve committed no wrong, who’ve actually not misused their firearm in any way, but simply because they may have transgressed an administrative regulation they face a
criminal charge. That’s unacceptable.”

VIDEO: NRA Convention Speech ‘Right to Bear Arms is a Human Right’

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Newt Gingrich gave a rousing speech at the NRA Convention supporting international gun rights.

Don’t Blame 2nd Amendement for Mexico Gun Violence

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Original Story VIA: Opposing Views

Submitted by National Shooting Sports Foundation on Apr 9, 2012

During his recent visit to the White House, Mexico President Felipe Calderon renewed his call for a U.S. assault weapons ban as a

During his recent visit to the White House, Mexico President Felipe Calderon renewed his call for a U.S. assault weapons ban as a solution to the drug cartel-caused violence that plagues his country. He also claimed, according to columnist Bill Press, that violence levels are directly related to the number of guns in circulation. Both of these assertions are demonstrably false.

Click here to see our gallery of the most popular guns in America.

Calderon’s pleading for an assault weapons ban (AWB) ignores what multiple studies have shown: that the AWB, which existed from 1994 to 2004, was not an effective crime-fighting tool, largely because they were never used in crime in the first place. Also, since the ban expired, Americans have purchased millions of modern sporting rifles — rifles based on the AR platform whose ownership was restricted by the AWB — yet at the same time violent crime has continued to decline in the United States to its lowest level in decades, demonstrating there is no correlation between the number of guns in circulation and the level of violence.

Let’s take a look at a few other points raised in Press’s column:

“We did a count, said Calderon, and discovered 8,000 American gun shops along the border with Mexico.” This is only relevant if you incorrectly believe federally licensed firearms retailers are somehow responsible for guns going to Mexico. They are not, of course. This is really like saying there are “too many” Ford dealers in a state where there are X number of DWI arrests in which the vehicle driven was a Ford. This also ignores the fact that firearms are only transferred by a firearms retailer after a background check has been performed on the buyer.

“Calderon claimed that in Washington, D.C., the rate of homicides per hundred thousand inhabitants is ‘higher by 10 — more than 10 or 20 than the largest number in any of the big cities in Mexico.’” Even if you assume this statistic is true (I haven’t checked), it is despite the fact that Washington, D.C., has the most stringent gun-control laws in the United States. It’s time to admit it that gun control is a failed social experiment.

“It’s almost as if, like global warming, the issue of gun control has disappeared from public view.” Perhaps that is because support for gun-control laws is at a record low in the U.S., according to Gallup’s annual Crime Poll. The same poll shows that most Americans do not support banning so-called “assault weapons” (even using this demonizing misnomer for modern sporting rifles), the very ban President Calderon and Bill Press seek to reinstate.

The real truth about Mexico and guns has been discussed many times on this blog, but in light of new press coverage of Calderon’s remarks, it bears repeating.

The independent research group STRATFOR — a publication Bill Press cites in his column — has corroborated what NSSF has been saying for some time about firearms recovered from drug cartels in Mexico: that it is erroneous and grossly misleading to say that the majority of firearms recovered in Mexico came from the United States.

Only 12 percent of the firearms misused in Mexico were originally sold at retail in the United States. The proof can be found in the U.S. government statistics in a report released by the independent research group STRATFOR and that the pie chart clearly illustrates:

Also, according to ATF, firearms recovered in Mexico and successfully traced as coming from the U.S. were originally lawfully sold in the United States an average of 15 years before they were seized and traced in Mexico. So that means they were sold long before the “assault weapon ban” sunset in 2004. Good luck trying to find these facts reported anywhere in the mainstream media.

An editorial published in the Miami Herald taking up Calderon’s argument says that bazookas and automatic weapons are purchased in large quantities at U.S. firearms retailers and then trafficked to Mexico. This is ridiculous and patently false. It has been widely documented by such publications as the L.A. Times, Washington Post and CBS News, that the drug cartels are acquiring firearms and serious weapons like grenades from Central America and black market sources. Also, over 150,000 Mexican soldiers have defected to go work for the cartels, clearly taking their U.S. made firearms with them.

Our industry abhors the criminal misuse of firearms, whether on the streets of Miami or Juarez, Mexico. That is why the public should know America’s firearms industry cooperates with law enforcement to prevent the illegal purchase of firearms, most recently working with ATF along the border on a program called Don’t Lie for the Other Guy that warns the public about the serious penalties for straw purchasing.

We can all agree that there are serious crime problems in Mexico, and notwithstanding his factual misstatements, we do applaud Mexican President Calderon’s courage for cracking down on the drug cartels and rampant corruption in his country, that has even reach inside his inner circle. However, laying the blame for Mexico’s crime at the feet of the U.S. firearms industry is more an act of frustration than a crime-fighting strategy, and, as we’ve said before, sacrificing the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans as a means of addressing this issue is neither an option nor a solution.

SPSC – Sport & Practical Shooting Club – AUSTRIA

Monday, April 9th, 2012

VIDEO: Private security guards shoot Somali pirates

Friday, April 6th, 2012

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VIDEO: CANADA – Quebec halts gun registry data destruction

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Original Story VIA:  Sun News Network Canada

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JESSICA MURPHY | QMI AGENCY

OTTAWA – A Quebec judge has put the brakes on plans by the Conservative government to quickly destroy long-gun registry records.

On Thursday, a Quebec superior court decision barred the feds from scrapping the records until court hears the province’s request for a permanent injunction next week.

The province filed the injunction Monday in a bid to prevent the federal government from destroying records kept on long-gun owners as soon as Bill C-19 receives royal assent.

Quebec is planning to create its own gun registry.

On Thursday morning, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews dodged questions about how the government would follow through on its promise to destroy the records despite Quebec’s legal maneuvers.

“I won’t comment on any specific court action, but our government is clear in the defence of the legislation that we have passed,” he said.

A government spokeswoman said that while the data won’t immediately be destroyed, it will no longer be accessible to law enforcement.

Canadian long-gun owners will no longer have to register their firearms as soon as the bill gets the governor general’s stamp on Thursday.

Canadians will still need a valid licence to buy and own a firearm. There are no changes to laws regarding prohibited or restricted firearms.

The mandatory registry for long guns has been controversial since its inception in 1995.

Concerns over gun control are an especially hot button issue in Quebec. The registry was created in the wake of public outrage following the 1989 Ecole Polytechnique massacre in Montreal, where 14 women were killed.

But many law-abiding gun owners felt the registry targeted them as criminals, was ineffectual as a gun control measure, and a waste of taxpayers’ money.

“Free at last, free at last,” Tory MP John Williamson said in the House of Commons Thursday.

 

Pathetic: Obama, Calderon, Press Avoid Fast and Furious Discussion

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Original Article VIA:  TownHall.com

By Katie Pavlich
News Editor, Townhall

President Barack Obama just wrapped up a joint press conference with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Candadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The three world leaders discussed a number of topics including trade and energy, but what did they fail to discuss? Operation Fast and Furious. Although the topic of gun trafficking was discussed at length by both Calderon and Obama, reporters never asked about Fast and Furious specifically and the two leaders weren’t going to go out of their way to bring it up.

Calderon, as a expected, blamed Mexico’s cartel violence not on the cartels themselves, but on the large “flow” of guns from the United States into Mexico. Calderon reiterated his view the United States should re-instate the ban on “assault,” or semi-automatic weapons. It seems that President Calderon, who is always harping about the “flow” of guns from the United States into Mexico, would have expressed outrage that President Obama’s Justice Department had deliberately placed 2500 guns into the hands of ruthless cartels during Operation Fast and Furious. Instead, Calderon chose to blame the Second Amendment for his country’s out of control violence. Calderon also failed to mention the reason why his people are being slaughtered is because they don’t have the ability to legally own guns and fight back against the cartels. Mexico’s strict gun laws have left its innocent people as sitting ducks.

On the issue of guns flowing from “north to south,” President Obama, whose Justice Department once again, under leadership of Attorney General Eric Holder walked 2500 guns into Mexico, failed to mention Fast and Furious. In fact, President Obama predictably gave himself credit for stopping the so-called flow of guns from the U.S., south.

“When you have innocent families, women and children being gunned down in the streets, that should be everyone’s problem,” Obama said. “We’ve put in efforts to stop illegal gun trafficking from north to south.”

Calderon also gave Obama credit for stopping the so-called flow of guns from the U.S. into Mexico.

Trade Group Aids Texas Gun Seller’s Suit Against Feds

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Original Story VIA:  The Texas Tribune

A national firearms trade association that boasts more than 7,000 members is helping finance a lawsuit in which a Texas gun dealer is challenging a federal reporting requirement for the sale of long rifles.

The Connecticut-based National Shooting Sports Foundation Inc., whose mission statement is to “promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports,” is helping finance a legal team for Golden States Tactical, a northern California firearms seller and NSSF member, in a lawsuit that was originally filed by San Antonio-based 10-Ring Precision Inc.

The company took action in August after the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives issued a rule last year requiring licensed firearms dealers in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California to report to the agency any time two or more long rifles are sold to the same buyer within a five-day period. The requirement pertains to rifles with calibers greater than .22 and capable of holding a detachable clip.

The bureau says the move is a good-faith effort to curb the illegal transport of firearms to violence-plagued Mexico. They point to a similar rule that has been in place for handguns as proof that the latest policy isn’t an assault on Second Amendment rights.

Sellers, however, say the requirement is government intrusion hurting their businesses and a power grab by the federal government, which invoked the rule without congressional approval.

“I am basically being asked to do something other than what is required by law by the ATF,” said Robby Betts, a licensed firearms dealer with Golden States Tactical. “I’ve got people not wanting to buy guns now.”

Keep hands off our guns: U.N.’s ‘Small Arms Treaty’ proposal misfiring in U.S.

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Original Story VIA:  Asbury Park Press

 

With the shooting death of Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch volunteer who was legally carrying a 9-millimeter handgun, the familiar wail has arisen from our cultural and media elite:

America has too many guns! “Open carry” and “concealed carry” laws should be repealed.

Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, replicated in two dozen states, threatens to turn America into the Tombstone of Doc Holiday and Wyatt Earp. This is insane!

The United Nations agrees. This year, the world body takes up the global control of firearms, including small arms in the hands of citizens.

According to Sen. Rand Paul, the U.N. “Small Arms Treaty” will almost surely mandate tougher licensing requirements to own a gun, require the confiscation and destruction of unauthorized civilian firearms, call for a ban on the trade, sale and private ownership of semi-automatic weapons, and create an international gun registry.

No more Colt .45s in the top drawer or M-1 rifles in the closet.

Memo to the U.N.: Lots of luck.

Forty-five Republican and 12 Democratic senators have declared their opposition to any such U.N. treaty, which means it is dead in the water the moment it is launched from Turtle Bay.

For when it comes to Second Amendment rights, Middle America has spoken — at the ballot box and the gun store. And Congress, most state legislatures and the federal courts have all come down on the side of the Silent Majority.

In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme Court struck down one of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, assuring district citizens of their right to keep a gun in the home.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, mentioned as a running mate for Mitt Romney, just signed a law striking down a 20-year ban that kept residents from buying more than one pistol per month.

The new law ignited New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who calls Virginia “the No. 1 out-of-state source of crime guns in New York and one of the top suppliers of crime guns nationally.”

Two New York cops have been shot this year, one fatally, with guns from Virginia.

But there is another side to the gun story, and University of Houston Professor Larry Bell relates it:

“Law-abiding citizens in America used guns in self-defense 2.5 million times in 1993 (about 6,825 times per day), and actually shot and killed two and a half times as many criminals as police did (1,527 to 606).

“These self-defense shootings resulted in less than one-fifth as many incidents as police where an innocent person was mistakenly identified as a criminal (2 percent versus 11 percent).”

The figures tell the story. Along with rising incarceration rates, the proliferation of guns in the hands of the law-abiding has been a factor in the nation’s falling crime rate. And that proliferation has accelerated under President Barack Obama.

According to ammo.net, tax revenues from the sale of firearms and ammunition have gone up 48 percent since 2008, with Iowa, North Carolina and Utah registering revenue gains of more than 100 percent.

Background searches in December broke the all-time monthly record set in November, as 1,534,414 inquiries were made to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System about prospective gun-buyers.

Why are Americans arming themselves? More and more citizens, says the National Rifle Association, fear that if or when they confront a threat to their family, lives or property, the police will not be there.

Gun-control organizations claim that gun ownership is actually declining, that fewer and fewer people are buying more and more of these guns. But the numbers seem to contradict the gun-controllers.

A 2005 Gallup survey found that three in 10 Americans own a gun, that 40 percent had a gun in the house, that nearly half of all men own a gun, as do one in seven women. Two-thirds of all gun-owners gave as a reason they own a gun: protection against crime.

America is an armed camp, with the South and Midwest the most heavily armed. Yet, still, Americans buy guns in the millions every year.

Why? Whatever the answer, it is our business, not the U.N.’s.

Holland to make IPSC shooting sports illegal?

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

From our friends at the Lone Star Shooting Association

 

Dear friends,

Please read the following about a new law proposed for Holland.  And please answer the Call to Arms.

Call to Arms

In military terms a Call to Arms is an urgent request for action when one’s comrade has an immediate need for help. It is time to drop whatever you are doing, pick up your firearm and go to their aid.

There is a new law proposed for Holland that would make IPSC shooting sports illegal. In fact this law would make all dynamic shooting sports illegal. This proposed law will come up for vote in a few of weeks so time is short. If the anti-gunners are successful in taking law abiding citizens’ freedoms away by passing this law, then the rest of the European Union will surely follow suit and take away the freedoms of even more citizens.

The NPSA is the body that governs IPSC shooting in Holland. Mr. Kees Quichelaar, Regional Director and Eduard Rodrigas, chairman of the NPSA committee need our help to fight against this proposed law.

Why, you ask, should I be concerned about Holland losing their freedom to participate in action shooting sports? You should be concerned because it is a step towards you losing your freedom to shoot the sport you like. Anti-gun proponents will not stop with just shutting down a shooting sport in the Netherlands. It will spread like wildfire through the European Union and the Americas.

The Lone Star Shooting Association (LSSA) is committed to helping our IPSC brothers in Holland. Mr. Saul Kirsch, General Manager Double-Alpha Academy B.V., has posted an on-line petition located on The Truth About Guns website.   Please go there and add your name in support of this battle against loss of freedom.

Click here to sign the petition.

FISAT has named this action “Broken Arrow.”

Act now.  Our brothers in arms need our help.

 

Gary W. Burris

Mexico’s Calderon urges Obama, Congress to tighten gun laws

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Original Story By Dave Boyer – VIA:  The Washington Times

Monday, April 2, 2012

As he listened to Mexico’s president lecture about the need for Washington to ban assault weapons, President Obama said Monday that the U.S. has an obligation to combat gun smuggling that is fueled increasingly by drug addicts in rural communities.

Drug addiction in the U.S. “traditionally was very urban,” Mr. Obama said at a White House news conference. But that is changing, he said.

“You go into rural communities and you’ve got methamphetamine sales that are devastating, you know, young and old alike,” the president said. “And some of that is originally sourced in Mexico. We recognize that we have a responsibility to reduce demand for drugs, that we have a responsibility to make sure that not only guns, but also bulk cash isn’t flowing into Mexico.”

His comments came after Mexican President Felipe Calderon again called on Congress to renew a ban on assault weapons.

“The expiry of the assault weapons ban in the year 2004 coincided almost exactly with the beginning of the harshest period of violence we’ve ever seen,” Mr. Calderon said. “We have seized over 140,000 weapons in four years … and the vast majority of these weapons were sold in gun shops in the United States. Along the border of the U.S. and Mexico, there are approximately 8,000 weapons shops. That means that there are approximately nine weapons stores for each Wal-Mart that exists in the United States and Mexico.”

The Mexican president spoke at length during a Rose Garden news conference about what is an uncomfortable subject for Mr. Obama, whose administration is under investigation by Congress over the notorious “Fast and Furious” program. Organized by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and overseen by the Department of Justice, the program sent thousands of weapons to Mexican drug cartels via straw purchasers, or people who legally purchase guns in the United States with the intention of illegally trafficking them somewhere else. At least 300 people in Mexico were killed with weapons provided by Fast and Furious, including U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

Neither Mr. Obama nor Mr. Calderon mentioned Fast and Furious in public Monday. Mr. Obama said stopping the flow of illegal guns into Mexico is a “difficult task.”

“We’ve actually put into practice efforts to stop illegal gun trafficking north to south,” Mr. Obama said. “We will continue to coordinate closely with the Mexican government because we recognize the toll that it’s taken with respect to families and innocent individuals inside of Mexico.”

Mr. Calderon said he appreciated the “administrative effort” being undertaken by the Obama administration to stop gun trafficking.

“We’ve seen a much more active effort in this sense than in any other time in the past,” Mr. Calderon said.

But the Mexican president added that, unless the U.S. enacts a ban on assault weapons and greater gun registration, “Then we are never going to be able to stop the violence in Mexico or stop a future turning of those guns upon the U.S.”

He also ridiculed the state of Texas for recommending that college students avoid traveling to Mexico for “spring break,” saying young people were ignoring the warning.

“There are hundreds of thousands of young Texans who go to Mexico, enjoy it, and … we haven’t seen one single incident with U.S. ‘spring-breakers’ in Mexico this past spring,” Mr. Calderon said.

PHILIPPINES: Stricter gun control measures ordered

Monday, March 26th, 2012

March 26, 2012

Written by: Alfred Dalizon

Original Story VIA:  Philippine Journal Online

MAMANG PULIS — PHILIPPINE National Police chief Director General Nicanor A. Bartolome has ordered the implementation of stricter gun control measures aimed at reducing by 10 percent gun-related crimes and reducing by 3.38 percent the number of loose firearms in the country.

He tasked the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management to spearhead the massive nationwide gun control campaign aimed also at accounting for loose firearms and tens of thousands of licensed guns whose owners have failed to renew their registration over the years.

Bartolome also directed all 17 police regional directors and the different PNP national operational support units to go after loose firearm holders in their jurisdiction to arrest increasing number of criminal incidents involving the use of firearms, mostly loose weapons.

The PNP Firearms and Explosives Office headed by Senior Superintendent Raul D. Petrasanta has been tasked to furnish police regional offices with complete list of delinquent firearm holders for appropriate action.

The PNP operational plan called “Oplan Kontra Boga” includes home visits to gun owners with expired licenses in a bid to reduce by more than three percent the number of loose firearms in the country every month.

Gen. Bartolome instructed his men to conduct home visits to gun owners with expired licenses to either urge them to secure necessary documents or confiscate their firearms.

There are around 1.1 million loose firearms in the country, according to PNP estimates in 2009. The number is believed to have gone down drastically as the PNP launched its first massive anti-weapons campaign before the 2010 elections won by President Benigno Aquino III.

Gen. Bartolome said the proposal to visit the homes of persons with delinquent firearm licenses was approved during the first national summit on firearms control held in Camp Crame in 2009.

The PNP chief said that police operations against unregistered firearms would include dragnet operations in crime-prone areas, mobile checkpoints and choke points, intelligence build-up, application of search warrants and the dismantling of private armed groups.

Bellevue’s CCRKBA works to stop U.N. Arms Trade Treaty

Friday, March 23rd, 2012
Seattle Gun Rights Examiner

Global gun control proponents are preparing to adopt an international arms trade treaty at the United Nations in July, but the Bellevue-based Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms has been working busily behind the scenes to stop them.

CCRKBA is making no secret of the fact that its staff has been involved in the development of two pieces of legislation, HR 3594, introduced in the House of Representatives last Dec. 7 (Pearl Harbor Day, and the irony of this is not lost on anyone), and S. 2205, unveiled Wednesday.

The House measure is sponsored by Congressman Joe Walsh, a maverick Illinois Republican freshman who addressed last year’s Gun Rights Policy Conference in Chicago and had the audience ready to march on Washington. The Senate measure comes from Kansas Republican Jerry Moran, who had this to say:

Continue reading on Examiner.com Bellevue’s CCRKBA works to stop U.N. Arms Trade Treaty – Seattle gun rights | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/gun-rights-in-seattle/bellevue-s-ccrkba-works-to-stop-u-n-arms-trade-treaty#ixzz1pzT4b124

“The Second Amendment Sovereignty Act ensures that our country’s sovereignty and firearm freedoms will not be infringed upon by an international organization made up of many countries with little respect for gun rights. Our Second Amendment rights are not negotiable.”

CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb has devoted considerable time and energy working in the background to thwart this global gun control initiative. He was a powerhouse behind formation of the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR) a couple of years ago. Both CCRKBA and its sister organization, the Second Amendment Foundation, were deeply involved in IAPCAR’s formation.

IAPCAR now includes gun rights groups from several nations, and recently made news when it called for Attorney General Eric Holder to step down over his continuous stonewalling on Operation Fast and Furious. This column discussed that development.

Gottlieb and his wife, Julianne, have spent much time at the United Nations on the global gun control issue, and traveling to meetings of international gun rights leaders. They see this initiative as a looming threat to Second Amendment sovereignty. When Moran introduced his legislation Wednesday, Gottlieb made this observation:

“With the U.N. poised to move on its proposed treaty this summer, it is important for Congress to fulfill its responsibility to protect our Constitutional rights, rather than allow them to be eroded by international political correctness.”

In December, after Walsh unveiled his measure – which would prohibit the expenditure of U.S. tax dollars on U.N. activities if those efforts in any way threaten the gun rights of American citizens – Gottlieb greeted that bill by noting:

“At a time when our constitutional freedoms are at stake, the only way to prevent their erosion by international treaty is to put in place the legislative mechanism to cut the U.N. off financially. We’re delighted that Walsh and nearly a dozen of his colleagues have the vision and intestinal fortitude to pursue that preventative measure. International gun grabbers need to keep their hands off of our Constitution, and out of our pockets.”

The good news is that CCRKBA and SAF, and IAPCAR, are not the only ones in this battle. The National Rifle Association has also been alerting its troops to the U.N.’s global gun control threat. Many gun rights activists are convinced that Fast and Furious was a component of the global gun control effort, though there has yet been no evidence directly linking the two.

Then, again, as Congressman Darrell Issa has repeatedly noted, the Justice Department has yet to deliver tens of thousands of documents requested by Issa’s House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which is investigating Fast and Furious. This column refrains from engaging in “tinfoil hat” speculation about what may or may not be in those documents – and whether Fast and Furious could be part of some sinister global gun control plot. On the other hand, who would have guessed 15 months ago that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives would have engaged in a gun walking effort that put some 2,000 guns into the hands of Mexican drug cartels? Who would have thought the only reason that operation was hastily shut down was because two of those “walked” guns were recovered at the murder scene of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in December 2010? Anyone remember one disgusted ATF whistleblower telling Issa’s committee last year that Fast and Furious was “the perfect storm of idiocy?”

Wednesday, while chatting with NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, he recalled traveling last year to the U.N. to speak.

“Talk about an out-of-body experience,” he said, with no small degree of sarcasm. “Standing there in front of all those ‘bastions of freedom’ like Syria and Iran and North Korea and Cuba and China, and understanding that they want to come into our country and infect our freedoms literally like a germ, and dumb our freedoms down to a lesser standard…that’s their intent.”

And he added this gem:

“What I told them in July when I testified…I looked them right in the eye and told them about American freedom, and that they had no authority to mess with it, no way, no how.”

There is a battle looming in July over global gun control and U.S. constitutional sovereignty, but expect very little attention from the national “mainstream” press. They’re not likely to report how the Obama administration warmed right up to the treaty concept back in 2009, after the previous administration (you know, the one that gets blamed for everything from current high gas prices to the sinking of the Titanic) consistently turned thumbs down on it.

It is too late, however, to sweep this one under the same rug as Fast and Furious. As Wyatt Earp allegedly stated to Ike Clanton after the shooting started in Tombstone on Oct. 26, 1881, “The fight’s commenced. Get to fighting or get away!”

In the gun rights community, that appears to be the sentiment.

While it may be a long shot for either piece of legislation to get any traction, that’s not going to discourage American gun owners. They are already fired up over this year’s national elections, and many see the current administration’s interest in international gun control as an example of things to come unless there is a sea change in November.

SEN. MORAN’S BILL TO PROTECT 2A FROM U.N. HAILED BY CCRKBA, IAPCAR

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

SEN. MORAN’S BILL TO PROTECT 2A FROM U.N. HAILED BY CCRKBA, IAPCAR

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

BELLEVUE, WA – Kansas Senator Jerry Moran’s newly-introduced legislation to protect Second Amendment rights from a proposed United Nations small arms treaty is an idea that needs to be passed quickly, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

Sen. Moran’s proposed Second Amendment Sovereignty Act, S. 2205, is similar to legislation introduced in the House by Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh in December. Like the Walsh bill, Sen. Moran’s measure would prohibit the Obama administration from attempting to influence Arms Trade Treaty negotiations that might restrict the Second Amendment rights of U.S. citizens.

“We’re delighted that Sen. Moran has unveiled this bill,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “With the U.N. poised to move on its proposed treaty this summer, it is important for Congress to fulfill its responsibility to protect our Constitutional rights, rather than allow them to be eroded by international political correctness.”

Like the Walsh bill, Sen. Moran’s legislation was developed with cooperation and assistance of CCRKBA staff, Gottlieb confirmed.

“In the fall of 2009,” he recalled, “the Obama administration reversed long-standing opposition to U.S. participation in Arms Trade Treaty negotiations. While this treaty purportedly will concentrate on conventional military weapons, including tanks and missiles, there remains a genuine threat that its scope could be expanded during negotiations to include civilian small arms and ammunition.

“Such a treaty could have a significant impact on hunters, target shooters and every other American citizen who exercises his or her Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms,” Gottlieb stated. “The Citizens Committee will be watching these negotiations under a microscope, and in the meantime, we will encourage our members and every gun owner to contact their two senators and urge them to support Sen. Moran’s legislation.”

With more than 650,000 members and supporters nationwide, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is one of the nation’s premier gun rights organizations. As a non-profit organization, the Citizens Committee is dedicated to preserving firearms freedoms through active lobbying of elected officials and facilitating grass-roots organization of gun rights activists in local communities throughout the United States. The Citizens Committee can be reached by phone at (425) 454-4911, on the Internet at www.ccrkba.org or by email to InformationRequest@ccrkba.org.

Obama and Holder Using ‘Fast and Furious’ for Gun Grab

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

International Association for the Protection of
Civilian Arms Rights

It is now official—

OVER ONE-FOURTH OF THE HOUSE WANTS ERIC HOLDER TO GO!

There are 120 U.S. House members who have signed, indicating they have either publicly insisted on Eric Holder’s resignation or have conveyed a NO CONFIDENCE in his job performance via a formal House resolution, or both.

Nearly ONE-HALF of the Republican caucus has also expressed the same outcome.  There are three United States Senators who have called for the Attorney General’s resignation:  Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Johnny Isakson of Georgia and James Inhofe of Oklahoma.  Joining their ranks are two sitting governors who want Eric Holder GONE—Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Rick Perry of Texas.

All major Republican candidates for president have also pushed for Holder’s resignation.

Yet, the beat goes on!

The stonewalling continues!

The liberal media continues not to report on Fast and Furious with any concern!

Barack Obama received a letter last June from 31 HOUSE DEMOCRATS asking him to order Eric Holder and the Department of Justice to comply with the congressional investigation and requests of documents having to do with the scandal.

Attorney General Eric Holder’s sixth Congressional appearance on the important matter last month again showed that the Attorney General LIED TO CONGRESS UNDER OATH!

Contempt of Congress and perjury charges should be filed!

Operation Fast and Furious was planned and executed to make the case for gun control laws by manufacturing an international gun running crisis as an excuse to pass Obama’s United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.

This is an outrage!

Will you join us in calling for Eric Holder to resign and be prosecuted for these crimes?

House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has subpoenaed 80,000 pages worth of documents from the Department of Justice.  Under Eric Holder’s direction, only 7,000 documents have been received by the committee.  LESS THAN 10%!  However, the DOJ’s “Inspector General” has received all the documents!

Yes, the nation’s highest law enforcement person is thumbing his nose at Congress!

Holder has not given any legal reason to withhold the documents!

Of course his “commander-in-chief,” Barack Obama, has “full confidence” in his top-rated minion.  This is sickening.

Murdered federal Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s family has waited for true justice.  In fact, they have had to file a lawsuit to try to get answers!

Will the Obama administration ever be accountable for this gross injustice?

Will Eric Holder ever offer a real apology to the Terry family, Mexico, and the American Public?

Will Eric Holder ever own up to the fact that Fast and Furious actually killed a lot of people and was his fault? 

According to The Daily Caller, “Allegations are now surfacing that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata was also murdered with weapons the Obama administration allowed to ‘walk’ into the hands of drug cartel members.”

Patriotic Americans have literally “had enough.”  THE TIME IS NOW—ERIC HOLDER MUST GO AND THERE MUST BE A FULL INVESTIGATION!  While mainstream media seem to ignore this ongoing story, we want the whole truth…and nothing but the truth!

The Terry family especially deserves answers as to why their son had to die for this twisted game Obama and Holder are playing.

NO ONE should ever LIE under oath to the United States Congress—especially the number one law enforcement person in America!

This is a disgrace.

I only have one question to ask AG Eric Holder:  Sir, do you have any honor at all?

It has already been proven through Department of Justice emails that he knew about the murder of Agent Brian Terry MONTHS before he claimed to have any knowledge of the operation!  That is perjury.  He lied to the United States Congress.

Yet, in many cases, the people who have been lied to – our elected officials in Congress – THREE-FOURTHS are seemingly holding back from taking direct action to get to truth and justice!  That’s why your action so very important!

While Mr. Obama is busy apologizing to the Afghan people, what about the 300-plus deaths directly traced to the OBAMA/HOLDER Fast and Furious plan?  What about the nearly 2,000 who have been wounded thanks to Attorney General Eric Holder?

When will that apology come?

Rep. Darrell Issa believes: “(The Department of) Justice has blood on their hands.”  He also affirms that the Attorney General owes an apology to Mexico!

When will the Terry family personal apology occur?

You know, it really doesn’t have too much meaning when someone says on national television during a congressional committee meeting that “it was a shame.”

The bottom line:  Attorney General Eric Holder needs to be fired!

Monty Wilkinson, Eric Holder’s former deputy chief of staff, communicated to Dennis Burke, now-former Arizona U.S. Attorney General at 10:04 a.m., December 15, 2010: “I’ve alerted the AG (Holder)…” in reference to Agent Terry’s death!  Within 24 hours of the shooting of Agent Terry – 15 LONG MONTHS AGO – Eric Holder knew.  Yet, Holder testified it was sometime in the Spring of 2011.  Lies…lies…lies!

This disaster was not just “swept under the rug,” 90% of the documented evidence has been WITHHELD FROM OUR U.S. CONGRESS! 

Even Democrat Rep. John Dingell of Michigan is bewildered over this tragedy. As the Congressman for Agent Terry’s family he stated: “Operation Fast and Furious was grossly irresponsible.  Over the years, I have been a harsh critic of ATF.  It is clear in my mind that ‘gun-walking’ tactics are illogical and should never have been used.  I was outraged the day I learned about this behavior, and I am still outraged to this day.”

“The fact that a constituent of mine, Agent Brian Terry, was killed in the line of duty because of this gross negligence on behalf of ATF makes this situation even more serious.”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) adds: “I find it very troubling that Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice have not been more forthcoming with information regarding this failed gun walking operation and at times seems to have contradicted what appears to be factual evidence.

“The Attorney General should provide more clarity on this issue to alleviate the concerns that are clouding over the Justice Department.  That is why I fully support the House Oversight and Government Reform and Judiciary Committees’ continued investigations into this important issue.”

Quite frankly, we need Darrell Issa and other Congressman to “pull the trigger” and charge Eric Holder with “CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS.”  Will you help to expose the Attorney General to those Congressmen who have not called for his resignation?!

The time for “bobbing and weaving” like a professional boxer by Eric Holder in front of the congressional oversight committee is OVER!

Americans want the truth!

This fast and furious sham could also play a key issue with voters in November. 

Eric Holder and Barack Obama must come clean on the entire matter.  But will they?  I doubt it!  The most ANTI-GUN President and Attorney General to ever hold those positions—will never admit to doing anything wrong.

NOW— here is the other “downside” of this entire infamous affair!

Here is the sinister motive of Barack Obama on utilizing Fast and Furious to HIS benefit…..

Obama and Holder will use their own failed Fast and Furious gun-walking operation—to push for INTERNATIONAL GUN CONTROL by the United Nations!  That’s right; they will use their own failed operation to say that guns need to be more controlled—even by the United Nations.  Barack Obama . . . Eric Holder . . . and the United Nations want to REGISTER your guns and eliminate YOUR Second Amendment right to own a gun.  Remember, this is YOUR freedom guaranteed by our own United States Constitution!

Don’t let lies and Holder’s attempted cover-up of Fast and Furious be used to TAKE AWAY your gun rights!

Mr. Obama needs to FIRE Eric Holder right now!  Or—

The Attorney General must RESIGN…NOW!

Will you please help us to finalize this grass-roots campaign to rid our nation of one who lies and tries to take away our freedom?

Eric Holder has committed several criminal acts!  The American people will not put up with lying to Congress.  “Contempt of Congress” must happen.  Better still, Eric Holder must resign!

Respectfully,

Philip Watson
Executive Director
International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights

P.S. Remember, it has already been proven that he KNEW about Fast and Furious way before he said he did; which means he lied to the American people—you and me!  Please insist to Congress that Eric Holder must resign!

THE STONEWALLING MUST CEASE…NOW!

 

 

Will The US Senate Ratify the UN Small Arms Treaty?

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Original Story VIA:  Right Side News

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

By J. D. Longstreet

I originally wrote about this threat in December of 2010. But with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton having publicly stated that the Obama Administration will be working hand-in-glove with the UN to pass a new “Small Arms Treaty,”  American gun owners need to keep in mind that with the constraints of another election no longer facing Obama (should he win in November) the Obama Administration can press ahead at — flank speed — to ram this treaty through the US Senate.  If passed it will, for all intents and purposes, disarm American citizens … superseding the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution.
We haven’t heard much about gun control lately, here in America, and I am beginning to believe that is by design. The Obama Administration does not want to awaken American gun owners — at least until AFTER THE ELECTION!The fact of the matter is this: The UN Small Arms Treaty amounts to global gun control.

It may surprise Americans to learn that our government is filled with lawmakers who endorse a one world government with the UN as the single governing agency for the globe.  They will most certainly support the UN’s Small Arms Treaty when it comes before the US Senate

As we noted above, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has announced the Obama Administration would be working hand in glove with the U.N. to pass the “Small Arms Treaty.”

It is expected that the Washington Gun-Grabbers will package the treaty as legislation to assist in the fight against “terrorism,” “insurgency” and “international crime syndicates.” But the truth is this: The U.N.’s Small Arms Treaty is nothing more than a massive, GLOBAL gun control scheme.

American organizations supporting the Second Amendment have warned that the U.N.’s Small Arms Treaty would almost certainly FORCE national governments to:make gun licensing requirements far tougher than they are now, which would force law-abiding citizens to have to trudge through even more bureaucratic red tape just to legally own a gun;

It would also give the UN the power to CONFISCATE and DESTROY ALL “unauthorized” civilian firearms.  Of course, all firearms owned by the government will be excluded.

The treaty would BAN the trade, sale, and private ownership of ALL semi-automatic weapons.

There will be an INTERNATIONAL gun registry created.  Once they know who has the guns — and where the guns are — we can expect full-scale gun CONFISCATION.

The citizen “unrest” in America today over the teetering economy and the socialist agenda by those in power in Washington, may make the ratification by the US Senate of this “treaty” seem far more palatable and even desirous by our current government.  And that is why we bring this warning to you. We must keep a wary eye on the goings-on in the national legislature.

In 2009, we issued a warning concerning the unceasing work of “gun-grabbers” in America. In that article we said the following: “So America edges ever closer to losing the citizen’s right to keep and bear arms, quite possibly even the right to carry a knife. There can be no doubt that a knife, in the time of our forefathers, was, indeed, a weapon. It would, no doubt, fall into the category of “arms.” There can also be no doubt as to why the forefathers felt it important to place this amendment (the second amendment) in the constitution as a part of the original 10 amendments that made up the Bill of Rights. They had just fought a war against a tyrant to gain their freedom – and they did it with a citizen’s army composed of men who owned their own weapons!

George Washington, the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army and the first President of the United States said the following: “A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.”

Thomas Jefferson said the following: “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”

And finally, words from the most well known of the tyrants of the last century, Adolf Hitler: “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed the subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty.”

It is good, I think, to note that The Forefathers felt so highly of the right to keep and bear arms that it is the SECOND Amendment. The first being, of course, freedom of speech, religion, etc.  Please note that without the Second Amendment the First Amendment would effectively be null and void.

We must tread softly, yet boldly, as we attempt to protect our rights these days. America has two generations of citizens trained in socialism as products of the Public (Government) School System. Like “Pavlov’s Dog” they await only the ringing of the bell to respond in defense of the “greater good.” But, like the other dog, chasing it’s tail, they haven’t the reasoning ability to ask of themselves what they intend to do with the tail if, and when, they DO catch it?”

“The price of freedom is, indeed, eternal vigilance.” The Democratic Party has demonstrated their utter contempt for the concerns and wishes of the American citizen. Currently they continue to hold the reins of power in the US Senate and will, most likely, continue to do so after the November election. We cannot drop our guard, or divert our attention for one moment. If there is a way, anyway, (as we have learned the hard way) the democrats will try to sneak ratification of the UN Small Arms Treaty through the Senate with no regard for the opposition of American gun owners nor for those who insist the US Constitution still reigns supreme in America — NOT THE UN.

If the Obama Regime is returned to power in November — along with the liberal-socialists politicians that are, unfortunately, the Democratic Party these days — the constitutional rights of all Americans are in peril.

Conservatives must work harder than ever as we continue our endeavor to rid our nation’s leadership of those who support the United Nations and their goal of establishing a one world government, or global governance, under THE UN’s control.

We must not allow the UN Small Arms Treaty to be ratified by the US Senate… period!

J. D. Longstreet is a conservative Southern American (A native sandlapper and an adopted Tar Heel) with a deep passion for the history, heritage, and culture of the southern states of America. At the same time he is a deeply loyal American believing strongly in “America First”.· He is a thirty-year veteran of the broadcasting business, as an “in the field” and “on-air” news reporter (contributing to radio, TV, and newspapers) and a conservative broadcast commentator.

Longstreet is a veteran of the US Army and US Army Reserve. He is a member of the American Legion and the Sons of Confederate Veterans.· A lifelong Christian, Longstreet subscribes to “old Lutheranism” to express and exercise his faith.

Articles by J.D. Longstreet are posted at: “INSIGHT on Freedom“,· “Hurricane Alley… by Longstreet”,· “The Carolina Post” and numerous other conservative websites around the web.·

VIDEO: Arms Trade Treaty – The Hell With Congress

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Original Story VIA:  AMMOLAND

Manasquan, NJ –-(Ammoland.com)- There is a widespread misunderstanding on the part of American gun-owners, evidenced in gun blogs and in commentaries on articles dealing with the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

The crux of this misunderstanding is that, since there are checks and balances in our Constitution, and since the Constitution clearly states that ratification of a treaty can only occur “provided two thirds of the Senators present concur,” this is almost impossible to come about.

Therefore, we will never be subjected to the constraints of, and penalties for, violations of an Arms Trade Treaty.

Most of those who voice this sentiment do so vehemently, and with all certainty that this is fact, rather than merely conjecture.

What they refuse to acknowledge is that when it comes to words —even those in our sacred blueprint for a representative government, the Constitution— nothing is actually all black and white; when it comes to words —especially words that were penned more than 2 centuries earlier when the world was very different— it will almost always be possible to find grey areas that can be breached to achieve a desired political goal.

The fact is that our Constitution does not protect us against the growing customary international law or the growing norm of global civilian disarmament.

There are many references in the literature which address this situation. We will cite only two: “The Second Amendment and Global Gun Control,” by Joseph Bruce Alonso (Journal on Firearms & Public Policy, Vol. 15), and “The Human Right of Self-Defense” by David B. Kopel, Paul Gallant & Joanne D. Eisen (Brigham Young University Journal of Public Law, Vol 22, Number 1).

These two papers provide carefully documented proof that ratification of an international treaty can occur —and can be made binding to U.S. citizens— without any Senate action at all!

But this is not simply our opinion. The hyperlinks below are provided for convenience, so that any reader can judge for him- or herself as to the veracity of this thesis as part of current international law.

Alonso notes that “There are a variety of ways that these [international] gun control laws could affect the rights and obligations of parties within the United States.”

He enumerates some of the mechanisms which might come into play to effect such a scenario:

  • “The first way is the possibility that the President of the United States signs…[a treaty]. Signature by a United States President would indicate to the international community that the United States intends to abide by the gun control laws, with or without ratification by the Senate.”
  • “A second way these gun control laws could affect United States parties is in the event that gun control becomes a customary international law. Even if the United States did not sign on to either treaty, if the United States began to abide by the treaties, the United States may, in effect, be consenting to the treaties becoming customary international law. In the eyes of an international court, the United States, by following the treaties, is consenting to be bound by the treaties in the future. To avoid accidental consent, the United States should expressly state that as a nation, the United States does not consent to the gun control treaties and that any activity consistent with the treaties is not intended to recognize the treaties’ legal status. If the United States does not make such an express statement to the international community, the United States might, arguably, be expected to maintain any and all gun control measures that the treaties require.”
  • “A third way the gun control measures could affect United States parties is through nonconsensual customary law. Nonconsensual customary international law may arise as a result of international practice. This international practice may be evidenced by events not approved by the United States but eventually held binding on the United States….In many ways, the international community is in agreement on gun control, with the exception being the United States. The respect and adherence by numerous countries to strict gun control adds weight to the notion that a common understanding of how sovereign states must deal with private gun ownership can be established with or without every country’s consent.”

Not only are there grey areas in the treaty ratification process, but they are also present in the ways in which our country can be dragged into war.

According to the U.S. Constitution, Section 8, “The Congress shall have Power To….declare War….” However, in the course of our research, we spotted an item printed in the March 8, 2012 edition of the Canada Free Press. An article entitled Obama Admin Cites Int’l Permission, Not Congress, as ‘Legal Basis’ For Action in Syria stated: “Under question from Sen. Sessions at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing today, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey indicated that ‘international permission,’ rather than Congressional approval, provided a ‘legal basis’ for military action by the United States.”

The video above includes the interview, and the replies from Panetta and Dempsey to Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), are nothing short of mind-boggling to hear! In response to Panetta and Dempsey concerning the issue of Congressional approval, Sen. Sessions replied incredulously: “Well, I’m almost breathless about that. Because what I heard you say was we’re going to seek international approval, and you will come and tell the Congress what we might do….”

The fact is that the U.S. Constitution was written two centuries ago, and we live in a very different world. Times change, and there are many things that our Founding Fathers never anticipated when they wrote the Constitution onto parchment with quill and ink. It is obviously now possible to be forced into a war without the approval of Congress.

And it is also now possible to be forced to abide by the terms of a treaty —like the ATT— without Congressional approval.

According to Kopel, Gallant & Eisen (p. 54-55):

“Having been selected as Special Rapporteur by the old Human Rights Commission, [Barbara] Frey delivered her final report to the new Human Rights Council on July 27, 2006. On August 24, 2006, the UN Human Rights Council’s subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights endorsed the Frey report, and announced that all national governments were required by international human rights law to implement various listed gun control provisions; the subcommission recommended that the full Human Rights Council also adopt the report and issue a similar mandate. Of course the subcommission has little power to enforce its wishes directly, but the declaration gives national government officials, including courts, considerable support to promote restrictive gun laws which are, according to the UN, mandated by international law. The full Human Rights Council is scheduled to take up the issue, and indications at the time of this writing suggest that the full Council will ratify most or all of Frey’s report. The Chairman of the full Human Rights Council has already announced his enthusiastic support for the Frey Report, the subcommission’s adoption of the report, and the prospect of using the Human Rights Council to advance a worldwide gun control mandate. The Frey Report, then, is not simply a scholarly paper that will be filed away in a United Nations library. It is an effort to establish a new norm of international human rights law, and this effort to establish the new norm is supported by the United Nations Human Rights Council, as one aspect of the UN’s far-ranging support for restrictive and confiscatory firearms policies (emphasis ours).”

The Frey report should be required reading for all Americans – gun-owner and non-gun-owner alike, for there is every likelihood that the ATT, in some form, will be enacted! And her report—which represents the UN’s view and the new world “norm,” is one of the scariest documents one can find to describe what our America would look like if the ATT proponents have their way!

The UN has been able to twist the individual human right of self-defense into a human rights abuse against a perpetrator. In the words of Barbara Frey:

“Self-defence is sometimes designated as a ‘right’. There is inadequate legal support for such an interpretation. Self-defence is more properly characterized as a means of protecting the right to life and, as such, a basis for avoiding responsibility for violating the rights of another. No international human right of self-defence is expressly set forth in the primary sources of international law: treaties, customary law, or general principles.”

So much for our Constitution and its Bill of Rights!

About the authors:
Dr. Paul Gallant and Dr. Joanne D. Eisen practice optometry and dentistry, respectively, on Long Island, NY, and have collaborated on firearm politics for the past 20 years. They have also collaborated with David B. Kopel since 2000, and are Senior Fellows at the Independence Institute, where Kopel is Research Director. Most recently, Gallant and Eisen have also written with Alan J. Chwick. Sherry Gallant has been instrumental in the editing of virtually all of the authors’ writings, and is immensely knowledgeable in the area of firearm politics; she actively co-authored this article.

Almost all of the co-authored writings of Gallant, Eisen, Kopel and Chwick can be found at http://gallanteisen.incnf.org/, which contains more detailed information about their biographies and writing, and contains hyperlinks to many of their articles. Their recent series focusing on the Arms Trade Treaty can be found primarily athttp://gwg.incnf.org/ . Respective E-Mail addresses are: PaulGallant2A@cs.com, JoanneDEisen@cs.com, AJChwick@iNCNF.org, Sherry.Gallant@gmail.com

Read more at Ammoland.com: http://www.ammoland.com/2012/03/12/arms-trade-treaty-the-hell-with-congress/#ixzz1p70KN2pm

CANADA: Ontario Crown appeals after court shoots down minimum gun sentences

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Original Story VIA:  OTTAWA CITIZEN

By Bradley Bouzane, Postmedia News February 27, 2012

The Ontario Attorney General has appealed a recent court ruling that deemed mandatory minimum sentencing for gun crimes unconstitutional.

The Ontario Crown served the appeal on Friday, setting up a future appearance before the Ontario Court of Appeal.

One of the lawyers who argued the constitutional issues surrounding the sentence for Leroy Smickle of Toronto – who eventually received a lighter sentence for a gun crime despite the mandatory minimums imposed by the federal Conservative government – said it’s no surprise the Crown intends to contest the ruling from the Ontario Superior Court.

“There’s a section of the Criminal Code that was declared to be unconstitutional,” said Dirk Derstine, who was brought in by Smickle’s lawyers to argue the constitutional matter. “The Attorney General’s office has a mandate to defend the Criminal Code. It’s a very important section from the Crown’s point of view. I’d be surprised if they would just let it lie.

“We’ve all told Mr. Smickle that there may well be an appeal.”

Representatives for the Ontario Attorney General were not available early Monday evening.

Earlier this month, Smickle, 30, who was found holding a loaded handgun, was sentenced to five months under house arrest in addition to the equivalent of seven months spent in pre-trial custody. Mandatory sentences, under changes to the Criminal Code made by the Conservative government, would have required at least three years in prison for the crime.

Judge Anne Molloy described the mandatory sentence as “cruel and unusual punishment” and said sending Smickle to prison for such a lengthy term would be “fundamentally unfair, outrageous, abhorrent and intolerable.”

In her ruling, Molloy cited the section of the Charter of Rights that says every person “has the right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.”

The mandatory minimum gun law came into force in 2008 as part of the Conservative government’s “Tackling Violent Crime Act.” A similar approach is part of the new Bill C-10, the Conservative government’s omnibus crime bill.

The bill has been attacked by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, which says there is little evidence mandatory minimums provide deterrence, enhance safety or lower crime rates.

Although the Toronto judgment will have important ramifications, the case it emerged from is oddly comic.

A Toronto police tactical squad burst into an apartment in the early morning hours one day in 2009.

Smickle happened to be spending the night at the apartment when officers came looking for his cousin.

When officers burst in, Smickle was on the couch in boxer shorts, tank top and sunglasses, a pistol in his left hand and a laptop computer in his right, apparently taking pictures of himself looking “cool,” court heard.

The gun wasn’t his and police found other guns in the tenant’s bedroom, court heard. Smickle had no criminal record, held a job, has a young child and a fiancee and was working to finish high school.

He was charged with possession of a loaded firearm.

Derstine said Monday that the appeal is likely to be joined with an earlier application dealing with the case of Hussein Nur, another Toronto man who was found in possession of a gun. He had no prior criminal record.

While he could not provide an exact timeline for the matter, Derstine said it would be about six months before the appeal was heard in court.

With files from the National Post

© Copyright (c) Postmedia News

The UN Arms Trade Treaty & Our Constitution’s Loophole

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Original Story VIA:  AmmoLand.com

New York, NY--(Ammoland.com)-One of the constant mantras of U.S. firearm-prohibitionists is “close the loophole!”

There’s seemingly a loophole in every restrictive firearm law. And although these demands are presumably for our safety, the intent is to make lawful firearm acquisition and possession more difficult for ordinary citizens.

However, there is one very real loophole that almost no one talks about, or even recognizes. And it lies in the U.S. Constitution. And it’s one that most U.S. gun-owners blithely refuse to believe, even when it’s pointed out to them. To most gun-owners, the Second Amendment is unbreachable, especially when it comes to international treaties like the forthcoming Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

Article II, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution states: “He [the President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur….”

We constantly come across comments from American gun-owners, in Internet blogs and in response to articles, that the U.S. Senate will never be able to pass a Treaty such as the ATT. The argument made is, invariably, that, because 2/3 of the Senate is required to ratify a treaty, one like the ATT will never be ratified by the U.S.

Therefore, we are told we can all rest assuredly that the protections provided by our Second Amendment would not be in jeopardy, even if an ATT were to be enacted.

This —the 2/3 Senate majority— is our Constitution’s “loophole.”

And it could be the means to nullify our Constitution. The loophole relates to the process of “norming”, a concept which our Founding Fathers never had to deal with, or even envisioned, when they wrote the law of the land that guarantees us the right to private firearm-possession, and all those other rights enumerated in our Bill of Rights.

In his paper “The Second Amendment and Global Gun Control, Joseph Bruce Alonso, an attorney in Georgia, shows in great detail, just how the process of norming can create a mechanism to erase the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution. He does not address the Arms Trade Treaty because his paper was written prior to the very notion of an ATT.

He discusses the UN’s attempts at global firearm-prohibition, and the multitude of legal conflicts this brings about. Alonso acknowledges that, “In the United States, acceptance of a treaty is ratification by the Senate. By signing, a sovereign state does indicate an intention to ratify or at least consider and abide by a treaty….” But, he also notes:

“if a treaty conflicts with the United States Constitution, the United States Supreme Court will hold that the treaty is not binding because it violates the United States Constitution. If the same conflict came before an international court, the international would hold that the treaty was binding. These competing legal systems are on a road to conflict.”

Then, Alonso adds the following:

“The United States Constitution clearly anticipates the United States federal government entering into treaties, but does not appear to have anticipated the extent to which treaties would have domestic ramifications….[T]he desire to end all private gun ownership worldwide is a final goal of many international law actors. This desire is often hidden or lightly shrouded, but is sometimes flaunted….Based on the intensity of disapproval aimed at the United States, one expects…politics will push in the direction …to end private gun ownership….The ways in which the rights of private United States gun owners could be infringed are endless. Clearly, a final goal of eliminating private gun ownership [the UN’s agenda] would violate the Second Amendment.”

So, the biggest obstacle to overcome for global firearm-prohibition to succeed is our Second Amendment. Alonso provides numerous scenarios that could plausibly occur to get around this:

“The first way is the possibility that the President of the United States signs [a treaty]…Signature by a United States President would indicate to the international community that the United States intends to abide by the gun control laws, with or without ratification by the Senate.”

Note that final phrase, “…with or without ratification by the Senate.”

So much for a 2/3 Senate majority vote needed in order for U.S. citizens to be subject to the provisions of a Treaty meant to disarm them—along with the rest of the world!

According to David Kopel, Paul Gallant and Joanne D. Eisen, in their paper “The Human Right of Self-Defense” (Brigham Young University Journal of Public Law, Vol 22, Number 1 (p. 56-57):

“While it is unlikely that a severely restrictive international gun control treaty could be ratified by two-thirds of the United States Senate, there are many mechanisms by which unratified treaties can work their way into U.S. law. For example, some eminent international disarmament experts have taken the position that the president of the United States may announce that a treaty has entered into force, and thereby become the law of the United States even if the U.S. Senate has never voted to ratify the treaty [emphasis ours]. The United States Supreme Court has cited unratified treaties (and even an African treaty), and various contemporary foreign law sources, as guidance for interpreting United States constitutional provisions. Likewise, other scholars, writing in a UN publication, argue that United Nations gun control documents (notwithstanding the fact that the documents, on their face, have no binding legal effect) represent “norms” of international law.”

Alonso further addresses the problem of conflict between international treaties and the U.S. Constitution. The role of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties in resolution of such conflicts is of pivotal importance when a case is presented in international courts. Alonso concludes: “…an American citizen who is protected by the Second Amendment could not assert this right as a protection in an international court.”

Kopel, Gallant and Eisen elaborate further on that point in their paper: “Attorney Joseph Bruce Alonso has detailed how the theories being developed by IANSA [International Action Network on Small Arms] and its allies would allow American manufacturers, governments, or gun owners to be sued in foreign courts.”

That means you —or any of us— could be prosecuted by an international court with all our protections asserted in the Bill of Rights thrown down the drain!!

How many believe that, in this firearm-hostile world, any of us would prevail in such a lawsuit?!

Americans had better pay heed to this very real Constitutional loophole, because those who don’t may be in store for a very rude awakening! Times have changed since the Founding Fathers drafted our unique document called The Constitution of the United States, and it appears clear that proposed international law (e.g. an ATT) may infringe upon the American Right to Bear Arms, and all the other rights guaranteed within it, without any need for a Senate vote.

Is this a potential loophole that President Obama—our country’s most anti-gun president—might take advantage of?

About the authors:
Dr. Paul Gallant and Dr. Joanne D. Eisen practice optometry and dentistry, respectively, on Long Island, NY, and have collaborated on firearm politics for the past 20 years. They have also collaborated with David B. Kopel since 2000, and are Senior Fellows at the Independence Institute, where Kopel is Research Director. Most recently, Gallant and Eisen have also written with Alan J. Chwick. Sherry Gallant has been instrumental in the editing of virtually all of the authors’ writings, and is immensely knowledgeable in the area of firearm politics; she actively co-authored this article.

Almost all of the co-authored writings of Gallant, Eisen, Kopel and Chwick can be found at http://gallanteisen.incnf.org/, which contains more detailed information about their biographies and writing, and contains hyperlinks to many of their articles. Their recent series focusing on the Arms Trade Treaty can be found primarily at http://gwg.incnf.org/ . Respective E-Mail addresses are: PaulGallant2A@cs.com, JoanneDEisen@cs.com, AJChwick@iNCNF.org, Sherry.Gallant@gmail.com

VIDEO: Canadian dad arrested over daughter’s gun drawing

Friday, February 24th, 2012

VIDEO and Original Story VIA:  Sun News Canada

February 24th, 2012

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Police arrested a Kitchener, Ont., father outside his daughter’s school because the four-year-old drew a picture of him holding a gun.

Jessie Sansone told the Record newspaper that he was in shock when he was arrested Wednesday and taken to a police station for questioning over the drawing. He was also strip-searched.

“This is completely insane. My daughter drew a gun on a piece of paper at school,” he said.

Officials told the newspaper the move was necessary to ensure there were no guns accessible by children in the family’s home. They also said comments by Sansone’s daughter, Neaveh, that the man holding the gun in the picture was her dad and “he uses it to shoot bad guys and monsters,” was concerning.

Police also searched Sansone’s home while he was in custody. His wife and three children were taken to the police station, and the children were interviewed by Family and Children’s Services.

Sansone’s wife, Stephanie Squires, told the newspaper no one told them why her husband had been arrested.

“He had absolutely no idea what this was even about. I just kept telling them, ‘You’re making a mistake.'”
Several hours later, Sansone was released without charges.

 

VIDEO: Phil Watson of IAPCAR on Canadian TV

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Original Story VIA:  Sun News Canada

Kris Sims recaps the top 5 moments from CPAC in Washington DC.

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Gun Ownership Skyrockets in India; 2nd to U.S.

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012
Original Story VIA:  Opposing Views
Submitted by Mark Berman Opposing Views on Feb 21, 2012

The era of Gandhi-like peaceful protests in India is over — the Hindu nation is now second in gun ownership in the world.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Indians own about 40 million guns, second only to the United States and our roughly 300 million guns. GunPolicy.org reports that there are three guns for every 100 people in India compared to 89 guns for every 100 people in the U.S.

Experts say rising crime and rising income has led to the explosion of weapons.

“Having a gun 24/7 is a necessity,” said gun owner Vikramjit Singh. “And an expensive weapon is a status symbol. You can’t flash just any old gun around.”

India has very strict gun laws, so 85% of the weapons in the nation are unregistered Saturday-night specials that are thought to be responsible for 90% of gun murders.

Indians feel more guns will make them safer, given that the country’s police-to-population ratio is among the lowest in the world. Gun foes, though, believe that thinking is flawed.

“Are we not paying for the rising gun violence in India?” asks antigun activist Binalakshmi Nepram, secretary-general of Control Arms Foundation of India. “It is a wrong perception that one needs a gun for security.”

U.S. Must Stand Its Ground on U.N. Arms Trade Treaty

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Original Article VIA:   The Heritage Foundation

By
February 21, 2012

The final Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was held last week. The purpose of this PrepCom was to adopt rules of procedure for the U.N. Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty, which will be held in New York July 2–27. This conference is intended to complete the negotiation of the ATT and thus open the treaty for signature and ratification. The outcome of the PrepCom makes it even more vital for the U.S. to establish its red lines and stand its ground before and during the July conference.

The Conference Will Make Decisions on the Basis of Consensus

When the Obama Administration announced in 2009 that it would support the negotiation of an ATT, it did so with an important caveat: The treaty conference had to operate “under the rule of consensus decision-making,” meaning that a formal objection from any national representative to the chair on any matter of substance prevents agreement. But the U.N.’s draft rules of procedure allowed two-thirds majority voting on all matters of substance except the adoption of the final treaty text, as well as on amendments to the rules themselves. This opened the way for the July conference to amend the rules by a two-thirds majority and then to adopt the treaty by a similar majority, over any U.S. objection.

When the PrepCom considered the draft rules of procedure, the U.S. and a number of other nations urged that all matters of substance at the July conference be subject to a strict consensus requirement, while other delegations—including Mexico—supported the U.N.’s weaker proposals. In the end, the PrepCom adopted rules that require the July conference to “take its decisions, and consider the text of the Treaty, by consensus.” In other words, the U.S. will not be limited to an up-or-down vote on the final treaty text. Instead, it will have the opportunity throughout the July conference to object to and block progress on any portion of the ATT that it finds unsatisfactory.

The Conference Will Be Held Mostly in Closed Session

At the July conference, the U.S. will be pressed to accept an unsatisfactory treaty. One way to counter this is to use the conference to show that the U.S. is not the only nation that has concerns about the effectiveness and scope of an ATT. But if the conference is to serve this purpose, it must be public. If it is not, other nations with concerns will be able to hide behind any U.S. objections in the final plenary session.

Before the PrepCom, the U.N. planned to hold only the conference’s plenary meetings and meetings of its Committee of the Whole in public. Unfortunately, the PrepCom did not significantly alter the relevant provisions of the draft rules of procedure, and thus most of the July conference will be open only to national delegates, intergovernmental organizations, and U.N. officials, not to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). In general, diplomatic negotiations should not be open to NGOs, which do not have the legitimacy of representatives of democratic governments. But the closure of most of the July conference’s sessions means that the objections of most nations will receive little publicity; thus, the attacks of the activist NGOs that support the ATT is likely to be concentrated on the United States.

The Dilemma the U.S. Faces in the Negotiations  

The U.S. strategy so far has been to try to avoid playing the role of treaty spoiler, on the grounds that this will prevent the U.S. from serving as a rallying point for the activist NGOs and nations that support the ATT. This strategy will be difficult to use at the July conference, where the consensus requirement and the number of closed sessions will place the U.S. in the position of having to object repeatedly and in private to unsatisfactory treaty provisions. If the U.S. does not object, the treaty will be adopted by consensus. If it does, it will be depicted as the treaty spoiler.

One press report quotes a senior U.S. official as stating that the U.S. wanted decision-making by consensus so that it would have the ability to “block a weak treaty.”[1] If this report is accurate, then the U.S. dilemma is acute: The stronger the U.S. tries to make the treaty, the more the U.S. will have to use its power to block consensus on weaker versions, and the more it will be depicted as the spoiler. Furthermore, many nations will demand a treaty that they will characterize as strong but the U.S. will find unacceptable. For example, Mexico wants to impose a national gun and ammunition registry on the United States.

In the same report, the U.S. official also states that vetoing the final treaty at the July conference is “the nuclear option,” i.e. the last resort. Signaling the U.S.’s unwillingness to veto is poor negotiating strategy, but, more fundamentally, the official’s statement implies that the U.S. is going to try to get a treaty it can accept. This means the U.S. has to have clear red lines for the July conference, as well as the willingness to uphold them during the negotiations by breaking consensus. It will not be easy for the U.S. to get what it wants if it is unwilling to use the “nuclear option” or to play the role of spoiler. 

What the U.S. Must Do

The PrepCom chair originally proposed that the U.N. be entrusted with the responsibility of editing the views of the member states on an ATT into a background document to be distributed in advance of the July conference. The PrepCom sensibly rejected this idea, which would have allowed the U.N. to skew the terms of the conference debate, and it has instead invited U.N. member states to submit statements of no more than 1,500 words on the provisions of an ATT by March 31. The U.N. Secretary-General is to compile these statements into a background document for the July conference.

The U.S. must use this opportunity to establish its red lines for the July conference. In particular, the U.S. should make clear in its March submission that it will not accept the inclusion of hunting and sporting weapons or ammunition in the ATT. Nor will it accept treaty language that impinges on rights protected by the Second Amendment, requires any new internal controls, legitimates arms trafficking by dictators or terrorists, inhibits its ability to support friends and allies, or creates any additional burdens for U.S. manufacturers, importers, or exporters.

Finally, the U.S. must state clearly that if the July conference does not reach consensus on a treaty text, it will resist any effort by one or more nations to break away from the U.N. process and negotiate an ATT outside of that process. The national interests of the U.S. would be best served by having no ATT, because any ATT negotiated through the U.N. will begin by assuming that dictatorships and democracies possess the same sovereign rights. The only advantage the U.N. process has is that the U.S. has the power to say no. The U.S. should use that power to limit the damage the ATT does to its interests, the rights of its citizens, and the responsible conduct of diplomacy.

Ted R. Bromund, Ph.D., is Senior Research Fellow in the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, a division of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, at The Heritage Foundation.

Death of a Long-Gun Registry

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012
Original Story VIA:  National Review

Despite spending a whopping $2.7 billion on creating and running a long-gun registry, Canadians never reaped any benefits from the project. The legislation to end the program finally passed the Parliament on Wednesday. Even though the country started registering long guns in 1998, the registry never solved a single murder. Instead it has been an enormous waste of police officers’ time, diverting their efforts from patrolling Canadian streets and doing traditional policing activities.

Gun-control advocates have long claimed that registration is a safety issue, and their reasoning is straightforward: If a gun has been left at a crime scene and it was registered to the person who committed the crime, the registry will link the crime gun back to the criminal.

Nice logic, but reality never worked that way. Crime guns are very rarely left at the crime scene, and when they are left at the scene, they have not been registered — criminals are not stupid enough to leave behind a gun that’s registered to them. Even in the few cases where registered crime guns are left at the scene, it is usually because the criminal has been seriously injured or killed, so these crimes would have been solved even without registration.

The statistics speak for themselves. From 2003 to 2009, there were 4,257 homicides in Canada, 1,314 of which were committed with firearms. Data provided last fall by the Library of Parliament reveals that the weapon was identified in fewer than a third of the homicides with firearms, and that about three-quarters of the identified weapons were not registered. Of the weapons that were registered, about half were registered to someone other than the person accused of the homicide. In just 62 cases — that is, only 4.7 percent of all firearm homicides — was the gun registered to the accused. As most homicides in Canada are not committed with a gun, the 62 cases correspond to only about 1 percent of all homicides.

To repeat, during these seven years, there were only 62 cases — nine a year — where it was even conceivable that registration made a difference. But apparently, the registry was not important even in those cases. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Chiefs of Police have not yet provided a single example in which tracing was of more than peripheral importance in solving a case.

The problem isn’t just with the long-gun registry. The data provided above cover all guns, including handguns. There is no evidence that, since the handgun registry was started in 1934, it has been important in solving a single homicide.

Looking at just long guns shows that since 1997, there have been three murders in which the gun was registered to the accused. The Canadian government doesn’t provide any information on whether those three accused individuals were convicted.

Nor is there any evidence that registration reduced homicides. Research published last year by McMaster University professor Caillin Langmann in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence confirmed what other academic studies have found: “This study failed to demonstrate a beneficial association between legislation and firearm homicide rates between 1974 and 2008.” There is not a single refereed academic study by criminologists or economists that has found a significant benefit from gun laws. A recent Angus Reid poll indicates that Canadians already understand this, with only 13 percent believing that the registry has been successful.

The problem isn’t just that the $2.7 billion spent on registration over 17 years has produced no arrests, it is that the money could have been used to put more police on the street or pay for more health care or cut taxes. An extra $160 million a year pays for a lot of police or doctors or teachers.

Take police. Assuming each officer is paid $70,000 per year, $2.7 billion would pay for almost 2,300 officers annually. Academic research by one of us (Lott) indicates that adding that many street officers would reduce violent crimes in Canada by about 1,800. Registration isn’t getting Canadians any of this.

And the costs of running the registry aren’t just the $2.7 billion, since that excludes enforcement costs and individual compliance costs. The first step that police in Canada take in investigating a violent crime is to see if their suspects are licensed gun owners. But when Canada has 6.4 million registered gun owners, and police accuse only nine people of homicide each year whose registered guns were found at the scene of a crime, the return seems as close to zero as possible. It is also claimed that registration protects police officers’ safety, but homicide against Canadian police officers is actually up 20 percent since the long-gun registry started, compared with the rate during the previous decade. And more important, not a single police officer has been identified as being killed by someone with a registered gun.

Gun-control proponents have worried that scrapping the long-gun registry after so much has been invested in it would be a waste — “a $2 billion bonfire,” in the words of Gatineau member of Parliament Françoise Boivin. Unfortunately, that money is already wasted, and the registry costs kept growing. It costs about $100 million a year to operate. Instead of burning up more money, Canada can spend it on things that will actually do some good.

— John R. Lott Jr. is the author of More Guns, Less Crime (University of Chicago Press, third edition, 2010) and Gary Mauser is professor emeritus at Simon Fraser University.

National Association for Gun Rights India

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Conservatives and enthusiasts cheer the end of the long-gun registry (Canada)

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Original Article Via:  The National Post

By Jeff Davis

OTTAWA — The Conservative government says its MPs will celebrate after a historic vote to end the long-gun registry Wednesday evening, despite vehement opposition to the move in Quebec and much of urban Canada.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews told reporters Wednesday, hours before the vote, that the government’s actions are long overdue.

“It does nothing to help put an end to gun crimes, nor has it saved one Canadian life,” he said.

“It criminalizes hard-working and law-abiding citizens such as farmers and sport shooters, and it has been a billion-dollar boondoggle left to us by the previous Liberal government.”

Quebec MP Maxime Bernier said MPs and gun-rights advocates will celebrate together Parliament Hill after Wednesday evening’s vote.

Meanwhile, opposition MPs and supporters of the registry are expected to say the government’s actions are a step backwards, because the registry has been useful in keeping the country’s streets safe.

Bill C-19, the Ending the Long Gun Registry Act, is guaranteed to pass through the House of Commons, thanks to the Conservative government’s majority, but more political wrangling is expected to follow.

“It criminalizes hard-working and law-abiding citizens such as farmers and sport shooters, and it has been a billion-dollar boondoggle left to us by the previous Liberal government.”

Quebec MP Maxime Bernier said MPs and gun-rights advocates will celebrate together Parliament Hill after Wednesday evening’s vote.

Meanwhile, opposition MPs and supporters of the registry are expected to say the government’s actions are a step backwards, because the registry has been useful in keeping the country’s streets safe.

Bill C-19, the Ending the Long Gun Registry Act, is guaranteed to pass through the House of Commons, thanks to the Conservative government’s majority, but more political wrangling is expected to follow.

Liberals in the Senate say they have no intention of “rubber stamping” the bill, which they say needs time for sober second thought.

Meanwhile, the government of Quebec, meanwhile, has plans to take legal action against the Harper government for withholding Quebec-specific data, which is essential to its plans to launch a provincial registry.

The federal law will end the requirement for lawful gun owners to register their long guns, and it relaxes rules around selling or transferring guns. Gun licences for individuals will still be required, and the registry for restricted and prohibited firearms such as handguns will be maintained.

Gun control has been ferociously debated in Canada for decades, particularly since the Montreal massacre of 1989, when a gunman shot and killed 14 women with a rifle. This event prompted the Liberal government of Jean Chretien to tighten gun controls and create Canada’s first mandatory long-gun registry in 1995.

Hunters and sport shooters reviled the registry, and dismantling it became a central plank of Reform, and later, Conservative party policy.

Liberal Senate leader James Cowan said while the Liberals in the Red Chamber have no intention of filibustering Bill C-19, they’ll make sure it gets the serious consideration it needs.

Cowan said the Tories have taken five months to move Bill C-19 through the House, taking their time with an issue that pleases their base and is a good fundraising tool.

“We’re not going to rubber stamp anything,” he said. “But certainly it won’t be in Senate longer than in House.”

Cowan said he expects Bill C-19 to arrive at the committee on legal and constitutional affairs sometime in March, at which time the committee will hear testimony, which could continue for weeks.

“We want to make sure all sides are heard,” he said. “We are determined to use the powers we have to make sure the committee has a full hearing.”

The Harper Conservatives now have a commanding majority in the Senate, so while Liberal senators may succeed in slowing down the passage of C-19, it will ultimately pass.

According to Bill C-19, all data pertaining to non-restricted firearms will be deleted.

Michael Patton, a spokesman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, said the gun registry’s central database is located in an RCMP headquarters in Ottawa. Since only data for non-restricted guns will be removed, the officials are still deciding how to carefully sift out what to delete and what to keep. He said he could not predict exactly how long the deletion of all long-gun data would take.

Patton said officials with the Canadian Firearms Program have not requested any additional money or outside assistance for this task.

Once the bill is finally passed into law, Quebec will immediately seek an injunction from the courts to halt the destruction of the registry data.

Mathieu St-Pierre, a spokesman for Quebec Public Security Minister Robert Dutil, said Quebec has the full intention of taking legal action against the federal government if it does not cough up the data it wants.

Appearing at a parliamentary committee in November, Dutil made clear his province’s desire to maintain the national gun registry. If it is scrapped, he said, Quebec should be given the data it paid for.

St-Pierre said Quebec can’t take legal action against the federal government until the bill passes. The only thing that will stop them now, he said, is if the government voluntarily transfers the Quebec-specific data from the long-gun registry.

“We will go before the courts if Bill C-19 passes, and if the (Quebec) government does not receive the data, our government lawyers already have their strategy in mind,” he said.

Jeff Larivee, whose wife was killed in the 1989 Montreal massacre, is a spokesman for the Coalition for Gun Control. He said he and many other Quebecers feel outrage at the Harper government’s determination to dismantle laws that, for many, serve as a memorial.

“I feel frustrated and I feel sad for my wife,” he said. “We are continually facing a government with an ideological belief that guns should not be controlled.”

While some lawyers doubt the constitutionality of provincial firearms registries, Toews has said that provincial registries are indeed legal.

“It’s certainly possible for a province to create a gun registry under property and civil rights,” he told Postmedia News in January. “I don’t see a constitutional issue there.”

Nevertheless, Toews said he is “certainly not advocating” provincial registries be set up.

Tony Bernardo is Canada’s leading advocate for gun owners, as executive director of the Canadian Sports Shooting Association and a lobby group called the Canadian Institute for Legislative Action.

“I’ve been working for 15 years to make this happen,” he said. “It’s a big deal for me.”

Bernardo says scrapping the long-gun registry is already a “defining moment” in Canadian people power.

“What you’re seeing here, this is democracy in action at its finest,” he said. “Millions of people spoke up and said we don’t want this, and the government responded and now it’s gone.”

Postmedia News

More “gun hysteria” from the Toronto Star

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Original Story Via:  Matt Gurney, National Post · Jan. 31, 2012

In an “exclusive” report that ran over the weekend, the Toronto Star breathlessly reported on its front page that, according to information available through the federal gun registries, residents of the Greater Toronto Area own … guns. Why, people on your own street might have one! Readers were reminded of newspaper articles from the height of the Cold War, with titles like, “Is your neighbour a communist?” Everyone, please … remain calm.

In the Toronto area, there apparently are 263,000 privately held non-restricted guns (shotguns and rifles), 62,818 restricted guns (most handguns and some rifles) and 26,315 prohibited guns (snub-nosed pistols and military-grade weapons). That’s at least 352,000 icky firearms, right in the Star’s backyard. For a paper still trying to wrap its mind around a Harper majority and a Rob Ford mayoralty, it’s gotta be a tough pill to swallow.

The article, of course, hinges on the imminent scrapping of the longgun registry, after which the 263,000 non-restricted guns will no longer be tracked by the government, even though the 53,000 holders of nonrestricted licences will still require those licences to purchase and possess firearms and ammunition. Experts are trotted out by the Star to tut-tut about public safety, including former Ontario attorney general Michael Bryant, now working with the Coalition for Gun Control, who says the number of gun owners in and around Toronto prove firearms ownership “isn’t a rural-urban issue,” but instead about “safety, and suicide prevention.”

Wrong on every count.

Firearms ownership has always been an urban vs. suburban-rural issue, and that’s especially true in Toronto. In 2010, the Star itself released a colourcoded map of the GTA showing the percentage of the population that had a firearms licence, and the results were what you’d expect – the figures were very low in downtown Toronto, much higher in the outer suburbs at the fringes of the GTA, and somewhere in the middle at all points in between.

Nor is there any truth that the gun registry, or rates of gun ownership, has any statistical connection to the suicide rate, which has been generally flat for decades, far longer than the registry has been around. There has been a gradual decline, but it 20 years before the registry was put in place. Any success that gun control has achieved in getting Canadians to stop shooting themselves is an empty victory – they’re still committing suicide, they’re just using pills, a bridge or subway car instead. Not exactly a triumph for gun control.

Then, of course, there is the safety issue. The Star’s own earlier reporting has found that the rate of Torontonians with firearms licences over the last several years has been generally stable in and around Toronto – some minor drop in the rate of gun ownership inside the city of Toronto generally has been offset by a rise in the number of guns in the suburbs. And yet, all the same, it was just last November that the Star was reporting that the rate of homicide in Toronto had dropped 50% in only a few short years. Indeed, they noted that, “Toronto is on its way to becoming the safest it has been in a quarter of a century.”

That’s great news. But isn’t it worth noting that that victory for safety was against a backdrop of steady gun ownership in a city with hundreds of thousands of firearms? They might also note that Toronto’s suburbs, despite their higher rate of gun ownership, have much lower murder rates – per capita rates, note, not just the total number of individual homicides – than Toronto itself.

But that isn’t the issue the Star is really delving into. The statistics about gun ownership and suicide trends and murder rates are just background noise to the main issue – the belief of many, particularly in urban areas, that gun ownership is itself asocial, dangerous and indicative of a deranged mind.

If not for the social stigma of gun ownership, no one would care how many of their neighbours might have an old rifle or two locked up in their basement somewhere. They’d only care that they lived in a safe neighbourhood – and almost everywhere in the Toronto area is safe.

It’s certainly true that with the registry scrapped, there will still be murders and suicides committed with firearms. But that was true even with the registry. If this is the best defenders of the status quo have to offer, the registry can’t be scrapped quickly enough.

Law-Abiding Mexicans Taking Up “Illegal” Guns

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Law-Abiding Mexicans Taking Up “Illegal” Guns

Original Story Via NPR

January 28, 2012

In Mexico, where criminals are armed to the teeth with high-powered weapons smuggled from the United States, it may come as a surprise that the country has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the world.

Law-abiding Mexicans who want a gun to defend themselves have no good options. Either they fight government red tape to get a legal permit, or they buy one on the black market.

After an outbreak of violence, one embattled community in northern Mexico called Colonia LeBaron has begun to ask if it’s time for the country to address its gun laws.

A farming town about 130 miles southwest of El Paso, Texas, in the border state of Chihuahua, Colonia LeBaron was founded by breakaway Mormons from the U.S. who wanted to practice polygamy. Today, most residents hold dual citizenship, speak English and retain close ties to the U.S. A few still practice plural marriage.

A Community Arms Itself

The militancy of Colonia LeBaron began on May 5, 2009, when kidnappers seized a 16-year-old boy and demanded a $1 million ransom.

Though he was released unharmed, the townsfolk came together and formed an anti-crime group to take a stand against the rampant kidnappings and extortion. Their leader was Benjamin LeBaron.

But on July 7, 2009, close to 20 men showed up at Benjamin LeBaron’s house, according to his older brother, Julian LeBaron.

“They wanted to terrorize everyone into never opposing them,” Julian LeBaron says. “They dragged Benjamin out of his house, and [his brother-in-law Luis Widmar] came to help him.”

Then, he says, the criminals took the two men a couple of miles down the road and shot them.

The cold-blooded murders of Benjamin LeBaron and Luis Widmar galvanized the community, Julian LeBaron says. It prompted them to take a stance that is familiar to Second Amendment advocates in the U.S., but one that is taboo in Mexico.

“I think there would be less violence if there were more guns, in the sense that I could barge in here and do whatever I want, knowing that this guy doesn’t have a gun,” says Jose Widmar, the brother of slain Luis.

Today, if the gangsters return, the LeBaron colony is locked and loaded.

They have an advocate in their cousin Alex LeBaron, a 31-year-old Chihuahua state deputy with national aspirations. He’s a burly, baby-faced politician who attended college in New Mexico and served in the U.S. Navy. His own father was killed in a carjacking.

If Alex LeBaron makes it into the federal congress, his most passionate issue will be changing Mexico’s convoluted gun laws.

“We’re Mexican citizens 100 percent, and we have the right to bear arms, and we’re going to keep fighting for that right as long as it takes,” he says.

‘Complex And Expensive’ To Buy A Gun

Alex LeBaron and some friends have gathered at a nearby gun club to plink away at steel duck silhouettes. Joining a sport shooting club is one way to avoid the aggravation of obtaining an individual permit.

Though the Mexican Constitution permits gun ownership, the government strictly limits that privilege as a response to the violence of the Mexican revolution and to uprisings in the 1960s when students looted gun stores in Mexico City.

“In the black market, it’s very easy to acquire mostly American-made weapons here in our country, but through the legal process it’s … very complex and expensive,” Alex LeBaron says.

A citizen who wants a permit for a weapon must apply to the Mexican military — a process that can cost upward of $10,000. Then they pay to have the permit renewed annually. The military further regulates the caliber of weapon, how many guns a person can own, how much ammunition they can buy each month, and where in the country they can take the weapon.

The government abolished the last private gun store in 1995. Today, the only legal gun store in the country is in Mexico City, guarded and operated by the armed forces.

“In Mexico, the laws effectively don’t allow you to purchase weapons,” says Dr. Oscar Urrutia Beall, a longtime member of the Paquime Shooting Club. “There are some weapons they sell in Mexico City, but the paperwork is difficult. Here, they won’t let us buy a gun, but they let us own a gun. It’s an incongruity, a failed law.”

A Gunfight With The Mexican Army

On the LeBaron family farm outside of town, workers pack red chilies for shipment to New Mexico. The family also grows alfalfa, pecans and cotton on irrigated fields bordered by the windswept foothills of the Sierra Madre mountains.

The LeBarons now have a reputation of being well-armed and not afraid to use their weapons.

One night, in October 2009, a gunfight erupted between the LeBaron brothers and a squad from the Mexican army. The LeBarons claim the soldiers came to the front gate and did not identify themselves. Fearing they were kidnappers, Alex says, the family opened fire.

“In the middle of [the] dark, sometimes, it’s better to shoot and ask questions later,” he says.

One soldier was killed. One LeBaron brother and another farmer were charged with murder, but the judge ultimately dropped the charges because the evidence had been tampered with.

These days, things have quieted down in Colonia LeBaron. Some people say it’s because of the soldiers garrisoned in town. The LeBarons maintain it’s because the criminals know the community will fight back.

And if more communities were allowed to defend themselves, says Alex LeBaron, Mexican organized crime would be on the run.

“I think Mexico’s way past that revolutionary uprising point in our history,” he says. “I think we’re ready to come into the 21st century and be part of this whole global process of modernization. And this is one of them — gun laws.”

Other Citizens Express Reservations

But do Mexicans want gun laws similar to those in the U.S., where buying an assault rifle can be as easy as buying a beer?

Basilio Sabata Salaices is the mayor of the municipality where Colonia LeBaron is located. “Here, guns are very restricted,” he says. “But I see in the U.S. many things happen because youth don’t know how to use guns. I don’t think we should make it easier to possess a weapon, as in the U.S.”

Beto Renteria is a prominent businessman in Nuevo Casas Grandes, whose wife was kidnapped three years ago and returned after he paid ransom.

“There are lots of Mexicans who have never shot a gun,” he says. “It could be dangerous putting a gun in the hands of an inexperienced person; we could hurt someone.”

Fernando Saenz is the leader of a citizen’s militia in Ascension. The town made headlines last September when a mob beat two suspected kidnappers to death.

Like many Mexicans in regions plagued by violent crime, Saenz owns an illegal, unregistered weapon — in his case, a 9 mm handgun.

“Look,” Saenz says pensively, “I think guns are not advisable. I think what the government should do is put honest, well-trained people in jobs to impart justice.”

If these three responses are any guide, the LeBarons’ crusade to revise gun laws is at odds with a certain cultural ambivalence toward firearms, at least among law-abiding Mexican citizens.

Alex LeBaron is undeterred. “I have to stress very strongly that if the federal government, the state government or the local government cannot protect you from the cartels or any criminal groups, we should be able to protect ourselves. That’s the bottom line,” he says.

Asked if the community is openly flouting federal gun laws, he replies: “Yes. We have to.”

The Mexican secretary of National Defense, charged with enforcing gun laws, declined to comment for this story.

The director of a pro-gun website called Mexico Armado said there is no popular movement at the moment to liberalize the nation’s gun laws. Perhaps, he added, that’s because anybody who wants a weapon in Mexico — be they a good guy or a bad guy — has no problem getting one.