Taiwan gun group joins global fight to bear arms

TAIPEI TIMES:  Taiwan gun group joins global fight to bear arms

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The Taiwan Defensive Firearms Association (TDFA) earlier this month became a member of the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR), a global gun rights association working to protect and expand the ability to keep and bear arms around the globe.

In a press release, IAPCAR said the TDFA was joining 16 other groups from nine countries on five continents that represent millions of firearm owners and citizens concerned about civilian gun rights.

“The IAPCAR coalition defending gun rights worldwide continues to grow and we are proud to have Taiwan join with us,” IAPCAR executive director Philip Watson is quoted as saying.

“The Taiwan Defensive Firearms Association is an important addition in our battle to protect the human right of self-defense,” Watson said.

The TDFA is reported to be Taiwan’s highest profile gun advocacy association, which according to its Web site opened its office in Taipei in May last year, with Boris Yang acting as chairman.

Its Web site states that it is a group of gun policy researchers who wish to allow qualified Taiwanese to legally bear firearms to “provide them with the ability to refuse to be a victim and to make most of Taiwanese middle class become a steady power of the social order.”

The organization says that while police and the judicial system are the first line of defense, law-abiding citizens bearing arms constitute the second line.

The group says authorities tend to embellish statistics about serious crime offenses and “unscrupulous” and “corrupt” officials often allow serious offenders to get away unpunished.

“When the time is right, we wish to apply the method of referendum to change this defenseless civilian situation that has last [sic] for decades […] To let Taiwanese qualified citizens to have the option to freely own semi-automatic defensive firearms,” it says.

The TDFA’s goal is to see 35 percent of the Taiwanese population, or 8 million people, own a gun and 25 percent of the population, or 5 million people, obtain a license to carry concealed firearms.

As an umbrella organization, IAPCAR opposes any UN Arms Trade Treaty that infringes on national sovereignty and an individual’s ability to keep arms and serves as a vehicle to unify gun advocacy groups against “international threats to the human right of self-defense and the legitimate use of guns” against “grave threats” including crime, civil unrest and terrorism.

According to IAPCAR’s Web site, it has more than 650,000 members and supporters in the US.