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U.N. "Programme of Action" Targets Civilian Gun Owners
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U.N. "Programme of Action" Targets Civilian Gun Owners

Posted on September 7, 2012



Gun owners hoping the failure of the United Nations Arms Trade
Treaty in July would finally convince the UN to respect our rights
shouldn't hold their breath. Just a month after treaty negotiations
broke down, on August 27 the UN convened its two-week-long Second Review
Conference of the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light
Weapons.

The POA was established in 2001, ostensibly to combat
the illicit trade and use of small arms by developing an internationally
accepted set of standards for dealing with the issue, as well as by
encouraging states to adopt domestic controls over the manufacturing and
distribution of firearms and report on their progress. While states may
agree to work towards the goals of the POA, the POA is not binding
(unlike a possible Arms Trade Treaty).

However, since its
inception the POA has served as a vehicle to promote domestic civilian
gun control policies that are incompatible with U.S. gun rights, and the
2012 conference was no different. The conference failed to recognize
the legitimacy of civilian firearm ownership or of individual
self-defense.

Consider, too, the recommendation for gun registration in the U.N. International Small Arms Control Standards
that were launched on Aug. 29 as part of the POA conference. The
document states, "For each individual small arm and light weapon under
the jurisdiction of a State, records of the following information, where
applicable in each instance, shall be maintained:... ownership
information (names, addresses and license numbers of owners, as well as
dates of ownership, up until the point that the weapon leaves the
jurisdiction of the State," and further recommends, "records of all
small arms and light weapons under the jurisdiction of a State should be
maintained in a centralized database administered by a competent State
authority." ISACS has yet to be completed, but upcoming international
standards the POA will promote include "National controls over the
end-user and end-use of internationally transferred small arms and light
weapons" and "National controls over the access of civilians to small
arms and light weapons." Fortunately, ISACS was rejected as part of the
POA in the just-concluded conference.

The conference offered
another opportunity for grandstanding by countries that don't respect
their own citizens' rights. On Sept. 5, Cuba, Iran and the triply
misnamed Democratic People's Republic of Korea--that is, North
Korea--made a bid to include a negative reference to "possession of
firearms by civilians" in the conference's final document. The NRA was
present as always, and played a key role in working with friendlier
governments to block the move.

Mexico continued to promote
civilian disarmament with an Aug. 28 statement to the conference
encouraging a greater focus on civilian possession of firearms as a way
to implement and strengthen the POA, and during the conference called
for the inclusion of ammunition control in the POA conference final
document. Likewise, the 120 states of the Non-Aligned Movement argued in
an Aug. 27 statement for "the need to establish and maintain controls over private ownership of small arms."

Consistent
with a broad U.N. civilian disarmament agenda, many conference
participants also spent their time advocating for the failed Arms Trade
Treaty. In his remarks to the conference
on August 27, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated, "an arms trade
treaty is long overdue… I urge you to redouble efforts to agree on a
robust 'ATT' as soon as possible." A representative from the global gun
control group, International Action Network on Small Arms, said "civil
society shares the disappointment expressed by the majority of member
states in the failure to agree [to] the Arms Trade in July. Nonetheless,
we are confident that States will secure the ATT in the very near
future." Mexico also advocated a continued effort to negotiate a treaty.

As
of now, implementation of the POA remains voluntary. However, the
inherent danger of the POA is that the standardized controls it seeks to
establish on civilian gun ownership could become less than voluntary in
the future. Domestic politicians could also use the POA to claim a
mandate under "international norms" to adopt regulations that are in
direct conflict with our Second Amendment rights. As the secretary
general made clear, the UN has not quit pushing for an ATT, and it is
just as unlikely to stop prodding States into enacting the civilian gun
controls promoted by the Programme of Action--which has now been
extended through 2018.

If this doesnt persuade you to vote for Romney I dont know what
will. I know he is not the best choice but the Dictator has got to go.
You guys planning on doing write in PLEASE reconsider.
das, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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