NFA on the ATT BS at the UN

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National Firearms AssociationApparently, Thursday is Acronym Day here. Here’s the NFA’s presentation, from their Facebook page:

Mr./Madame President, I am Charles Zach, representing Canada’s National Firearms Association. Canada’s National Firearms Association is the largest civil rights organization in Canada promoting the rights of firearms owners. We believe that current attempts by the UN to regulate trade in arms will have a damaging effect upon the ability of free people to have access to firearms and ammunition for legitimate purposes, including defending their families. Civilian access to firearms is a necessary characteristic of a free society.Peer reviewed research has demonstrated conclusively that Canada’s domestic firearms legislation has “…failed to demonstrate a beneficial association between legislation and firearm homicide rates between 1974 and 2008.”[1] Background checks, owner licensing, registration of firearms, and bans on firearms all failed to improve public safety. Duplicating such activity internationally will be prohibitively costly and doomed to failure. State actors will continue to use firearms to abuse citizens.

As we stated last year, Canada’s National Firearms Association (NFA) recommends that controls on small arms and light weapons be limited solely to major weapon systems possessed by nation states – not firearms owned or desired to be owned by civilians. Canada has a rich national culture that includes civil freedoms and property rights that are directly related to the ownership and use of firearms and ammunition. We believe that the Arms Trade Treaty will negatively affect the rights and property of Canadians, and our firearms businesses engaged in the lawful trade of firearms and ammunition, including surplus firearms and ammunition.

The NFA strongly opposes schemes to mark firearms and uniquely identify ammunition as creating an unnecessary and expensive administrative burden. Such proposals will not reduce violence; their only effect will be to increase the financial and legal difficulties for individuals to defend themselves or their families.

It is ironic that the language of disarmament is often cloaked in the words of peace and security. Too many countries faced with unrest caused by economic problems, or political differences address their situations by disarming and oppressing their own people. The proposed ATT would merely further the interests of those who seek economic advantage by limiting market opportunity, and of regimes who desire to render their people helpless so they can rule through fear. Thank you for your consideration Mr./Madame President.

[1] Caillin Langmann, “Canadian Firearms Legislation and Effects on Homicide 1974 to 2008,” Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 27(12), 2012[?], p. 2302-2321.

Charles Zach
Ontario Director – Canada’s National Firearms Association

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