Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

December 2012 Political Report: U.N. “Programme of Action” Threatens Gun Owners

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

By Chris W. Cox, NRA-ILA Executive Director

Following the well-deserved failure of Arms Trade Treaty negotiations in July, the United Nations wasted no time in continuing to pursue its civilian disarmament agenda. Although the treaty talks could be revived—by the time you read this, the U.N. may already have voted on starting new talks next March—the U.N. has also resumed another long-running attack on the Second Amendment. Just a month after the treaty conference, the U.N. held the Second Review Conference of the U.N. Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons—the POA, for short.

The U.N.’s zeal for bureaucracy and alphabet-soup agencies could make President Obama’s executive “czars” blush, so it’s no surprise that there has been some confusion about the POA. To clear things up, the POA is not a part of the Arms Trade Treaty. In fact, the POA has been around longer than the ill-fated treaty, having been established in 2001.

Like the treaty process, the POA seeks to establish international standards for the distribution and manufacture of small arms, all the way down to the “end user.” However, unlike the treaty, the POA encourages countries to voluntarily enact these standards through domestic legislation, and asks countries to periodically report to the POA on their progress. The next steps in pursuing these goals are outlined at the end of each POA conference in the “outcome document,” resulting in significant debate over what will or will not be included.

Many of the POA agenda items are measures American gun owners have been fighting for decades. In August, the U.N. formalized many of these when it launched the still-unfinished International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS). To be in line with ISACS “standard modules,” a nation would need to maintain “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 just in case the government collecting this information was planning on safeguarding citizens’ privacy, ISACS makes clear that the records “should be maintained in a centralized database.” Future ISACS “modules” will include “National controls over the access of civilians to small arms and light weapons.”

The cast of characters at the POA conference will be familiar to gun owners who followed the rise and fall of the Arms Trade Treaty talks. Once again, Mexico was among the nations most hostile to individual rights. Our southern neighbor’s prepared statement at the opening of the conference urged the assembled countries to emphasize restrictions on civilian firearm possession. Later, Mexican representatives advocated that the POA’s final document include support for regulating ammunition because a “gun without bullets does not pose any threat.”

The International Action Network on Small Arms (the leading international anti-gun group) was also on hand. Still smarting from the failure of the Arms Trade Treaty, IANSA used the conference to note that it “shares the disappointment expressed by a majority of member states. … Nonetheless we are confident that States will secure the ATT in the very near future.” This sentiment was echoed by u.n. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who used the opportunity to remark, “I urge you to redouble efforts to agree on a robust ‘ATT’ as soon as possible.” Following the conference, IANSA complained about the lack of “inclusion of [small arms and light weapons] ammunition and parts and components within the scope of the POA.”

Predictably, during the conference three of the world’s most despotic regimes threw their weight behind civilian disarmament. The NRA helped thwart an attempt by Cuba, Iran and North Korea to add a derogatory passage regarding “possession of arms by civilians” to the POA’s final conference document.

Despite that victory, the POA remains a long-term threat. Right now, the standards the POA seeks to establish are voluntary, but in the future such controls could be incorporated into a legally binding international treaty. Continued U.S. participation in the POA also plays to the well-worn anti-gun tactic of pointing to the gun controls established by other countries as an international “norm” that justifies—or even requires—infringing our rights here at home.

Ideally, the U.S. would always be governed by a Congress and president that recognize the threat the POA poses to our individual liberties, and refuse to participate in a program aimed at inhibiting the human right to self-defense across the globe. Until that day, the NRA will work to ensure that the POA’s “standards” are never imposed on American gun owners.

TRENDING NOW

News  

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Federal Court Upholds Decision to Block California’s Magazine Ban

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit issued a ruling in the case of Duncan v. Becerra on Tuesday upholding a lower court’s decision to suspend enforcement of California’s restriction on the possession of magazines ...

Anti-gun Efforts to Expand U.N. Regulations to Ammunition Continue

News  

Friday, July 6, 2018

Anti-gun Efforts to Expand U.N. Regulations to Ammunition Continue

Shortly before 4:00am last Saturday morning, the two week long Third Review Conference (RevCon3) on the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All ...

Washington: Seattle City Council Passes Ordinance Making Firearms Unavailable for Self-Defense

Monday, July 16, 2018

Washington: Seattle City Council Passes Ordinance Making Firearms Unavailable for Self-Defense

On July 9th, the Seattle City Council passed a mandatory firearm storage ordinance to restrict the self-defense rights of Seattle residents.  The ordinance, if signed by Mayor Jenny Durkan, will impose a one-size-fits-all method of storing firearms as ...

Justice Scalia Made Clear the Second Amendment and Heller Prohibit “Assault Weapon” Bans

News  

Second Amendment  

Gun Laws  

Friday, July 13, 2018

Justice Scalia Made Clear the Second Amendment and Heller Prohibit “Assault Weapon” Bans

On July 9, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) offered the following ham-handed statement in an attempted attack on President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee, D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Brett Kavanaugh is a true Second Amendment radical. ...

Illinois: Governor Signs Two Gun Control Bills

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Illinois: Governor Signs Two Gun Control Bills

On July 17th, Governor Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 2354 and Senate Bill 3256 into law.

California DOJ Withdraws Proposed Regulations Expanding Application of “Assault Weapon” Definitions

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

California DOJ Withdraws Proposed Regulations Expanding Application of “Assault Weapon” Definitions

On Monday, the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Firearms (“CA DOJ”) officially withdrew the proposed regulations that would have expanded the improperly adopted “assault weapon” definitions, to apply in all circumstances. This withdrawal comes ...

Delaware: Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Sunday Deer Hunting

Hunting  

Friday, July 13, 2018

Delaware: Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Sunday Deer Hunting

On July 11th, Governor John Carney signed Senate Bill 198 into law to expand hunting opportunities in Delaware by eliminating the prohibition against hunting for deer on Sundays and allowing for the harvesting of deer on Sundays ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

NRA Files Comments in Support of Trump Administration’s Export Reform Effort

News  

Friday, July 13, 2018

NRA Files Comments in Support of Trump Administration’s Export Reform Effort

On Monday, the public comment period closed on a pair of rulemakings that could finally free American gun owners and small businesses from being trapped in a minefield of federal regulations designed for exporters of ...

Too Young or Too Old... To Own a Gun?

News  

Friday, July 6, 2018

Too Young or Too Old... To Own a Gun?

A common theme among anti-gun extremists is what we often refer to as the “Goldilocks” approach to limiting access to firearms by law-abiding citizens.  Rather than admit that the ultimate goal is to disarm all ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.