A U.N. group is working toward establishment of an international system to register and regulate civilian possession of firearms, according to a former congressman.
The ultimate aim of many members of the conference on small arms is to outlaw personal ownership of guns altogether, said Georgia Republican Bob Barr in an interview yesterday on the newly syndicated WorldNetDaily Report with Joseph Farah.
Barr was an official representative of the U.S. State Department’s delegation at the conference’s week-long session last week. It is known officially as the first Biennial Meeting of States on the Implementation of the Program of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.
At the beginning of the session, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged members to redouble efforts to curb small arms and light weapons.
“The United Nations remains firmly committed to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade of small arms and light weapons in all its aspects,” he said.
The group will meet again in 2005, followed by a review conference scheduled for 2006.
If not for the U.S. State Department and organizations such as the National Rifle Association, “this locomotive would have had a lot more steam,” Barr said.
Barr commended U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton for focusing the U.N.’s attention on international trafficking of illicit arms and not on U.S. ownership of arms.
“He has done an outstanding job of monitoring this and standing up to it in a way the State Department frequently does not do,” Barr said.
However, Barr warned that many member nations, including the UK, Netherlands and India, want to set up a legally binding protocol requiring all U.N. countries to start registration of firearms.
The potential implications of that are enormous, he said, noting it is a small step toward the ultimate nightmare of American gun owners – “the U.N. knocking on our door to get our firearms.”
“If we were to allow in any way, shape or form the U.N. to begin the process of registering and regulating fire arms – ultimately their goal of doing away with personal firearms – we would have dealt a blow to our sovereignty,” he said.
Barr called on citizens to urge their representatives to stay on top of the issue and ensure the U.S. is not faced with a legally-binding document that would commit the country to some form of firearms registration and regulation by the U.N. or any outside authority.
“The presence of several anti-gun groups at this and other related conferences underscores the threat they pose to the constitutional rights of American citizens if we fail to closely monitor their activities,” Barr said in a statement. “In fact, many of these groups receive substantial funding from anti-firearms governments to move their agenda.”
During the conference, the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey released its findings for 2002, which paid special attention to U.S. gun ownership.
“By any measure the United States is the most armed country in the world,” the report said. “With roughly 83 to 96 guns per 100 people, the United States is approaching a statistical level of one gun per person.”