A United Nations panel on small arms is gathering in New York this week, which has prompted some concern that it would push a gun control agenda that could reach the United States.
The Program of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects, known as POA, began its fifth biennial meeting Monday and will continue until Friday.
“Most present-day conflicts are fought with small arms and light weapons,” the POA website states. “They are the weapons of choice in civil wars and for terrorism, organized crime and gang warfare. Illicit small arms have a negative impact on security, contribute to the displacement of civilians, facilitate the violation of human rights and hamper social and economic development.”
Afghanistan’s UN representative, H.E. Zahir Tanin, was selected by member states to chair the group.
The United States is involved also, and issued a report for the panel in 2012.
A State Department spokesperson did not respond to TheBlaze’s request for comment by press time.
The program has discussed since 2005 plans for tracing small arms across international borders, under the International Tracing Initiative.
“If weapons can be traced back to their last legal owner, they need to have been marked, and a record should be kept. In the ITI, governments have committed to do just that,” the program said.
Ted R. Bromund, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, wrote in a National Review op-ed, “While it poses as an effort to control the illicit arms trade, it’s actually the centerpiece of the U.N.’s gun-control efforts.”
“Above all, it’s a classic UN norm-building institution that seeks to build up purely verbal commitments that can be transformed by the alchemy of frequent meetings into supposedly binding international law,” Bromund said.
A National Rifle Association spokesperson did not respond to inquiries from TheBlaze about the program by press time.
Using the term “acquis” – the European Union term for legally biding totality of all its laws and directives – Bromund wrote that the panel has an incrementalist agenda.
“The POA’s approach is brilliant, if perverse: claim to be the centerpiece of any UN program, institution, or treaty that has any relevance at all to small arms, build up the acquis, and then argue that even unrelated treaties have to be interpreted in light of that acquis,” Bromund added. “So, for example, while the UN Arms Trade Treaty is supposedly limited to the international trade in arms and is actually separate from the PoA, it is being pulled into the PoA orbit, and thereby contaminated with the gun-control norms that the UN advances through its International Small Arms Control Standards.”
(H/T: National Review)