During this week’s United Nations conference on on guns, the National Rifle Association has found an unlikely ally – the Obama administration.
The UN’s Program of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects – known a POA – began its fifth biennial meeting Monday and will continue until Friday in New York
Though nothing the panel determines will be binding law, the UN panel create political commitments on gun control laws that member nations are encouraged by the world body to adopt. Among the big pushes is to expand the POA beyond guns and into ammunition.
“The POA and the UN believes that regulating ammunition is a magic bullet for them,” Tom Mason, the NRA’s United Nations consultant told TheBlaze. “The U.S. is resisting that vigorously. The Obama administration, which has not been friendly to us, has fought with us on this.”
Mason, also the executive secretary of the World Forum on Shooting Activities that includes 50 pro-gun rights groups from around the world, is attending the conference and coordinating the response to the pro-gun control advocates.
The United States is “committed to full implementation of the Program of Action,” but said the Second Amendment would be protected, according to the State Department.
“The Program of Action does not impose any restrictions that would infringe upon the Constitutional rights of any U.S. citizen to lawfully possess or trade in small arms and light weapons,” the State Department official told TheBlaze. “The United States has clearly and repeatedly articulated that domestic regulation of civilian small arms ownership should be determined by each member state in accordance with its constitutional and legal systems. The United States will continue to oppose any proposal to the contrary.”
The official the United States “has long been a global leader in efforts to mitigate the illicit trafficking of conventional weapons.”
“We call on all States to take action against illicit arms trafficking, which can promote regional insecurity and often contributes to terrorism, organized crime, and violations of international humanitarian and human rights law,” the official said.
Afghanistan’s UN representative H.E. Zahir Tanin was selected by member states to chair the group.
“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.”
Beyond ammunition, Mason is not so certain the administration will stand with the NRA on other issues. For example, the NRA anticipated that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will back a global push for the manufacture of only smart guns.
“The UN has fallen in love with smart guns,” Mason said. “There are not any police or military that want a smart gun because smart guns are not reliable.”