CANADA’S NFA OPPOSES ARMS TRADE TREATY

The UN General Assembly passed a flawed Arms Trade Treaty this morning in New York City with 3 no votes, 23 abstaining, and 154 voting in favour.  According to NFA President Sheldon Clare, “The Arms Trade Treaty will set a dangerous precedent as a bad international agreement that will do nothing to prevent the misuse of major weapons systems and much to limit access of firearms and ammunition to legitimate users.” He continued, “As we see it, this ATT will harm legitimate users. We expect that it will increase the cost of ammunition, firearms, parts, and accessories for normal civilian users.” Canada’s National Firearms Association has gone on record as opposing the inclusion of civilian small arms and light weapons in the Arms Trade Treaty. “Canada will now need to decide whether or not to ratify this treaty, and we strongly suggest that our government not ratify it.”

Clare pointed to several problems with the draft treaty, part of which calls on states to “…establish and maintain a national control system, including a national control list, in order to implement the provisions of this Treaty.  The treaty is vague in many sections and in our view this vagueness opens doorways for many additional regulations and restrictions to be introduced in a treaty that we expect would be ever-expanding.”

Clare said, “We see this vague phrasing as having the potential to create a national registry which would be all the more offensive as it would be made public.”  He continued, “Several articles are about “end user” documentation, and the NFA submits that the end user of small arms and ammunition cannot be known in the absence of a heavily regulated registration and licensing program, which we vigorously oppose. The peer-reviewed evidence shows that neither licensing nor registration prevents criminal use of firearms. Furthermore, the ATT ignores personal defence as a legitimate form of firearm use.”

“Another significant problem is that parts of the draft treaty open the door to widespread corruption as well as to potential costly demands for real and necessary assistance. Our members hope that Canada will push for fiscal responsibility at the UN to ensure that funding is better monitored and controlled. Improved financial controls would save more lives than this Arms Trade Treaty ever would,” Clare stated. “Though we are disappointed that Canada voted for the treaty, we are pleased that Canada did not sponsor the treaty during the vote, and we hope that Canada will not ratify the Arms Trade Treaty. The Canadian government stood strongly in favour of civilian firearms owners during the treaty process to obtain some helpful preamble language, but the treaty remains a bad deal.  The present domestic burdens on Canadian firearms owners are already excessive, and the effect of this treaty would be to add more onerous and costly requirements for firearms ownership, as well as build further disrespect for firearms law. This treaty does not have the support of a significant proportion of the firearms owning public, and it appears to be in direct conflict with the stated aims of the Government in regards to not having any new burdens for firearms owners.”

Canada’s National Firearms Association is this country’s largest advocacy organization promoting the rights and freedoms of all responsible firearm owners and users.

-30-

For more information contact:

Blair Hagen, Executive VP Communications, 604-753-8682 Contact Us
Sheldon Clare, President, 250-981-1841 Contact Us
Canada’s NFA toll-free number – 1-877-818-0393
NFA Website: www.nfa.ca