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NFA Statement at BMS5, PoA on SALW – June 19, 2014

Mr. President, I am Sheldon Clare, President of Canada’s National Firearms Association. The NFA is the largest advocacy organization representing the rights of firearms owners and users in Canada. Because UN attempts to regulate small arms and light weapons are misdirected, Canadians are concerned that the UN and CASA’s ISACS will have an unjustifiably harmful effect upon the ability of free people to have access to firearms and ammunition for perfectly legitimate purposes, including self- defence. It is not civilian access to small arms that is to blame for most deaths; instead it is the use of and trade in weapons by governments in state-terrorism operations against their own people.

Canada’s National Firearms Association (NFA) recommends that controls on small arms and light weapons be limited solely to major crew-served weapon systems possessed or sold by nation states – not individually operated firearms owned by civilians. The sovereign rights and property of Canadians, and of our firearms businesses engaged in the lawful trade in firearms and ammunition, including surplus firearms and ammunition, must not be subject to UN edict or control. We also reject UN efforts on ammunition – including marking beyond caliber, date, and manufacturer would be excessive; it is unreasonable, unnecessary, and fiscally irresponsible for the UN to meddle with ammunition.

Small arms in civilian hands allow people to defend themselves from aggression. This natural right to self defence is especially important in the event of unrest, or in cases of state-mandated crimes against humanity, such as what occurred in Somalia, Srebrenica and Rwanda. Perhaps governments should deal with unrest by addressing the economic situations, political differences, and human rights issues that contribute to people agitating for change rather than engaging in one size fits all solutions affecting the rights of free people to own and use firearms.

For these reasons, the NFA strongly recommends that Canada should withdraw from the PoA on SALW process and explicitly state that ISACS is of no legal standing. The UN should consider employing significant sanctions against those countries that murder and otherwise oppress their own citizens and even consider expelling them from this august body. Thank you for your consideration Mr. President.