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The United Nations Pressing For U.S. Gun Control

The United Nations Pressing For U.S. Gun Control by Larry Pratt Executive Director - Gun Owners of America

UN (United Nations) Blue And White Helmet Targeted By Rifle Scope Crosshairs.
Why should gun owners concern themselves with the United Nations? After all, what jurisdiction do U.N. bureaucrats have for sticking their nose into the U.S. gun control debate since the United States Constitution gives no authority of any kind to the U.N? To answer that question, it might help to ask another question. By what authority is the United States Congress (and the rest of the federal government) passing one bill after another to disarm, one step at a time, the civilian population of the country?

Clearly, gun control (or more plainly called civilian disarmament, which is what concerned the founders) is prohibited by the Second Amendment. In reality, the Second Amendment was specifically intended to protect an individual's right to own the type of firearms in "common use." Consider the statement by the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Miller (1939): "The Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense... [and that] when called for service, these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time." (emphasis added)

So what is one to conclude from all this? First, the Constitution gives Congress no authority to enact gun control legislation. Second, and perhaps even more surprising for modern-day pundits, the Constitution allows the Congress to require gun ownership.

Consider a law which Congress passed in 1792 -- a law which is clearly authorized by the "arming and disciplining the militia" clause in the Constitution:

In the Militia Act of 1792, the second Congress defined "militia of the United States" to include almost every free adult male in the United States. These persons were obligated by law to possess a [military-style] firearm and a minimum supply of ammunition and military equipment.... (emphasis added)

The above quote comes from a statement issued in 1982 by the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution. The subcommittee correctly observed that Congress can require gun ownership.

The governing principle of what authority the federal government has is stated in the Tenth Amendment: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." In other words, if an explicit grant of power is not authorized in the Constitution, the federal government may not act.

"We the people of the United States" have not held our politicians accountable. As with undisciplined children, they have been doing whatever they feel like rather than operate according to the rules. Not surprisingly, these same politicians have no problem with the United Nations telling Americans what to do without authority since the federal government has been doing the same thing for a long time. Involvement by the U.N. is actually politically quite convenient as long as voters do not object.

From the Horse's Mouth

The documents from the U.N.'s own webpage (http://www.un.org) make it clear that they are very serious about disarming American civilians.

For example, on December 22, 1995, the UN announced the launch of a study of small arms. According to the U.N., small arms "are increasingly associated with crime, accidents and suicides, and form a major source of illicit profits for transnational criminal networks.... While trade in major weapons is on the decline, small arms are spreading." That sounds like something Sarah Brady or Rep. Charles Schumer, among others, could have written.

This worldwide survey of firearms ownership is being financed by the Japanese government. The Canadian government is supplying a number of gun control bureaucrats to assist in the U.N. project. Also participating is Stewart Allen, Chief of the Intelligence Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms along with the Russian in charge of the Firearms Control Division of the Russian Ministry of the Interior.

The survey is being done, according to a December 22, 1995 press release from the U.N., in cooperation with U.S. police, customs and military services. The Clinton Administration evidently is hoping to use the U.N. study to lend support to its own desire to disarm American citizens. This is the function assigned to similar studies voted by Congress over the years including the instant background check with its establishment of the means of instant gun registration when background checks are carried out. The Congress passed a study resolution mandating the Justice Department to study the issue. Not surprisingly, the bureaucrats concluded that they should have this increased power over the citizens and the additional information about who has guns. Following the study, the Brady Law was passed with its instant background (registration) features firmly implanted in the legislation.

Former U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali spoke of a world "awash" with small arms. The Japanese got the U.N. to approve a resolution authorizing the U.N. Crime Commission to consider various measures to regulate guns. Several of the member governments spoke of the "alarming rise in the proliferation of small arms and underscored that their mounting use by drug traffickers and criminal gangs posed a grave threat to public safety and the rule of law." The same sinister depiction of guns as only used by drug dealers is the same rhetoric employed in the U.S. by Handgun Control and their champions in the Congress and other government bodies.

An earlier draft of the resolution would have encouraged the U.N. Secretary-General "to continue efforts to curb the illicit circulation of small arms and to collect such arms in the affected States, with the support of the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa." While that resolution was dealing with Africa, Americans should not be relieved that the U.S. was not included -- in that resolution. The fact of the matter is, the U.N. is increasingly assuming the jurisdictional authority of a federal world government with the U.S. as just one of scores of member states. And gun control -- meaning civilian disarmament -- is high up on the agenda of the U.N.

New Focus, Same Goals

With the end of the Cold War, the U.N. has shifted its focus to gun control and fighting drugs as a way of continuing to justify its existence. We see the same pattern of big government refocusing in the United States using the same themes of a war on drugs and gun control.

The U.N. Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice met in Vienna in May, 1996 to discuss strategies for civilian disarmament among the member states. In announcing this summit, U.N. bureaucrats set forth what they perceived to be a major problem -- namely, that "small arms are spreading throughout society with little documentation, since they are frequently bought from private individuals." Thus, one of the commission's objectives was to study gun control laws around the world for "the development of related strategies" among the member countries (like the U.S.).

Since most countries register gun owners, one would undoubtedly expect that the "related strategies" would include registering all guns so that the U.N. and the subordinate governments (including the U.S.) will know where the guns are. No more anonymous gun sales with "little documentation." No more passing a gun down from father to son. No more selling a gun to a friend at the office. Big Brother will track everything pertaining to guns.

This alone is reason for gun owners and all who are working to restore constitutional government in the United States to rejoice that Rep. Ron Paul has introduced H.R. 1146, The American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 1997. In brief, H.R. 1146 would get the U.S. out of the U.N. and the U.N. out of the U.S.

Gun control illustrates one of the dangers of the U.S. membership in the U.N. In May of 1994, the Clinton administration agreed to participate in a discussion of ways for the United Nations to control the manufacture of guns and their sales to civilians. This is over a year before all of the activities of the U.N. Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice swung into motion with financial support from Japan and bureaucrats on loan from our neighbor, Canada. These other countries were not sneaking in the back door of U.S. sovereignty -- our own government was hiding behind the U.N. to carry out the civilian disarmament they did not think they could get away with by themselves.

In the May 24, 1994 issue of The Washington Times discussing the U.S. support of U. N. gun control, Colombia's U.N. representative was complaining about the U.S. as a source of guns to Columbia in much the same way that Washington, D.C. complains about some of the states: "Columbia's problem is that in the U.S. you can legally buy and sell arms, and those arms then are transferred illegally out of the country. But in Columbia, any purchase of arms is illegal." Pretty soon we will be told that we need a "one-gun-a-month" rationing scheme to stop the flow of guns not just to poor crime-wracked Washington, D.C., but to drug-lord oppressed Colombia.

The enemies of an armed citizenry have already shown that in order to pull off gun rationing, they need to have an instant registration system in place, such as the Brady instant background check. Hardly anybody thinks that criminals buy guns in ways that subject themselves to background checks, but that is not what Handgun Control (better called, Allgun Control), Inc. is after. They want to know who has the guns. And so does the U.N.

Less Sovereignty Can Lead to More Gun Control

The web of international organizations being spun around the United States has already begun to reveal a transfer of sovereignty from our national government to unelected, supra-national organizations. When the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) Treaty was being adopted, proponents declared that treaty language would prohibit any part of the treaty from having effect if it would be inconsistent with any law of the United States. But other advocates, such as House Speaker Newt Gingrich, were more candid. He likened GATT to the Maastricht treaty governing much of Europe, by which individual states have surrendered an unprecedented degree of sovereignty. Gingrich said that we need "to be honest about the fact that we are transferring from the United States at a practical level significant authority to a new organization. This is a transformational moment." (Human Events, 11/25/94, p.4)

Another candid advocate of the GATT's transfer of sovereignty to the World Trade Organization (WTO) was William Holder, the Deputy General Counsel of the International Monetary Fund who told an American University audience on November 19, 1994: "The WTO is de jure [legally] world government."

Article 16, paragraph 4 of the WTO charter (which is part of the GATT legislation) states that each government "shall ensure the conformity of its laws, regulations and administrative procedures with its obligations..."

We have seen in our own country how the interstate commerce clause of Article I Section 8 of our constitution went from being the delegation of a limited power (to keep states from taxing each other) to a "justification" of nearly totalitarian federal power to regulate anything at all. The argument was, that something that is not moving in interstate commerce has negatively impacted interstate commerce. Thus, something you grow for yourself on your own land, the feds have asserted, is game for federal regulation under the commerce clause.

If that kind of fallacious and dangerous thinking has held sway in the United States, what makes us think that assumptions of international government power even worse than we have inflicted on ourselves domestically will not be imposed on the United States by the U.N. and other "entangling alliances" that George Washington warned us against.

We have seen from the discussions under way at the United Nations that gun control is one of the top agenda items of the U.N. and many foreign nations. The U.S. gun laws are much freer than those of most of the rest of the world. Through the web of entangling treaties attaching the U.S. to various international organizations, the rope is being slipped about the neck of the Second Amendment. One of these days, we may wake up to headlines that the U.N. or the WTO have demanded that the U.S. "harmonize" its gun laws (translation: disarm our civilians the way Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Idi Amin and many others have).

Hopefully, if that time ever comes, H.R. 1146 will have already been made law and the U.S. will have broken its entangling alliance with the U.N. Members of Congress need to be encouraged to cosponsor this legislation by Rep. Ron Paul. For a quantity of postcards to have sent to your congressman, contact GOA at 703 321 8585 (8001 Forbes Place, Springfield, VA 22151) or e-mail your request to goamail@gunowners.org.

U. S. Taxpayers Party
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Summary of UN efforts to eliminate the Second Amendment and disarms citizens
The UN is turning up heat against gun ownership--NRA ILA
UN Commission on CPCJ approves firearms regulation
UN Panel of GESA says UN should reduce accumulation of guns in the world
USA and OAS sign first international agreement to eradicate illegal trafficking in guns, ammo...

Battle Flags, Etc.

U.N. presses for action on worldwide gun control
NRA-ILA
UN (United Nations) blue and white helmet targeted by rifle scope crosshairs.
FIREARMS OWNED BY CIVILIANS ARE THE TARGET of the UN by NRA-ILA

The United Nations recently wrapped up its second regional workshop on firearms regulation in Africa, and from all indications, the UN is becoming even more open about its commitment to global gun control. Not surprisingly, the Japanese government appears to be directly responsible for this increased enthusiasm in worldwide restrictions on firearms ownership. In fact, through the UN, the government of Japan actually paid the expenses for 23 of the 28 governments who sent representatives to the Africa conference. While the meeting was dominated by anti-gun governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) of the UN, NRA-ILA was able to secure a place at the table to monitor the "workshop," and make known our objections to any UN interference in the United States' domestic firearms policies. Unfortunately, what our representative in Africa discovered is not very good news. It has become obvious that the various gun control groups from around the world are working more closely together now than ever before. They are actively exchanging intelligence and information on how to advance their gun ban agenda, sharing the secrets to their recent successes in places like Australia and Great Britain. Making matters even worse is the fact that the anti-gun movement also appears to be extremely well-funded. The anti-gunners' new found confidence was reflected in the address by UN official Eric Kibuka, Director of the UN's African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders, who labeled civilian-owned firearms "the target," and declared that "the international community has decided that firearms regulation is at the core of democracy and good government." NRA-ILA will continue to monitor events on the international stage and report them to you as necessary.

---------------
This information is provided as a service of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action, Fairfax, VA.

This and other information on the Second Amendment and the NRA is available at: http://WWW.NRA.Org

NRA-ILA FAX ALERT 11250 Waples Mill Road * Fairfax, VA 22030
Vol. 4, No.48 *Phone: 1-800-392-8683 *Fax: 703-267-3918
*GROOTS@NRA.org 11/26/97

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Summary of UN efforts to eliminate the Second Amendment and disarms citizens
The UN is turning up heat against gun ownership--NRA ILA
UN Commission on CPCJ approves firearms regulation
UN Panel of GESA says UN should reduce accumulation of guns in the world
USA and OAS sign first international agreement to eradicate illegal trafficking in guns, ammo...

Battle Flags, Etc.

U.N. COMMISSION ON CRIME PREVENTION AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
CONCLUDES SIXTH SESSION; VIENNA, 28 APRIL - 9 MAY

Approves Texts on Transnational Crime, Corruption, Stolen Vehicles, Firearm Regulation, Juvenile Justice, Prison Conditions, Migrant Smuggling

UN (United Nations) blue and white helmet targeted by rifle scope crosshairs.
VIENNA, 9 May (UN Information Service) edited--The growing use of handguns and other firearms in crime, suicide and accidents prompted this morning's resolution on firearm regulation, under which the Commission urged States to consider regulatory approaches to civilian-owned firearms that would cover their storage, transport, licensing, import and export, as well as penalties for their misuse. With many States having experienced an alarming escalation in gun-related crime in recent years, including several highly publicized incidents, delegates reported recent parliamentary moves to ban certain types of weapons and to prevent their use in domestic violence and other types of crimes.

Before the Commission was a 137-page first-ever United Nations study of how countries deal with civilian firearms issues. The preliminary draft contains the results of a 14-month survey of 46 countries, covering gun ownership, regulation and penalties.

The 40-member Commission was established by the Economic and Social Council in 1992, replacing the Committee on Crime Prevention and Control as the major United Nations body providing policy guidance to the Organization's crime control programme, which consists of the Vienna-based Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division and a network of affiliated regional and interregional institutes.

The Commission's recommendations will be taken up at the next substantive session of the Economic and Social Council to be held in Geneva from 30 June to 25 July.

Details of texts adopted and a round-up of the session follow.

Firearms Regulation

The draft of the first ever international survey on firearm regulation was presented to delegates. The study was conducted by the United Nations over the past 14 months and comprises data and comments from 46 Member States. Scheduled for publication later in 1997, with the addition of data from four partner countries, it is intended to assist in the development of national and international crime control and prevention strategies at a time when violent crimes, accidents and suicides involving the use of firearms are causing increasing concern. Twenty-seven countries reported a recent incident serious enough to raise public concern over firearms or focus government attention on the issue.

It was acknowledged by many speakers that there were legitimate reasons for the use of firearms, such as target practice, hunting and control of predatory animals, and that cultural, historical and legal traditions governed the use of firearms from country to country.

The delegate of the United Kingdom said that following last year's massacre at Dunblane Primary School, new legislative controls on handguns had been introduced and further measures were envisaged. The Australian delegate spoke of the speed with which a national agreement had been concluded on effective firearm regulation in the wake of the shooting deaths of 35 people in Port Arthur last year.

Several delegates called for the harmonizing of national legislations to allow more effective action on the international level. The United States, said that such an exercise would be "impractical, expensive, time-consuming and dangerous". What was required, said the speaker, was a strengthening of international cooperation and improvements in training for those involved in firearm control.

Japan announced a further contribution of $140,000 to the project

Under a text on firearm regulation, the Commission took note of the findings in the draft "United Nations International Study on Firearm Regulation" and urged States to consider regulatory approaches that would include regulations relating to firearm safety and storage; appropriate penalties and/or administrative sanctions for offenses involving the misuse of firearms; mitigation of or exemption from, criminal responsibility, amnesty or similar programmes to encourage citizens to surrender illegal, unsafe or unwanted firearms; a licensing system, including the licensing of firearm businesses and a record-keeping system.

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Summary of UN efforts to eliminate the Second Amendment and disarms citizens
The UN is turning up heat against gun ownership--NRA ILA
UN Commission on CPCJ approves firearms regulation
UN Panel of GESA says UN should reduce accumulation of guns in the world
USA and OAS sign first international agreement to eradicate illegal trafficking in guns, ammo...

Battle Flags, Etc.

UN Urged to Act Against Small Arms
By Charles J. Hanley

AP Special Correspondent
Thursday, September 18, 1997; 6:27 p.m. EDT

UN (United Nations) blue and white helmet targeted by rifle scope crosshairs.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The United Nations should help reduce the ''excessive accumulation'' of guns in the world and convene a global conference to fight small-arms trafficking, a U.N. panel recommends.

Such a conference could prepare a treaty controlling the international trade.

The U.S. National Rifle Association quickly criticized the report, saying it was not a ''proper subject area'' for the world organization. But one panel member described it as only a first step.

The still-unpublished document, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, will be submitted for approval to the 1997-98 General Assembly session, which opened Tuesday. It is the product of a year's work by the Panel of Governmental Experts on Small Arms, comprising representatives of 16 nations.

''This report recommends a set of practical measures to reduce the weapons already in circulation and to prevent future accumulations,'' U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in a foreword urging endorsement.

The General Assembly ordered the U.N. study in 1995 to investigate ways ''to prevent and reduce the excessive and destabilizing accumulation and transfer of small arms and light weapons.''

Among other things, the report recommends that the United Nations:

--Support, possibly through peacekeeping troops, the destruction of small arms left over once conflicts are settled.

--Study the feasibility of high-tech ''marking'' of weapons from the time of manufacture, so they can be more easily traced.

--Study the possibility of restricting production and trade of small arms to manufacturers and dealers authorized by states, and establishing a global database of licensees.

The General Assembly is powerless to control the international arms trade. But Japan is seeking support for an assembly resolution authorizing a global conference, as the report recommends, on the illicit trade in small arms. Specialists estimate half the global gun trade is illegal.

Such a conference might work on a multilateral treaty setting standards, for the first time, on such things as weapon types and numbers in international commerce.

The Japanese, whose criminal gangs use guns smuggled from China and the United States, supported the panel with a $200,000 grant, enabling it to conduct workshops in southern Africa, Central America and south Asia, regions where flows of assault rifles and other light weapons have fed local conflicts.

''For us, small arms is something like the drug problem because we need to cut the supply to have an effect on society,'' said panel member Prasad Kariyawasam, a diplomat from Sri Lanka, where an insurgency thrives on weapons smuggled from abroad.

''The report is a first step,'' Kariyawasam said. ''If the international community can agree on convening a global conference, it will surely make headway on this.''

But the anti-gun control NRA said the international community has already gone too far.

''The U.N. shouldn't get involved in what we consider local issues properly left in the purview of sovereign states,'' said the NRA's Tom Mason, who appeared before the panel at one session. He said the proposals would ''in the long run probably impact legitimate users of firearms.''

But Washington's representative on the panel said the recommendations would not affect law-abiding Americans. ''There's nothing in this report that threatens any U.S. interests or law,'' said Herbert Calhoun, of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.

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Summary of UN efforts to eliminate the Second Amendment and disarms citizens
The UN is turning up heat against gun ownership--NRA ILA
UN Commission on CPCJ approves firearms regulation
UN Panel of GESA says UN should reduce accumulation of guns in the world
USA and OAS sign first international agreement to eradicate illegal trafficking in guns, ammo...

Battle Flags, Etc.

OAS Convention Against Illicit Firearms Trafficking

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
____________________________________________
For Immediate Release
November 14, 1997/

FACT SHEET

UN (United Nations) blue and white helmet targeted by rifle scope crosshairs.
The United States and its partners in the Organization of American States today signed the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, the first international agreement designed to prevent, combat, and eradicate illegal trafficking in firearms, ammunition, and explosives.

The Convention will make the citizens of the hemisphere safer by helping to shut down the gray and black arms markets that fuel the violence associated with drug trafficking, terrorism, and international organized crime. The initiative responds to President Clinton's call to the international community three years ago at the United Nations, and is part of the Administration's broader efforts -- with our partners in the Summit of the Eight and through independent steps -- to address this serious transnational danger.

Initially proposed by Mexico and negotiated in the last seven months, the Convention is an outstanding example of the contribution that the OAS is making to the security of our hemisphere.

While strengthening our ability to eradicate illicit arms trafficking, this agreement protects the legal trade in firearms, and does not discourage or diminish the lawful ownership and use of firearms.

Key Provisions of the Convention

Export, Import, and Transit Licenses. To help ensure that arms are transferred to legitimate users, parties to the Convention are required to establish or maintain an effective licensing or authorization system for the export, import, and transit of firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials. States may not permit firearms to be exported or transited across their borders without proper licensing from the receiving and in-transit countries.

Marking of Firearms. To improve the ability to track down the sources of illegal firearms, parties to the Convention are obligated to require, at the time of manufacture, the marking of firearms with the name, place of manufacture, and serial number. Similar markings are required for imported firearms. U.S. manufacturers and importers currently follow this practice.

Criminalization of Illicit Arms Production and Sales. Nations that have not already done so are required to adopt laws and regulations criminalizing the illicit manufacture of and trafficking in firearms, ammunition, explosives, and related materials.

Information Exchange. Consistent with their national laws, parties will share information on legislative practices and other national measures to combat illicit trafficking; techniques used to combat money laundering related to illicit transfers; routes customarily used by criminal organizations engaged in illicit trafficking; and the means of concealment used and ways of detecting them.

Law Enforcement and Regulatory Cooperation. Parties agree to cooperate with one another in the effort to eradicate arms trafficking through the establishment of a single point of contact that will act as the formal liaison among states.

Technical Assistance and Training. States agree to cooperate to better ensure adequate training in such areas as identification and tracing; intelligence gathering; and detection methods and search protocols at borders.

The Administration's Program Against Illicit Trafficking

U.S. support for the OAS Convention is part of the Administration's broader effort to address the problem of illicit international firearms trafficking.

Monitoring Exports. At the request of the President, the State and Treasury Departments have undertaken an intensified country-by-country review of applications for licenses to export firearms, ammunition, and explosives from the United States to ensure that exported weapons are not diverted to illicit purposes.

OAS Model Regulations. The United States has worked with its OAS partners to produce Model Regulations governing the transfer of firearms. The Model Regulations to Control the Movement of Firearms, Ammunition, and Firearms Parts and Components, drafted by a group of experts of the OAS Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), were agreed in Lima earlier this month. The President has directed the State Department to begin to implement these regulations immediately and to encourage regulatory and licensing authorities in other countries to do the same.

Arms Brokering Legislation. The President has signed legislation amending the Arms Export Control Act to give the State Department greater authority to monitor and regulate the activities of arms brokers. The amendment closes a loophole in US law that had permitted brokers with US ties to act as middlemen for arms transactions conducted abroad, without being subject to US laws and regulations.

Vigilance at Our Borders. To ensure the continued integrity of our borders, the Administration has made prevention of illegal arms trafficking a priority. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and the U.S. Customs service have recently intensified their interdiction and investigative efforts at borders. The Attorney General has directed U.S. attorneys along the southwest border to begin a dedicated effort to prosecute traffickers, large and small, caught attempting to smuggle firearms across the border.

Residency Requirements for Gun Purchasers. To contribute to the safety of citizens on both sides of our southern border, the President announced earlier this year that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms will tighten up the residency requirements for aliens purchasing firearms from dealers in the United States. Regulations have been issued requiring aliens to prove they have been residents for at least 90 days in the state where they are trying to buy a gun.

International Cooperation. The United States is working with its partners in the Group of Eight and through the UN Crime Commission to expand cooperation on combating illicit arms trafficking.


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Summary of UN efforts to eliminate the Second Amendment and disarms citizens
The UN is turning up heat against gun ownership--NRA ILA
UN Commission on CPCJ approves firearms regulation
UN Panel of GESA says UN should reduce accumulation of guns in the world
USA and OAS sign first international agreement to eradicate illegal trafficking in guns, ammo...