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Firearms Industry

Firearms Industry Concerned Over United Nations Request for Firearms Trace Data

March 30, 2010

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(GunReports.com)—The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms industry, has learned that the United Nations has filed its first firearms trace request. The move by the United Nations, which has long advocated for civilian disarmament, raised concerns from the NSSF.

"Firearms trace data is a law enforcement tool to help aid in specific criminal investigations," said NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane. "Our concerns with this trace request stem from UN-efforts to impose arms trade control treaties that would lead to a ban on the civilian possession and ownership of firearms, possibly even in the United States despite Second Amendment protections and the recent Supreme Court decision (Heller v. District of Columbia) reaffirming that Americans have an individual right to keep and bear arms."

Tracing a firearm is the process by which law enforcement tracks the chain of custody of a firearm through the licensed distribution system to the original (first) retail purchaser. In this particular case, the manufacturer declined to provide the information to the United Nations and instead advised UN officials to make its request through proper international law enforcement channels. This would ensure that ATF, the appropriate law enforcement entity responsible for handling such requests, would be aware of the world body's actions.

"Some foreign states and well-funded non-governmental organizations, like the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA), are using arms trade-control talks at the United Nations to restrict or ban the private ownership of firearms," continued Keane.

Though this trace request appears to have been an isolated incident, members of the firearms industry are troubled by the precedent.

"We remain increasingly concerned that ongoing efforts to restrict or ban the civilian and private ownership of firearms taking place at the United Nations will severely restrict and frustrate the lawful international commerce in sporting firearms and ammunition products and undermine the United States' national sovereignty and America's cherished firearms freedoms protected by the Second Amendment and our hunting and shooting sports heritage," concluded Keane.

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Reader Comments

The response of the US delegation to this request SHOULD BE (but won't): "US to UN: Kindly osculate our collective posteriors."

The trace data should be for use here in the US not by the UN or other countries. The UN is a forum for world governments to settle differances not run other countries. UN, move to Europe.

If international law enforcement wants information, that's one thing. "The Coordinator of the Group of Experts" sounds like a communist party or crime organization title out of a James Bond movie. It's nice to see H&K have a backbone!!! If I had the money, I'd go buy one of everything they make to show my support.

I used to think it was a good idea to "help" third world countries realize the error in their ways and get their feet on the ground. Having been a part of one of those "missions" to help feed the masses and restore order, I no longer feel that way. The great USA was arguably a third world "hot spot" at one point, and yes, we got help; but not until well after we demonstrated we were willing to solve our problems on our own.

Bravo Zulu H&K!

My oath was to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies domestic and foreign. I owe the UN zip, nada, nothing, squat. As far as I'm concerned I will never obey any UN directive nor comply with any effort they may make to do anything contrary to the US Constitution, and that includes especially the 2nd Amendment. I'll bury my guns in the woods and let them jail me before I give them up. Of course, there will be someone younger than me who will know where those are so that they can be used in the subsequent revolution.

And I won't help them with law enforcement anyway. They only want to know who originally bought the gun so they can harass that person, try to trace that one gun, and then punish SOMEBODY because if they need to tract the gun then the know which gun was used but not by whom. So if you're the last one they can find in the chain - you're going down. And just BTW, you can be sure they will be getting into ALL your gun business if they ever get your name - hell, even BATFE does that, and you can't expect the UN to be any better.

David - well said!

P V B, I love my H&K's. Their moto is "NO COMPROMISE"

If the US would stop paying for the UN, it would collapse under its own weight. We should also move UN headquarters directly between Israel and the Palestinians.

UN...Uneducated Narcissist....

In psychiatry, a personality disorder characterized by the patient's overestimation of his or her own appearance and abilities and an excessive need for admiration...sound familiar??

Kindest Regards...

In God We Trust...

Good idea Mister E.

Stealth and Shell Games ~ the Progressives will use any and all tactics to disarm a legally armed citizenry. ~ They have my permission to PACK SAND!!

Slight of Hand and Shell Games ~ the Progressives will anything to disarm our legally armed citizenry. ~ They have my permission to PACK SAND!!

All I am goin to say is, The US out of the UN and the UN out of the US. Sick and tire of thier crap period. God Bless America and Our Troops Par, Present, and Future. Keeping to My Oath Locked, Loaded, and Keeping My Powder Dry

All I am goin to say is, The US out of the UN and the UN out of the US. Sick and tire of thier crap period. God Bless America and Our Troops Par, Present, and Future. Keeping to My Oath Locked, Loaded, and Keeping My Powder Dry

"Though this trace request appears to have been an isolated incident..."??? Are you kidding? People, the enemy is here, and he has come to take your guns!!! Americans and the firearms industry had better stand up now and stand firm!

Also, Mr. William D., are you suggesting that only the Federal Government has the authority to take away your rights? Protect your rights with your life, sir, from everyone who acts to take them away. Your freedom and your posterity depends on it. The U.S. Constitution must prevail!

God bless America!

no comment please keep me posted.

Sounds like everyone is unanimous in their desire to see the US withdraw from the UN. This request appears to be an attempt by the UN committee monitoring sanctions for the conflict in the Ivory Coast to find the original purchaser of some weapons photographed in the hands of rebels. Just out of curiosity, what are the opinions regarding UN sanctions? For example currently there are UN sanctions against Iran and there are unilateral US sanctions against Iran. Is there any benefit to having the US a member the UN for the purpose of participating in sanctions? Or are sanctions completely ineffective and the US should not even be a member of the UN?

Sword - I think there is some benefit. My issue is I don't trust third world warlords. I know that's an over-generalization, but look at the problems we have with ethical behavior from our own leadership. We are supposed to be setting the example for other countries to follow, and the media jumps all over that bandwagon whenever we erode the moral high ground. Where does that leave the third world leaders?

Many question the effectiveness of sanctions, and during many years of sanctions against Hussein's Iraq, scandals were rampant.

What we are all opposing here is the "reverse sanction" (if you will) where the UN community is telling us what to do. Were their intentions pure or well intended, I'd have less objection.

While I really respect H&K's actions in the "article" that started this thread, this whole issue gets a little murky when you consider allegations that H&K does little to stem the illegal shipment of arms.

Too be fair GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, etc. does little to stem drunk driving. A company only has so much control of a product once it leaves it's hands. As long as it leaves the factory to go to a legal source, that's where a company's liability ends IMHO. I don't support illegal shipment of arms, however a company only has so much control of a product once it leaves it's facility.

Let me start off by saying I am no fan of the UN. I imagine everyone has read the trace request as well as the NSSF article. Perhaps someone can help me in understanding the NSSF article because to me it is misleading. The article says, "[NSSF] concerns with this trace request stem from UN-efforts to impose arms trade control treaties that would lead to a ban on the civilian possession and ownership of firearms, possibly even in the United States…” But when I read the trace request is was asking for the name and address of the entity to which H&K sold one P7 (the serial number was provided) that was photographed in the hands of a rebel in north Ivory Coast. Additionally they wanted to know if there were any other weapons that were sold under the same consignment. To me this sounds like a law enforcement request that would be allowed under our constitution. They have probable cause and it is a specific search (the supplied serial number). I’m curious to see what others think.

Sword - maybe my understanding of "The Coordinator of the Group of Experts" is flawed, but it's not law enforcement. Once the precedent is set, what's left to stop additional "probable cause" requests from other "interested parties?"

The gun control battle is one where "they" are willing to circumvent the Constitution as well as inflict a "death by a thousand cuts."

Well I think for accuracy sake we have to acknowledge that this is not just some “interested party” this is the “Coordinator of the Group of Experts” associated with Security Council resolution 1893. It is my understanding that the UN does not have a “Police Force” or “Law Enforcement” powers (I’m thankful for that!). They pass resolutions and then have committees monitor compliance with the resolutions. I think that is one of the reasons they appear so helpless and ineffectual because they do not have the mechanism to enforce their resolutions.

So I’m curious does everyone think this is a back door way to take away our 2A rights?

Back door? This particular example, no; the UN resolution as a whole? Absolutely. I'm sure disarming the American public is not the sole intent, but Hilary, Soros, and others have made it quite clear in the past that they would use UN authority if they couldn't get private ownership outlawed "on the homefront." I would like to see illegal arms distribution halted and genocide erased, but you can't do that on the supply side alone. It's no different than drugs really, and as long as dictators and warlords want wholesale slaughter, there will be a supply to fill that demand. H&K isn't nearly as big a culprit in this mess as governments that "belly up to the bar" when some tyrant wants to start a coups or kill off a bunch of political enemies.

Don't forget what statue sits in front of the UN headquarters in NYC.

First of all, sanctions don't work. As long as a rogue government or anyone else wants a product, be it an H&K, a howitzer, or a ballistic missile, somebody will sell it if the money is right. Second, the problem is not the UN investigation, per se. If it were being limited to (and would continue to be so limited) investigations illegal arms sales to genocidal regimes, groups and similar terrorists, such an investigation is laudatory. The problem comes when either the UN or our domestic politicians seek to expand that investigation and any subsequent ban or bar in violation of the Second Amendment--which they most assuredly will attempt to do. These folks have been given a new hammer, and every gun right looks to them like a nail.

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