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Posted: 7/17/2001 6:59:17 PM EDT
Info I got today: · JUSTICE DEPT. AFFIRMS INDIVIDUAL RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS . . . The U.S. Justice Department is drafting a formal legal opinion asserting the federal government's position that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does in fact insure an individual right to own a gun. That view was earlier espoused by Attorney General John Ashcroft during his Senate confirmation hearings, and again in a letter from Ashcroft to the National Rifle Association last May. Although in his letter Ashcroft commented that the Constitution does not prohibit Congress from enacting some firearm restrictions, he stressed that " . . . the Second Amendment clearly protect(s) the right of individuals to keep and bear arms. Like the First and Fourth Amendments, the Second Amendment protects the rights of 'the people,' which the Supreme Court has noted is a term of art that should be interpreted consistently throughout the Bill of Rights," Ashcroft said. The new government position is a complete reversal from the Clinton Administration's that aggressively promoted the view that the Second Amendment conferred only a collective right to own guns through the establishment of state militias and was not an individual right. · MAJORITY OF WORLD'S SMALL ARMS OWNED BY CIVILIANS . . . As the United Nations pursues efforts to initiate global gun controls, a report presented to a U.N. conference in New York debating the issue reveals that more than half (56 percent) of the world's estimated 551 million firearms are legally owned by private citizens rather than by governments. Fewer than a million arms, 910,000, or 0.2 percent, are in the hands of rebels or anti-government insurgents, the report showed. Government military forces account for approximately 226 million arms (41 percent), and police forces hold some 18 million (3 percent). The authors of the report, while calling it the most comprehensive ever compiled, have admitted its estimates are conservative at best, noting major problems in figuring the number of illegal guns worldwide as well as the number of legally owned firearms in major countries like China, India and Pakistan. "A comprehensive total, including those missing categories, would be greater by tens to hundreds of millions more," the report said. It estimated that some 250 million firearms are legally owned in the United States. The U.S., according to the report, has more than half of the world's 600 firearm makers and leads all nations in the manufacture and export of small arms and ammunition. The American firearm industry employs some 16,700 workers and contributes about $3 billion a year to the U.S. economy the report said. Among the 28 countries studied in the report, the U.S. has the strictest requirements "applying to arms brokers." Worldwide, the manufacturing of small arms has declined from 6.3 million a year to 4.3 million due to shrinking demand in a saturated market, the report claimed.
Link Posted: 7/17/2001 7:00:03 PM EDT
· U.S. GUN MAKERS AGREE TO VOLUNTARY MARKING PROPOSALS . . . One of the issues currently before the United Nations regarding the international commerce in firearms is the adoption of some form of standard identification system to better determine a firearm's country of origin. The U.S. has long had extensive regulations on the marking of firearms manufactured domestically as well as imported. Those include requiring the name of the company, place of manufacture, and a serial number not easily susceptible to eradication. In working with the U.N. on the issue, a number of major American arms companies have tentatively agreed to support a similar, voluntary system worldwide. Any agreement would allow individual countries to determine the exact marking system to be used, but it would include the current U.S. requirements and would require manufacturers to maintain records for inspection by international authorities. Individual manufacturers would be free to adopt the standards as part of a voluntary, self-regulating effort. Both NSSF and SAAMI have participated in meetings on the marking issue leading up to the U.N. Conference.
Link Posted: 7/17/2001 7:16:06 PM EDT
Which means essentially nothing happened at the UN. Since the agreement is "voluntary" and "self-enforcing". Although it does mean that between this agreement and the need for most gun makers to sell in the US market to make a living, that we just succeded in forcing the rest of the world to mark their firearms exactly as we do. To the extent that they will mark them at all.
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