Law-abiding shooters help fight global illicit firearms trade

The head of an international association representing more than 100 million sporting shooters has reiterated on the world stage the willingness of law-abiding firearm owners to address illicit firearms trade on a global scale.

World Forum on Shooting Activities (WFSA) president Graham Downing delivered this sentiment in a statement during the informal non-government organisation session of the eighth Biennial Meeting of States (BMS8) of the United Nations Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) held in New York from June 27 to July 1 this year. The meeting’s aim was to consider the national, regional and global implementation of the Programme of Action (PoA) to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects and its International Tracing Instrument (ITI).

WFSA attended on behalf of its hunting, shooting and industry member organisations from around the world with the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia (SSAA National) being one of the founding members. Countries including Sweden, Germany, Italy, South Africa, the US and more belong to the WFSA. The aim of the WFSA is to further the study, preservation, promotion and protection of sports shooting activities on every continent. The body represents recreational shooting at the United Nations and has attended every major UN conference affecting hunting and the shooting sports. The SSAA’s presence on the WFSA ensures our involvement in relevant international issues and forms part of the Association’s commitment to protecting firearm owners’ interests.

At the meeting it was decided an Open-ended Technical Expert Group (OETEG) on SALW whose mandate will be to address technical issues such as 3D printing, marking of modular and polymer weapons with the involvement of government and industry experts. The proposal for the establishment of this working group will be discussed at the 4th Review Conference in June 2024 and should then be adopted by resolution at United Nations General Assembly. Therefore, the first meeting should take place in the first quarter of 2025.

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