The president of the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association testified at the United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty negotiations on March 22, stressing that there exists no justification for the inclusion of antique firearms and their replicas within the scope of the ATT.
Rebecca Waterman appeared on behalf of the NMLRA, along with other organizations mobilized by the World Forum on the Future of Shooting Sports Activities. In testimony and presentations, speakers stressed that while the misuse of firearms may be problematic in some countries and regimes, the UN should not unfairly target civilian firearms and those who use them for hunting, recreation and personal protection.
“There is substantial international commerce in antique firearms and their replicas but by no stretch of the imagination are they some kind of threat that should be included within the ATT,” Ms. Waterman said. “Subjecting the international commerce in antique firearms and their replicas to an ATT will be an unjustified and unnecessary burden on that commerce.”
Ms. Waterman cited Article 3 of the UN Firearms Protocol, which specifically excludes antique firearms and their replicas.
“It says, and I quote, ‘Antique firearms and their replicas shall be defined in accordance with domestic law. In no case, however, shall antique firearms include firearms manufactured after 1899.'”
Also providing testimony during last week’s ATT negotiations were Thomas Mason, Executive Director for the Americas of the World Forum on Shooting Activities, Richard Patterson, Managing Director of the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAMMI) and Allen Youngman, Executive Director of the Defense Small Arms Advisory Committee.
Now in its 80th year, the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association has worked to preserve, promote and support the rich American muzzle-loading heritage through recreational, educational, historical, and cultural venues–including match competition, hunting, gun-making and safety, historical re-enactments, exhibits, museums, libraries and other programs.
As the historic national center of muzzleloader shooting, education and competition in the U.S., the NMLRA headquarters and expansive range complex is located on nearly 600 acres in southeastern Indiana. The Friendship facilities are an easy drive from nearby Cincinnati, Ohio, as well as the metropolitan areas of Louisville, Kentucky and Indianapolis, Indiana.
For more information, go to www.nmlra.org.
Morgan Mundell, Managing Director