U.N. Proposes International Gun Control

On May 9, 1994, the United Nations Disarmament Commission adopted a working paper calling for international controls on the gun trade, according to the Associated Press. The working paper was adopted by consensus vote; the commission has representatives from each U.N. member country, including the U.S.

The working paper has no authority, but could serve as a basis for debate in the U.N. General Assembly. The anti-gun campaign is led by Colombia, although other countries such as Japan, India and Russia joined in eagerly.

The smugglers who bring drugs into the U.S. often bring back guns into Colombia. You'd think that the Colombians would get a clue from drug prohibition that gun prohibition won't work. In fact, guns are completely banned in Colombia, which is awash in firearms.

Colombian officials feel that the proper response to the failure of gun prohibition in their country is more gun prohibition elsewhere.

The working paper adopted by the Disarmament Commission placed the subject on the commission's agenda for spring 1995. A final report was intended to be issued in 1996. (I haven't followed up on that.)

The working paper calls for "harmonization" of gun controls, saying, "the arms permitted for civilian use ... should be subject to controls at all points in the chain, from production and-or acquisition up to the time they are sold to an individual. From then on they should remain subject to monitoring and control."