Speech of Hans-Herbet Kusgen, President of World Forum of Shooting Activities (WSAF).
Thank you Mr. Chairman. My name is Hans-Herbert Keusgen. I am German and President of the WFSA – World Forum on Shooting Activities; an ECOSOC NGO founded in 1996 and a representing approximately 50 member associations and hundreds of millions of hunters, sport.shooters and legal civilian firearms owners and collectors worldwide.
Mr. Chairman, civilian ﬁrearms are used in Olympic Games, in hunting, in sport shooting and in recreation. Citizens legally own about 60% of all small aims. These law-abiding citizens and their firearms are not part of the problem that the UN wants to solve.
Statisticas published by governmental agencies prove that in the US as well as in my home country Germany, the criminal use of legally owned weapons has been continuously declining for decades whereas the criminal use of illicit ﬁrearms has risen disproportionately countries that have significantly restricted ownership of licit weapons.
Unfortunately, I have to conclude, that these facts seem to be ignored by some officials who deal with the ITI, ATT and POA.
Mr. Chairman, there seems to be universal agreement, that civil society involvement is a good thing. Although participation is supported, the ﬁrearms community ﬁnds that our access is not equal. To name just one example: Our industry can be particularly helpful regarding the technical issues raised by the coming Secretary General’s report on the developments in marking and tracing. Industry involvement with the 2015 Group of Government Expert Meeting is particularly important.
We are prepared to support the efforts of the United Nations with our experience and expertise, but this assumes we will be heard. The ITI, ATT and POA need to be more open to participation A by the firearms community. Also, I continue to hear rethat the POA should be extended to cover ammunition. Based on my personal experience from industry I must say this can’t be done. This is not a political statement but a technical truth.
Let me conclude with what I said at an earlier meeting. The firearms community is not your enemy. We are law-abiding citizens who realize we live in world of both rights and duties. We will defend the legitimate rights of the lawful possession of firearms, but we will fulfill our duty to you with our expertise, assistance and fruitful cooperation.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.