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In case you didn’t know it, the U.N. Small Arms Treaty went into effect on Christmas Eve. As we’ve been saying since the treaty emerged from the bureaucratic bowels of the United Nations, it’s nothing that should get U.S. gun owners’ collective, proverbial knickers in a twist. The treaty requires signatories to conform to small arms export protocols that America has already been following. Anyway, the U.S. Senate ain’t going there. Ever. So the treaty is dead in the water here, legally speaking. And, surprisingly, in Canada as well. Here’s what Foreign Affairs minister John Baird had to say when the peace, love, and disarmament dudes complained . . .

Signing the Arms Trade Treaty would not improve upon how we assess exports of military items. Canada already has some of the strongest export controls in the world.

The ATT actually brings countries up to our export control standards.

It is important that such a treaty should not affect lawful and responsible firearms owners nor discourage the transfer of firearms for recreational uses such as sport shooting and hunting. We’ll make sure that any treaty we sign onto is good for Canada, and good for Canadians‎.

That sounds suspiciously pro-gun to me. Who’d a thunk it? [h/t JA]

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  1. Good for them. I never thought they were the worst place in the world. And aren’t they BETTER than several blue states( DC)?

  2. Canada is actually as bad or worse than the blue states like NJ when it comes to gun rights and self defense rights.
    Most Canadians in the more rural regions ignore Canada’s gun laws.
    Technically, the Canadian government doesn’t even recognize a right to keep firearms.
    They also don’t have freedom of speech or the press in Canada.

    • All I can say is that their magazine capacity limits don’t try to ban 98% of all modern firearms. They allow pinned magazines (so ones from here can be converted to be legal).

      Unlike some blue states (and DC not so long ago) that basically banned any gun with magazines larger than 10 rounds available in some part of the world.

    • “They also don’t have freedom of speech or the press in Canada.”

      Um, what? Section 2 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms:

      Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
      (a)freedom of conscience and religion;
      (b)freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
      (c)freedom of peaceful assembly; and
      (d)freedom of association.

        • Where are you getting your (mis)information? If you’re basing you’re position regarding freedom of speech or lack thereof on the news report about Mark Steyn, that report is typical of many (most/all) news reports, both in Canada AND the U.S…..LOONG on opinion, short on fact.
          Canada does most definitely have freedom of speech…certainly equal to that in the U.S.
          Fishy dude comments that the Canadian gun laws are as bad or worse than your “Blue” States; I’d have to disagree there, as well. Our gun laws are wretched, to be sure…they have however actually taken baby steps towards a more progressive stance under the Conservatives. We do have the right to self defence on our own property, the long gun registry has been tanked, and there have been a variety of lesser changes recognizing that a significant percentage of Canadians, especially in the Prairie Provinces, have some VERY strong, pro-gun views. Politicians here are the same as they are in the U.S.; they still need to be mindful of their constituents

        • I wouldn’t be too quick in kicking sand in Canada’s face WRT free speech when your coveted First Amendment is under attack. Pls see Mark Steyn vs Michael Mann (U Penn.) Steyn has been joined by several prominent journals that usually disagree with him on most issues because if Mann wins, it’ll place a chill on free speech for everyone.

      • Before you quote Section 2 of the Charter, you might want to include Section 33, known as the “Notwithstanding Clause”, or as I like to call it, the “Ha, ha, just kidding” clause. It basically allows the section 2 “fundamental” rights, along with the section 7-15 “legal” rights (including the right to life) to be abrogated by a simple parliamentary majority – both at the federal and provincial level. Technically, the “democratic” rights, such as voting, cannot be thus abrogated, but given that the right to life can be, I think I see a loophole there.

        In other words, the Charter is so much toilet paper for parliamentarians to wipe themselves with. Canadians have exactly as much rights and freedoms as the current parliamentary majority wishes to allow them, no more, no less.

  3. It seems up North is still concerned with the hunting and fishing aspect of guns.
    With no 2nd amendment no personal defense for them.
    That’ is what separates us from the rest of the world.

    • When you have to have insurance in case of exercising a right, that right kind of loses its exceptionalism. In America we have the governmental privilege to armed self-defense because rights are not allowed to be constantly under threat by the whims of the political climate of the time. Try saying I was standing my ground as it is my right as an American citizen and see how fast the court judges you to lose possibly freedom and guaranteed money over a thug.

      • Life with a concealed handgun is a bit different in Florida then a lot of other states.
        We were the 1st to do away with nuisance suits against gun owners and of course stand your ground laws.
        Yes they have changed a right to a privilege here as elsewhere. But Id rather be here in Florida with our personal protection laws then in almost any other state.

        • Jay-Florida is an amazing state to any outdoor enthusiast and your self-defense laws should be the model for the country. I just had a friend relocate here from Florida and he was pleasantly surprised by our concealed weapons license criteria, and the fact in SD a person can open carry without having to possess a fishing pole at the same time made him stay in the windy cold.

        • Jay, I love TX, but I have no argument that FL has led the nation forward on this topic since 1987. Good work.

  4. Common sense from a Western government, who’d have thunk it? We do have the right to defend ourselves in our homes with firearms by the way.

    • Good now work on the right to keep a tyrannical government in check. We in the states still need to fix that part of our culture.

    • ” We do have the right to defend ourselves in our homes with firearms by the way.”
      I guess that’s fine, if you never have to leave your home.
      Visiting others?

    • We are slowly clawing back our gun rights in Canada. Hopefully the Cons will keep their majority and maybe, just maybe we can start making some real progress in removing all that illegal liberal knee jerk nonsense legislation.

  5. If I’m not mistaken, the current administration in Canada is (relatively speaking, of course) the most pro-gun/pro-freedom they have had in a while. Maybe a resident Canuck can elaborate. They obviously have a long way to go, but at least they are moving in a positive direction.

    • Of the 3 main parties in Parliament, the governing Conservative Party is the most pro-gun. The Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party are both anti-gun. As are the Green Party and the Bloc Québécois. However, the balance of power could change next year after the election. In general, Canadians are more left politically than Americans, so unfortunately, any attempts to introduce legislation to allow firearms for self-defence without the overwhelming risk of prosecution would be political suicide.

    • Yes, they’re the best we’ve had in years. After removing the Long Gun Registry, they’ve implemented a rule that prevents the prohibition of any firearm that has been declared Non-restricted or Restricted for more than a year. Before this happened, the RCMP declared that the Swiss Arms Classic Green and several Vz.58 models prohibited, despite being NR for years.

      Also, they are in the process of passing Bill C-42, which will simplify paperwork around transporting Restricted firearms, force CFO compliance, protect people renewing their licenses, and allow for redesignating Prohibited firearms as either Restricted or Non-Restricted. Currently, the law only allows guns to move from R and NR to prohibited.

      Every step is a small one, but an important one. It took years for us to get to this state, we cannot expect things to change instantly.

      • Gotta ask… Do they publish any figures on how much all this control costs the taxpayer, or what the benefits are supposed to be? I think, in the US, that is the Achilles’ heel of the grabbers’ crap, as they accomplish nothing verifiable, and they won’t give us a hint what it costs. If all the cards were on the table, the controls would be off in a week and those who advocated them lo, these 7 -8 decades, riding a rail out of town. Enormous expense for absolutely nothing except a larger and more cumbersome government.

  6. Ask the Spanish government what arms controls did to them in the 1930’s. It led to decades of fascist rule by Franco because the legitimate government was unable to buy weapons without going through the USSR, which ripped them off and let them whither away.

  7. Not surprising. Canada didn’t approve the draft treaty either.

    And BTW, The Hague Convention amendment that banned the use of hollow point ammo was never ratified, but the US is bound by it anyway. So much for your theory that this treaty is a non-event.

    • Tl;dr version, no, you are wrong.

      Long version, only 25 countries ratified the Hague Convention of 1899, and we don’t follow it. E.g., we drop bombs. Aerial bombing was prohibitted by it.

      The US Military does use hollow points in some applications.

      Now we did sign and ratify the 1907 Hague Convention which does place a vaguer restriction on munitions. And that had been interpreted as restriction expanding ammunition. But this understanding as been ameliorated in the last couple of decades, with open tip rounds for nipers, and hollow points for handguns among some units.

      The relevant line is

      it is especially forbidden –
      To employ arms, projectiles, or material calculated to cause unnecessary suffering.

      Which is open to interpretation. In anycase, we did ratify the 1907 treaty

      • I didn’t say that the US didn’t ratify the Hague Convention. I said that the US did not ratify the ban on hollowpoint ammo, but grunts still aren’t allowed to use HP. has a very good treatise on the subject.

  8. Why all the Canada bashing?i had some very preconceived notions about Canada, until I actually visited some friends up tenor th and took time to learn about their laws and systems. So they have it as good, generally, as we (USA) in terms of firearms rights? No. Is it getting better in terms of their laws? Yes. We. Should support eah other, not bash each othe. Although I still give my Canadian friends crap abot their accent, eh?

  9. Thanks for posting this. I knew they didn’t sign at first, but even though I searched several times, I had been unable to find out if they had maintained that position. I’m glad to see that they did. It’s funny that the media has covered that fact so sparingly.


  10. Hymmmn, With “Isis”/ “Isel”, whatever?… Threatening “Our” Well being, [these “Moronic, Fanatics!!!”]; Why, Would we lay down our “Arms”?… Sure, the Over Worked “Police”, will Eventually, Arrive; But, Seriously, i’d rather have one of my Weapons, in my hand, than, “Cop”, on the Phone!… “Naaaaaaw”, I’ll pass on that one!…..

  11. So, am I not going to be able to buy that cute little AT 4 I been eying at my local gun emporium?!?!? And what about the cases of HE I got on order with WalMart for my 4 Deuce? Its getting as bad as 22lr!

    Seriously, though, this all started with the Reagan Admin trying to get other countries to accept our level of oversight and enforcement of existing laws regarding arms trade internationally. Turning it over to UN ensured it would descend into utter chaos and bad actors would continue to sell land mines to other bad actors. Mission accomplished.

  12. I know that our neighbors in the Great White North value having their own culture and identity distinct from the United States. I sure hope they will mirror some of our culture and identity when it comes to firearm rights.

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