by Joachim Streitberger
UN Conference on the Illicit Trade of Small Arms in All its Aspects
Ladies and Gentlemen,
a German firearms legislation group, is working to prevent crime and the misuse
of firearms by means of legislation.
In Germany, many
points included in the proposed Programme of Action, have been translated into
action for many years.
All firearms must be marked.
Sale or re-sale, import and
export must be recorded.
The purchase of a firearm
requires an official permission.
Fully automatic firearms are
Manufacturers and dealers are
under permanent control of the State.
All firearms must be stored in
legally defined gun safes.
there are about 10 million legally held firearms.
state that the group of legal firearms owners cause no danger to public safety.
Germany‘s very stringent firearms law and its effective law enforcement
system, there are more than 20 million illegal firearms in circulation.
It is important
to know, that even these 20 million illegal firearms rarely appear in criminal
incidents. The rate of crimes involving any use of a firearm – legal or
illegal - is 0.1 % of all crimes. This figure has been stable for many years.
opening of the Iron Curtain ten years ago, Germany has been flooded with
thousands of AK 47.
increase of illegal firearms has not caused a growing misuse. Thus the equation:
Existence of firearms means existence of conflicts is too simple.
In view of the
experiences of the last years made in countries, which had banned some types of
private firearms, we would propose that the conference should carefully weigh
all the possible measures and take into consideration that
there is no relation between
the number of firearms and the misuse of firearms
firearms do not cause
conflicts among people. The truth is that conflicts attract firearms
to eradicate firearms from
societies means to disarm law-abiding citizen and to encourage criminals.
Criminals – by definition – do not respect the laws.
let me conclude:
reasonable man supports the wish to eradicate violence
from society and establish public safety.
Experiences in my
country have shown that the drying up of the illegal firearms market takes a
very long time, if it is – at all – feasible.
We fully support
the marking and tracing as sensible means to start
combatting the illegal flow of small arms.
We are convinced
that a differentiated discussion must be the basis to come to the co-operation
of all concerned groups of citizens, that is so much needed.
Thank you, Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen.