The United Nations General Assembly is poised to approve a global framework this fall on ammunition management that could be dangerously vague and impact domestic policies in the United States, some Second Amendment advocates warn.
In early June, the U.N.’s Open-Ended Working Group on Conventional Ammunition, also called the OEWG, completed its development of a new global framework.
The National Rifle Association and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturer’s Institute attended each of the OEWG’s meetings, pushing to water down certain aspects of the international plan.
“It is going to the General Assembly in September. It’s basically a forgone conclusion,” James Baranowski, the NRA director of international affairs, told Fox News Digital. “It’s the way of the U.N. It’s a game of chess, not checkers.”
The General Assembly passed a resolution in February 2022 establishing the OEWG to address the accumulation of stockpiles in surplus, which issued a final report this month.
The framework can be used for leverage in the political arena if gun control advocates claim it is a standard for international law, Baranowski said.
“It could have been a much worse document to start the framework,” Baranowski said. “That said, it is never going away. It is a living document that will be modified. We are going to have to fight this every year.”
The 15 objectives of the global framework establish standards and guidelines for international cooperation in ammunition management, Adedeji Ebo, director of the U.N. Office of Disarmament Affairs, said June 9, when the working group adopted the framework.
“The adoption of the set of political commitments is a tremendous achievement, which, I have no doubt, will be endorsed by the 78th Session of the U.N. General Assembly,” Ebo said during his remarks.
The framework’s objectives aim to curb the transporting of small arms into conflict zones, preventing unplanned explosions at munition sites and recognizing the increased role of women in ammunition management, Ebo noted.
With a push by the Second Amendment organizations, the working group watered down some terms and deleted from drafts references to the “individual” end users of ammunition, Baranowski said. So, at least for now, the framework only applies to governments, not individual ammunition owners.
Still, the OEWG’s final report doesn’t fully define key terms such as “stockpile,” and “end users.” And under the broad definition, even a 25-round box could constitute a stockpile, Baranowski contends.
“You see ‘stockpile’ and ‘end user.’ A stockpile could be a million rounds in a government stockpile or it could be a box of 25 rounds at a local police station,” Baranowski said. “It is limited to governments as it is currently written. We argued to confine it. But we think, eventually, that language will be removed. There was an effort to include individual end users.”
The United Nations did not respond to inquiries for this story.
But the U.N.’s Ebo called the framework a “ray of hope for the disarmament community and the peoples of the world who have long suffered from the scourge of war and armed violence exacerbated by the mismanagement and illicit flows of conventional ammunition.”
“The elaboration of the global framework is truly a milestone in our collective efforts towards durable peace, security and sustainable development,” Ebo added.