International Action Network on Small Arms

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The International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) is an international non-governmental organisation recognised by the United Nations.[1] IANSA is the global movement against gun violence, linking civil society organisations working to stop the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons, and all ownership of firearms by anyone other than a government agency. IANSA supports efforts to make people safer by reducing demand for such weapons, improving firearms regulation and strengthening controls on arms transfers. The network has over 700 members that undertake research, advocacy and campaigning to promote local, national, regional and global measures to strengthen human security.[2]

IANSA's Women's Network is the only international network focused on the connections between gender, women's rights, small arms and armed violence.[3]

United Nations Activities[edit]

IANSA was involved in lobbying the 2001 United Nations Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms which produced an agreed programme of action.[4] A UN Review Conference ended in July 2006 [2] without further agreement. A subsequent meeting in 2008, agreed a substantive outcome document by a majority vote .[3]

IANSA, part of the Control Arms Campaign, promotes an international treaty regulating the conventional arms trade. A resolution to begin work on this Arms Trade Treaty was approved by the UN General Assembly in 2006.[5]

The US National Rifle Association says IANSA is using the treaty as the first step in a ban on private gun ownership in the United States,[6] and also of making it easier for the world's dictatorships to oppress their own citizens.[7] The Gun Owners of America lobbying organisation has been equally vocal in its criticism of IANSA.[8]

Gun Control Activities[edit]

IANSA is described as an umbrella network to which almost all national and regional gun control groups belong[9] and is estimated to represent over 800 gun control organizations in 120 countries.[10] IANSA opposes the use of firearms for self-defense.[9] It advocates prohibiting the private possession of many kinds of small arms, including semi-automatic rifles and handguns.[9][11] It advocates that private citizens undergo a licensing process before they can possess any remaining firearms, and that legally possessed firearms be stored unloaded and away from ammunition.[11]

National Activities[edit]


IANSA membership in Brazil includes the groups Instituto Sou da Paz and Viva Rio[12] which campaigned for a complete ban on civilian gun sales in Brazil.[13] The ban was subject to a national referendum in 2005. A week before the vote, IANSA coordinated an international day of support for the Brazilian ban, with demonstrations taking place in Britain, Italy, South Africa, and other countries. IANSA urged support of the ban to "reinforce the movement in favor of gun control in other Latin American countries riddled with armed violence, and back the efforts to control private gun ownership at an international level."[10]

The referendum was defeated by 64% of the voters.[10][14]


The IANSA network includes Canadian gun control organizations such as the Coalition for Gun Control.[15]

The Coalition for Gun Control is composed of various unions and NGOs, including the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, the YWCA, Canadian Federation of University Women, Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, the December 6th Foundation, Project Ploughshares, Canadian Labour Congress, Canadian Auto Workers, National Union of Public and General Employees, Big City Mayors, and others.[16]

Recently, IANSA lobbied against Bill C-391, which proposed to end the requirement for registration of ordinary rifles and shotguns while leaving the licensing provisions in the Firearms Act untouched.[17][18]


The work of IANSA in the Philippines is carried out by the Center for Peace Education-Miriam College[19] and Pax Christi-Pilipinas.[20] Both are part of the Steering Committee of the Philippine Action Network to Control Arms (PHilANCA). CPE and Pax Christi annually commemorate the Global Week of Action against Gun Violence. Awareness-raising initiatives on small arms proliferation and gun violence are done during the GWA. CPE has also led the lobbying for an engendered Arms Trade Treaty. PhilANCA members which also include Amnesty International-Pilipinas and GZO Peace Institute lobby the government to fulfill its commitment to the UN Program of Action on SALW. PhilANCAhas also strongly lobbied for the adoption of an Arms Trade Treaty. PhilANCA members have joined government in weapons destruction and have visited weapons storage, among others. CPE regularly gives workshops to teachers and students on disarmament and arms control issues.

United States of America[edit]

IANSA membership in the United States includes gun control organizations such as the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Legal Community Against Violence and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.[15]


IANSA’s work has been supported by funders including the Governments of Belgium, Sweden and Norway, as well as the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Compton Foundation, Ploughshares Fund, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Samuel Rubin Foundation UNICEF, and Christian Aid.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ DPI NGO Section
  2. ^ "IANSA About Us". Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  3. ^ "IANSA Women's Network". Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  4. ^ UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons, July 2001 accessed at [1] September 6, 2006
  5. ^ "International Arms Trade Treaty Aim of Draft Resolution". Press Release. UN General Assembly Department of Public Information, News and Media Division. 26 October 2006. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  6. ^ "H.R. 3436/S. 1488 The "Second Amendment Protection Act of 2005: Protecting the Right to Keep and Bear Arms From infringement by the United Nations.". Fact Sheet: International/UN Gun Control Issues. National Rifle Association, Institute for Legislative Action. 2006-07-26. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  7. ^ Kopel, David B.; Paul Gallant; Joanne D. Eisen (2007-12-20). "Uganda: We're from the government, and we're here to help you.". National Rifle Association, Institute for Legislative Action. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  8. ^ Chumita, Chris (July 2006). "A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing". Gun Owners of America. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  9. ^ a b c Kopel, David B.; Paul Gallant; Joanne D. Eisen. "The Human Right of Self-Defense" (pdf). BYU Journal of Public Law. Provo, Utah, USA: Brigham Young University. 22 (1): 43–178. Retrieved 2008-02-05. 
  10. ^ a b c Morton, David (2006-07-05). "Gunning For the World". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  11. ^ a b "IANSA position paper: National regulation of small arms" (pdf). IANSA. 2006. Retrieved 2008-02-05. 
  12. ^ "Americas | IANSA". IANSA. 2011-12-19. 
  13. ^ "The Campaign for the Brazilian Referendum Starts Today" (pdf). IANSA. 2005-08-05. 
  14. ^ "Brazilians reject gun sales ban". BBC News. 2005-10-24. Retrieved 2008-02-05. 
  15. ^ a b "IANSA: Members: North America". IANSA. 2007-06-14. 
  16. ^ Cukier and Sidel, 2005 The Global Gun Epidemic. Figure 9.1 Segmentation of the Coalition for Gun Control (reprinted from IANSA Strategic Plan)
  17. ^ "IANSA participants in Canada are working to: * defend the new gun registration law from attempts to overturn it"
  18. ^ Bill C-391:
  19. ^
  20. ^

External links[edit]