International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights
I first heard about IAPCAR when I attended the EXA gun show in Brescia, Italy, a couple of years ago. I was there working with Alan Gottlieb and his wife Julianne Versnel. We were all helping Federazione Italiana Storia Armi Trio (FISAT), an organization that fights for gun owners rights in Italy and is best described as the Second Amendment Foundation of Italy.
Julianne told me about IAPCAR and I immediately pledged to do anything I could do to help the new organization. I am very involved in gun rights being a National Rifle Association endowment member and life member (Defender’s Club) of the Second Amendment Foundation as well as a FISAT life member. My shooting club, The Tactical Shooters Club of Tomball, Texas was the first to hold a benefit match to support IAPCAR. And I speak to a lot of people and tell them what IAPCAR is doing to protect their gun rights.
Alan Gottlieb gave me permission to plagiarize much of the information presented here from the IAPCAR website.
The stated purpose of IAPCAR is to defend citizens’ arms rights around the world. It will join the political battlefield for these rights in the courts and institutions of the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) on behalf of various associations and individuals.
IAPCAR is poised to do battle with the anti-gun organizations who work to keep guns from law abiding citizens in the international community. The following is a list of distinguished people within the IAPCAR organization:
- Mark Barnes, President of Barnes & Associates, is Managing Director of IAPCAR. Mark is a well known legislative lawyer and his company provides lobbyists who work with many government agencies.
- Alan Gottlieb, Chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, a National Director of the American Conservative Union, President of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, President of the American Political Action Committee, President of NoInternetTax.org, and President of KeepAndBearArms.com.
- Ms. Julianne Versnel, V. P. Merrill & Associates (Public Relations and Communications industry) and wife of Alan Gottlieb is the organizer of this association.
- Gary Mauser - Professor Emeritus at the Faculty of Business Administration and the Institute for Urban Canadian Research Studies at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. Professor Mauser earned his Ph.D. from the University of California at Irvine. He has dual American and Canadian citizenship. Professor Mauser has conducted research on the politics of gun control, the effectiveness of gun control laws, and the use of firearms in self defense.
- Dr. Stephen Halbrook – has taught legal and political philosophy at George Mason University, Howard University, and Tuskegee Institute. He received his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center and Ph.D. in social philosophy from Florida State University. The winner of four cases before the U.S. Supreme Court (Small v. United States, Printz v. United States, United States v. Thompson/Center Arms Company, and Castillo v. United States), he has testified before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, Subcommittee on Crime of the House Judiciary Committee, Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, and House Committee on the District of Columbia.
- Dave Kopel – is an author, attorney, political science researcher and contributing editor to several publications. He is currently Research Director of the Independence Institute in Golden, Colo., Associate Policy Analyst at the Cato Institute, contributor to the National Review magazine and Volokh Conspiracy legal blog. Previously he was Adjunct Professor of Law, New York University, on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Union of Taxpayers, and Former Assistant Attorney General for Colorado. Kopel opposes gun control and is a benefactor member of the National Rifle Association.
- Dr. Alan Gura - is a litigator practicing in the areas of civil litigation, intellectual property, and civil rights law at Gura & Possessky, P.L.L.C... On March 18, 2008, he represented Dick Heller in the United States Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller. Mr. Gura successfully argued that portions of D.C.'s Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975 violate the individual right to keep and bear arms protected by the Second Amendment. Gura is lead counsel in McDonald v. Chicago which is a case that seeks to incorporate the Second Amendment against state and local governments. This case, which also seeks to overturn the Slaughterhouse Cases and incorporate the Second Amendment via the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, was granted certiorari on September 30, 2009. On July 13, 2009 Legal Times named Mr. Gura to the list of “40 Under 40” of Washington D.C.’s rising legal stars.
- Gaston Glock - An Austrian engineer and founder of firearms company Glock. The Glock "safe-action" pistol is well-regarded and has often been copied by other companies.
- Advisor, Dr Franz Csaszar – Former President of Interessengemeinschaft Liberales Waffenrecht in Österreich (IWÖ) and professor of criminology at the University of Vienna, Austria
Membership in IAPCAR is open to all associations and organizations who value citizens’ rights. Membership is free. The only cost would be to send a representative to meetings held at the annual Shot Show (USA) and IWC (Germany) gun shows.
The following is a list of current members:
- ALUTARA - Argentina
- South African Gunowners Association
- Canadian Shooting Arms and Ammunition
- Canadian Shooting Sports Association
- Canadian Institute for Self Defense
- Canadian Institute for Legislation
- Action National Firearms Association - Canada
- National Muzzle Loading Rights Association
- Knife Rights – USA
- PEFOP – Greece
- Prolegal – Germany
- FISAT – Italy
- Second Amendment Foundation – USA
- Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms - USA
- Plus many associations from the United Kingdom, Austria and Greece.
IAPCAR is fully funded by Alan Gottlieb through SAF. SAF is a member of the World Forum on Shooting Activities (WFSA) and through IAPCAR will work with the International Shooting Sports Committee (ISSC), International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) and the European Sports Council (ESC) to help get recognition of defensive shooting sports in the EU. This is of particular interest to me because this will aid in getting the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) recognized as an official shooting sport and open membership to Germany, Denmark, France and many others in the EU. But this barely scratches the surface of the battles that lay before IAPCAR.
Around the world anti-gun groups such as the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) are well funded in their campaign to infringe on firearms rights. IAPCAR was formed to counter those groups by rebutting the misinformation and myths about firearms that are often internationally published by these groups.
Some of the issues around the world that IAPCAR is facing include things like the following:
Philippine National Police chief Director General Jesus Verzosa stressed the importance of having an effective implementation of the gun control program. The nationwide gun ban will be lifted, and stricter measures on gun control will be put in place instead of extending the gun ban. This was the knee-jerk reaction after 12 people were shot dead in Cumbria. The prime minister said everything must be done to make sure it “cannot happen again”, but existing controls were among the “toughest” in the world. The country’s human rights watchdog, Commission on Human Rights, Chairwoman Leila M. de Lima told participants of the National Firearms Control Program Consultative Summit that she is not convinced that a gun ban would solve the problem of the proliferation of firearms.
The Black Gun Owners Association of South Africa said it will sue the government for compensation over lost jobs since the new Firearms Control Act came into effect in 2004. A total of 800 gun shops closed down, 10,000 people lost jobs, and over 40,000 blacks were refused firearm licenses between 2004 and 2010. This government is hell-bent on disarming black people because they’ve made so many service delivery promises to them which they have not fulfilled. They are scared that if blacks are armed they will turn on the government.
The Preparatory Committee for the U.N.’s Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is near completion of its work and many anti-gun states are doing their best to make gun ownership practically impossible. The Preparatory Committee is not engaged in negotiating a treaty, but in defining what should be included in the treaty when it is negotiated. As a result, many of the statements by the participating states are very general. But enough has been said to show that the Obama Administration’s decision to participate only on the basis of “consensus”—which it justified as a way to ensure that the final treaty is satisfactory—was ill-advised. The ATT should be based on the sovereign and inherent right of States to acquire, manufacture, export, import and retain conventional arms, technology and know-how for their self-defense and security needs in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter. That sums up the delusory beliefs on which the Arms Trade Treaty process is based. It is supposedly intended to create basic standards for the international sale or transfer of arms—with the goal of keeping these arms out of the hands of terrorists, insurgents, and mass murderers. But because it’s proceeding through the U.N., with the U.N.’s universal membership, the treaty has to be based on the assumption that all U.N. member states are law-abiding and democratic. This creates a bit of a mystery, because it leaves unexplained exactly how terrorists, insurgents, and mass murderers get arms. The answer, of course, is that states like Iran supply them. But you will not hear the U.N. saying that. What you will hear is a lot of U.S. frustration. Throughout the committee’s meeting, the U.S. has repeatedly called for the other delegations to abandon their fantasy positions and embrace some semblance of reality. The U.S. said it would block the treaty if hunting weapons were included. At the plenary sessions the U.S. intervened twice in the discussion, both times to urge delegates to focus on what was realistic and achievable. Sadly, there is not much sign that the U.S.’s words have had any effect.
Mexico—speaking for eight other Central and South American nations—called for a treaty that would cover all weapons that exist now or are invented in the future, all parts of weapons, all technology related to all weapons, and which applies to gun sales inside the United States. That is just the kind of demand that the U.S. has repeatedly warned the committee against making—both because it is unrealistic and would create a completely unverifiable treaty, and because it immediately raises extremely serious questions about the implications of the treaty on rights guaranteed under the Second Amendment.
Nigeria—speaking for the African Group—wants a treaty that imposes all the responsibilities on the United States, and gives its own members “special rights.” Among those rights—supposedly based on Article 51 of the U.N. Charter—would be, as Nigeria stated, a guarantee that all U.N. member states (be they dictatorships or democracies) have the right to import all the arms they want. This, not surprisingly, was also Iran’s view.
The tasks that lay ahead are indeed formidable for IAPCAR. Before IAPCAR there was no organized opposition to what the UN and EU were doing with regards to civilian arms rights. Thank God there are organizations such as this that are willing to step up and fight for our rights. We know it will be an uphill battle but with everyone’s support we will win the war against the anti-gunners.