Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and members of the standing committee, for inviting the Canadian Shooting Sports Association to participate and express the views of our members and other active Canadian firearm owners and users.
My name is Steve Torino. I'm the president of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association. I also co-chair the firearms advisory committee, reporting to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews. I have occupied this position for the last six years. Previously, I served as chair of the user advisory group on firearms for Justice Ministers Allan Rock, Anne McLellan, and Martin Cauchon from 1996 to 2003, and then I was part of Firearm Commissioner William Baker's program advisory committee for three years, wherein I chaired the firearms subcommittee.
The Canadian Shooting Sports Association represents active target shooters and collectors in Canada. From the volume of communication we've received concerning the upcoming July UN conference on the arms trade treaty, apparently the issue of sporting and hunting firearms being a part of the arms trade treaty has taken on some significance. CSSA has been asked to represent our members' position to the government.
While my colleague Mr. Bernardo will submit the views of CSSA members and of the firearms community in general, I will present some facts that may be pertinent in any discussions and deliberations this committee's members may hold in regard to the arms trade treaty.
Our members' main concern in the past has been and remains the fact that there does not seem to be an agreed upon definition of small arms and light weapons, and each country has either different interpretations or different applications regarding these items. The United Nations small arms survey and others seem to use various definitions, ranging from those found in a 1997 study to those in a 2005 UN version.
In regard to civilian small arms and ammunitions—