Certainly, Mr. Breitkreuz.
The U.S. position in regard to the arms trade treaty has not been fully declared. In looking back at previous references, Ambassador Bolton testified to the United Nations last time that the United States would entertain absolutely no measures whatsoever that would impinge upon their second amendment, which is the right of citizens of the United States to keep and bear arms. So it seems that constitutionally any U.S. involvement in something where the firearms of their citizens might be regulated by an international agreement is completely a non-starter. Now, while the U.S. has not declared itself yet with regard to this particular item in the current ATT talks, the U.S. Senate has. After the last conference last summer, the U.S. Senate sent a strongly worded letter to Barack Obama signed by a majority of the senators, which stated that if civilian firearms were going to be included in the arms trade treaty, then the U.S. Senate would refuse to ratify it.
If any member would like a copy of that letter, I have a copy of it.
As for other countries around the world, I think you see countries that perhaps would be quite agreeable to the exclusion of civilian firearms, particularly with regard to their domestic regulation. In previous negotiations that have happened within the UN framework, this has been a constant bugaboo. It's been an irritant going right back to 1995 when this stuff all started. It's always been a roadblock. If there's a legitimate need or legitimate interest in going forward with a real arms trade treaty that deals with the export of military weapons into the underdeveloped areas of the world, then you have to do what you can to make that happen. In doing so, if you include the domestically regulated firearms of civilians in that mix, you're already trying to do a dance with one foot in a concrete block, and it's not going to happen.