I can understand how references to an arms trade treaty might illicit some concerns among constituents across the country, and particularly those who have a long tradition and history of gun ownership for recreational and other purposes.
As I said in my opening statement, there is nothing in the ATT that prevents the lawful use of sporting firearms for legitimate purposes such as sport shooting and hunting, nor does it hinder the legitimate trade in conventional arms. The ATT does not affect how states parties manage their domestic firearms policy, nor does it create an international gun registry.
When Canada participated in the negotiations of the ATT in 2012 and 2013, one of the primary goals of the Canadian delegation was to ensure that the legitimate rights of sport shooters, gun collectors, and hunters were protected. We feel that this was achieved through the inclusion of very specific language addressing this issue in the preamble of the ATT, which reads:
Mindful of the legitimate trade and lawful ownership, and use of certain conventional arms for recreational, cultural, historical, and sporting activities, where such trade, ownership and use are permitted or protected by law....
That is indeed the case in Canada. This language and its placement in the preamble sets the context for the ATT, and makes it clear that it is not intended to challenge or prevent legitimate trade and ownership of conventional arms where permitted by domestic law.