The International Action Network on Small Arms
(IANSA) is an international non-governmental organization
recognized by the United Nations. IANSA is based in London
and has over 800 member organizations in 120 countries, working to stop the proliferation
and use of small arms
and light weapons. Its director is Rebecca Peters
IANSA describes key issues in its work as including public health, women and guns, child soldiers, and trade controls.
United Nations Activities
IANSA was involved in lobbying the 2001 United Nations Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms
which produced an agreed programme of action. A UN Review Conference ended in July 2006
without further agreement.
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.
The US National Rifle Association has accused IANSA of using the treaty as the first step in a ban on private gun ownership in the United States,
and also of making it easier for the world's dictatorships to oppress their own citizens. The Gun Owners of America lobbying organisation has been equally vocal in its criticism of IANSA.
Gun Control Activities
IANSA is described as an umbrella network to which almost all national and regional gun control
groups belong and is estimated to represent over 500 gun control organizations worldwide. IANSA opposes the use of firearms
. It advocates prohibiting the private possession of many kinds of small arms, including semi-automatic rifles
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
IANSA membership in Brazil includes the groups Instituto Sou da Paz and Viva Rio which campaigned for a complete ban on civilian gun sales in Brazil. 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."
The referendum was defeated by 64% of the voters.
The IANSA network includes Canadian gun control organizations such as the Coalition for Gun Control
United States of America
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
IANSA’s work has been supported by funders including the Governments of UK, Belgium, Sweden and Norway, as well as the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Compton Foundation, Ploughshares Fund, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Open Society Institute created by George Soros, Samuel Rubin Foundation and Christian Aid.