Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
USA. 2012 ‘Destruction of Surplus, Confiscated, Seized and Collected SALW.’ National Report of the United States of America on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA), p. 10. New York, NY: Permanent Mission of the United States to the United Nations. 3 August
Section II, para 16, 19 Section III, para 14: Destruction of Surplus, Confiscated, Seized and Collected SALW
U.S. Laws and Policies Supportive of the UN POA
DOD destroys military weapons which are no longer useful, serviceable or economically repairable as part of its stockpile management life-cycle program. The most thorough method of demilitarization for SA/LW is smelting. The smelting facilities at the U.S. Army's Rock Island Arsenal are the main demilitarization facility for DOD assets, though others are used as well. When deemed more cost effective and/or practicable and when authorized by the appropriate authority, torch cutting, shearing, crushing, or smelting may be utilized. In addition, should the U.S. practice any deep water dumping, it is subject to domestic legal requirements and is held to all international regulatory agreements to which the U.S. is currently party. Relevant domestic laws include the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA), which regulates dumping of material in ocean waters. The U.S. is a party to the 1972 London Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter. Further, if Senate provides advice and consent, the U.S. will also be party to the 1996 London Protocol.
The DOD Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO) accounts for destroyed SALW.
By policy, ATF destroys seized firearms unless they are officially commissioned and properly marked.
U.S. Assistance and Programs Supportive of the UN POA
DOS Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA) provides technical and financial assistance in the destruction of surplus, loosely secured, or otherwise at risk stocks of SA/LW and munitions. Since 2001 the U.S. has destroyed approximately 1.6 million weapons and over 90,000 tons of associated ammunition of various calibers in 38 countries. Since 2003, the U.S. has destroyed nearly 33,000 MANPADS in 37 countries.
ATF, as necessary, conducts country assessments, which includes a review of stockpile management and accounting of seized firearms and official inventories, providing recommendations for better management of such stocks, to include destructions as necessary.
U.S. Global/Regional Activity Supportive of the UN POA
The U.S. is lead nation in NATO/Partnership for Peace (PfP) Trust Fund project in Ukraine to eliminate excess munitions and SALW, and has contributed to other NATO/PfP projects. DOS/AVC coordinates U.S. participation in SALW assistance efforts within the OSCE. An OSCE workshop in February 2008 reviewed financial and managerial processes related to assistance in an effort to facilitate coordination and identify possible enhancements. The U.S. has contributed to OSCE projects for destroying and securing SALW across the OSCE region. The most recent example of this assistance was a mission to Kyrgyzstan in April 2010.
Through bilateral efforts and nearly $2 million in grants to the OAS from 2009 to 2011, the United States provided stockpile destruction assistance in Central America and the Caribbean, ridding the region of aging, dangerous, and excess arms and ammunition.
The U.S. participated in the May 2012 OSCE experts-level meeting that discussed the best practices employed in the OSCE region for the management of stockpiles, reduction of surpluses, and destruction.
[ATF = Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; AVC = Department of State, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance; DOD = Department of Defense; DOS = Department of State; NATO = North Atlantic Treaty Organization; OSCE = Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe; SALW = Small Arms and Light Weapons]