Man from WI helping to lead efforts to monitor firearms in U.S.

CEDARBURG (WITI) -- There is a push within the United Nations to improve the monitoring of firearms in America. A Wisconsin man is helping to lead these efforts -- but some here in the Dairy State are critical of the plan.

"Nobody wants anyone shot in Milwaukee. No one does," Dr. Stephen Hargarten with the Medical College of Wisconsin said.

Dr. Hargarten is just back from a United Nations meeting on gun safety.

"Many member nations are very concerned and interested in how the global community can better mark and trace (firearms)," Dr. Hargarten said.

Dr. Hargarten was invited to speak at the meeting due to his background with global health issues and injury prevention methods. He says there's a push by the U.N. to include uniform marking and tracing of small firearms sold in the United States using laser technology.

Similar to an automobile's VIN, or vehicle identification number, these new permanent markings could eventually aid law enforcement.

"Have a better idea about how these products end up in illicit hands," Dr. Hargarten said.

While Dr. Hargarten believes tracing would reduce those occurrences, gun rights supporters believe it could hinder their freedoms.

"The bad guys and the criminals don`t care.  They aren`t going to follow any laws anyway.  So it doesn`t make any difference to them what the laws are.  Gun laws only impact the good guys," Jim Fendry, the Director of the Wisconsin Pro-Gun Movement said.

Fendry says gun tracking has been in use for hundreds of years.

"All guns already have the equivalent of VINs. We call them serial numbers.  And they`ve had them since the 1800s," Fendry said.

Dr. Hargarten argues serial numbers can be removed, and more needs to be done.

Fendry believes new tracking systems could cost the country trillions of dollars.

"It`s a clear violation of not only our second amendment rights but also our Wisconsin constitution," Fendry said.

The proposal is still being debated in the U.N., and would need to be taken up in the Legislature before becoming law.

Dr. Hargarten says the new technology could help police departments like Milwaukee's to track and monitor crimes.