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UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Americans mistakenly worried the
United Nations is plotting to take away their guns on July 4 -- U.S. Independence Day -- are flooding the world body with angry letters and postcards, the chairman of a U.N. conference on the illegal small arms trade said on Wednesday.
"I myself have received over 100,000 letters from the U.S. public, criticizing me personally, saying, 'You are having this conference on the 4th of July, you are not going to get our guns on that day,"' said Prasad Kariyawasam, Sri Lanka's U.N. ambassador.
"That is a total misconception as far as we are concerned," Kariyawasam told reporters ahead of the two-week meeting opening on Monday.
For one, July 4 is a holiday at U.N. headquarters and the world body's staff will be watching a fireworks display from the U.N. lawn rather than attending any meetings, he said. For another, the U.N. conference will look only at illegal arms and "does not in any way address legal possession," a matter left to national governments to regulate rather than the United Nations, he added.
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