U.N. Arms Trade Treaty: Before the ink dried....


by Jim Shepherd

When Secretary of State John Kerry signed the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty in New York [Wednesday], no one in the industry was really surprised. The administration had made it abundantly clear that with reelection no longer a concern, they were no longer concerned with hiding their pro-UN, anti-gun stance.

Kerry's signing came after - and despite- a letter from Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) yesterday promised Kerry this treaty would "collect dust alongside the Law of the Sea Treaty, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Kyoto Protocol, to name a few, which have all been rejected by the U.S. Senate and the American people."

Now the fifty-two other United States Senators who have joined Inhofe in promising to prevent ratification of the treaty will have to stand their ground against an administration that's no stranger to using strong arm tactics or federal funds (or both) to buy votes.

The National Rifle Association wasted no time going on the offensive. "The Obama administration is once again demonstrating its contempt for our fundamental, individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms," said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action. "This treaty threatens individual firearm ownership with an invasive registration scheme. The NRA will continue working with the United States Senate to oppose ratification of the ATT."

So what in the Arms Trade Treaty causes such a furor? Plenty. In its general scope and broadly-written terms, it covers firearms owned by every law-abiding citizen. It also "urges" recordkeeping of end users, directing countries to provide information to an exporting company regarding arms transfers including "end use or end user documentation" for a minimum of ten years. If that sounds like mandated firearms registration, you're starting to get the picture.

If you read further into the document, you'll see the strong implication that the treaty would require these national registries to be made available to foreign governments.

Cox summed it up well, "These are blatant attacks on the constitutional rights and liberties of every law-abiding American."

Alan Gottlieb of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) was even more direct: "If Secretary Kerry and President Barack Obama pursue this farce," he warned, "the full fury of American firearms owners could come back to haunt them. Second Amendment sovereignty is not up for grabs, and we will encourage our members and supporters to contact their senators about this treaty."

"If this was all theatrics by the Obama administration," Gottlieb observed, "the president and Secretary Kerry need better script writers. And we will remind the administration of the warning it received Wednesday morning from Sen. Bob Corker, ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The Senate has not given its advice or consent on this treaty, so 'the Executive branch is not authorized to take any steps to implement the treaty.' How does that look to the world when an administration can't get one of its pet projects approved on Capitol Hill?

"We know that anti-gunners have this 'thing' about symbolic victories," he concluded, "but just how much of a symbol is it if the treaty is filed in the dust bin? After Fast and Furious, Benghazi and Syria, that's just what the Obama administration needs, another symbol of international ineptitude."

The administration is apparently dead-set on pursuing this re-alignment of U.S. laws with the United Nation's idea of how the world should operate.

But what if this latest action is designed to keep our attention diverted from other issues?

As the push for anti-gun regulations has continued to move from Washington to the state and local levels, money from New York's Michael Bloomberg has started to funnel out as well.

The recall vote in Colorado was a clear rejection of that "interference" in the local government by unwanted outside elements. But that was only in those highly-publicized districts. Not all areas of the country are so well covered by the pro-gun media-or the local pro-gun organizations so organized that they can counter professional campaigns from their grassroots base.

And the battle for dwindling federal funding might make some local politicians ripe targets for scaled-down versions of the administration's "Louisiana Purchase" of Senator Mary Landreau's critical vote on the healthcare plan that takes effect next week.

The battle over the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty will be fought at the highest levels in Washington. There, the NRA, Second Amendment Foundation, NSSF and plethora of state organizations have the boots on the ground - and bucks in the bank- to influence any vote that could compromise our collective Second Amendment rights.

But it is incumbent on each of us to keep our eyes and ears open for local initiatives and to reach out to others when/if something comes up.

As always, we'll keep you posted.

Republished from The Outdoor Wire.

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