U.N. Arms Trade Treaty

Should American Gun Owners Fear The U.N.-Approved Arms Trade Treaty?

Here’s some irony for you. I learned the U.N. General Assembly approved the Arms Trade Treaty yesterday while watching TV in Oak Park, Illinois- an infamous gun “control” jurisdiction just like my hometown of Chicago.

Judging by the condition of their roads these days, it looks to me they could really use those Village funds lost in their recent legal battle against gun rights.

Anyway, from Louis Charbonneau on the Reuters website last night:

The 193-nation U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved the first treaty on the global arms trade, which seeks to regulate the $70 billion business in conventional arms and keep weapons out of the hands of human rights abusers.

The United States voted in favor of the treaty. And supporters of the new regulations, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, keep insisting law-abiding gun owners in America have nothing to fear. From the Reuters piece:

“Nothing in this treaty could ever infringe on the rights of American citizens under our domestic law or the Constitution, including the Second Amendment,” he added, referring to the U.S. constitutional amendment that guarantees the right to bear arms.

“Nothing in this treaty could ever infringe on the rights of American citizens under our domestic law or the Constitution, including the Second Amendment”

That’s not what the National Rifle Association is saying.

From the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action website Tuesday:

With a passing yet non-binding acknowledgement of individual rights in the preamble, the treaty itself threatens civilian firearm ownership. The NRA has always maintained that any Arms Trade Treaty must respect the Second Amendment right of individual self-defense. This can only be accomplished by expressly excluding civilian firearms ownership from its scope, which this treaty fails to do.

Notably, the ATT includes “small arms and light weapons” among its terms, which cover firearms owned by law-abiding citizens. Further, the treaty’s text urges recordkeeping of end users, directing importing countries to provide information to an exporting country regarding arms transfers, including “end use or end user documentation” for a “minimum of ten years.” Each state is to “take measures, pursuant to its national laws, to regulate brokering taking place under its jurisdiction for conventional arms.” Data kept on the end users of imported firearms would result in a registry of law-abiding firearms owners in this country, which based on the language of this treaty, could be available to foreign governments.

President Obama’s administration has supported the adoption of this treaty, and the administration is expecting to sign it…

Somehow, I’m not surprised to hear that last part.

You can read the NRA-ILA material in its entirety here.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)


Charbonneau, Louis. “U.N. overwhelmingly approves global arms trade treaty.” Reuters. 2 Apr. 2013. (http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/02/us-arms-treaty-un-idUSBRE9310MN20130402). 2 Apr. 2013.

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Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013 Firearms, Government, Gun Rights, Self-Defense 2 Comments

Merry Christmas

Just wanted to wish those who observe it a very Merry Christmas.

New material will be published on the blog tomorrow.

By the way, late Monday the United Nations, with the Obama administration’s support, voted overwhelmingly to restart discussions on the proposed Arms Trade Treaty. A conference is planned for March.

Christmas Eve. When many Americans were busy preparing for or engaged in celebrations. Coincidence?


Christopher E. Hill

Can you forgive the pig-headed old fool, for having no eyes to see with,
no ears to hear with, all these years?
“A Christmas Carol — Barbara Allen”
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U.N. Arms Trade Treaty Alive And Well, Draft Could Be Voted On As Early As October

Whether or not you believe the proposed United Nations-brokered Arms Trade Treaty would have infringed upon Americans’ right to bear arms, it should be pointed out that last week’s failure by delegates to reach an agreement doesn’t mean the treaty is dead.

In fact, it’s alive and well.

And some observers suggest a draft treaty could be voted on before the end of the year. Michelle Nichols wrote on the Reuters website last Friday:

More than 170 countries have spent the past month in New York negotiating a treaty, which needed to be adopted by consensus, so any one country effectively could have vetoed a deal. Instead, no decision was taken on a draft treaty.

But this leaves the door open for further talks and a draft arms-trade treaty could be brought to the 193-nation U.N. General Assembly and adopted with a two-thirds majority vote. Diplomats said there could be a vote by the end of the year.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Note the consensus would now be replaced by a two-thirds majority vote in this scenario.

In fact, it’s possible a vote on a draft Arms Trade Treaty could come as early as October, according to the August 4 edition of The Economist. From their website:

Yet all is by no means lost. More than 90 countries, including big arms suppliers such as Britain, France and Germany, issued a joint statement at the end of the conference reiterating their commitment to getting a treaty in place as soon as possible. There is a good chance that the draft treaty will be brought before the UN General Assembly in October. It could then be put to a vote of all 193 member countries, requiring only a two-thirds majority for it to pass. The treaty would then come into legal effect once it had been ratified by 65 countries.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

It appears the Obama administration prefers to put the treaty on the backburner until next year. From the Associated Press on July 30:

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement Friday evening that the U.S. supports a second round of negotiations next year.

“While we sought to conclude the month’s negotiations with a treaty, more time is a reasonable request for such a complex and critical issue,” the statement said.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

The desire to delay additional work on the treaty until 2013 was echoed at a U.S. State Department briefing with Ms. Nuland this past Monday. From a transcript of the event:

QUESTION: At 10:14 p.m. on Friday, the Department put out a note about the inability to reach consensus on the arms control – on the Arms Trade Treaty, excuse me. And you said in the note that you supported the outcome, which, of course, was a failure to reach consensus. What did you not get – did the United States not get out of this negotiation that it wanted?

MS. NULAND: Well, again, apologies for making you work at 10:14 on a Friday night. As you may know, the negotiations on this treaty went relatively late in New York, so we wanted to make sure that we spoke to them when the negotiations concluded.

What we supported was a decision to give this more time to get it right. As you know, this is a treaty that needs to be adopted by consensus. There was not consensus in New York. There were a number of countries who thought that more work needed to be done. That said, we did make considerable progress, and there was a commitment that the nations will come back early in the New Year and try to conclude this treaty. What we want is further review, further refinement in order to meet the high standards of a treaty that we could sign and that we were confident could receive the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate, that deals with the illegal use of small arms while allowing states and nations participating to implement their own national laws and to protect the rights of their citizens enshrined in their own national documents, including in our case the right to bear arms under the U.S. Constitution.

So more work needs to be done, but we very much support the goals. And we think that rather than trying to jam a weak treaty, it’s better to give it some more time and have consensus when we come back in January.

QUESTION: You said that there’s a commitment to come back early in the New Year. Was there a commitment by all 178 nations to do that?

MS. NULAND: Our understanding is that the second session of these negotiations will start early in the New Year and that that was the trend in the room there and what we expect

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty is down, but certainly not out.


Nichols, Michelle. “United Nations fails to agree landmark arms-trade treaty.” Reuters. 27 July 2012. (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/27/us-arms-treaty-idUSBRE86Q1MW20120727). 2 Aug. 2012.

“One more heave.” The Economist. 4 Aug. 2012. (http://www.economist.com/node/21559900). 2 Aug. 2012.

“Arms treaty must wait after UN agreement fails.” Associated Press. 30 July 2012. (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-501363_162-57482624/arms-treaty-must-wait-after-un-agreement-fails/). 2 Aug. 2012.

“State Department Briefing by Victoria Nuland, July 30, 2012.” eNews Park Forest. 30 July 2012. (http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/latest-national/35182-state-department-briefing-by-victoria-nuland-july-30-2012.html). 2 Aug. 2012.

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Thursday, August 2nd, 2012 Ammunition, Firearms, Gun Rights No Comments
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