Bad News: This U.N. Weapons Treaty Has Been Signed by 50 Countries – including the U.S.
It was sold to the world as a step forward, a United Nations initiative that would stop the sale of guns to terrorists and mass murderers. In reality, the UN’s Arms Trade Treaty is problematic in a number of ways. It curtails the ability of Israel to defend itself, it gives left-wing activists purchase in dictating American foreign policy, and finally, it reinforces the agenda of anti-gun advocates here at home.
The ATT was ratified by 50 nations, and it went into affect on December 24, 2014. The Obama administration signed the treaty in 2013, arguing that it is simply a restatement of the current system of export controls, and saying it will have no impact on firearms ownership in the United States. Republicans in Congress have pushed back, especially Senator Jerry Moran from Kansas, Senator James Inhofe from Oklahoma, and Representative Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania.
Ted Bromund, senior research fellow at the Heritage Institute, writes of his concerns in the Daily Signal:
The U.S. firearms market is international, and the treaty certainly can affect U.S. imports. Moreover, the campaign for it was led by organizations and individuals with a long record of hostility to private firearms ownership. And the UN has weighed in by trying to link the agreement to other initiatives that are explicitly designed to restrict firearms ownership.
The claim that the ATT has no implications for U.S. arms exports also is wrong. If we followed the terms of the treaty, we wouldn’t be able to waive our human rights screening requirements to arm rebels in Syria. And in fact, the treaty advocates are already criticizing the administration and Congress for doing exactly that by arguing that the U.S. is violating the ATT.
The long run game of the treaty advocates is simple: Claim the ATT is international law and that it therefore binds the U.S., even if the Senate never ratifies the treaty. They want to sneak the treaty into the U.S. through the back door, because the Senate has nailed the front door shut.
As Bromund explains, however, Americans can still act to protect our country from intrusion into our Second Amendment rights. To do so, Congress must continue to stay vigilant and show strong leadership, and resist “the creation of treaty precedents and procedures that would restrict our sovereignty.”