0306 – An Honest Look at the Arms Trade Treaty

Today’s podcast is not the typical stuff that I get involved with but it ties into yesterdays podcast where I talked about the infighting that takes place in the gun world.  Yesterday’s podcast coincides with an interesting debate on Open Carry vs. Concealed Carry.   In the first two comments on the Facebook posting the argument degraded to insults.  Same on Youtube.  Craziness when we look at the fact taht a company like Crossbreed has stepped forward to start a new gun related TV show to reach out to the public and especially crazy when we compare it to the topic we look at today.

The Arms Trade Treaty commonly referred to as the U.N. Small Arms Treaty is a looming issue that we need to wrap our heads around.  There is a lot of hype out there about the treaty and what it means.  Today we are going to sort it out the best we can for now!


Important Links For Today’s Show

Let’s Talk About the Context of Today’s Show

What I Intend to Do

  • Informational
  • Educational
  • Point to Resources
  • Explain a likely process of ratification of the treaty
  • Talk about my concerns with the treaty

What I Don’t Intend to Do

  • Review the treaty in detail
  • Give you a stance to take
  • Sway you one way or another
  • Make predictions

The Arms Trade Treaty In a Nutshell

I think the best way to look at this is to take a look at our administrations stated goals in the negotiation.

Comments from the ISN regarding the ATT

First, this is not a disarmament negotiation; it is an arms trade regulation negotiation. International transfer of conventional armaments is a legitimate commercial and national security activity. Providing defense equipment to reliable partners in a responsible manner actually enhances security, stability, and promotion of the rule of law. We want any Treaty to make it more difficult and expensive to conduct illicit, illegal and destabilizing transfers of arms. But we do not want something that would make legitimate international arms trade more cumbersome than the hurdles United States exporters already face.

What we want is for other countries, which do not have an adequate level of control to agree to create, or improve effective national systems that will review, and approve or deny arms transfers under their national responsibility. In short, we would want the Treaty to elevate the international standard for export control of armaments to get it as close to the level that we have in the United States as we can get it. This would be a big step forward over the status quo, where many countries have excellent export control standards, but in other countries a rogue arms merchant can operate with impunity from the territory of a state that simply takes no notice of such activity.

Second, let me be clear once more on the question of domestic transfers. The Treaty must not touch on domestic transfers or ownership. The United States has received widespread international support for this oft-repeated position that only international transfers would come within the purview of this Treaty. We will not support outcomes that would in any way infringe on the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. We have received, in fact, letters from United States Senators opposing any Treaty restricting the Second Amendment. This has been the position of the Executive Branch since 2009, and it remains our position today. We will not support or agree to any Treaty that would do so. We believe that the international community can draft a Treaty on international arms transfers that would both increase international security and still protect sovereign rights of nations. That is the Treaty that the United States will pursue in July and for which we expect there will be widespread support.

Third, you know that this Administration has been working long and hard to complete an Export Control Reform that will change how a number of armaments-associated items are treated under United States’ export control laws and regulations. Now, that effort is completely independent of our negotiations on the ATT, though we have carefully ensured throughout our deliberations that the two efforts do not conflict with each other. One of the central points of our position in the July Conference is that the Treaty will correspond and be supportive of United States Export Control Reform.

Obviously, the administration is working to get information out about their position on the treaty.

Forbes seems to think the administration might have different goals:

What, exactly, does the intended agreement entail?

While the terms have yet to be made public, if passed by the U.N. and ratified by our Senate, it will almost certainly force the U.S. to:

  1. Enact tougher licensing requirements, creating additional bureaucratic red tape for legal firearms ownership.
  2. Confiscate and destroy all “unauthorized” civilian firearms (exempting those owned by our government of course).
  3. Ban the trade, sale and private ownership of all semi-automatic weapons (any that have magazines even though they still operate in the same one trigger pull – one single “bang” manner as revolvers, a simple fact the ant-gun media never seem to grasp).
  4. Create an international gun registry, clearly setting the stage for full-scale gun confiscation.
  5. In short, overriding our national sovereignty, and in the process, providing license for the federal government to assert preemptive powers over state regulatory powers guaranteed by the Tenth Amendment in addition to our Second Amendment rights.
I have to be honest, I don’t trust either source.
  • When it comes to the White House, the track record doesn’t match up with the goals.
  • If the White House was really after what Forbes says, they would be engaging in political suicide.  They aren’t that stupid.
Take a look at the NRA video to get the most extreme negative viewpoint.
Wayne LaPierre’s statement to the U.N. as posted on TTAG.   Here is the Text of the Statement
Because the details are not made public it is pretty difficult to sort things out.  I have no doubt that the delegation to negotiate the treaty is asking for concessions that would directly conflict with our Second Amendment.  The question is how daring does our executive branch feel in conceding to these demands.

The American Players

Executive Branch

  • Anti-gun bias both in the Oval office and the State Department
  • This has resulted in some over reaction in the Pro-gun media

Barack and Hillary negotiate through The ISN

The Legislative Branch (this is where you get your say)

The Process

  • The Executive Branch defines what treaty it would be willing to sign
  • The ISN Negotiates towards that goal
  • The President signs the treaty document which simply states that he has committed to present the document to Congress for approval
  • The State Department will carefully review the document to determine if it is acceptable to submit to Congress
  • The treaty is submitted to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a process for moving forward is determined by the Chairman,  John Kerry
    • Richard G. Lugar
    • Barbara Boxer
    • Robert Menendez
    • Benjamin L. Cardin
    • Robert P. Casey Jr
    • Jim Webb
    • Jeanne Shaheen
    • Christopher Coons
    • Richard J. Durbin
    • Tom Udall
    • Bob Corker
    • James E. Risch
    • Marco Rubio
    • James M. Inhofe
    • Jim DeMint
    • Johnny Isakson
    • John Barrasso
    • Mike Lee
  • While the Treaty is with The Senate Foreign Relations Committee any changes in US law that need to be made to comply with the treaty would be submitted to Congress as separate bills.  Typically the Senate would wait until all needed changes had been made to ratify the treaty.  This is also the most important time for public comment on the treaty.
  • If all goes well for the treaty, the laws are changed and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will submit the treaty to the senate for approval.  For the treaty to be ratified, a 2/3 majority of the Senate is required.


Concerns with the Arms Trade Treaty

The convention to negotiate the treaty will close on July 27th.  On July 28th you will still have all of your guns.  I do not see this as a short term threat to American Second Amendment Freedoms.

  • The determination of who gets guns and from where is determined by governments.
    • The foundation of America
    • It is always better for oppressed people to free themselves from oppression when practical
  • The increased complexity of traveling internationally with firearms
  • The legality of shotguns in the future
  • The slow erosion of international and national gun rights.
  • Remember, our Constitution grants us no rights, it simply protects our rights from tyrannical government.  The rights it protects are rights that are granted to all of mankind by their creator.  For the U.S. to support this treaty seems to be in direct conflict with our Constitution.

What You Should Do

  • Educate yourself
  • Keep a level head
  • Communicate your opinion to those that make decisions
  • Hold politicians responsible for their decisions

Remember To:

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