Does UN Arms Trade Treaty Threaten the Second Amendment?

By:  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
07/07/2014
       
Does UN Arms Trade Treaty Threaten the Second Amendment?

At a disarmament meeting, the United Nations assured Americans that the Arms Trade Treaty would have no effect on the Second Amendment. But the treaty language belies the UN's assurance.

At a meeting to discuss gun control held at the United Nations on June 25, representatives of the global anti-gun lobby were discouraged by the U.S. Senate’s failure to ratify the UN’s Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

“Unfortunately, the United States, the world’s largest arms exporter, has signed but not ratified the treaty,” said Dr. Natalie J. Goldring, a senior fellow with the Security Studies Programme in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Goldring went on to lament that the U.S. Senate doesn’t seem disposed to act on approving the treaty and likely won’t “for many years.”

For now, it seems Goldring’s gauge of the political climate in the Senate is accurate. In a letter sent to President Barack Obama last October, 50 senators laid out six reasons the president should refuse to present the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to the Senate for ratification. Among the objections is the grant to “foreign sources of authority” the power to “impose judgment or control on the U.S.”

At the conference, held to discuss the Programme of Action (PoA) to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons, Goldring told lobbyists representing both sides of the issue that the National Rifle Association (NRA) and other pro-Second Amendment organizations in the United States have spread lies regarding the potential effect of the Arms Trade Treaty on the right to keep and bear arms.

“The simple truth is the ATT does not affect the domestic trade in weapons in the United States. It’s a treaty about international arms transfers, not sales within the United States,” she added.

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