UN Arms Trade Treaty, Day Two: Focus Is Transfer, Registry of Firearms

By:  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
UN Arms Trade Treaty, Day Two: Focus Is Transfer, Registry of Firearms

On the second day of the Arms Trade Treaty conference at the United Nations, several European nations pushed for further restrictions on the transfer of arms.

NEW YORK — On the second day of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) conference, the delegations of several European nations seemed determined to prohibit the government of any nation from violating any regulations imposed as a part of the ATT.

Switzerland took the lead on this effort to revise Article 3 of the proposed gun control agreement. The Swiss delegation was joined by several cosponsors in attempting to re-write the current version of Article 3 so as to more rigorously regulate the transfer of weapons that could be used for attacks on civilians.

As readers will understand, such vague terms as “weapons that could be used for attacks on civilians” could easily be interpreted to include nearly every variety of firearm whose ownership is protected by the Second Amendment. 

When confronted about this potential infringement on the right to keep and bear arms, U.S. officials at the conference are quick to point out that Secretary of State John Kerry has committed to refusing to ratify any agreement that constricts the sphere of the Second Amendment’s protection of gun rights.

As the negotiations on the revision of Article 3 wound down, the Canadian delegation was arguing for the status quo, insisting that the current version of the provision is likely as comprehensive as possible to still garner ratification by a majority of member states.

As the negotiations and presentations proceed, it becomes evident that many of the articles being drafted (or revised) contain provisions that would require the governments of member nations to track the transfer of weapons and ammunition within their sovereign borders.

One crucial step to implementing such tracking is the creation of a registry of gun owners. Without such a registry, it would be impossible to monitor weapon transfers effectively because governments can’t track weapons exchanges and transfers unless they know who has them to begin with.

Americans need to be aware that the trajectory toward the mandatory compilation of a gun owner registry is in the works here at the United Nations. 

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