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NRA Takes on the United Nations

Monday, July 18, 2011

Last week I went to New York to attend a meeting that should concern every gun owner and freedom-loving American in this great nation.

NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and I attended a committee meeting at United Nations headquarters to send a simple, unequivocal message to the international bureaucrats who want to eliminate your right to keep and bear arms: An international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) that in any way, shape or form affects the constitutional rights of American gun owners is completely unacceptable.

NRA will make no compromise on this critical issue.

In 2009, at the behest of the Obama administration, the United States joined 152 other countries in endorsing a U.N. Arms Trade Treaty Resolution. The Resolution establishes an international conference to be held next year, at which leaders from various countries around the world – many of which have deplorable human rights records – will draw up an international treaty designed to severely restrict or even outright ban your right to sell, purchase, carry or own a firearm.

NRA has been warning American gun owners about this ticking time bomb for 15 years. NRA-ILA was the first group to be officially recognized by the U.N. as a “non-governmental organization” representing gun owners, and we’ve attended dozens of meetings around the world to protect the freedoms of American gun owners, hunters and shooters.

President Obama, Hillary Clinton and the U.N. claim that the only purpose of the ATT is to fight terrorism and international crime syndicates. Americans should not be fooled.

NRA has monitored and studied all of the various ATT proposals to date. There can be no question that what is taking shape at the U.N. is an all-out attack on the constitutional freedom of American gun owners. While a treaty can’t override the Second Amendment, it can become the law of the land, either directly – equal to any law passed by Congress – or through implementing legislation.

That’s why we must take notice when international anti-gun activists demand ATT provisions that would force America to license firearm owners; severely restrict all firearm purchases; destroy certain firearms deemed “unauthorized”; ban commonly owned semi-automatic rifles; or join an international gun registry.

Astute readers know that U.S. participation in any U.N. treaty (the ATT included) requires ratification by a two-thirds majority of the U.S. Senate. Gun owners and liberty-minded Americans should note, however, that Hillary Clinton’s State Department has not been shy about its determination to push for Senate ratification of this gun ban treaty.

In a 2010 speech to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Clinton’s Under Secretary for Arms Control told the audience: “We will work between now and the U.N. Conference in 2012 to negotiate a legally binding Arms Trade Treaty, and we’ll need your help in achieving it. We have made that a fundamental policy commitment.” (Emphasis is mine.)

So you can bet that if President Obama wins a second term he’ll move full speed ahead for Senate ratification and implementation of the ATT’s mandates. Popular or not, it won’t matter, because he won’t need to appeal to voters for re-election.

Even if a treaty isn’t ratified, it never dies – and can still affect your rights. The U.S. Senate could take a signed treaty off the shelf and try to ratify it 10, 20 or 50 years from now – as we know from experience. Just two years ago, we had to fight off a push to bring up a 1997 Organization of American States gun control treaty in the Senate. And even though the U.S. has never ratified that OAS treaty, the Clinton administration still used it as an excuse to restrict exports of gun parts and accessories to Canada of all places.

Obama and Clinton have spent their entire careers demonizing American gun owners and doing everything in their power to make firearms ownership more expensive, more difficult, and in many cases, illegal. Now they want to unleash the U.N. gun-ban axis on our right to keep and bear arms.

It’s time for all Americans to sound the alarm on this treacherous assault on U.S. sovereignty.

Chris W. Cox is the Executive Director of The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action and serves as the organization’s chief lobbyist.

This article first appeared at Townhall.com.  http://townhall.com/columnists/chriswcox/2011/07/18/nra_takes_on_the_united_nations/page/full/

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.