Following the tragic shooting at the Washington, D.C., Naval Yard in September, President Obama turned a memorial service for victims of the heinous crime into a platform to promote his gun control agenda. The president scolded the nation that gun violence “ought to obsess us” and invoked the United Kingdom and Australia as modeling the correct paradigm. After “just a single mass shooting occurred in those countries,” he said, “they … mobilized and they changed. …”
The extent to which the president seeks international guidance for American gun control became even more evident three days later when Secretary of State John Kerry signed the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.
Among many other things, the treaty establishes factors a participating country would have to consider before authorizing an export of arms to another country, including whether the arms would “contribute to or undermine peace and security.” To this end, “Each importing State Party shall take measures to ensure that appropriate and relevant information is provided, upon request, pursuant to its national laws, to the exporting State Party, to assist the exporting State Party in conducting its national risk assessment. … Such measures may include end use or end user documentation.”
In other words, even if the United States never ratifies the treaty, it could be subject, as a condition of receiving firearms exported from a participating nation, to a requirement to hand over lists of individual “end users” of such guns. Thus, the stage is set for the U.S. either to be ostracized in the global gun control community or to establish a national registry of firearms imported from other countries, as well as the Americans who eventually own them.
How real is the danger? While the Obama administration was eager to embrace this regime, Canada initially declined, with its Foreign Affairs minister citing concerns over how it would affect lawful firearm ownership and potential links to Canada’s recently repealed long gun registry.
Fortunately, members of Congress are mobilizing in opposition. On September 24, Senator James Inhofe, R-Okla., sent a letter to Secretary Kerry expressing opposition to the signing, while Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., warned the administration that the treaty “raises significant … constitutional questions” and must not be implemented solely by executive action.
We urge you to contact your own senator to express your firm opposition to this treaty. We furthermore call on the entire United States Congress to reject this incursion into American sovereignty.