The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2014 was recently passed by the House of Representatives, and one member of Congress wants to make sure that civilian disarmament is not among the programs included in the defense bill.
Representative Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) offered an amendment to the NDAA (HR 1960) that would prohibit federal funding for the implementation of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) for one year.
Remarkably, the House unanimously passed Kelly’s amendment, and it was included in the final passage of the NDAA. Subsequently, Kelly voted in favor of the NDAA.
In support of his bill, Kelly made the following remarks from the floor of the House of Representatives:
Over the last year, I have been joined by over 140 bipartisan members of this body to express deep concerns with the ATT and to urge its rejection.
First, the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty undermines our Second Amendment rights by omitting the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms and imposing a national "responsibility" to prevent firearms "diversion," thus opening the door to new gun control measures.
Secondly, the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty undermines our sovereignty by imposing vague, readily politicized requirements on the United States and inviting United Nations-led investigations into what U.S. policy makers knew or should have known regarding arms transfers that allegedly violate the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.
Ultimately, the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty will stop the good from doing good without stopping the bad from doing bad. As then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, the U.S. maintains the "gold standard" of arms export controls. My amendment upholds our current policies as well as our enduring values.
Since March, when the Obama administration ordered the U.S. delegation to the UN to support passage of the Arms Trade Treaty, Representative Kelly has been at the vanguard of congressional opposition to the global gun grab.
On March 15, 2013, Kelly offered a concurrent resolution proclaiming the House’s opposition to the treaty. The non-binding measure has 146 cosponsors in the House and 35 on the Senate side.
Although not unanimously, the Senate has voted to prevent enforcement of the Arms Trade Treaty, as well.
About a week after Kelly introduced his resolution in the House, the Senate approved a measure “to uphold Second Amendment rights and prevent the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.”
By a vote of 53-46, the Senate passed the amendment to the budget bill sponsored by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.).
“We’re negotiating a treaty that cedes our authority to have trade agreements with our allies in terms of trading arms,” Inhofe said before the vote on his amendment. “This is probably the last time this year that you’ll be able to vote for your Second Amendment rights.”
A resolution of similar intent sponsored by Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) has languished since March waiting for action by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Moran’s measure declares that it is the sense of Congress that
the President should not sign the Arms Trade Treaty, and that, if he transmits the treaty with his signature to the Senate, the Senate should not ratify the Arms Trade Treaty; and
until the Arms Trade Treaty has been signed by the President, received the advice and consent of the Senate, and has been the subject of implementing legislation by Congress, no Federal funds should be appropriated or authorized to implement the Arms Trade Treaty, or any similar agreement, or to conduct activities relevant to the Arms Trade Treaty, or any similar agreement.
Moran’s legislation is nearly identical to the amendment sponsored last week by Representative Kelly.
Both the Moran and Kelly resolutions declare that the Arms Trade Treaty “poses significant risks to the national security, foreign policy, and economic interests of the United States as well as to the constitutional rights of United States citizens and United States sovereignty.”
The measures also points out that the UN gun grab “fails to expressly recognize the fundamental, individual right to keep and to bear arms and the individual right of personal self-defense, as well as the legitimacy of hunting, sports shooting, and other lawful activities pertaining to the private ownership of firearms and related materials, and thus risks infringing on freedoms protected by the Second Amendment.”
On May 30, Kelly issued a statement regarding a bipartisan letter he authored and submitted to President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry petitioning the administration not to sign the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.
The letter is signed by a total of 130 members of Congress — including Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), and Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) — and declares all of the signatories’ opposition to “both the ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty and any effort to treat it as internationally or domestically binding upon the United States.”
Rep. Kelly further states in the letter,
As the signing period for the ATT gets underway next week, President Obama has an opportunity to take a monumental stand for our national sovereignty and our Constitutional rights. The ATT threatens both of these things and should be fully rejected. Any treaty that would put the United States — the world’s defender of peace and freedom — on equal footing with the world’s worst dictatorships and terror-sponsors ought to be condemned, dismissed, and ultimately denied our country’s signature. I sincerely hope the administration will listen to the very real objections my colleagues from both parties in Congress share and rightly decide that joining the ATT is not at all in America’s interest.
To say that the Arms Trade Treaty is not at all in America’s interest is an understatement.
As we have reported, several provisions of this treaty significantly diminish the scope of the right to keep and bear arms.
First, the Arms Trade Treaty grants a monopoly over all weaponry in the hands of the very entity (approved regimes) responsible for over 300 million murders in the 20th century.
Furthermore, the treaty leaves private citizens powerless to oppose future slaughters.
An irrefutable fact of armed violence unaddressed by the UN in its gun grab is that all the murders committed by all the serial killers in history don't amount to a fraction of the brutal killings committed by "authorized state parties" using the very weapons over which they will exercise absolute control under the terms of the Arms Trade Treaty.
Article 2 of the treaty defines the scope of the treaty’s prohibitions. The right to own, buy, sell, trade, or transfer all means of armed resistance, including handguns, is denied to civilians by this section of the Arms Trade Treaty.
Article 3 places the “ammunition/munitions fired, launched or delivered by the conventional arms covered under Article 2” within the scope of the treaty’s prohibitions, as well.
Article 4 rounds out the regulations, also placing all “parts and components” of weapons within the scheme.
Perhaps the most immediate threat to the rights of gun owners in the Arms Trade Treaty is found in Article 5. Under the title of “General Implementation,” Article 5 mandates that all countries participating in the treaty “shall establish and maintain a national control system, including a national control list.”
This list should “apply the provisions of this Treaty to the broadest range of conventional arms.”
Mark it down: Within months, the federal government (likely under the management of the Department of Homeland Security) will begin compiling a list of who owns, buys, sells, trades, or transfers any firearm, as well as the ammunition, parts, and components of those weapons.
After creating this database, the federal government will be required under the provisions of Article 5(4) of the Arms Trade Treaty to “provide its national control list to the Secretariat, which shall make it available to other States Parties.”
That’s right. The UN demands that the list of gun and ammunition owners not only be in the hands of our own government, but be sent to foreign regimes, as well. This provision will guarantee that should an American owner of a legally purchased firearm decide to emigrate, he will be on the radar of the ruling regime in his new home.
Americans are right to recognize this registry as the first step toward confiscation. Without such a registry, it would be impossible to monitor weapons transfers effectively because governments can’t track weapons exchanges and transfers unless they know who has them to begin with.
Article 12 adds to the record-keeping requirement, mandating that the list include “the quantity, value, model/type, authorized international transfers of conventional arms,” as well as the identity of the “end users” of these items.
In very clear terms, the Arms Trade Treaty requires that the federal government of the United States force gun owners to add their names to the national registry. Citizens will be required to report the amount and type of all firearms and ammunition they possess.
Section 4 of Article 12 requires that the list be kept for at least 10 years.
Although the White House has not announced when the president will sign the document, Secretary Kerry said that in the United States “we look forward to signing it [the Arms Trade Treaty] as soon as the process of conforming the official translations is completed satisfactorily.”
The ATT opened for national signatures on June 3, 2013, and will become law for signatory nations 90 days after the 50th country has ratified the treaty.
Citizens determined to prevent unelected, unaccountable globalist bureaucrats from doing a “victory lap” around the Second Amendment must pressure elected officials on the federal level to oppose ratification and encourage state lawmakers to pass laws nullifying any attempt by the federal government to unconstitutionally infringe upon the God-given rights protected by the Second Amendment.
Joe A. Wolverton, II, J.D. is a correspondent for The New American and travels frequently nationwide speaking on topics of nullification, the NDAA, and the surveillance state. He can be reached at