On Tuesday, April 2, representatives of the United States of America joined the delegations of 154 other nations in voting to approve the United Nations’ Arms Trade Treaty.
By a vote of 155-3 (with 23 abstentions), the UN General Assembly adopted the treaty, overcoming last week’s failure to adopt the global gun control agreement by consensus.
As far as the U.S. decision to sign on to this treaty, that was made days ago.
While on assignment at the UN to cover the deliberations on the treaty held from March 18-28, this reporter was informed by members of the U.S. delegation that the United States was prepared to vote in favor of adopting the international gun control regulations, but the opportunity was denied them when Iran, Syria, and North Korea joined in opposing passage of the treaty at the conference.
Undaunted, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry ordered U.S. negotiators to green light the Arms Trade Treaty which, as we have chronicled, is the latest UN attempt to make an end run around the Constitution and subvert American sovereignty to the internationalist body.
In fact, the failure of the conference to adopt the treaty and its subsequent transfer to the General Assembly serves the dual purpose of getting the treaty approved and portraying the General Assembly as the de facto (if not soon de jure) legislative body for the world.
Participating in that act alone (voting for passage of the treaty at the General Assembly) is a constitutional violation on the part of the Obama administration, as Article I of the Constitution grants Congress “all legislative power.” No branch of the federal government has the right to cede that authority to any body — especially one composed of international bureaucrats of whom none is elected by or accountable to the people of the United States.
Regardless, the Obama administration praised the passage of the Arms Trade Treaty and is determined to see it enforced in the United States.
The United Nations approved "a strong, effective and implementable Arms Trade Treaty that can strengthen global security while protecting the sovereign right of states to conduct legitimate arms trade,” said Secretary Kerry in a statement.
"Nothing in this treaty could ever infringe on the rights of American citizens under our domestic law or the Constitution, including the Second Amendment," he added.
That is little comfort to observers familiar with the terms of the treaty that most certainly infringe on the right of Americans to keep and bear arms, as protected by the Second Amendment.
“This treaty disregards the Second Amendment to our Constitution and threatens individual firearm ownership,” declared Chris Cox, head of the NRA’s legislative lobbying arm. “It is a sad, yet telling, day when the president of the United States and his administration refuse to defend America's Constitution on the world stage.”
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.
A variety of the registry/confiscation one-two punch has already KO’d the right to keep and bear arms of people in the United Kingdom and Canada.
In neither of these countries has the registry resulted in a corresponding reduction in gun crimes.
Consider George Mason University Professor Joyce Lee Mason’s account on the British experience as reported in the Wall Street Journal: "Within a decade of the handgun ban and the confiscation of handguns from registered owners, crime with handguns had doubled according to British government crime reports. Gun crime, not a serious problem in the past, now is. Armed street gangs have some British police carrying guns for the first time."
Finally, the agreement instructs governments to take “appropriate measures” to enforce the terms of the treaty. If they can’t seem to get it done on their own, however, Article 16 provides for UN assistance, specifically including help with the enforcement of “stockpile management, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes.”
Although President Obama will sign the treaty, it is unlikely to be ratified by the Senate. On his official Twitter feed, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) made his stance on the future of the agreement clear, tweeting on April 2, “UN Arms Treaty should be rejected outright by US Senate. It is international gun regulation, plain and simple & it must never be ratified.”
State officials in the Cruz's home state of are riding to the defense of the Second Amendment, as well.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott wrote a letter to President Obama threatening to sue should the president attempt to enforce the global gun grab in the Lone Star State. Abbott warns,
If the UN Arms Trade Treaty is not stopped at the federal level, I — and my fellow state attorneys general — will take up the fight to preserve the Constitution. Ratification of this treaty would compel immediate legal action to enforce the Constitution’s guarantee that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
Americans are encouraged to contact their federal senators to remind them of their oath to protect the Constitution, including the right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
Photo of UN General Assembly hall in New York
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