Sunday, 21 July 2013

Sen. Chris Murphy Claims UN Arms Trade Treaty Doesn't Affect 2nd Amendment

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In an op-ed published in Roll Call on July 20, Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.; shown) called for the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty to be sent to the Senate for ratification.

“Representatives from countries all over the world, including the United States, voted at the United Nations in April to do just that — create an international treaty to establish basic rules and procedures governing the cross-border flow of weapons and to close the loopholes that allow irresponsible arms brokers to operate outside the international regulatory system,” Murphy wrote. “Now the treaty has to be signed by President Barack Obama and ratified by the U.S. Senate,” he added.

Parroting the party line of the global disarmament claque, Murphy claims: “The goal of the Arms Trade Treaty is to prevent weapons from reaching the hands of warlords and human rights abusers; it does not interfere one bit with domestic arms sales or legitimate international trade.”

Later in his letter, Murphy insists that the ATT “does nothing to affect Americans’ right to bear arms” and that is sole aim is to only control “the export and import of weapons from one nation to another.”

Murphy is wrong. There is much in the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty directly interferes with domestic gun sales, as well as with the entire philosophy behind the Second Amendment’s protection of the right to keep and bear arms.

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 fight for the right to keep and bear arms is just beginning. As explained by the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), "Once a treaty has been signed, it normally remains available for the Senate to ratify in perpetuity, unless a later president withdraws from it. This means that American gun owners must remain vigilant in ensuring this treaty is never ratified."

Despite Murphy’s misunderstanding of the goal of the ATT, thankfully there yet remain U.S. federal lawmakers determined to prevent the UN from infringing upon the right to keep and bear arms protected by the Second Amendment.

Representative Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) issued a statement on May 30 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). It 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.

Ratification of the treaty faces an uphill battle in the Senate, as well. As The New American reported in March, by a vote of 53-46, the Senate passed an amendment to the budget bill sponsored by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.). The measure aims “to uphold Second Amendment rights and prevent the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.”

A resolution of similar intent sponsored by Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) is currently pending before 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.

In June, Secretary of State John Kerry sought to squelch the opposition in the Senate and reassure citizens that the U.S. delegation to the UN would not surrender the sovereignty and constitutional rights of Americans. "The ATT will not undermine the legitimate international trade in conventional weapons, interfere with national sovereignty, or infringe on the rights of American citizens, including our Second Amendment rights,” Kerry claimed.

In an earlier statement, Kerry expressed similar sentiments. 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.

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.

Photo of Sen. Chris Murphy: AP Images

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

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