Gradually and silently, the specter of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is rising again to threaten the right of Americans to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
On March 29, The New American reported on President Obama’s signature on a joint U.S.-EU statement calling for the “entry into force of the Arms Trade Treaty in 2014.” Although it is demonstrably offensive to the Constitution, the president’s participation in the statement went all but unreported.
Now, another “major step forward” toward enforcement of the globalist gun grab is barely registering on the national news radar, even among constitutionalists. Reuters reported on April 2 that “18 countries, including five of the world's top 10 arms exporters, delivered proof of its ratification to the United Nations.”
This is a noteworthy development, Reuters explains, because the arms agreement will “enter into force” (sound familiar?) when “50 countries have presented proof of ratification to the United Nations.” To date, 31 member nations have ratified the Arms Trade Treaty.
As for the United States, Secretary of State John Kerry signed the treaty last September “in the name of President Obama and the United States.” Given that the United States is nothing more or less than the collective political will of the citizens of the United States, Secretary Kerry took it upon himself to demonstrate to the UN and the world that Americans are ready to hand over their firearms and cede complete control of weapons and ammunition to the federal government.
Fortunately, Americans living in Connecticut, home of the most severe gun control laws in the country, seem ready to resist the seizure of the weapons, a confiscation that began with “mandatory” registration. Here is the story of the failure to conform, as reported by The New American:
After Connecticut enacted one of the most draconian gun-control regimes in America, official estimates suggest that the overwhelming majority of the citizens targeted by the latest assault on gun rights failed to comply. Indeed, analysts say it appears that most people largely ignored the new statute, which purports to ban numerous non-registered “assault” weapons and standard-capacity magazines. Now, despite resistance by the governor, state lawmakers are reportedly “scrambling” to come up with a possible amnesty plan allowing gun owners to register past the deadline.
Registration of guns, ammunition, and component parts is a key plank in the UN’s Arms Trade Treaty’s gun control platform.
Article 12 of the ATT contains a record-keeping requirement, mandating that the list of weapons compiled by the government 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, ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty by the United States would require that the U.S. government force gun owners to add their names to the national registry. Citizens would be required to report the amount and type of all firearms and ammunition they possess.
Section 4 of Article 12 of the treaty requires that the list be kept for at least 10 years.
How will this confiscation of civilian-owned arms be accomplished? The ATT provides the pathway.
The agreement — the very one signed by John Kerry and promoted for imminent enforcement by President Obama — demands that national governments take “appropriate measures” to enforce the terms of the treaty, including civilian disarmament. If these countries can’t get this 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.”
In fact, a “voluntary trust fund” will be established to assist those countries that need help from UN peacekeepers or other regional forces to disarm their citizens.
Although President Obama and Secretary Kerry are champing at the bit to disarm Americans, there yet remains a sufficient number of senators and representatives opposed to ratification of the ATT.
For now, 50 senators are standing together to protect the right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment and have taken pen in hand, as well, to let the president know how they feel about his plan to rob their constituents of one of their most basic rights.
In a letter addressed to President Barack Obama, the senators enumerated six reasons the president should refuse to present the ATT to the Senate for ratification. Among the objections raised by the senatorial signatories is the ambiguity of the treaty, as well as the grant to “foreign sources of authority” the power to “impose judgment or control on the U.S.”
For many months now, Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) has been the driving force behind the legislature’s opposition to the Arms Trade Treaty. In a statement accompanying the letter, Moran attacked the president’s plan to subvert the bipartisan will of the Congress:
The Administration’s recent signing of the UN Arms Trade Treaty was a direct dismissal of the bipartisan Senate majority that rejects this treaty.
Throughout this process it has been disturbing to watch the Administration reverse U.S. policies, abandon its own "red line" negotiation principles, admit publicly the treaty’s dangerous ambiguity, and hastily review the final treaty text.
Today I join my colleagues in upholding the fundamental individual rights of Americans by reiterating our rejection of the ATT. The Senate will overwhelmingly oppose ratification, and will not be bound by the treaty.
Although that letter was sent last year, Moran’s resolve remains firm in the face of Obama’s attempts to sidestep the Senate and seize civilian weaponry.
Since recent events reveal that President Obama didn’t get the message the first time, on April 2, Moran sent the president another letter encouraging him to stop trying to enforce the Arms Trade Treaty. Moran wrote:
On the first anniversary of the majority-rule adoption by the U.N. General Assembly of the United Nations’ Arms Trade Treaty, I write to express my continued concern and regret at your decision to sign the treaty, at your failure to respond to the bipartisan letter which I led last fall, and at your efforts to implement the treaty without first obtaining the advice and consent of the Senate.
At the end of his message, referring to his previous letter, Moran concludes:
I urge you to notify the treaty depository that the U.S. does not intend to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty, and is therefore not bound by its obligations. I pledge to continue leading my colleagues in opposing the ratification of this treaty, and wish to repeat our previous notice that we do not regard the U.S. as bound to uphold its object and purpose. Lastly, I now urge you to end any and all efforts to implement the treaty before it passes completely through the entire U.S. ratification process, and thereby to show the respect for the constitutional processes that you are sworn to uphold.
While Moran’s determination is laudable, the fact is the ATT could never be a valid treaty enforceable upon the citizens of the United States.
Regardless of presidential fervor for the disarmament of law-abiding Americans or the number of votes he and his backers can buy in the Senate, no treaty that violates the Constitution could ever become the law of the land.
When it comes to treaties — or any act passed by Congress for that matter — the analysis must begin by looking within the four corners of the Constitution.
Article VI of the Constitution says:
This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.
That means that in order to have any lawful effect, the object of any treaty signed by the president and ratified by the Senate must lie within their constitutional authority ("the authority of the United States”).
In the case of the UN’s Arms Trade Treaty, there is no doubt that its key provisions directly violate the Second Amendment’s prohibition on government infringement of the right to keep and bear arms, thus it is impossible for it to be a valid treaty, regardless of the support the globalists can drum up.
Finally, when it comes to preserving the right to keep and bear arms, letters from the Senate will not be enough to protect this most precious right. In this matter as in so many others, the states and the people will be required to uphold the liberties protected by our Constitution in the face of federal collusion with the international forces of civilian disarmament.
Photo of United Nations headquarters
Joe A. Wolverton, II, J.D. is a correspondent for The New American and travels nationwide speaking on nullification, the Second Amendment, the surveillance state, and other constitutional issues. Follow him on Twitter @TNAJoeWolverton and he can be reached at