On September 25, 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry journeyed to the United Nations headquarters in New York City to sign the UN Arms Trade Treaty. He said he was doing so “on behalf of President Obama and the United States of America.”
Secretary Kerry stated that he wanted to be clear both about what this treaty is, but also about what it isn’t. “This is about keeping weapons out of the hands of terrorists and rogue actors,” he insisted. “This is about reducing the risk of international transfers of conventional arms that will be used to carry out the world’s worst crimes. This is about keeping Americans safe and keeping America strong. And this is about promoting international peace and global security.”
Hoping to alleviate concerns, Kerry pledged: “This treaty will not diminish anyone’s freedom. In fact, the treaty recognizes the freedom of both individuals and states to obtain, possess, and use arms for legitimate purposes. Make no mistake, we would never think about supporting a treaty that is inconsistent with the rights of Americans ... to be able to exercise their guaranteed rights under our constitution.”
The UN Arms Trade Treaty was written in secret by the Obama/Hillary Clinton State Department, along with Russia, China, France and Britain. Not exactly a lineup of champions of liberty. What does it actually say?
Article 2 defines the conventional arms covered, which include battle tanks, artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles — and “small arms and light weapons.”
Article 3 of the treaty places UN prohibitions on “ammunition/munitions fired, launched or delivered by the conventional arms covered under Article 2.”
Article 4 puts all “parts and components” of weapons within the scheme.
Several places in the treaty text, including Article 5, require all countries to “establish and maintain a national control system, including a national control list.” Moreover, it declares, “Each State Party is encouraged to apply the provisions of this Treaty to the broadest range of conventional arms.”
Article 5, Section 4 says each State Party “shall provide its national control list to the Secretariat, which shall make it available to other States Parties.” Which means our federal government will provide the guns and ammo registration list to the UN, which will provide it to Russia, China, Cuba — any and every State Party that wants it.
If Secretary Kerry assures us that this treaty will not diminish anyone’s freedom, then why do the articles within the treaty say otherwise?
But to grasp the full danger of the treaty one must realize that it would operate within a larger context of UN arms agreements, programs and “norms.”