Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Final Version of Arms Trade Treaty Released; Civilian Disarmament on Track

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NEW YORK — Just before noon on Wednesday, Australian ambassador and president of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty conference, Peter Woolcott, released his final version of the global gun control agreement.

Upon publication of the document, Woolcott informed delegates that they have 24 hours to confer with their respective governments and then report tomorrow for a final vote. 

Apart from a couple of technical reviews by the drafting committee scheduled to be completed by 2:00 p.m., this is the last revision of the document, and Woolcott said nations must now “take it or leave it.”

For so many reasons, the United States delegation must choose the latter option. A few sections of the proposed agreement are provided below, each of which would require the federal government to unconstitutionally infringe upon the right of Americans to keep and bear arms as protected by the Second Amendment.

To begin, the Preamble of the Arms Trade Treaty points to the United Nations Charter as the source of guiding principles upon which the agreement is based. Citizens of the United States, however, recognize God as the source of all rights they enjoy. Not even the Constitution claims to be the giver of rights; it is merely the protector of them.

The ultimate American statement on the issue of the provenance of rights was written by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

The UN would see the Declaration of Independence replaced by the Declaration of Human Rights and would have the Creator replaced with government as the source of rights.

Another paragraph of the Arms Trade Treaty’s preamble grants the United Nations the power to authorize “end users” and “end use” of conventional arms.

Where in the Constitution is an unelected and unaccountable body of international bureaucrats given the right to determine who is or is not authorized to buy, sell, or trade weapons?

Next, the Arms Trade Treaty preamble reaffirms the “sovereign right of any State to regulate and control conventional arms.” The federal government has no right whatsoever to regulate or control conventional arms. While the governments of the 50 states of the United States may exercise such control as part of their police power, the Second Amendment explicitly forbids the federal government from infringing on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

Another provision declares “that civilians, particularly women and children, account for the vast majority of those adversely affected by armed conflict and armed violence.” 

While on its face potentially true, during the 20th century, hundreds of millions of women and children were killed in wars started by the governments of the world. These conflicts employed weapons not in the hands of civilians, but under the control of “legitimate regimes.”

Given that the Arms Trade Treaty specifically grants the UN and “state parties” exclusive control over the manufacture, purchase, possession, sale, trade, and transfer of weapons of every size — from handgun to intercontinental missile — how can it claim to be the best hope of protecting women and children from armed conflict? In fact, in nearly every case of mass killings by government, the people targeted were first disarmed, leaving all weapons in the hands of government, preventing the people from resisting the march of tyranny.

Article 2 of the treaty defines the scope of the treaty’s prohibitions. The right to own, buy, sell, trade, or transfer the following items is regulated by the terms of the treaty:

(a) Battle tanks;

(b) Armoured [sic] combat vehicles;

(c) Large-calibre [sic] artillery systems;

(d) Combat aircraft;

(e) Attack helicopters;

(f) Warships;

(g) Missiles and missile launchers; and

(h) Small arms and light weapons.

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.

As the representative of one pro-gun control organization told this reporter last week, “Guns without bullets are no deadlier than baseball bats.” The UN plans to eventually rid the world of privately owned weapons; failing to do that, however, they will prevent the purchase (or reloading) of ammunition.

Reports around the country reveal that shortages of ammunition are already leaving many without rounds to use in their lawfully owned firearms.

Article 4 rounds out the regulations, placing all “parts and components” of weapons within the scheme, as well.

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.”

Should the U.S. delegation vote in favor of this treaty (and President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have both signaled that they should), the federal government will be obligated to begin compiling a list of who owns, buys, sells, trades, or transfers any of the weapons included in the list provided above, 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 ammo owners not only be in the hands of our own government, but be sent to foreign regimes, as well.

Americans are right to recognize this registry as the first step toward confiscation.

Without such a registry, it would be impossible to monitor weapon 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 will require 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.

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.”

The conference will reconvene at UN headquarters tomorrow morning. Delegations will then vote on the treaty and report to their home governments. The New American will report from the scene of this historic event.

Joe A. Wolverton, II, J.D. is a correspondent for The New American and is currently on assignment in New York to cover the Arms Trade Treaty conference. He can be reached at

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Related articles:

Gun Control Group Calls for Strict Control of Arms, Ammo in UN Treaty

"Bizarre Interpretation of Second Amendment" is Obstacle to UN Gun Grab

Senate Votes to Keep U.S. Out of UN Arms Trade Treaty

UN Arms Trade Treaty: National Lists of Gun Owners; Ammunition Regulation

UN Arms Trade Treaty, Day Two: Focus Is Transfer, Registry of Firearms

UN Arms Trade Conference Begins, Sec. General Calls for "Robust" Treaty

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