(Reuters) – Hours after U.S. President Barack Obama was re-elected, the United States backed a U.N. committee’s call on Wednesday to renew debate over a draft international treaty to regulate the $70 billion global conventional arms trade.
U.N. delegates and gun control activists have complained that talks collapsed in July largely because Obama feared attacks from Republican rival Mitt Romney if his administration was seen as supporting the pact, a charge Washington denies.
The month-long talks at U.N. headquarters broke off after the United States – along with Russia and other major arms producers – said it had problems with the draft treaty and asked for more time.
But the U.N. General Assembly’s disarmament committee moved quickly after Obama’s win to approve a resolution calling for a new round of talks March 18-28. It passed with 157 votes in favor, none against and 18 abstentions.
Other than the obvious disturbing fact that Obama’s administration purposely avoided this decision until after the election for political reasons, what does the this UN Arms Treaty actually mean for American gun owners?
Basically, the United Nations would like to regulate the sale and international transfer of weapons, both large and small. They claim they are doing this to prevent the sale of weapons to groups the international community does not feel should be receiving them.
The problem is that we would be allowing an outside organization to dictate new rules and regulations on who THEY feel is appropriate to have arms, opening the door for them to infringe on our own Second Amendment rights by preventing us from importing firearms and accessories that we currently have access to, and even more likely, they would possibly interfere with the transfer of arms to our allies such as Israel and Taiwan.
What does Chris Cox, of the National Rifle Association have to say about the UN Arms Treaty?
The final version of the treaty isn’t due out until 2012, but the Chairman’s draft version that was made available in July is troubling. It predictably includes small arms and light weapons in the scope of the treaty’s control, but goes as far as to cover firearm ammunition, “parts and components” and “technology and equipment” designed to “develop, manufacture or maintain” firearms. How far will the international bureaucrats take these definitions? Scopes? Slings? Cleaning patches? Making the treaty completely unnecessary is that the U.S. already operates what even Hillary Clinton admits is the “gold standard of export controls for arms transfers.”
Not mentioned by treaty proponents is that such requirements would demand resources to assure compliance and expose the industry to new legal liabilities. This means higher prices for firearms, ammunition and whatever else the treaty might be interpreted to encompass.
More frightening are the reporting and record-keeping requirements that the treaty could force each country to maintain. This information could include firearms transferred and even information on the end user. Maybe the committee thinks it’s clever in its use of language, but American gun owners know this is just a code for registration. Worse, the treaty requires each country to submit an annual report to a U.N. “Implementation Support Unit” that could contain information on end users—meaning U.N. gun registration.
But have no fear, The Obama administration declared the United States will not allow the U.N. to impose any restrictions on Americans’ gun rights. We can trust him, can’t we? After all, this is the same guy that promised that no one making under $250K would ever see a tax increase, all bills would be available on the Internet for at least 5 days for the public to view, and wouldn’t ever allow lobbyists into his administration. He’s a trustworthy guy.
On second thought, I’d rather put my trust in the National Rifle Association to help defend my Second Amendment rights, and I’d suggest you consider doing the same. Click here to join the NRA if you haven’t already.