UN arms treaty could put U.S. gun owners in foreign sights, say critics

Dec 8, 2004
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#1
A treaty being hammered out this month at the United Nations -- with Iran playing a key role -- could expose the records of America's gun owners to foreign governments -- and, critics warn, eventually put the Second Amendment on global trial. International talks in New York are going on throughout July on the final wording of the so-called Arms Trade Treaty, which supporters such as Amnesty International USA say would rein in unregulated weapons that kill an estimated 1,500 people daily around the world. But critics, including the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre, warn the treaty would mark a major step toward the eventual erosion of the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment gun-ownership rights.

Americans “just don’t want the UN to be acting as a global nanny with a global permission slip stating whether they can own a gun or not,” LaPierre said. “It cheapens our rights as American citizens, and weakens our sovereignty,” he warned in an exclusive interview with FoxNews.com
from the halls of the UN negotiating chambers.


The world body has already been criticized for appointing Iran to a key role in the talks, even as Tehran stands accused by the UN of arming Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's bloody crackdown on rebels. The Obama administration in 2009 reversed Bush administration policy by agreeing to take part in the talks. But in another exclusive interview with FoxNews.com
, the top government official on the issue under President Bush says he’s seen nothing new to convince him the U.S. should be at the table today.

While the treaty’s details are still under discussion, the document could straitjacket U.S. foreign policy to the point where Washington could be restricted from helping arm friends such as Taiwan and Israel, said Greg Suchan, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs from 2000 to 2007.

Suchan also highlighted ongoing concern that the treaty may end up giving foreigners access to U.S. gun-ownership records.

On that score, LaPierre, who serves as NRA executive vice president, warns that the “UN’s refusal” to remove civilian firearms and ammunition from the scope of the treaty amounts to a declaration that only governments should be gun owners.

But he revealed he was set Wednesday to tell the UN gathering that 58 U.S. senators had signed a letter saying that they would refuse to ratify any treaty that includes controls over civilian guns or ammunition.

Ratification by two-thirds of the Senate is necessary before an international treaty negotiated by the executive branch can become U.S. law. But the treaty could still go into effect elsewhere once 65 countries ratify it. Such a development could change the pattern of world arms transfers and reduce the U.S. share, which stands at about 40 percent of up to $60 billion in global deals.

The Bush administration opposed a 2006 UN General Assembly resolution launching the treaty process, but President Obama decided the U.S. would take part on condition the final agreement be reached by consensus -- thereby giving any of the 193 participating states an effective veto.

The safeguard is insufficient for opponents of the U.S. participation, not least because UN talks invariably involve compromise.

“The administration swears they have a whole bunch of red lines, and they will block consensus if anyone crosses them,” said Suchan, now a government relations consultant as senior associate with the Commonwealth Consulting Corporation in Arlington, Va.

“But the dynamics of international negotiations are that once you get 90 percent of what you seek, you say, ‘Maybe there is a way we can finesse the final 10 percent.’”

A clause permitting arms transfers solely between UN member states would allow UN member China to object to U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, a non-UN member that China considers to be a renegade province.

This would be highly problematic for the U.S. at a time when Beijing is engaged in an unprecedented arms buildup.

Another fear is that Arab or other states critical of Israel may use any treaty language on human rights standards to argue against U.S. arms transfers to the Israeli government – much in the same way they currently use the UN Human Rights Council to repeatedly condemn Israel.

Suchan said U.S. arms trade law is seen as the global “gold standard” for regulating arms transfers, but doubted many countries would be willing to raise the bar that high. Instead, the treaty that emerges is expected to set a lower global standard – which Suchan said would have the effect of reducing Washington’s ability to press for voluntary arms embargoes against rogue states.

“We might want to urge a country to not sell arms to a state whose government is particularly odious,” Suchan explained.

“But that government could then ask whether the sale is prohibited under the Arms Trade Treaty – and if it is not, they would argue they are meeting the international standard.”

U.S. gun lobby concern focuses on the emphasis the treaty places on governmental – as opposed to individual – rights to guns, LaPierre explained.

“They’re trying to impose a UN policy that gives guns to the governments – but the UN doesn’t in turn make moral judgments as to whether these governments are good or bad,” he said.

“If you’re the government, you get the guns, if you’re a civilian, you don’t. But this will just end up helping evil governments and tyrants.”

For LaPierre, the emphasis he sees at the UN on governmental rights reflects what he believes is a wider international tradition that contrasts with the historical American emphasis on individual rights.

“The UN view is that governments – not individual citizens – ought to protect people,” he said, signaling that this principle permeates the draft that negotiators are currently working with.

LaPierre says the treaty that is likely to emerge will have the effect of squeezing individual gun owners in the United States and elsewhere by imposing on them an onerous collection of regulations.

“If they get this through, then what comes along is the institutionalizing of the whole gun control-ban movement within the bureaucracy of UN – with a permanent funding mechanism that we [in America] will be mainly paying for,” he said.

“The world’s worst human rights abusers will end up voting for this, while the Obama administration has not drawn a line in the sand like the previous administration did. Instead, it is trying to be a part of this train wreck because they think they can somehow finesse it. But, to me, there is no finessing the individual freedoms of American citizens.”
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d0uche_n0zzle

**Negative_Creep**
Sep 15, 2004
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#2
I'll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands!

Molon Labe
 

MayrMeninoCrash

Liberal Psycopath
Dec 9, 2004
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#3
So the deal needs 65 countries to ratify it, but only one to kill it. Why isn't Israel telling the UN to shove this shit in the trash?
 

Psychopath

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Dec 28, 2008
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#4
Why are we still part of the UN, and why the fuck are countries like Iran allowed a say in anything?
 

the Streif

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Aug 25, 2002
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#6
I'll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands!

Molon Labe
This. Fuck the U.N.

And yes, I completely understand why the U.S. is still part of the U.N. At least that still give us a say(somewhat) and lets us know what those fucks are thinking. VMS made a post a few years ago about why it is a good idea for us to be a part of it but I can't find it. As usual, it was one of VMS' walls of text.
 

MagicBob

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Dec 2, 2010
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this story has been around for years... ya know what hasnt been around? The text of the treaty.

While the treaty’s details are still under discussion,
its allllll speculation.

What the UN has said is that its about arms trade between member nations... not some restriction on private ownership.

of course the NRA is fear mongering about this, how else are they going to scare $ out of pockets.

(that being said, I'm a lifetime NRA member, but they've really gone around the bend with the conspiracy theories lately).
 

Norm Stansfield

私は亀が好きだ。
Mar 17, 2009
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Anything that expands the scope of the UN in any way whatsoever should be immediately denounced and fought by everyone with respect for liberty. Or even just an ounce of common sense.
 

Neon

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#13
Oh a website owned by liberal propagandists say so, so it must be true.
Which is why they spent years debunking every anti-Bush chain email in existence? Come on, that's pretty weak even for you.
 

KRSOne

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#14
Which is why they spent years debunking every anti-Bush chain email in existence? Come on, that's pretty weak even for you.
You mean they loved the guy that started wars and increased the size of government? Shocking.

Either way its a very low chance of a UN treaty taking guns away from people at this point in time. But this is just one of those foot in the door things.
 

Josh_R

Registered User
Jan 29, 2005
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#15
Oh a website owned by liberal propagandists say so, so it must be true.
How about a legal website, is that sufficiently unbiased? http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/article02/10.html
Controversy over the Holmes language apparently led Justice Black in Reid v. Covert 335 to deny that the difference in language of the supremacy clause with regard to statutes and with regard to treaties was relevant to the status of treaties as inferior to the Constitution. ''There is nothing in this language which intimates that treaties do not have to comply with the provisions of the Constitution. Nor is there anything in the debates which accompanied the drafting and ratification of the Constitution which even suggests such a result. These debates as well as the history that surrounds the adoption of the treaty provision in Article VI make it clear that the reason treaties were not limited to those made in 'pursuance' of the Constitution was so that agreements made by the United States under the Articles of Confederation, including the important treaties which concluded the Revolutionary War, would remain in effect. It would be manifestly contrary to the objectives of those who created the Constitution, as well as those who were responsible for the Bill of Rights--let alone alien to our entire constitutional history and tradition--to construe Article VI as permitting the United States to exercise power under an international agreement without observing constitutional prohibitions. In effect, such construction would permit amendment of that document in a manner not sanctioned by Article V.''
 

whiskeyguy

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#16
You mean they loved the guy that started wars and increased the size of government? Shocking.

Either way its a very low chance of a UN treaty taking guns away from people at this point in time. But this is just one of those foot in the door things.
There's no chance they would take away American guns. They MAY try an "assault weapon" ban like Clinton's but I seriously doubt they could get away with even that. Americans are adamant about gun ownership (rightfully so), and if you try to take them away I'm pretty certain you'd have a war on your hands.
 

KRSOne

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Dec 8, 2011
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#17
There's no chance they would take away American guns. They MAY try an "assault weapon" ban like Clinton's but I seriously doubt they could get away with even that. Americans are adamant about gun ownership (rightfully so), and if you try to take them away I'm pretty certain you'd have a war on your hands.
I kinda agree. What they do is turn it into a privilege and not a right. Only in situations like Katrina will a incredibly corrupt police department actually go door to door and takes guns. But they did take them away in Chicago for 20 some years, and its a privilege in NYC to own a gun. A privilege that is reserved for the rich and famous, just the way the founders wanted it.
 

whiskeyguy

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#18
I kinda agree. What they do is turn it into a privilege and not a right. Only in situations like Katrina will a incredibly corrupt police department actually go door to door and takes guns. But they did take them away in Chicago for 20 some years, and its a privilege in NYC to own a gun. A privilege that is reserved for the rich and famous, just the way the founders wanted it.
I agree that's fucked up, and too often those infringements are not righted quickly enough, if at all. Luckily the really bad regulations are somewhat isolated in our country. In California my largest complaint is the 10 round clip :)action-sm) limit.

See Kirk, if you don't get obnoxious with stuff like "the UN is absolutely going to take our guns" and make decent points, you'll find that a lot of people here would agree with you on certain things.
 

MayrMeninoCrash

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Dec 9, 2004
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#20
I agree that's fucked up, and too often those infringements are not righted quickly enough, if at all. Luckily the really bad regulations are somewhat isolated in our country. In California my largest complaint is the 10 round clip :)action-sm) limit.
That ranks third beyond the 1-in-30 handgun rule and 10-day waiting period. The may-issue CCW rules suck too.
 

whiskeyguy

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#21
That ranks third beyond the 1-in-30 handgun rule and 10-day waiting period. The may-issue CCW rules suck too.
The may-issue rule is probably worse, you're absolutely right there, but I'd rather have higher magazine capacity than the ability to purchase more than one handgun in 30 days or having to wait 10 days. I think the magazine rule definitely wins if you include the configurations that are banned if a firearm has a removable magazine.

Of course ideally none of those regulations would exist. Also admittedly the above opinion is based somewhat on my personal situation, as I'm not wealthy enough to buy multiple guns in a single month.
 

MayrMeninoCrash

Liberal Psycopath
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#22
At least there's some logic behind the 10-rd magazines. It sucks, but it also saves me a few bucks in ammo since I reach the point where I stop shooting rather than reload.

There's zero logic behind the 1-in-30 and the 10-day wait, especially if you already own a gun. Background checks are instantaneous.
 

Hate & Discontent

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Aug 22, 2005
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#23
At least there's some logic behind the 10-rd magazines. It sucks, but it also saves me a few bucks in ammo since I reach the point where I stop shooting rather than reload.

There's zero logic behind the 1-in-30 and the 10-day wait, especially if you already own a gun. Background checks are instantaneous.
There's absolutely NO logic behind a 10 round magazine limit.
 
#24
Oh a website owned by liberal propagandists say so, so it must be true.
Someone believes chain emails...

After Snopes reported that Obama was not a Muslim, Conservatives sent chain emails about Snopes, alleging the couple (the Mikkelsons) who own it are hard core Liberals (even though the guy was a registered Republican) You believed it. Most people didn't:

"Moreover, Barbara Mikkelson is a Canadian citizen, and as such cannot vote in U.S. elections or contribute to political campaigns. In a statement to FactCheck.org, David Mikkelson said his "sole involvement in politics" is voting on election day. In 2000 he registered as a Republican, documents provided to FactCheck.org show, and in 2008 Mikkelson didn't declare a party affiliation at all. Says Mikkelson: "I've never joined a party, worked for a campaign, or donated money to a candidate" (source: FactCheck.org).
Anyone who claims proof to the contrary needs to come out with it.
A NOTE ON GEORGE SOROS: A later variant of this rumor alleges, without evidence, that Snopes.com is financed by liberal philanthropist and hedge fund tycoon George Soros. This is false. The website is entirely self-supporting through advertising sales."


Read the whole thing here: http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/internet/a/snopes_exposed.htm


Having said that, I agree that There's absolutely NO logic behind a 10 round magazine limit.