Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

NSSF Objects to U.S. Government Abandoning Position that U.N. Treaty Must be based on International “Consensus”

Monday, April 1st, 2013

Via:  National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF)

The National Shooting Sports Foundation today strongly objected to the last-minute reversal of the U.S. government position regarding the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty. In the closing hours of negotiations on Thursday, March 28, the government abandoned its previous insistence that the treaty be approved only through achieving “consensus” of all the member states. Requiring consensus had been the United States position going back to earlier administrations.

At the end of the session, a U.S. government spokesperson told reporters “It’s important to the United States and the defense of our interests to insist on consensus. But every state in this process has always been conscious of the fact that if consensus is not reached in this process, that there are other ways to adopt this treaty, including via a vote of the General Assembly.” The spokesperson went on to say that the United States would vote “yes” on the treaty in the General Assembly, regardless of the positions of other member states. By abandoning the requirement for consensus the United States is assuring passage of the treaty by the United Nations.

“This abrupt about-face on the long-standing United States requirement for ‘consensus’ illustrates that the Obama Administration wants a sweeping U.N. arms control treaty,” said Lawrence Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “We are troubled by the timing of the Obama Administration’s decision to abandon consensus on the eve of the Senate debate on pending gun control measures. The United Nations treaty would have a broad impact on the U.S. firearms industry and its base of consumers in the U.S.”

Industry analysts have identified three major areas of concern with the treaty text. The treaty clearly covers trade in civilian firearms, not just military arms and equipment. It will have a major impact on the importation of firearms to the United States, which is a substantial source for the consumer market. And it will impose new regulations on the “transit” of firearms, the term defined so broadly that it would cover all everything from container ships stopping at ports to individuals who are traveling internationally with a single firearm for hunting or other sporting purposes.

“We hope that the Members of the U.S. Senate are closely watching the White House abandon its principles and promises in the rush to ramrod this flawed treaty into effect. Not only will they later be asked to ratify this attack on our constitution and sovereignty, but they will also be lavished with new promises from the administration in its drive to push a broad gun control agenda through the U.S. Senate when it returns from recess. They would be right to question those promises strongly,” concluded Keane.

UN Arms Trade Treaty Final Draft

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Document Via:



United Nations Final Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty

New York, 18-28 March 2013

Draft decision

Submitted by the President of the Final Conference

The Final United Nations Conference of the Arms Trade Treaty,

Adopts the Arms Trade Treaty, the text of which is annexed to the present decision.


The Arms Trade Treaty


The States Parties to this Treaty,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

Recalling Article 26 of the Charter of the United Nations which seeks to promote the

establishment and maintenance of international peace and security with the least diversion for

armaments of the world’s human and economic resources,

Underlining the need to prevent and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms

and to prevent their diversion to the illicit market, or for unauthorized end use and end users,

including in the commission of terrorist acts,

Recognizing the legitimate political, security, economic and commercial interests of

States in the international trade in conventional arms,

Reaffirming the sovereign right of any State to regulate and control conventional arms

exclusively within its territory, pursuant to its own legal or constitutional system,


Acknowledging that peace and security, development and human rights, are pillars of

the United Nations system and foundations for collective security and recognizing that

development, peace and security and human rights are interlinked and mutually reinforcing,

Recalling the United Nations Disarmament Commission Guidelines for international

arms transfers in the context of General Assembly resolution 46/36H of 6 December 1991,

Noting the contribution made by the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent,

Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects,

as well as the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their

Parts and Components and Ammunition, supplementing the United Nations Convention

against Transnational Organized Crime, and the International Instrument to Enable States to

Identify and Trace, in a Timely and Reliable Manner, Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons,

Recognizing the security, social, economic and humanitarian consequences of the

illicit and unregulated trade in conventional arms,

Bearing in mind that civilians, particularly women and children, account for the vast

majority of those adversely affected by armed conflict and armed violence,

Recognizing also the challenges faced by victims of armed conflict and their need for

adequate care, rehabilitation and social and economic inclusion,

Emphasizing that nothing in this Treaty prevents States from maintaining and

adopting additional effective measures to further the object and purpose of this Treaty,

Mindful of the legitimate trade and lawful ownership, and use of certain conventional

arms for recreational, cultural, historical, and sporting activities, where such trade, ownership

and use are permitted or protected by law,

Mindful also of the role regional organizations can play in assisting States Parties,

upon request, in implementing this Treaty,

Recognizing the voluntary and active role that civil society, including nongovernmental

organizations, and industry, can play in raising awareness of the object and

purpose of this Treaty, and in supporting its implementation,

Acknowledging that regulation of the international trade in conventional arms and

preventing their diversion, should not hamper international cooperation and legitimate trade

in materiel, equipment and technology for peaceful purposes,

Emphasizing the desirability of achieving universal adherence to this Treaty,

Determined to act in accordance with the following principles;



– The inherent right of all States to individual or collective self-defense as recognized

in Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations;

– The settlement of international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that

international peace and security and justice, are not endangered in accordance with Article 2

(3) of the Charter of the United Nations;

– Refraining in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the

territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent

with the purposes of the United Nations in accordance with Article 2 (4) of the Charter of the

United Nations;

– Non-intervention in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of

any State in accordance with Article 2 (7) of the Charter of the United Nations;

– Respecting and ensuring respect for international humanitarian law in accordance

with, inter alia, the Geneva Conventions of 1949, and respecting and ensuring respect for

human rights, in accordance with, inter alia, the Charter of the United Nations and the

Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

– The responsibility of all States, in accordance with their respective international

obligations, to effectively regulate the international trade in conventional arms, and to

prevent their diversion, as well as the primary responsibility of all States in establishing and

implementing their respective national control systems;

– The respect for the legitimate interests of States to acquire conventional arms to

exercise their right to self-defense and for peacekeeping operations; and to produce, export,

import and transfer conventional arms;

– Implementing this Treaty in a consistent, objective and non-discriminatory manner,

Have agreed as follows:

Article 1

Object and Purpose

The object of this Treaty is to:

– Establish the highest possible common international standards for regulating or

improving the regulation of the international trade in conventional arms;

– Prevent and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and prevent their


for the purpose of:


– Contributing to international and regional peace, security and stability;

– Reducing human suffering;

– Promoting cooperation, transparency and responsible action by States Parties in

the international trade in conventional arms, thereby building confidence among

States Parties.

Article 2


1. This Treaty shall apply to all conventional arms within the following categories:

(a) Battle tanks;

(b) Armoured combat vehicles;

(c) Large-calibre artillery systems;

(d) Combat aircraft;

(e) Attack helicopters;

(f) Warships;

(g) Missiles and missile launchers; and

(h) Small arms and light weapons.

2. For the purposes of this Treaty, the activities of the international trade comprise export,

import, transit, trans-shipment and brokering, hereafter referred to as “transfer”.

3. This Treaty shall not apply to the international movement of conventional arms by, or on

behalf of, a State Party for its use provided that the conventional arms remain under that

State Party’s ownership.

Article 3


Each State Party shall establish and maintain a national control system to regulate the export

of ammunition/munitions fired, launched or delivered by the conventional arms covered

under Article 2 (1), and shall apply the provisions of Article 6 and Article 7 prior to

authorizing the export of such ammunition/munitions.

Article 4

Parts and Components


Each State Party shall establish and maintain a national control system to regulate the export

of parts and components where the export is in a form that provides the capability to

assemble the conventional arms covered under Article 2 (1). Each State Party shall apply the

provisions of Article 6 and Article 7 prior to authorizing the export of such parts and


Article 5

General Implementation

1. Each State Party shall implement this Treaty in a consistent, objective and nondiscriminatory

manner, bearing in mind the principles referred to in this Treaty.

2. Each State Party shall establish and maintain a national control system, including a

national control list, in order to implement the provisions of this Treaty.

3. Each State Party is encouraged to apply the provisions of this Treaty to the broadest range

of conventional arms. National definitions of any of the categories covered in Article 2

(1) (a-g) shall not cover less than the descriptions used in the United Nations Register of

Conventional Arms at the time of entry into force of this Treaty. For the category covered

in Article 2 (1) (h), national definitions shall not cover less than the descriptions used in

relevant United Nations instruments at the time of entry into force of this Treaty.

4. Each State Party, pursuant to its national laws, shall provide its national control list to the

Secretariat, which shall make it available to other States Parties. States Parties are

encouraged to make their control lists publicly available.

5. Each State Party shall take measures necessary to implement the provisions of this Treaty

and shall designate competent national authorities in order to have an effective and

transparent national control system regulating the transfer of conventional arms covered

under Article 2 (1) and of items covered in Article 3 and Article 4.

6. Each State Party shall designate one or more national points of contact to exchange

information on matters related to the implementation of this Treaty. A State Party shall

notify the Secretariat, established under Article 18, of its national point(s) of contact and

keep the information updated.

Article 6


1. A State Party shall not authorize any transfer of conventional arms covered under Article

2 (1) or of items covered under Article 3 or Article 4, if the transfer would violate its

obligations under measures adopted by the United Nations Security Council acting under

Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, in particular arms embargoes.


2. A State Party shall not authorize any transfer of conventional arms covered under Article

2 (1) or of items covered under Article 3 or Article 4, if the transfer would violate its

relevant international obligations under international agreements to which it is a Party, in

particular those relating to the transfer of, or illicit trafficking in, conventional arms.

3. A State Party shall not authorize any transfer of conventional arms covered under Article

2 (1) or of items covered under Article 3 or Article 4, if it has knowledge at the time of

authorization that the arms or items would be used in the commission of genocide, crimes

against humanity, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, attacks directed

against civilian objects or civilians protected as such, or other war crimes as defined by

international agreements to which it is a Party.

Article 7

Export and Export Assessment

1. If the export is not prohibited under Article 6, each exporting State Party, prior to

authorization of the export of conventional arms covered under Article 2 (1) or of items

covered under Article 3 or Article 4, under its jurisdiction and pursuant to its national

control system, shall, in an objective and non-discriminatory manner, taking into account

relevant factors, including information provided by the importing State in accordance

with Article 8 (1), assess the potential that the conventional arms or items:

a) would contribute to or undermine peace and security;

b) could be used to:

i. commit or facilitate a serious violation of international humanitarian law;

ii. commit or facilitate a serious violation of international human rights law;

iii. commit or facilitate an act constituting an offence under international conventions

or protocols relating to terrorism to which the exporting State is a Party; or

iv. commit or facilitate an act constituting an offence under international conventions

or protocols relating to transnational organized crime to which the exporting State

is a Party.

2. The exporting State Party shall also consider whether there are measures that could be

undertaken to mitigate risks identified in (a) or (b) in paragraph 1, such as confidencebuilding

measures or jointly developed and agreed programmes by the exporting and

importing States.


3. If, after conducting this assessment and considering available mitigating measures, the

exporting State Party determines that there is an overriding risk of any of the negative

consequences in paragraph 1, the exporting State Party shall not authorize the export.

4. The exporting State Party, in making this assessment, shall take into account the risk of

the conventional arms covered under Article 2 (1) or of the items covered under Article 3

or Article 4, being used to commit or facilitate serious acts of gender based violence or

serious acts of violence against women and children.

5. Each exporting State Party shall take measures to ensure that all authorizations for the

export of conventional arms covered under Article 2 (1) or of items covered under Article

3 or Article 4, are detailed and issued prior to the export.

6. Each exporting State Party shall make available appropriate information about the

authorization in question, upon request, to the importing State Party and to the transit or

trans-shipment States Parties, subject to its national laws, practices or policies.

7. If, after an authorization has been granted, an exporting State Party becomes aware of

new relevant information, it is encouraged to reassess the authorization after

consultations, if appropriate, with the importing State.

Article 8


1. Each importing State Party shall take measures to ensure that appropriate and relevant

information is provided, upon request, pursuant to its national laws, to the exporting State

Party, to assist the exporting State Party in conducting its national export assessment

under Article 7. Such measures may include end use or end user documentation.

2. Each importing State Party shall take measures that will allow it to regulate, where

necessary, imports under its jurisdiction of conventional arms covered under Article 2

(1). Such measures may include import systems.

3. Each importing State Party may request information from the exporting State Party

concerning any pending or actual export authorizations where the importing State Party is

the country of final destination.

Article 9

Transit or trans-shipment

Each State Party shall take appropriate measures to regulate, where necessary and feasible,

the transit or trans-shipment under its jurisdiction of conventional arms covered under Article

2 (1) through its territory in accordance with relevant international law.


Article 10


Each State Party shall take measures, pursuant to its national laws, to regulate brokering

taking place under its jurisdiction for conventional arms covered under Article 2 (1). Such

measures may include requiring brokers to register or obtain written authorization before

engaging in brokering.

Article 11


1. Each State Party involved in the transfer of conventional arms covered under Article 2 (1)

shall take measures to prevent their diversion.

2. The exporting State Party shall seek to prevent the diversion of the transfer of

conventional arms covered under Article 2 (1) through its national control system,

established in accordance with Article 5 (2), by assessing the risk of diversion of the

export and considering the establishment of mitigation measures such as confidencebuilding

measures or jointly developed and agreed programmes by the exporting and

importing States. Other prevention measures may include, where appropriate: examining

parties involved in the export, requiring additional documentation, certificates,

assurances, not authorizing the export or other appropriate measures.

3. Importing, transit, trans-shipment and exporting States Parties shall cooperate and

exchange information, pursuant to their national laws, where appropriate and feasible, in

order to mitigate the risk of diversion of the transfer of conventional arms covered under

Article 2 (1).

4. If a State Party detects a diversion of transferred conventional arms covered under Article

2 (1), the State Party shall take appropriate measures, pursuant to its national laws and in

accordance with international law, to address such diversion. Such measures may include,

alerting potentially affected State Parties, examining diverted shipments of such

conventional arms covered under Article 2 (1), and taking follow-up measures through

investigation and law enforcement.

5. In order to better comprehend and prevent the diversion of transferred conventional arms

covered under Article 2 (1), State Parties are encouraged to share relevant information

with one another on effective measures to address diversion. Such information may

include information on illicit activities including corruption, international trafficking

routes, illicit brokers, sources of illicit supply, methods of concealment, common points

of dispatch, or destinations used by organized groups engaged in diversion.


6. States Parties are encouraged to report to other State Parties, through the Secretariat, on

measures taken in addressing the diversion of transferred conventional arms covered

under Article 2 (1).

Article 12

Record keeping

1. Each State Party shall maintain national records, pursuant to its national laws and

regulations, of its issuance of export authorizations or its actual exports of the

conventional arms covered under Article 2 (1).

2. Each State Party is encouraged to maintain records of conventional arms covered under

Article 2 (1) that are transferred to its territory as the final destination or that are

authorized to transit or trans-ship territory under its jurisdiction.

3. Each State Party is encouraged to include in those records: the quantity, value,

model/type, authorized international transfers of conventional arms covered under Article

2 (1), conventional arms actually transferred, details of exporting State(s), importing

State(s), transit and trans-shipment State(s), and end users, as appropriate.

4. Records shall be kept for a minimum of ten years.

Article 13


1. Each State Party shall, within the first year after entry into force of this Treaty for that

State Party, in accordance with Article 22, provide an initial report to the Secretariat of

measures undertaken in order to implement this Treaty, including national laws, national

control lists and other regulations and administrative measures. Each State Party shall

report to the Secretariat on any new measures undertaken in order to implement this

Treaty, when appropriate. Reports shall be made available, and distributed to States

Parties by the Secretariat.

2. States Parties are encouraged to report to other States Parties, through the Secretariat,

information on measures taken that have been proven effective in addressing the

diversion of transferred conventional arms covered under Article 2 (1).

3. Each State Party shall submit annually to the Secretariat by 31 May a report for the

preceding calendar year concerning authorized or actual exports and imports of

conventional arms covered under Article 2 (1). Reports shall be made available, and

distributed to States Parties by the Secretariat. The report submitted to the Secretariat

may contain the same information submitted by the State Party to relevant United Nations


frameworks, including the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms. Reports may

exclude commercially sensitive or national security information.

Article 14


Each State Party shall take appropriate measures to enforce national laws and regulations that

implement the provisions of this Treaty.

Article 15

International Cooperation

1. States Parties shall cooperate with each other, consistent with their respective security

interests and national laws, to effectively implement this Treaty.

2. States Parties are encouraged to facilitate international cooperation, including exchanging

information on matters of mutual interest regarding the implementation and application of

this Treaty pursuant to their respective security interests and national laws.

3. States Parties are encouraged to consult on matters of mutual interest and to share

information, as appropriate, to support the implementation of this Treaty.

4. States Parties are encouraged to cooperate, pursuant to their national laws, in order to

assist national implementation of the provisions of this Treaty, including through sharing

information regarding illicit activities and actors and in order to prevent and eradicate

diversion of conventional arms covered under Article 2 (1).

5. States Parties shall, where jointly agreed and consistent with their national laws, afford

one another the widest measure of assistance in investigations, prosecutions and judicial

proceedings in relation to violations of national measures established pursuant to this


6. States Parties are encouraged to take national measures and to cooperate with each other

to prevent the transfer of conventional arms covered under Article 2 (1) becoming subject

to corrupt practices.

7. States Parties are encouraged to exchange experience and information on lessons learned

in relation to any aspect of this Treaty.

Article 16

International Assistance

1. In implementing this Treaty, each State Party may seek assistance including legal or

legislative assistance, institutional capacity building, and technical, material or financial


assistance. Such assistance may include stockpile management, disarmament,

demobilization and reintegration programmes, model legislation, and effective practices

for implementation. Each State Party in a position to do so shall provide such assistance,

upon request.

2. Each State Party may request, offer or receive assistance through, inter alia, the United

Nations, international, regional, subregional or national organizations, non-governmental

organizations, or on a bilateral basis.

3. A voluntary trust fund shall be established by States Parties to assist requesting States

Parties requiring international assistance to implement this Treaty. Each State Party is

encouraged to contribute resources to the fund.

Article 17

Conference of States Parties

1. A Conference of States Parties shall be convened by the provisional Secretariat,

established under Article 18, no later than one year following the entry into force of this

Treaty and thereafter at such other times as may be decided by the Conference of States


2. The Conference of States Parties shall adopt by consensus its rules of procedure at its first


3. The Conference of States Parties shall adopt financial rules for itself as well as governing

the funding of any subsidiary bodies it may establish as well as financial provisions

governing the functioning of the Secretariat. At each ordinary session, it shall adopt a

budget for the financial period until the next ordinary session.

4. The Conference of States Parties shall:

(a) Review the implementation of this Treaty, including developments in the field of

conventional arms

(b) Consider and adopt recommendations regarding the implementation and operation of this

Treaty, in particular the promotion of its universality;

(c) Consider amendments to this Treaty in accordance with Article 20;

(d) Consider issues arising from the interpretation of this Treaty;

(e) Consider and decide the tasks and budget of the Secretariat;

(f) Consider the establishment of any subsidiary bodies as may be necessary to improve the

functioning of this Treaty; and

(g) Perform any other function consistent with this Treaty.


5. Extraordinary meetings of the Conference of States Parties shall be held at such other

times as may be deemed necessary by the Conference of States Parties, or at the written

request of any State Party provided that this request is supported by at least two thirds of

the States Parties.

Article 18


1. This Treaty hereby establishes a Secretariat to assist States Parties in the effective

implementation of this Treaty. Pending the first meeting of the Conference of States

Parties, a provisional Secretariat will be responsible for the administrative functions

covered under this Treaty.

2. The Secretariat shall be adequately staffed. Staff shall have the necessary expertise to

ensure that the Secretariat can effectively undertake the responsibilities described in

paragraph 3.

3. The Secretariat shall be responsible to States Parties. Within a minimized structure, the

Secretariat shall undertake the following responsibilities:

(a) Receive, make available and distribute the reports as mandated by this


(b) Maintain and make available to States Parties the list of national points of


(c) Facilitate the matching of offers of and requests for assistance for Treaty

implementation and promote international cooperation as requested;

(d) Facilitate the work of the Conference of States Parties, including making

arrangements and providing the necessary services for meetings under this

Treaty; and

(e) Perform other duties as decided by the Conferences of States Parties.

Article 19

Dispute Settlement

1. States Parties shall consult and, by mutual consent, cooperate to pursue settlement of any

dispute that may arise between them with regard to the interpretation or application of

this Treaty including through negotiations, mediation, conciliation, judicial settlement or

other peaceful means.

2. States Parties may pursue, by mutual consent, arbitration to settle any dispute between

them, regarding issues concerning the interpretation or application of this Treaty.


Article 20


1. Six years after the entry into force of this Treaty, any State Party may propose an

amendment to this Treaty. Thereafter, proposed amendments may only be considered by

the Conference of States Parties every three years.

2. Any proposal to amend this Treaty shall be submitted in writing to the Secretariat, which

shall circulate the proposal to all States Parties, not less than 180 days before the next

meeting of the Conference of States Parties at which amendments may be considered

pursuant to paragraph 1. The amendment shall be considered at the next Conference of

States Parties at which amendments may be considered pursuant to paragraph 1 if, no

later than 120 days after its circulation by the Secretariat, a majority of States Parties

notify the Secretariat that they support consideration of the proposal.

3. The States Parties shall make every effort to achieve consensus on each amendment. If

all efforts at consensus have been exhausted, and no agreement reached, the amendment

shall, as a last resort, be adopted by a three-quarters majority vote of the States Parties

present and voting at the meeting of the Conference of States Parties. For the purposes of

this Article, States Parties present and voting means States Parties present and casting an

affirmative or negative vote. The Depositary shall communicate any adopted amendment

to all States Parties.

4. An amendment adopted in accordance with paragraph 3 shall enter into force for each

State Party that has deposited its instrument of acceptance for that amendment, ninety

days following the date of deposit with the Depositary of the instruments of acceptance

by a majority of the number of States Parties at the time of the adoption of the

amendment. Thereafter, it shall enter into force for any remaining State Party ninety days

following the date of deposit of its instrument of acceptance for that amendment.

Article 21

Signature, Ratification, Acceptance, Approval or Accession

1. This Treaty shall be open for signature at the United Nations Headquarters in New York

by all States from the Third Day of the Sixth Month of 2013 until its entry into force.

2. This Treaty is subject to ratification, acceptance or approval by each signatory State.

3. Following its entry into force, this Treaty shall be open for accession by any State that

has not signed the Treaty.

4. The instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession shall be deposited with

the Depositary.


Article 22

Entry into Force

1. This Treaty shall enter into force ninety days following the date of the deposit of the

fiftieth instrument of ratification, acceptance, or approval with the Depositary.

2. For any State that deposits its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or

accession subsequent to the entry into force of this Treaty, this Treaty shall enter into

force for that State ninety days following the date of deposit of its instrument of

ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

Article 23

Provisional application

Any State may at the time of signature or the deposit of instrument of its ratification,

acceptance, approval or accession, declare that it will apply provisionally Article 6 and

Article 7 pending its entry into force.

Article 24

Duration and Withdrawal

1. This Treaty shall be of unlimited duration.

2. Each State Party shall, in exercising its national sovereignty, have the right to withdraw

from this Treaty. It shall give notification of such withdrawal to the Depositary, which

shall notify all other States Parties. The notification of withdrawal may include an

explanation of the reasons for its withdrawal. The notice of withdrawal shall take effect

ninety days after the receipt of the notification of withdrawal by the Depositary, unless

the notification of withdrawal specifies a later date.

3. A State shall not be discharged, by reason of its withdrawal, from the obligations arising

from this Treaty while it was a Party to this Treaty, including any financial obligations

that it may have accrued.

Article 25


1. At the time of signature, ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, each State may

formulate reservations, unless the reservations are incompatible with the object and

purpose of this Treaty.


2. A State Party may withdraw its reservation at any time by notification to this effect

addressed to the Depositary.

Article 26

Relationship with other international agreements

1. The implementation of this Treaty shall not prejudice obligations undertaken by States

Parties with regard to existing or future international agreements, to which they are

parties, where those obligations are consistent with this Treaty.

2. This Treaty shall not be cited as grounds for voiding defense cooperation agreements

concluded between States Parties to this Treaty.

Article 27


The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall be the Depositary of this Treaty.

Article 28

Authentic Texts

The original text of this Treaty, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and

Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the

United Nations.

DONE AT NEW YORK, this twenty-eighth day of March, two thousand and thirteen


SAF blasts Obama support for UN Arms Trade Treaty day after election

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Original Story Via:  Human Events

By: Neil W. McCabe

The leader of America’s oldest gun rights legal foundation Nov. 7 called out President Barack Obama for his support of the United Nations Small Arms and Light Weapons Treaty the day after the election.

“It’s obvious that our warnings over the past several months have been true,” said Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, based in Bellevue, Wash.

Less than 24 hours after winning re-election, the Obama’s administration joined with China, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, and more than 150 other governments, in supporting renewed debate on the proposed United Nations arms trade treaty, confirming the worst fears of the American gun rights community,” said the founder of SAF, which was in 1974, and which has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

“Just days ago as he campaigned for re-election,” he csaid. ”Barack Obama told his supporters that voting is the ‘best revenge.’ I guess now we know what he was talking about. The revenge he seeks is against American gun owners and their Second Amendment rights.”

“The election was called about 11 p.m. Tuesday and by 11 a.m. this morning, we got word that the United States was supporting this resolution. We have to be more vigilant in our efforts to stop this proposed treaty,” he said.

The vote came at the U.N. General Assembly’s meeting of the First Committee on Disarmament at the world organization’s headquarters in New York City.

According to a State Department webpage devoted to the Arms Trade Treaty, the Obama administration strongly supports the treaty potential.

“The ATT should include all advanced conventional weapons, including tanks, armored combat vehicles, artillery systems, military aircraft, military helicopters, naval vessels, missiles, missile launchers, small arms and light weapons, and combat support equipment. It should also include parts, components, and/or technology to manufacture, modify, or repair the covered items,” the webpage said.

Julianne Versnel, the SAF operations director, who has been back and forth to the United Nations over this proposal, said the fight is not finished.

The measure will be considered for finalization in March, she said.

“We will continue to monitor this issue and oppose any effort to enforce a global gun control measure,” she said.

Amnesty International issued a statement Wednesday lauding passage of the resolution, saying the treaty will protect human rights, she said.

Suzanne Nossel, executive director of Amnesty International USA, said, “Today’s vote is step one toward a hugely meaningful human rights victory. We will be urging the United States and all other countries to keep today’s momentum going towards the final passage of the first arms trade treaty.”

Nossell said the 157 governments at the U.N. General Assembly’s First Committee on Disarmament in New York voting to finalize Arms Trade Treaty in March is a breakthrough.

“It’s the greatest show of support the treaty has ever received,” she said.

“Among the ‘big six; arms-exporting countries, only Russia abstained from voting,” she said. China joined France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the USA in supporting the resolution.

Gottlieb said Amnesty International does not appreciate that gun rights are enshrined in the Bill of Rights.

“The right of self-defense is a human right,” he said.

“In this country, the Second Amendment protects that right,” he said.

Global gun control treaty may return in the fall at UN

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Original Story Via:

by Dave Workman

Senior Editor

Following a stunning last-minute derailment of the United Nations’ highly-touted international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) negotiations, global gun control proponents are expected to bring the issue back again in the fall.

That was the forecast from Julianne Versnel with the Second Amendment Foundation and International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR). She was at the UN when the ATT meltdown occurred, as was Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Both were instrumental in creating IAPCAR, which now has member organizations all over the globe.

The treaty talks essentially imploded in the final 24 hours when ATT proponents did not produce a final draft of their proposed treaty until late in the afternoon of the day prior to a scheduled vote. Another problem was that the document was printed only in English, leaving many delegates from non-English speaking nations in the lurch because they had no document to study.

The US delegation and other delegations simply did not have enough time to study the proposal, and there were problems with it even if they had.

The final draft came barely 48 hours after an initial document was circulated that met with tepid reactions from several delegations including North Korea and Iran. In a press release, Gottlieb called the proposed treaty, “a blatant attempt to negate the recent Second Amendment court victories we’ve had in the United States, and to get around Second Amendment protections.” A coalition of global gun control organizations has been pushing for the most extreme language and tenets in the proposed treaty, and now they are apparently back at the drawing board trying to come up with language that will be acceptable. That group includes International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA), Oxfam International and Control Arms. The latter group was apparently responsible for a handout depicting their vision of the treaty provisions highlighted in Olympics-style rings, timed with the opening of the summer games in London.

Two of those items were “Arms and Bullets” and “Global Standards Over National Views.” The former alluded to privately owned firearms, and the latter was a veiled but direct threat to the Second Amendment, Gottlieb said.

Various gun rights organizations, including CCRKBA and the National Rifle Association, had been lobbying against this treaty for weeks. If the Obama administration signs it, the document must still be ratified by the US Senate, and after intense lobbying by the National Rifle Association, that doesn’t seem likely.

Now, with the national elections looming, President Barack Obama may be painting himself into an ever-tightening corner with American gun owners, if the treaty comes up again in October as anticipated.

UN gun control treaty will reveal gun laws Obama really supports

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Original Story Via:  /

Sometime later this week, the UN will finally unveil its Arms Trade Treaty. The exact date the treaty will be released is a secret.

Russia, China, France — with its new Socialist government — Britain and the Obama administration are writing the treaty behind closed doors. Yet even if the final treaty is being kept under wraps, we still have a pretty good idea of some of the requirements that will be in it.

The group writing the treaty is not promising. Russia and Britain ban handguns and many other types of weapons. The possession of guns for self-defense is completely prohibited in China. The Obama administration is undoubtedly the most hostile administration to gun ownership in US history, with Obama having personally supported bans of handguns and semi-automatic weapons before becoming president. And remember the recent scandal where the Obama administration was caught allowing guns go to Mexican drug gangs, hoping it would help push for gun control laws.

The treaty seems unlikely to ever receive the two-thirds majority necessary to be ratified by the US Senate, but that doesn’t mean it still won’t have consequences for Americans. In other countries with parliamentary systems, even if the relatively conservative parties oppose approval, ratification is just a matter of time until a left-wing government takes power. Reduced private gun ownership around the world will surely lead to more pressure for gun control in our own country.

The treaty officially aims to prevent rebels and terrorist groups from getting hold of guns. The treaty claims that at least 250,000 people die each year from armed conflicts and that the vast majority of deaths arise from so-called “small arms” — machine guns, rifles, and handguns.

Regulations of private ownership will supposedly prevent rebels and terrorist groups from getting ahold of guns. But governments, not private individuals, are the sources for these weapons. For example, the FARC fighting in Colombia get their guns from the Venezuelan government.

The most likely regulations to be pushed by the UN treaty are those that have been the favorites of American gun control advocates for years — registration and licensing, micro-stamping ammunition, and restrictions on the private transfers of guns. Unfortunately, these measures have a long history of failure and primarily just inconvenience and disarm law-abiding gun owners.

Gun registration and licensing are pushed as a way to trace those who supply these illicit weapons. Yet, to see the problem with these regulations, one only needs to look at how ineffective they have been in solving crime. Canada just recently ended its long gun registry as it was a colossal waste of money.

Beginning in 1998, Canadians spent a whopping $2.7 billion on creating and running a registry for long guns — in the US, the same amount per gun owner would come to $67 billion. For all that money, the registry was never credited with solving a single murder. Instead, it became an enormous waste of police officers’ time, diverting their efforts from traditional policing activities.

Gun control advocates have long claimed registration is a safety issue. Their reasoning is straightforward: If a gun is left at a crime scene, and it was registered to the person who committed the crime, the registry will link it back to the criminal.

Unfortunately, it rarely works out this way. Criminals are seldom stupid enough to leave behind crime guns that are registered to themselves.

From 2003 to 2009, there were 4,257 homicides in Canada, 1,314 of which were committed with firearms. Data provided last fall by the Library of Parliament reveal that murder weapons were recovered in less than a third of the homicides with firearms. About three-quarters of the identified weapons were unregistered. Of the weapons that were registered, about half were registered to someone other than the person accused of the homicide.

In only 62 cases — that is, nine per year, or about 1 percent of all homicides in Canada — was the gun registered to the accused. Even in these cases, the registry did not appear to have played an important role in finding the killer. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Chiefs of Police have not yet provided a single example in which tracing was of more than peripheral importance in solving a case.

Note that the Canadian data provided above cover all guns, including handguns. It isn’t just the long-gun registry — there is also no evidence that Canada’s handgun registry, started in 1934, has ever been important in solving a single homicide.

Micro-stamping involves putting unique codes on a bullet. The most commonly discussed method is to have a special etching that is on the tip of a firing pin, the piece of metal that strikes a bullet and sets off the explosion, that will leave a mark on the bullet casing. The notion then is that if the casing is left a crime scene, the bullet can be traced back to the owner of the gun. The problem is that firing pins can easily be replaced or altered.

As to restrictions on the private transfers of guns, the most common type of regulation involves background checks. Yet, whether one is talking about the Brady Act or the so-called gun show loophole, economists and criminologists who have looked at this simply don’t find evidence that such regulations reduce crime and may even increase it. Indeed, as the surges in murder rates after gun bans in the US and around the world show, such regulations don’t stop criminals from getting guns. A huge percentage of violent crime in the US is drug gang related, and just as those gangs can bring in the illegal drugs, they can bring in the weapons that they use to protect that valuable property.

The treaty will give Americans yet another insight into the types of gun control laws that President Obama really supports. The good news is that the US Senate will almost certainly prevent him from getting the treaty adopted here. Most rest of the world won’t be so lucky.

A sneaky way to control guns: UN treaty could curtail our rights

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Original Story Via:  / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Gun-control advocates and the Obama administration are rushing to complete negotiations in New York on a proposed international agreement called the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.

They hope to finish the drafting within weeks, perhaps having a document ready for signature so that President Obama could press a lame-duck Senate to ratify it after our Nov. 6 elections.

Because these UNATT negotiations had long escaped serious media attention, many Americans are only now learning about their disturbing direction.

Gun-control groups, frustrated by years of failing to impose harsh measures on American firearms owners, have pursued a covert strategy. Instead of constant defeats in Congress and local legislatures, they instead shifted their attention to the international realm, hoping to achieve by indirection what they had consistently failed to do at home.

Ostensibly, UNATT is about regulating government-to-government arms transfers or direct sales by manufacturers to foreign governments. But the hidden agenda of the gun controllers is to craft treaty language that, while seemingly innocuous, has long-range implications for the use and ownership of guns here in America.

The real danger lies in vague, ambiguous stipulations gun-control advocates could later cite as requiring further domestic restraints. In other words, they hope to use restrictions on international gun sales to control gun sales at home.

Indeed, the theme underlying the negotiations is that the private ownership of guns is inherently dangerous.

There is, of course, little doubt why dictatorships and authoritarian regimes don’t want their oppressed citizens to have weapons — but such positions do not merit American support.

There are compelling arguments for closely monitoring foreign sales of truly military weapons such as machine guns, crew-served mortars and shoulder-fired missiles. Keeping such arms out of the hands of rogue states and terrorists is, beyond dispute, in our national interest.

But the United States already has a strong regulatory regime under the Arms Export Control Act to license the export of American-made weapons.

Extensive controls surround the ultimate purchasers and the uses to which the weapons are put.

We can be justifiably proud of our regulatory system. Unfortunately, however, there is little or no evidence the proposed UNATT will have any material effect on illicit international trafficking of weapons.

Many other nations, such as Russia, are much less scrupulous than we are. And countries that are unwilling or unable to police their own domestic manufacturers are not likely to change merely by signing yet another international agreement.

Moreover, there is a world of difference between weapons for military campaigns and those used for recreation and hunting. The U.S. has a long history of respecting the individual ownership of firearms. It is against this legitimate tradition of private ownership that gun-control advocates are exerting their efforts.

Their strategy surfaced most clearly in 2001 at a UN conference aiming to restrict international sales of “small arms and light weapons,” a precursor to the current negotiations. I was part of the Bush administration’s diplomacy to block this effort, which we ultimately succeeded in doing.

During the 2001 debate, I spoke at the UN General Assembly in New York, and the reaction to my remarks revealed the gun-controllers’ hidden agenda.

I said merely that the United States would not agree to any proposed treaty that would violate our Second Amendment freedoms. From the gun-control lobby’s reaction, you would have thought I said something outrageous or even dangerous. In truth, they knew we had uncovered their agenda and spiked it.

Indeed, during the Bush administration’s remaining years, despite occasional flareups of activity, the gun controllers laid low, waiting for their opportunity.

They may have waited too long, because their current frantic efforts betray their fear that Obama could lose in November, replaced by a pro-Second Amendment Romney administration. Significantly, a bipartisan letter signed by 58 senators has already rejected any treaty that seeks, however cleverly, to impose gun-control obligations on the U.S.

The gun-control crowd’s strategy of trying to do through treaties what it cannot accomplish in America’s domestic political process is not unique to that issue.

We have seen and will undoubtedly see many more examples of frustrated statists, unable to prevail in free and open debate, seeking to take their issues global, hoping to find more sympathetic audiences.

Stopping UNATT will be one clear way to send a message that such strategies are doomed to failure.

Bolton was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush.

Disarmed America: Tying UN treaty to DC’s 2A resistance

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Original Story Via:  – Seattle Gun Rights Examiner

The same political mindset that is pushing the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) talks this month is also at work keeping residents of Washington, D.C. from exercising their Second Amendment rights, and one might suggest that Bellevue’s Alan Gottlieb is strongly linked to both quagmires.

As this column has noted, Gottlieb has been actively battling the ATT through his international activities related to the formation of IAPCAR (the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights) and his participation in the World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities (WFSA).

And, though not identified by name, the handiwork of the Gottlieb-led Second Amendment Foundation was alluded to by the Washington Times Thursday in a piece about resistance to federal concealed carry reciprocity is stymied over amendments that would allow firearms carrying in the District of Columbia. The newspaper discussed the resistance to District carry by noting, “Currently, the District and Illinois stand alone in banning the bearing of arms outright. This could be legally problematic. A federal court recently ruled in the Woollard case that Maryland’s carry laws were too strict, and the state appealed the ruling.”

The Woollard case was a SAF effort. Why there is some mental block in the mainstream press toward reporting SAF court activities is a mystery. In much of the reportage dealing with the 2010 McDonald v. City of Chicago victory, SAF was also not mentioned. Instead, reporters frequently alluded to it as “a victory for the gun lobby” or “a victory for gun rights advocates.”

In Washington, D.C. the political climate is definitely overcast by anti-gun paranoia and elitism. The Washington Times piece quoted Phil Mendelson, chairman of the D.C. city council, who stated, “I do think carrying has severe implications for the nation’s capital. “We’re different from Maryland because we have motorcades, the president around town, members of Congress going to the supermarket unescorted.”

Imagine that. Members of Congress going to the supermarket unescorted. Millions of law-abiding, tax-paying citizens do that every day, and they manage to get back home in one piece, even though millions of their fellow citizens are legally carrying — unobtrusively in their presence, one might add.

The same mindset that wants to keep District residents disarmed wants to plant the seeds for global civilian disarmament with the ATT. As a story carried by CNS News Thursday explained, there are grave concerns about the ATT and what it could ultimately mean to Second Amendment sovereignty. President Obama may glibly dismiss such concerns in his strutting, hip upscale down-his-nose public speaking style, but this is the same guy who reversed long-standing U.S. policy on global gun control by embracing the ATT back in 2009 after the Bush administration previously stood firm in singular opposition.

He’s also the same guy who said Obamacare is not a tax, but Chief Justice John Roberts certainly corrected him on that one.

Gottlieb’s Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms had a hand in creating legislation in the House and Senate that would derail ATT threats to the Second Amendment, as this column noted. There is considerable Capitol Hill concern about the ATT, especially in the wake of the Obamacare surprise, that it was constitutional after all…because it is a tax.

Bureaucrats and politicians who seek to disarm people, whether through local resistance to gun rights expansion in this country, or promotion of broad international treaties that are prone to misuse and abuse, are misguided at best. Public disarmament has never had a good outcome for the public.

Such disarmament comes in many forms, typically by increments and by the time the damage is done, how it got started is less important than how it can be reversed. In this country we’ve had help from the courts, with cases pushed by SAF and others, but an international treaty will be beyond the power of U.S. courts, and that might just be what global gun control proponents are counting on.

Palestinian status snit delays UN ATT talks

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Original Story Via Dave Workman, Gun Rights Examiner

American gun rights advocates might thank the Palestinians and their supporters for delaying, until Tuesday afternoon, anyway, the start of the long-awaited Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) negotiations at the United Nations, although it leaves two key players from Washington State in a bit of a lurch.

Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Bellevue-based Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and his wife, Julianne, have been key players in organizing the opposition to the ATT. Both are planning to be at the U.N. sometime during the negotiation process. It is widely known that CCRKBA staff had a role in crafting legislation sponsored by Congressman Joe Walsh (R-IL) and Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) that would protect the Second Amendment from any such international treaty.

The session is now scheduled to begin at noon Pacific Time. It is not clear when representatives from Non-Government Organizations (NGO) will get to speak. Not only will the Gottliebs be attending at some point, so also is Wayne LaPierre from the National Rifle Association.

What has become clear lately is that despite the eagerness of many U.N. members to adopt some sort of treaty, there is opposition from powerful corners, including China and Russia.

The United States under Barack Obama reversed position a couple of years ago, and now officially supports a treaty, but that does not mean the document has a chance of getting through the Senate ratification process. If there is any question about Unites States constitutional sovereignty, the ATT is probably a non-starter.

Alan Gottlieb has been working to counter international gun control efforts for several years. He was a key player in the formation of IAPCAR, the International Association for Protection of Civilian Arms Rights. Both Gottliebs have been back and forth to Europe several times, participating in the World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities.

The irony about Obama’s support for the treaty should not be lost on gun owners following the Fast and Furious debacle. While the current administration wants to clamp down on global gun trafficking, it continues withholding documents key to the investigation of that scandal by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

While President Obama will apparently sign the treaty – which proponents want to be legally binding – his own attorney general stands in contempt of Congress.

Wednesday is Independence Day, but there could be fireworks of the political variety starting Tuesday afternoon, and continuing through the month.

Obama Contributor, Who Helped Enact Assault-Weapons Ban, Ran ‘Fast and Furious’

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Original Story Via:  CNS News | Fred Lucas

Dennis K. Burke, who as a lawyer for the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee in the 1990s was a key player behind the enactment of the 1994 assault-weapons ban, and who then went on to become Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano’s chief of staff, and a contributor to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential primary campaign, and then a member of Obama’s transition team focusing on border-enforcement issues, ended up in the Obama administration as the U.S. attorney in Arizona responsible for overseeing Operation Fast and Furious.

When Obama nominated Burke to be U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, Burke told the Arizona Capitol Times he believed he understood what the president and his attorney general wanted him to do.

“There’s clearly been direction provided already by President Obama and Attorney General Holder as to what they want to be doing, and this is an office that is at the center of the issues of border enforcement,” said Burke.

Over the course of several days, left multiple telephone messages with Burke for comment on this story. He did not respond.

Dennis K. Burke has had a long career working as an aide and political appointee to Democratic elected officials. From 1989 to 1994, he was a counsel for the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, working in that capacity for several years on an assault-weapons ban, which was finally enacted on Sept. 13, 1994 as the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. That act expired on Sept. 13, 2004. (See NYT: Dennis Burke, Sen. DeConcini, Weapons Ban.pdf)

From 1994-95, Burke served in the Clinton Justice Department in the Office of Legislative Affairs, and in 1997-99, he was an assistant U.S. attorney in Arizona.

From 1999 to 2003, Burke was chief deputy and special assistant to Arizona Attorney General Janet Napolitano.

In 2003, when Napolitano became governor, Burke became her chief of staff. He stayed in that job until the fall of 2008, when he left to help Democratic political campaigns, including then-Sen. Obama’s presidential campaign.

Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show that on Jan. 9, 2008, while working as Gov. Napolitano’s chief of staff, Burke contributed $2,000 to then-Sen Obama’s presidential primary campaign. Since 1997, according to FEC records, Burke has contributed a total of $16,350 to various Democratic candidates.

After Obama was elected in November 2008, Burke joined his presidential transition team, serving on the Immigration Policy Working Group.

Eight days before Obama’s inauguration, on Jan. 12, 2009–while Burke was working on the transition team–Obama met with Mexican President Felipe Calderon at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, D.C. At that meeting, Obama “pledged” to take action to stop the flow of guns from the United States to Mexico.

Obama also decided to put Burke’s old boss, incoming Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, in a leadership role in making the gun-trafficking problem a top priority.

“President-elect Obama expressed support for efforts in the border states in both the United States and Mexico to eradicate drug-related violence and stop the flow of guns and cash,” incoming White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement at the time. “He told President Calderón that he intends to ask the Secretary of Homeland Security to lead an effort to increase information sharing to strengthen those efforts. He pledged to take more effective action from the United States to stem the flow of arms from the United States to Mexico.”

When Napolitano became Homeland Security secretary, Burke moved from the Obama transition team to become her senior adviser. On Feb. 25, 2009, a little more than a month after Obama had made his “pledge” to Calderon, Napolitano testified in the House Homeland Security Committee. She stressed that stopping the flow of guns to Mexico was a top priority of the Obama administration and key focus of her work.

Responding to a question about violence on the border, Napolitano said the administration was going to work with the Mexican government on the issue. Then she said: “Secondly, it is looking at, government-wide, at what we can do to stop the southbound export of weaponry, particularly assault-type weapons and grenades that are being used in that drug war.”

Napolitano further noted that drug cartels were targeting Mexican government officials and law enforcement officers, and that, given the seriousness of the threat, Obama’s national security adviser, the attorney general, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Customs (of which the Border Patrol is part) would all be working on the issue.

“I’ve met with the attorney general of Mexico and the ambassador already,” said Napolitano during the February 2009 hearing. “One of the things that I particularly am focused on is southbound traffic in guns, particularly assault weapons, and cash that are being used to funnel and fund these very, very violent cartels.”

The same day Napolitano testified in the Homeland Security Committee, Attorney General Holder addressed the issue of drug-trafficking-related gun violence in northern Mexico. He said he had had conversations about the issue with the Mexican attorney general and that the Obama administration believed that re-instating the assault-weapons ban in the United States–the one Dennis Burke had initially helped push through as Senate aide in 1990s–would help the situation in Mexico.

“Well, as President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons,” Holder said. “I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a minimum.”

Four-and-a-half months later, on July 10, 2009, Obama nominated Burke to be the U.S. attorney in Arizona. The Senate confirmed Burke on Sept. 15 of that year.

It was in July 2010, after his nomination as U.S. attorney, that Burke told the Arizona Capitol Times that he had “been working on homeland security and border enforcement issues” during the transition, and that there had “clearly been direction provided already by President Obama and Attorney General Holder as to what they want to be doing.”

“What I hope to do, if confirmed by the Senate,” Burke told the paper, “is to ensure that those plans and strategies are being implemented and we’re moving quickly on prosecutions.”

After the nomination, former Sen. Dennis DeConcini (D-Ariz.) had high praise for Burke’s work in getting the assault weapons ban through Congress back in the 1990s.

“We ended up getting senators who had never voted for a gun bill, like Lloyd Benson of Texas and Sam Nunn of Georgia and Al D’Amato of New York, who were friends of mine that I worked real hard,” DeConcini told the Arizona Capitol Times. “But Dennis worked the staff. He was responsive to them and several of the senators mentioned to me what a great staffer you’ve got there, and I said, ‘Boy, you’re telling me.’”

The Arizona Republic has reported that “DeConcini said Burke fostered the measure in concert with a key figure in the White House, policy analyst Rahm Emanuel, who years later would become chief of staff for President Obama. … ‘Dennis was the one who worked with everyone on the Judiciary Committee to line up these members and votes,’ DeConcini said. ‘Dennis had all these pictures of these guns–the Streetsweepers and the AK-47s. And it passed by one vote. A lot of it was not my eloquence on the bill, it was stuff that Dennis had done.’”

Six weeks after Burke was confirmed, on Oct. 26, 2009, Eric Holder named him to the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC) of U.S. Attorneys. In his capacity as an adviser to Holder, Burke chaired the AGAC subcommittee on border and immigration law enforcement while Operation Fast and Furious was happening.

The same month that Burke joined Holder’s advisory committee with a specific responsibility to report to Deputy Attorney General David Ogden on border and immigration enforcement, Ogden’s office made a significant change in the federal government’s strategy for dealing with gun-trafficking on the Mexican border.

“This new strategy directed federal law enforcement to shift its focus away from seizing firearms from criminals as soon as possible, and to focus instead on identifying members of trafficking networks,” House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa wrote in a May 3 memo to other members of his committee, summarizing what the committee had learned about Fast and Furious.

“The Office of the Deputy Attorney General shared this strategy with the heads of many Department components, including ATF,” said Issa.

The next month, November 2009, the ATF in Arizona moved forward with the new strategy by creating Operation Fast and Furious.

“Members of the ATF Phoenix Field Division, led by Special Agent in Charge Bill Newell, became familiar with this new strategy and used it in creating Fast and Furious,” Issa wrote in his May 3 memo. “In mid-November 2009, just weeks after the strategy was issued, Fast and Furious began. Its objective was to establish a nexus between straw purchasers of firearms in the United States and Mexican drug-trafficking organizations (DTOs) operating on both sides of the United States-Mexico border.”

“Straw purchasers,” Issa explained, “are individuals who are legally entitled to purchase firearms for themselves, but who unlawfully purchase weapons with the intent to transfer them to someone else, in this case DTOs or other criminals.”

Remarkably, under Operation Fast and Furious, the ATF deliberately allowed guns to move south across the U.S.-Mexico border and into the hands of the drug cartels. Weapons were allowed to be sold to straw purchasers with the intent of tracing the guns to the cartels.

“During Fast and Furious, ATF agents used an investigative technique known as ‘gunwalking’–that is, allowing illegally purchased weapons to be transferred to third parties without attempting to disrupt or deter the illegal activity,” Issa wrote in the May 3 memo. “ATF agents abandoned surveillance on known straw purchasers after they illegally purchased weapons that ATF agents knew were destined for Mexican drug cartels.”

The purpose of the operation was to trace the guns recovered from crimes scenes “to their original straw purchaser, in an attempt to establish a connection between that individual and the DTO.”

The ATF Phoenix Field Division applied to Justice Department headquarters to become an “Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force” (OCDETF) case. In preparing their application in early January 2009, the ATF in Phoenix wrote a memo explaining the investigative technique of Fast and Furious.

The application for Fast and Furious was approved and, in January 2010, as Issa stated in his memo, it “became a prosecutor-led OCDETF Strike Force case, meaning that ATF would join with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service, and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement under the leadership of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona.”

In other words, it was under the leadership of Dennis Burke.

“Although ATF was the lead law enforcement agency for Fast and Furious, its agents took direction from prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” Issa says in his May 3 memo. “The lead federal prosecutor for Fast and Furious was Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley, who played an integral role in the day-to-day, tactical management of the case.”

Issa states in his memo that Burke’s U.S. attorney’s office made it more difficult for ATF agents to interdict guns.

“Many ATF agents working on Operation Fast and Furious came to believe that some of the most basic law enforcement techniques used to interdict weapons required the explicit approval of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and specifically from Hurley,” Issa wrote. “On numerous occasions, Hurley and other federal prosecutors withheld this approval, to the mounting frustration of ATF agents. The U.S. Attorney’s Office chose not to use other available investigative tools common in gun trafficking cases, such as civil forfeitures and seizure warrants, during the seminal periods of Fast and Furious.”

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office advised ATF that agents needed to meet unnecessarily strict evidentiary standards in order to speak with suspects, temporarily detain them, or interdict weapons,” Issa said. “ATF’s reliance on this advice from the U.S. Attorney’s Office during Fast and Furious resulted in many lost opportunities to interdict weapons.”

A report on Fast and Furious released by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Democrats in January 2012, indicates that on Jan. 5, 2010, officials from the ATF Phoenix office met with Assistant U.S. Attorney Hurley and determined that the gun-trafficking investigation should continue because it wasn’t ready for prosecution. The Democrat report quotes a briefing paper prepared by the ATF three days after the meeting–which would be Jan. 8, 2010–that says U.S. Attorney Burke was briefed on the matter and agreed that the investigation should continue.

“Investigative and prosecutions strategies were discussed and a determination was made that there was minimal evidence at this time to support any type of prosecution,” said the ATF briefing paper, “therefore, additional firearms purchases should be monitored and additional evidence continued to be gathered. This investigation was briefed to United States Attorney Dennis Burke, who concurs with the assessment of his line prosecutors and fully supports the continuation of this investigation.”

Eight days after this briefing paper was produced, on Jan. 16, 2010, straw buyers bought three assault-weapon rifles, two of which would figure prominently in the unraveling of the program. They were the weapons that would later be found at the scene of the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

On. Nov. 24, 2010, just a few weeks before Terry was murdered, Burke–who had begun his career in public service working to enact an assault-weapons ban–had an email exchange with another U.S. attorney about an investigation he was working on that involved “straw purchasing of assault weapons.”

“What a great investigation. What is the ETI (estimated time of indictment!)” U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan for the Western District of Washington said to Burke in an email.

Burke responded, “Would love to chat. We are about to indict around [REDACTED] clowns for a Gun Trafficking to Mexico operation. It’s a T-III investigation that we have been working w/ATF for a long time and IRS is all over some money laundering charges. It’s going to bring a lot of attention to straw purchasing of assault weapons. Some of the weapons bought by these clowns in Arizona have been directly traced to murders of elected officials in Mexico by the Cartels, so Katie-bar-the-door when we unveil this baby.”

The e-mail exchange, with the subject line “Gun Shows,” did not specifically mention Operation Fast and Furious.

Operation Fast and Furious was halted after Dec. 14, 2010 after two of the guns that a straw buyer had been allowed to purchase during the operation ended up at the murder scene of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. Fast and Furious later became the subject of a congressional investigation, and an investigation by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General.

On Dec. 14, the same day of Terry’s murder, Burke sent an email replying to an e-mail from Monty Wilkinson, Attorney General Holder’s deputy chief of staff. In this email, Burke said his office had a large firearms trafficking case that he wanted to discuss. In a follow up e-mail the next day–Dec. 15, 2010–Burke alerted Wilkinson that Agent Terry had been murdered. Wilkinson responded, “Tragic, I’ve alerted the AG, the Acting DAG, Lisa, etc.”

The exchanges between Burke and Holder’s deputy chief of staff at the time of Agent Terry’s murder are reported in the report published by the committee Democrats.

“Several hours later on December 15, 2010, U.S. Attorney Burke learned that Agent Terry had been murdered,” says the Democratic report. “He alerted Mr. Wilkinson, who replied, ‘Tragic, I’ve alerted the AG, the Acting DAG, Lisa, etc.'”

“Later that same day, U.S. Attorney Burke learned that two firearms found at Agent Terry’s murder scene had been purchased by a suspect in Operation Fast and Furious,” says the Democratic report. “He sent an email to Mr. Wilkinson forwarding this information and wrote: ‘The guns found in the desert near the murder [sic] BP officer connect back to the investigation we were going to talk about—they were AK-47’s purchased at a Phoenix gun store.’ Mr. Wilkinson replied, ‘I’ll call tomorrow.’

Despite this email from Wilkinson, Burke told the committee he did not recall actually having such a phone conversation, and the Department of Justice told the committee that Wilksonson does not recall making the call. Also Attorney General Holder himself testified that his deputy chief of staff never told him about the tie between the gun-trafficking investigation and Agent Terry’s murder.

“In his interview with Committee staff, U.S. Attorney Burke stated that he did not recall having any subsequent conversation with Mr. Wilkinson that ‘included the fact that Fast and Furious guns were found at the scene’ of Agent Terry’s murder,” the Democrat report said.

“In a November 2011 hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Charles Grassley asked Attorney General Holder, ‘Did Mr. Wilkinson say anything to you about the connection between Agent Terry’s death and the ATF operation?'”

The Democratic report says: “Attorney General Holder responded, ‘No, he did not.” In a January 27, 2011, letter to the Committee, the Department stated that Mr. Wilkinson ‘does not recall a follow-up call with Burke or discussing this aspect of the matter with the Attorney General.'”

Brian Terry’s murder caused an apparent change of plans for the Justice Department.

“Washington-based Justice Department officials had earlier discussed bringing Attorney General Eric Holder to Phoenix for a triumphant press conference with Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke to herald the conclusion of the Department’s flagship firearms trafficking case,” said a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee memo from May 3, 2012. “In the aftermath of Agent Terry’s death, the task of announcing indictments at a press conference fell to ATF Phoenix Division Special Agent in Charge William Newell and Burke. Holder did not attend.

“At the press conference on January 25, 2011, Newell triumphantly announced the indictment of 20 members of an arms trafficking syndicate that had been supplying weapons to the Sinaloa Cartel, Mexico’s largest and most powerful cartel led by the notorious Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman,” the May 3 memo said.

When Newell was asked if ATF agents purposefully allowed weapons to enter Mexico, he responded, “Hell no.”

Two days after the press conference, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote then-Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson about reports from whistleblowers regarding gunwalking and Agent Terry’s death.

Allegations of gunwalking “are based on categorical falsehoods,” Burke said in a Jan. 31, 2011 e-mail to Jason Weinstein, the deputy assistant attorney general for the criminal division.

Days later, on Feb. 4, 2011, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich responded to Grassley denying that the Justice Department “sanctioned” the sale of guns to people they believed were going to deliver them to Mexican drug cartels.

As the scandal began to build by that summer, Brian Terry’s mother–Josephine Terry–testified at the hearing of the House Oversight Committee. The mother of the slain Border Patrol agent told the committee that Burke informed the family of the agent’s death, but did not provide details about Operation Fast and Furious.

“He was just trying to explain to us exactly what happened and–roundabout way–we really never got anything out of the visit that he did have,” Josephine Terry told the committee on June 15, 2011. Asked how she found out about Fast and Furious, she responded, “Most of it I heard is from the media. We haven’t really got anything direct–phone calls or nothing from anybody.”

At the same hearing, Weich, who wrote the Feb. 4, 2011 letter to Grassley, told the committee, “Everything that we say is true to the best of our knowledge at the time we say it. As more facts come out, obviously our understanding of the situation is enhanced.”

On June 29, 2011, a reporter asked the Oversight Committee about leaked documents related to whistleblower ATF Agent John Dodson.

“Congressional investigators later determined that the individual who was behind the leaked documents was the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, Dennis Burke–the Obama Administration political appointee who led the office in charge of Operation Fast and Furious,” said Issa’s May 3 Oversight Committee memo.

“Burke later testified that the reporter contacted him, and that he believed the reporter had already seen the documents or had them read to him from someone else in the Department of Justice. Instead of e-mailing the documents to the reporter in Washington, Burke, who was in Arizona at the time, e-mailed them to a friend of his in Washington, who then printed out the documents and then delivered them to the reporter personally,” Issa said in his May 3 memo. “These efforts successfully kept Burke’s fingerprints off of the leak until he publicly admitted his role more than two months after his August 2011 resignation as blame for Fast and Furious spread.”

On Aug. 18, 2011, House Oversight Committee staff interviewed Burke. They asked him: “To your knowledge as the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, did the highest levels of the Department of Justice authorize [the] non-interdiction of weapons, cutting off of surveillance, as an investigative tactic in Operation Fast and Furious?”

Burke responded, “I have no knowledge of that.”

The committee also asked, “Did you ever authorize those tactics?”

Burke answered, “No.”

During that same Aug. 18, 2011 interview, the committee staff asked Burke: “And did anyone ever—from the Department of Justice, Main Justice I will call it–ever tell you that you were authorized to allow weapons to cross the border when you otherwise would have had a legal authority to seize or interdict them because they were a suspected straw purchase or it was suspected that they were being trafficked in a firearms scheme?”

Burke answered, “I have no recollection of ever being told that.”

Twelve days after this interview, on Aug. 30, 2011, Burke resigned as U.S. attorney. Burke’s assistant U.S. attorney, Emory Hurley, the lead prosecutor in Operation Fast and Furious, also resigned, as did ATF Director Melson.

During an Oct. 19, 2011 hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Charles Grassley asked Burke’s old boss, Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano, “Have you had any communications with Mr. Burke about Operation Fast and Furious?”

Napolitano said, “No.”

Grassley followed up: “So you then obviously didn’t talk to him, anything about Agent Terry’s death?”

Napolitano said that after Agent Terry was killed, “I went to Arizona a few days thereafter to meet with the FBI agents and the assistant U.S. attorneys who were actually going to look for the shooters. At that time, nobody had done the forensics on the guns and ‘Fast and Furious’ was not mentioned. But I wanted to be sure that those responsible for his death were brought to justice, and that every DOJ resource was being brought to bear on that topic. So I did have conversations in–it would have been December of ’09 [actually 2010]–about the murder of Agent Terry. But at that point in time, there, nobody knew about Fast and Furious.”

It was not until Dec. 2, 2011 that the Justice Department withdrew its Feb. 4, 2011 letter from Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich to Grassley in which DOJ had denied that gun-walking had occurred.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has subpoenaed about 100,000 documents from the Department of Justice. The department has produced about 7,600 documents. The committee believes that is insufficient.

Last week, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted on a resolution of contempt against Attorney General Holder for withholding documents that the committee has subpoenaed.

Just hours before the vote, on June 20, Deputy Attorney General James Cole notified the committee that President Barack Obama was invoking executive privilege to deny the committee access to the documents.

On June 28, the full House of Representatives voted, 256-67, with 17 Democrats joining the Republican majority, to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to release the documents requested by the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. should be posted on the walls of every Post Office in the land. Most wanted criminals of all time.

UN ATT UPDATE: ATT Stalls on Palestinian Issue, US Lawmakers saying “NO” to ATT

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

ATT Stalls

A dispute over the status of the Palestinian delegation delayed the official start of negotiations, which are now set to begin in New York on Tuesday. Some countries have called for a quick agreement; however, others have major reservations about the ATT.

US Lawmakers Saying “NO” to ATT

More than 130 Congressmen, signed a letter sent to President Barack Obama Monday expressing their opposition to a U.N. Arms Trade Treaty if it violates U.S. gun owner rights and sovereignty in any way.

Click here to view the letter.



Analysis: House Vote on Holder Contempt Only Part of Dilemma

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Original Story VIA:

The full House of Representatives may vote on whether to cite Attorney General Eric Holder for Contempt of Congress sometime during the final week of June, but now that President Barack Obama has asserted executive privilege over subpoenaed documents, it appears a confrontation is imminent between Congress and the White House.

Holder asked the president for executive privilege protection after he met with Congressman Darrell Issa and Senator Charles Grassley June 19.  Fireworks erupted when Holder, after suggesting he might provide some documents to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, instead only offered Issa and Grassley a briefing on what is in the documents in exchange for an end to the contempt proceeding. Both Issa and Grassley said that offer was a non-starter. They wanted the documents.

The president’s last-minute leap into the middle of the Operation Fast and Furious is seen by some observers as a well-timed strategic move to bog down the investigation – and prevent further revelations that may be embarrassing to the White House – until after the November election. Critics including Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Indiana Congressman Dan Burton have questioned what may be in the documents that President Obama doesn’t want the public to see.

After all, as noted by Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) during the heated committee debate, if there is nothing in those documents to link the White House directly to the scandal, then why claim privilege?

In an interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, Issa put it bluntly: “We were asked to take a pig in a poke…I think they knew we couldn’t accept that. Brian Terry’s family couldn’t accept that. The American people couldn’t accept that.”

Just 45 minutes before the Oversight Committee began debate on the contempt citation June 20, Issa received notification that the White House had invoked executive privilege on the subpoenaed documents. That announcement ignited a firestorm in the committee, and across the airwaves as debate erupted between Obama administration defenders and those demanding full disclosure on the gun walking operation.

Democrats seemed to quickly retreat to the “Bush did it” defense, noting that former President George W. Bush invoked executive privilege at least a half-dozen times during his administration. Republicans quickly dredged up an embarrassing video of then-Sen. Obama blasting Bush during a March 19, 2007 interview with CNN’s Larry King for claiming executive privilege.

“There’s been a tendency on the part of this administration,” Obama said at the time, “to try to hide behind executive privilege every time there’s something a little shaky taking place. The administration would be best served by coming clean on this.”

The Oversight Committee’s 23-17 vote was split rigidly along party lines, with Democrats circling the wagons around Holder and the president’s executive privilege claim.

Still, the documents remain out of reach for the committee, and that is troubling.

For 18 months since Grassley launched the initial Fast and Furious probe to find out how guns from Fast and Furious wound up at the murder scene of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, the White House had insisted it had no prior knowledge of Operation Fast and Furious, and did not approve it. By taking that position, the White House was able to keep some distance between the scandal and the Oval Office.

By raising the stakes with executive privilege, the president inserted himself right into the middle of the controversy. That surprised many people, because it elevated the dispute between Issa and Holder over the Fast and Furious documents to the highest level possible, and opened the door to speculation that there must be something in those documents that could cause considerable embarrassment to Holder, or even the president. But until the documents are actually read, nobody could know that for sure.

Gowdy, in an interview one day after the Oversight Committee vote, told Fox News that, “There’s something in those documents that the Department of Justice or the White House doesn’t want us to have.”

“I don’t know who they’re protecting or what they’re protecting,” Gowdy said.

He suggested that Obama and Holder might be trying to provide cover for Lanny Breuer, the assistant attorney general in charge of the department’s criminal division.

“His fingerprints are all over Fast and Furious,” Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, stated.

House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Kantor held out some hope that a crisis could be avoided if the attorney general provided an acceptable compromise prior to a contempt vote by the full House. However, the odds of a compromise get lower as the clock ticks down to the House vote.


Thursday, June 21st, 2012

BELLEVUE, WA – President Obama’s claim of executive privilege to prevent Congressional access to documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious smacks of monumental hypocrisy and looks like an attempt to cover blood on the administration’s hands, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

It did not prevent the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform from voting 23-17 to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.

In a March 2007 interview with Larry King on CNN, then-Senator Barack Obama complained about a ‘tendency’ on the part of the Bush administration to ‘hide behind executive privilege’,” CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb recalled. “Now we must find out what is in those documents that the White House wants to hide from the American public.”

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has been investigating Fast and Furious since March 2011. Guns linked to the operation are also linked to the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, and untold numbers of Mexican citizens.

“Today’s action by the White House creates the strong suspicion that the Obama administration is trying to hide from the fact that they have blood on their hands,” Gottlieb observed. “That’s not rhetoric; we’re talking about the deaths of countless Mexican citizens and especially a dead federal officer. Fast and Furious has given us a verifiable body count.

“There is evidence that those involved in Fast and Furious thought it could bolster calls for additional gun control,” Gottlieb said. “If that’s accurate, it demonstrates a callousness that goes beyond the limits of human decency. It is imperative that that the American public knows all the facts of this case prior to the election. The people responsible for this disaster must be held accountable, and that will not happen so long as the administration continues to stonewall, and hiding behind executive privilege suggests that Holder and the president have no intention of coming clean.”

With more than 650,000 members and supporters nationwide, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is one of the nation’s premier gun rights organizations. As a non-profit organization, the Citizens Committee is dedicated to preserving firearms freedoms through active lobbying of elected officials and facilitating grass-roots organization of gun rights activists in local communities throughout the United States. The Citizens Committee can be reached by phone at (425) 454-4911, on the Internet at or by email to

UN Arms Trade Treaty may put Taiwan at risk

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012


LOOPHOLES: Academics speculated that China might use the UN Arms Trade Treaty to claim that the US sale of weapons to Taiwan violated the treaty’s terms.

Washington-based academics are warning US President Barack Obama not to sign the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) because it could make it more difficult to sell weapons to Taiwan.

The treaty is to be negotiated next month in New York.

“The US is obligated by the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act [TRA] to make available the hardware and services necessary for Taiwan’s defense,” Heritage Foundation Research Fellows Ted Bromund and Dean Cheng (成斌) wrote.

In a paper published on Friday, Bromund and Cheng said that because Taiwan is not a UN member state — and is not recognized by a majority of UN members — the ATT would not recognize its right to buy or import arms.

“The ATT thus provides the basis for a Chinese argument that US sales of arms to Taiwan would circumvent the PRC’s [People’s Republic of China] import control system, violate China’s territorial integrity, and thus violate the treaty,” Bromund and Cheng wrote.

They said the ATT would “very likely” establish a series of criteria that treaty signatories are required to apply to proposed arms transfers. One of these criteria is likely to be that arms transfers should not seriously undermine peace and security or provoke, prolong or aggravate internal, regional, subregional or international instability.

“Since the Chinese Civil War has never been formally concluded, a state of war still exists between Taiwan and the PRC,” Bromund and Cheng said.

They said that this criteria offers the PRC a third argument that the US weapons sales or transfers to Taiwan would violate the terms of the ATT.

Bromund and Cheng said that the ATT poses three distinct threats to the legal obligation of the US to provide for the defense of Taiwan, or to the ability of Taiwan to provide for its own defense.

“A US administration that earnestly wished to fulfill its obligations under the TRA would likely do so, regardless of the ATT,” the academics said.

However, they said a US administration that believed US sales to Taiwan endangered US relations with the PRC, or did not want to sell arms to Taiwan for some other reason, would be able to cite the ATT as a reason not to proceed with those sales.

“Even if the US does not sign or ratify the ATT, US legal scholars who interpret it as customary international law could use it to argue that the US should not proceed with a proposed sale,” Bromund and Cheng said.

They conclude: “The ATT can only raise yet another hurdle to US arms sales to Taiwan.”

Arms sales, like international relations as a whole, are always a matter for judgement. In next month’s negotiations, the US should make it clear that it will not accept any treaty that would impinge on its ability to apply that judgement to its legal obligation to provide for the defense of Taiwan, they said.

“Elected officials have the broader responsibility to make it clear that they recognize the importance of the US commitment to Taiwan, and to stand by that commitment in word and deed,” Bromund and Cheng said.

In Taipei, Director-General of the Department of North American Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bruce Linghu (令狐榮達) said the ministry is aware of the proposed UN treaty and would keep abreast of any developments.

Issues related to the proposed UN treaty have not been placed on the agenda between Taiwan and the US, but the ministry will look into the matter, Linghu said.


HARD COPY: Letter from anti-gun groups to Obama pressing for a strong UN ATT

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

CLICK HERE TO VIEW LETTER: Anti-Gun UN Arms Trade Treaty Letter to Obama

Or copy paste link into browser:


Keep hands off our guns: U.N.’s ‘Small Arms Treaty’ proposal misfiring in U.S.

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Original Story VIA:  Asbury Park Press


With the shooting death of Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch volunteer who was legally carrying a 9-millimeter handgun, the familiar wail has arisen from our cultural and media elite:

America has too many guns! “Open carry” and “concealed carry” laws should be repealed.

Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, replicated in two dozen states, threatens to turn America into the Tombstone of Doc Holiday and Wyatt Earp. This is insane!

The United Nations agrees. This year, the world body takes up the global control of firearms, including small arms in the hands of citizens.

According to Sen. Rand Paul, the U.N. “Small Arms Treaty” will almost surely mandate tougher licensing requirements to own a gun, require the confiscation and destruction of unauthorized civilian firearms, call for a ban on the trade, sale and private ownership of semi-automatic weapons, and create an international gun registry.

No more Colt .45s in the top drawer or M-1 rifles in the closet.

Memo to the U.N.: Lots of luck.

Forty-five Republican and 12 Democratic senators have declared their opposition to any such U.N. treaty, which means it is dead in the water the moment it is launched from Turtle Bay.

For when it comes to Second Amendment rights, Middle America has spoken — at the ballot box and the gun store. And Congress, most state legislatures and the federal courts have all come down on the side of the Silent Majority.

In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme Court struck down one of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, assuring district citizens of their right to keep a gun in the home.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, mentioned as a running mate for Mitt Romney, just signed a law striking down a 20-year ban that kept residents from buying more than one pistol per month.

The new law ignited New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who calls Virginia “the No. 1 out-of-state source of crime guns in New York and one of the top suppliers of crime guns nationally.”

Two New York cops have been shot this year, one fatally, with guns from Virginia.

But there is another side to the gun story, and University of Houston Professor Larry Bell relates it:

“Law-abiding citizens in America used guns in self-defense 2.5 million times in 1993 (about 6,825 times per day), and actually shot and killed two and a half times as many criminals as police did (1,527 to 606).

“These self-defense shootings resulted in less than one-fifth as many incidents as police where an innocent person was mistakenly identified as a criminal (2 percent versus 11 percent).”

The figures tell the story. Along with rising incarceration rates, the proliferation of guns in the hands of the law-abiding has been a factor in the nation’s falling crime rate. And that proliferation has accelerated under President Barack Obama.

According to, tax revenues from the sale of firearms and ammunition have gone up 48 percent since 2008, with Iowa, North Carolina and Utah registering revenue gains of more than 100 percent.

Background searches in December broke the all-time monthly record set in November, as 1,534,414 inquiries were made to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System about prospective gun-buyers.

Why are Americans arming themselves? More and more citizens, says the National Rifle Association, fear that if or when they confront a threat to their family, lives or property, the police will not be there.

Gun-control organizations claim that gun ownership is actually declining, that fewer and fewer people are buying more and more of these guns. But the numbers seem to contradict the gun-controllers.

A 2005 Gallup survey found that three in 10 Americans own a gun, that 40 percent had a gun in the house, that nearly half of all men own a gun, as do one in seven women. Two-thirds of all gun-owners gave as a reason they own a gun: protection against crime.

America is an armed camp, with the South and Midwest the most heavily armed. Yet, still, Americans buy guns in the millions every year.

Why? Whatever the answer, it is our business, not the U.N.’s.