Proposed arms treaty shows UN is its own worst enemy

Original Article Via:  Dave Workman, Seattle Gun Rights Examiner

The final draft of the proposed United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is out, and it contains language that may be incendiary to gun rights activists in the United States, with references to maintaining “national control systems” for small arms and ammunition.

From the proposed treaty on Page 4: “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.”

Bellevue’s Alan Gottlieb, executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, has been vocally critical of the ATT process and is concerned about “vagueness” in the current language. SAF’s Julianne Versnel was at the UN last week to testify about unintended consequences of international gun control measures.

From the proposed treaty on Page 5: “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.” Versnel suggested this may be one of the “core problems” of the proposed treaty, but it might take a determination from someone skilled in diplomatic speech to figure it out.

On Page 9 of the document, there is an entire section on record keeping that just might be enough to cause many people on Capitol Hill to follow the lead shown by Republican Senators Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, discussed by this column that might prevent the U.S. from signing on.

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.

But does all of this treaty language really mean what a lot of people will think it means: The UN dictating some sort of national gun registry, at least on imported firearms? Because of the way this document is written, even if some UN spokesperson says “No,” there will be a legion of gun rights advocates who say “Yes,” and they will have compelling, if not convincing arguments.

The draft documents do include some caveats in the Preamble, including:

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,

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…

But the Preamble is just that. It’s apparently not part of any binding language.

The authors of this document will be largely to blame for any misunderstanding, and they have opened themselves up to criticism that the language seems deliberately foggy and far too steeped in diplomatic semantics. That translates to being something less than “plain English.” Since the Obama administration has indicated a willingness to sign onto such a treaty, the Senate just might reject it out of hand, but before that happens, somebody will have to translate it for them.