Posts Tagged ‘Arms Trade Treaty’

Taking Stock of the UN Arms Trade Treaty

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

The Arms Trade Treaty As Gateway Framework For National Small Arms Control And Disarmament

By Jeff Moran | Geneva

(c) Jeff Moran

Image: (c) Jeff Moran

On 20 June Ambassador Roberto Moritán (Argentina), the former President of the 2012 UN ATT Conference and Chairman of the pre-negotiations process, spoke as part of a public briefing on the ATT at the United Nations in Geneva titled “The Arms Trade Treaty: Past, Present, Future.”

Amb. Moritán explained the ATT should not be seen as a static treaty, like others within the traditional arms control and disarmament field.  Instead, he explained that the ATT is best understood as an ongoing process and a framework…dynamic and expandable with amendments and additional protocols perhaps.  Additional protocols were understood to mean distinct treaties negotiated in addition to the ATT.  An example of a disarmament treaty with additional protocols of would be the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.

Expanding on this theme, Amb. Moritán stated the current “scope,” “parameters,” and “criteria” within the existing treaty “need additional negotiation.”  In particular, he said the scope of the treaty should be expanded over time in light of technological developments, and cited scientific achievements in robotics as one reason for this.  He concluded by stating “the ATT has to lead to negotiations in conventional weapons.  Negotiations of conventional weapons cannot continue to be a taboo in the United, Nations.”

If the ATT is to become a broader framework for ongoing negotiations on conventional arms control and disarmament, it is only a matter of time before the volume of the UN small arms control discussion turns up.  This was hinted at during the follow-on presentation by Sarah Parker of the Small Arms Survey, the UN’s go-to resource for small arms control research and policy development.

Ms. Parker presented a PowerPoint version of a report she published earlier this month called: “The Arms Trade Treaty: A Step Forward in Small Arms Control?”.  She explained in her report that while “the ATT has contributed several missing pieces to the framework of controls governing the international transfer of small arms,” it nonetheless has “provisions that are, in many cases, weaker than existing commitments on small arms transfers agreed more than a decade ago.”  The key takeway: the ATT needs more work with respect to controlling and documenting international small arms transfers at the very least.

But normative developments within the ATT and broader small arms process framework will not likely be limited to controlling and documenting international small arms transfers.  Given the history of the ATT negotiations and the small arms process, restrictions on transfers of small arms to “non-state actors” or “private actors” (diplomatic homonyms that often mean rebel groups, private corporations, or individuals) will probably reappear on the UN agenda through implementation and expansion of the ATT framework.  So might global restrictions in the form of national controls on civilian access or even outright prohibitions on civilian possession of certain types of small arms.

In this direction, a coalition of UN agencies and contracted small arms control advocates have been quietly developing a series International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS) since 2008.  Some ISACs were released last year, but the project coordinator reports remaining ones are going to be released this year.  Privately, diplomats and ISACS advocates confirm that these will be “of use” and that many states hope a critical mass of these standards become the basis for future negotiations to amend the ATT.  Amendments to the ATT can be voted on six years after the instrument enters into force, and during meetings of States Parties only every third year thereafter.  Decisions on amendments will not be made by consensus, but through a three-fourths majority vote of States Parties in the room.

Two ISACS are thought to be of particular interest to those seeking to amend the ATT.  The first is ISACS number 03.20, “National Controls Over The International Transfer Of Small Arms And Light Weapons.”  Among other things, 03.20 has a provision that prohibits international transfers to private actors without “end-user certification.”  The second is ISACS number 03.30,“National Controls Over the Access of Civilians to Small Arms and Light Weapons.”  Among other things, 03.30 requires national registration of firearms and owners, prohibitions on civilian  possession of certain weapons Americans can already legally and legitimately possess with additional licensing, and even has language advocating for national home inspections of private gun collections for “safety compliance.”  This second standard was written by Dr. Ed Laurance, who is a former strategic planner for IANSA.  IANSA stands for the International Action Network on Small Arms, which, according to page 3 of its foundation document, is committed to “reducing the availability of weapons to civilians in all societies.”  (More information on draft versions of ISACS 03.30 and 03.20 and other ISACS involving national controls can be found here.)

If the ATT negotiations to date and the 112 signatories to the 2006 Geneva Declaration are any indicator, most if not a three-quarters majority of UN member states would endorse “private actors,” “end-user certification,” and “civilian access” appearing on the UN’s small arms control and disarmament agenda with the ATT.  In fact, Ms. Parker, along with her colleague Markus Wilson, even suggest in their small arms process guide for diplomats that a prohibition on transfers to private or non-state actors and prohibitions on civilian possession would have already become established, if not binding, international norms by now were it not for the singular opposition of the United States during the 2001 UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects, which resulted in the politically binding Program of Action (PoA).

Of course, the ATT can and should do much good to help establish badly needed  import/export controls with respect to conventional weapons in States currently lacking them.  The ATT should also and rightly compel appropriate humanitarian criteria into exporting State decision making where such criteria are missing or weak.  But can anybody deny at this point that the ATT is also a giant milestone towards global small arms control and disarmament, toward “reducing the availability of weapons to civilians in all societies?”  The truth is that a legally binding ATT, among other things, can and most likely will be revised and expanded to substantially achieve all that the politically-binding PoA was hoped to achieve but hasn’t, and then some.

At bottom, if the US is already the “gold standard” in terms of export controls and already applies humanitarian criteria in international weapons transfers, why again is it so imperative the US sign the ATT?   Some key diplomats suggest the US signature is necessary to create a symbolic demonstration of communitarian international engagement, and that this would help encourage other key states to do the same.  But if the American payment terms for signing and ratifying the ATT include a balloon payment 6 years from entry into force ultimately requiring a roll-back of American civil arms rights and privileges, perhaps the US ought not sign the treaty after all.  Instead, perhaps the US and other states should focus less on international trade controls and focus more on addressing root causes of armed violence in the developing or fragile states most affected by it, namely, lack of rule of law, weak if not incompetent local governance, and corruption.  Even Sarah Parker has apparently, finally, admitted in the conclusion of her aforementioned report:

“Small arms related problems have less to do with inadequate international transfer controls and more to do with controlling small arms already within their territories.” 

Ms. Parker’s remark is supported by prior research making the stronger point that, in fact, for most countries around the globe, particularly for most developing or fragile states, a combination of deficient domestic regulation of legal firearms possession with theft, and loss or corrupt sale from official inventories is a more serious problem than illicit trafficking across borders.[*]  Though the timing of Ms. Parker’s apparent admission (after the conclusion of the ATT negotiations) may raise certain ethical questions to some, her acknowledgement is nonetheless welcomed by this author in the spirit of it being better late than never.


[*] This author first called attention to the apparent overselling of the ATT’s benefits in this regard in 2012. See at notes 17, 18, and 19, which address research invalidating the overhyped claim by many ATT proponents, including the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs, that there was ever and still is a large problem of international trafficking of small arms.  Real scholarship shows, contrary to ATT advocacy campaigning message, that the problem of international trafficking of small arms is actually quite small, and isolated to specific troubled states or sub-regions.  Key source:  Owen Greene and Nicholas Marsh, eds. Small Arms, Crime and Conflict: Global Governance and the Threat of Armed Violence. Routledge: 2012. P. 90-91.

About The Author

Jeff Moran lives in Geneva, Switzerland and is a consultant specializing in the ethical and responsible development  of the international defense, security, and shooting sports industries at TSM Worldwide LLC.  Previously Mr. Moran was a strategic marketing leader for a multi-billion dollar business unit of a public defense & aerospace company and an American military diplomat.  He is currently studying weapons law within the Executive LL.M. Program of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.  Mr. Moran has an Executive Master in International Negotiations and Policymaking from the Graduate Institute of Geneva, an MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, and a BSFS from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.

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UN’s “Outcome document” for the Programme of Action to Prevent Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Document can be seen at:  UN’s “Outcome document” for the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects

Original Document Via:  United Nations Review Conference 2012 Programme of Action on small arms and light weapons


IAPCAR’s Phil Watson featured as leadership graduate of the week

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Original Story Via:

Phil Watson of IAPCAR was featured this week as the Leadership Institute’s Graduate of the Week.

Click here to read the article directly from Leadership Institute’s website.

Article text below

Protecting and Defending: Second Amendment Liberty

These famous words in the Bill of Rights have stirred countless emotion and action for centuries: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

The right to keep and bear arms is what Leadership Institute graduate Phil Watson has devoted his time and talent toward preserving.

“You are born sovereign with rights given by God, not government. The right of self-defense is one of those rights,” Phil told the Leadership Institute. “Gun rights groups are here to protect your human and civil rights. The police can’t be everywhere at once and are technically not even bound by law to protect you, so you have to take your Second Amendment rights seriously.”

Phil is the Second Amendment Foundation’s (SAF) director of special projects, where he researches Second Amendment court litigation and news surrounding gun issues on a national and international scale.

“Keeping track of the dozens of current Second Amendment lawsuits and opposing the UN Arms Trade Treaty takes up a lot of my time,” Phil said. “Our network of member groups now extends to 23 groups in 15 different countries. Communicating with your base and your members in a timely manner is very important. I also assist in writing and editing various Second Amendment publications.”

Additionally, he’s executive director at the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arm Rights.

“The numbers don’t lie: gun-free zones suffer from high crime rates and only create more victims,” Phil said. “People who have a problem with self-defense usually have a problem with other freedoms and rights as well, which are historically why tyrannical governments like to disarm their people. We are here to stick up for your rights and speak out against those that would force others to be helpless.”

However, Phil hasn’t always been involved in public policy. It’s been a career in the making.

Phil was raised in a “minimum-wage-working world,” where he delivered newspapers to neighbors to earn an extra dime. He also remembers doing yard work and washing dishes at a local restaurant to collect some additional money.

“After I graduated high school, I entered the military and waited awhile to start college,” Phil said. “History, economics, and politics became my favorite subjects after trying most other classes. Later, I had the pleasure of graduating from the University of Washington with a B.A. in Political Economy.”

With a degree in hand, he met some political activists who were regular patrons at the large neighborhood convenience store where he worked.

After several long talks, one of the individuals invited him to work on his campaign.

“It sounded interesting, so I decided to give it a shot. Several people highly recommended the Leadership Institute, so I took the Campaign Management School and was off and running,” Phil shared.

In April 2010, Phil came to LI’s headquarters in Arlington, Virginia to attend the week-long Campaign Management School.

Shortly after, he was asked to be the deputy campaign manager for the 2010 WA-6 congressional race. The opponent was a 17-term incumbent, Rep. Norm Dicks, and while Phil’s candidate didn’t win, Phil valued the experience he gained.

After the election, Phil fought against Proposition 1 – a local sales tax increase. “We won with some creative campaigning and tactics I picked up from LI’s Campaign Management School,” Phil said. “We were outgunned on money by 95 percent, but ended up winning. We defeated the sales tax increase.”

After the campaign, Phil came to the Leadership Institute in the spring of 2011 to intern in the Grassroots department. He’s taken 16 LI trainings from Public Speaking, Campaign Management, New Media, High-Dollar Fundraising, Television Techniques, Youth Leadership, and Conservative Career workshops and schools.

“LI is a political boot camp in many ways,” Phil shared. “I jumped in the political world and was serious about learning how to be effective as an activist. The Leadership Institute taught me how to be effective within a political organization and I still talk with a lot of the people I met there. LI is a great place to learn and connect with other people on the same path.”

After LI’s internship, Phil received a press internship in the office of Congresswoman Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, vice chair of the House Republican Conference and highest ranking Republican woman in Congress.

Next, he trekked across America back to his home state of Washington to influence public policy and protect the right to keep and bear arms.

Read Phil’s interview with the Russian Legal Information Agency here.

His employer—the Second Amendment Foundation—has their 2012 Gun Rights Policy Conference in Orlando, Florida in a few weeks. To learn more, go here.

“LI trainings helped give me a good foundation for the journey ahead,” Phil said.

You too can build a good foundation for your public policy career. Register for one of LI’s upcoming trainings here.

Please welcome Phil Watson as LI’s Graduate of the Week.

UN Arms Trade Treaty: A threat to the 2nd amendment?

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Original Story Via:

Negotiations at a United Nations conference over a proposed Arms Trade Treaty, which would regulate conventional arms sales across borders, ended in July without a report. The talks will likely resume, however, and many are concerned about the treaty’s implications for the Second Amendment. The concern is justified, given the treaty’s goal is weapons control. Its terms are vague and could be used to launch efforts to attack the constitutional right to bear arms.

Foreign treaties are signed by the president and ratification is approved or rejected by the U.S. Senate, thereby bypassing the House of Representatives. The current administration has stated on more than one occasion it believes Congress is an impediment to its policies; thus, attempting gun control by foreign treaty may be considered the path of least resistance, particularly if the treaty specifics do not come to light prior to approval. Once passed, vague treaty terms could be more restrictively defined.

How did we get here? The United Nations process started in 2001. In 2006, the U.N. General Assembly requested opinions on an arms treaty, and the results were published in a 2007 report by the Secretary-General. This was followed by a 2008 report and the establishment of an open-ended working group. In 2009 the General Assembly resolved to convene a conference on the Arms Trade Treaty in 2012 “to elaborate a legally binding instrument on the highest possible common international standards for the transfer of conventional arms.”

The initial U.N. conference on the treaty was held July 2-27, 2012. A Review Conference will be held Aug. 27 to Sept. 7, 2012. The supporting resolutions and documents for these conferences reference a “Programme of Action,” but not the points of action themselves. Thus, the original document is critical, and by referencing only the “Programme of Action” the full implications of the treaty language have not been central to the public debate.

The initial goals of the “Programme of Action” were set out in 2001, and subsequent meetings have been held to propose measures to be taken to trace, monitor and control small arms (see page 7 of the hyperlinked document, which is also page 13 of 29 in the pdf file). Among other things, the Programme of Action resolves to “prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects” by “strengthening or developing agreed norms and measures at the global, national and regional levels … placing particular emphasis on the regions of the world where conflicts come to an end and where serious problems with the excessive and destabilizing accumulation of small arms and light weapons have to be dealt with urgently.”

Potential concerns about the process and the language might include:

  1. References to “regions of the world … [with] serious problems with the excessive and destabilizing accumulation of small arms” and the focus on “porous borders” in more recent U.N. documents, lead many to the conclusion the U.S.-Mexico border is a focus of the treaty. Mexico is part of the leadership of the treaty conference.
  2. The treaty resolution is to control the “illicit” trade. That leaves “illicit” open for interpretation, and it is not clear what party or parties will set the interpretation. If the U.N. passed a resolution that the manufacture or ownership of any type of gun (or ammunition) was illegal, then all small weapons could be “illicit.”
  3. If gun (or ammunition) ownership is illicit, the treaty could conceivably justify an international effort to put in place “adequate laws” in the United States as deemed acceptable to the U.N.
  4. If gun ownership was illicit, the treaty would require criminal penalties.
  5. Similar issues arise with the interpretation of “stockpiling.” Could the term be defined as a single weapon? More than three bullets?
  6. The treaty encourages moratoria on weapons.
  7. Treaty implementation encourages the use of regulations and administrative procedures to accomplish the goal, again bypassing the full Congress.

Experience has taught that an idea or policy can be approved or passed, only to have the idea and concept redefined to implement an entirely different outcome that never would have passed the vote in the first place. This U.N. treaty raises the concern that the U.S. may sign away its sovereignty on the gun ownership issue.

One might wonder what this Arms Trade Treaty would look like when implemented. The answer hinges on the interpretation of specific terms mentioned above, such as “illicit” and “stockpiling,” as well as “adequate laws, regulations and procedures,” “legal” and  “destabilizing accumulation.” For one possible outcome, one needs to look no farther than Venezuela. On June 1, 2012, a new Venezuelan gun control law promoted by the administration of President Hugo Chavez went into effect that makes the sale and manufacture of weapons and ammunition illegal and requires all weapons to be registered. Only the military, police and security personnel are permitted to purchase a firearm or ammunition. It is interesting to note that Venezuela’s close ally, Iran, is on the leadership committee for the Arms Trade Treaty.

With mistrust surrounding the recent Fast and Furious scandal, the federal government’s efforts to provide U.S. citizen gun information to foreign governments through eTrace, and a belief Obama administration officials would like to see greater gun control, it is no wonder there is serious concern about the U.N. Arms Control Treaty. The treaty appears to be yet another tactic “under the radar” aimed at the Second Amendment.

As early as last summer, 13 U.S. Senators sent a letter to the president reflecting this concern. On July 26, 2012, a bipartisan group of 51 U. S. Senators sent another letter to President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton threatening to oppose the treaty if it did not protect America’s constitutional right to bear arms. When the Arms Trade Treaty conference group announced on July 27, 2012, that it had failed to come to an agreement, it cited the changing U.S. position the day before as issue. One could therefore assume the Arms Trade Treaty was a U.S.-led effort that could neither stand without the current administration’s participation, nor without language that might infringe on the American right to bear arms.

Have efforts for gun control slowed?  No. As a separate move toward gun regulation, a Senate amendment was submitted on July 25, 2012, the day before 51 Senators sent a letter to Obama regarding the Arms Trade Treaty. The amendment was submitted for attachment to the Cyber Security Act (S.B. 3414) and would make it illegal to transfer or possess large capacity feeding devices such as gun magazines, belts, feed stripes and drums of more than 10 rounds of ammunition with the exception of .22 caliber rim fire ammunition. As reported in the Congressional Record for July 25, 2012, the amendment has been tabled for the time being.

What will likely happen in current months? A variety of tactics may be at work. U.N. committee members are discussing efforts to bring the proposed report and treaty before the U.N. General Assembly in September.  Mexican representatives have been quoted as saying there will certainly be a treaty in 2012. Western diplomats believe the negotiations will be revived after the election. The State Department has stated the U.S. would support a second round of negotiations next year. Then there may also be continued efforts to attach amendments to legislation that otherwise is deemed vital to the nation.

Joan Neuhaus Schaan is the fellow in homeland security and terrorism at the Baker Institute, and the coordinator of the Texas Security Forum, and serves on the advisory board of the Transborder International Police Association. She has served as the executive director of the Houston-Harris County Regional Homeland Security Advisory Council and on the board of Crime Stoppers of Houston, Inc.

Did the NRA Kill the Arms Trade Treaty?

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Original Story Via:  The Duck of Minerva


UN members last month failed to reach agreement on the Arms Trade Treaty after a month-long conference.  This is the latest setback in a decades old attempt to control the trade in small arms.  A broad network of states, NGOs, and the UN bureaucracy had pushed for the treaty and earlier measures.  In their view, proliferation of guns contributes to hundreds of thousands of casualties per year in conflict zones and to large numbers of shooting deaths in countries at peace.

But the international campaign to control the illicit trade in small arms has long faced skepticism from certain states, most notably the U.S, but also Russia, China,  India, and others.  For an interactive map of state views on the ATT, click here. Since its start in the early 1990s, the campaign has also faced outright opposition from NGOs such as America’s National Rifle Association.  The NRA and other American gun groups have joined with overseas counterparts to promote gun rights and the right to self-defense.  Most notable is the World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities (WFSA) and more recently the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR).  The groups help one another in their own countries and work together to lobby states against international gun control.

It is this network, spanning governments and NGOs, that killed the ATT.  The Obama administration administered the coup d’grace, but other American politicians and civil society groups strongly influenced this decision.  Other states cheered them on, if only privately. All of this holds important  lessons for studying international policymaking and transnational advocacy.

The ATT had been billed as an alternative to a prior, failed try at controlling the illicit trade, in the late 1990s and early 2000s.  This began as the Cold War ended and ethnic warfare became the fear du jour of the early ’90s (as terrorism is today), with gun proliferation blamed for much of the bloodshed.  The Bush administration gutted that attempt in 2001, using a UN conference’s consensus rules to allow only the nonbinding Programme of Action on Small Arms (PoA).  The PoA was so weak that a key proponent of small arms control, Human Rights Watch, dubbed it a “program of inaction” and shuttered its campaign.  Nonetheless, this zombie policy—alive on paper but in reality dead—lurched along until 2006, when the U.S. finally killed the PoA completely at another UN confab.

The ATT was supposed to be different, negotiated only by likeminded states and without the consensus rules that allowed key opponents to block an effective PoA.  In the Bush era, this seemed the best that could be achieved, given the close ties between gun groups and the U.S. administration.  But keeping America out of the ATT negotiations would have led to another form of zombieism—a key arms exporter not part of the treaty, notwithstanding the fact that the U.S. already has some of the world’s toughest export controls.  Thus when the Obama administration took office and expressed interest in the ATT, members of the ATT coalition opted to allow it in, accepting its demand that consensus rules again be followed and U.S. laws be used as a basis for negotiations.  (At the time, a number of activists raised red flags, warning that it could end with the ATT’s failure, but to no avail.)

From the start, American gun groups decried the ATT because of its supposed threat to American gun rights.  State negotiators did their best to reduce controversial issues.  And by the end of the conference last month, a cascade of some 90 states supported the text.  But opposition remained strong in many states, particularly to the marking of ammunition and to sales of guns to nonstate actors.  In the U.S., opposition was particularly ferocious, as encapsulated in a letter signed by 51 U.S. Senators, including Democrats, expressing “grave concern” about the “dangers” to U.S. sovereignty and individual rights under the Second Amendment.  The Senators, voicing the views of American gun groups, warned that the treaty’s draft text could force the U.S. to monitor and control domestic transfers, to maintain records of imports and shipments, and to increase regulations to prevent transfers to illicit or unintended end users.

Farfetched?  Although the intent of the draft was clearly to control the illicit international trade, its terms, if broadly construed, could be read in these ways.  And there is little doubt that in an issue as hot as guns, American control advocates would have read them in this way, to score points and influence judicial and legislative outcomes.  The real menace to American gun rights is doubtless small, given the power of the Second Amendment and the fact that, even if the U.S. had signed, the 51 Senators opposing the draft, meant that the ATT could not be ratified.  But the vehement opposition is nonetheless explicable as part of the bitter warfare between gun and gun control proponents in the U.S.

Ultimately, in an election year, the Obama administration bowed to these pressures and refused to agree to the final draft of the ATT.  Some gun groups celebrated this “grassroots victory” for the right to self-defense, but others, like a commentator at Ammoland, were more cautious: “We cannot view this as a victory for us because the Treaty has not been abandoned. Nor can we view it as a defeat for its proponents—merely a temporary setback.”

Indeed, it is likely that some form of ATT will be reintroduced at the next UN session, and it is possible that a substantial number of states will agree to controls.   Whatever the precise outlines of the final ATT, there are some broader lessons here:

  • States remain key players in transnational advocacy networks.  Focusing on the NGOs, as much of the academic literature does, is too narrow a perspective.
  • NGOs and civil society networks nonetheless influence states, especially democratic states.  But they probably do so more through everyday lobbying at home, than by efforts in UN hallways or in some kind of transnational normative space.
  • International civil society, just like domestic civil society, is ideologically diverse and conflictive.  Conservative groups are powerful there, as activists in the trenches well know.  It is by no means the exclusive preserve of progressive groups, notwithstanding scholars’ focus on them.
  • As a result, zombie policy and failed policy are far more common than policy successes—although, as the gun control case shows, one network’s failure is usually another’s triumph.  As scholars, we can learn a great deal by dissecting the corpses and living-dead that strew policy battlefields.  By contrast, to focus only on the relatively few policies that stagger, battered and bruised, off the field (typically to face further attacks in ongoing policy wars) is misleading.

Finally, the requisite plug:  For more on battles over transnational gun control—as well as lots more on conservative transnationalism, policy conflict, and zombie policy—see my new book, The Global Right Wing and the Clash of World Politics.


UN ATT: Anti-gunners not finished with push for global gun control

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Original Story Via:  Dave Workman, Seattle Gun Rights Examiner

Despite Friday’s breakdown on the global Arms Trade Treaty, international gun control proponents are determined to push their agenda, according to a report carried in the Saturday issue of the Seattle

Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Bellevue-based Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, watched it all unfold at the United Nations, tipping this column early in the day that the United States would not be signing on, as American anti-gunners had hoped. He told Examiner via e-mail and telephone that the ATT’s momentum hit a massive speed bump because the final draft of the treaty was not produced until late in the day.

Anti-gunners are blaming the National Rifle Association for riling up its members, but that’s hardly the entire story. It’s just that the NRA is an easy target. The NRA did a remarkably effective job alerting its members, and NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre left no doubt when he spoke at the U.N. that his organization would fight this treaty with every available resource.

Amnesty International’s Suzanne Trimel, quoted by the Huffington Post, accused the NRA of “spreading lies” about the treaty.

“Basically,” Trimel reportedly stated, “what they’re saying is that the arms trade treaty will have some impact on domestic, Second Amendment gun rights. And that is just false, completely false.”

Gottlieb’s CCRKBA also mounted a massive grassroots effort to thwart the treaty, and gun owners responded by calling Capitol Hill. This resulted in a groundswell of gun owner fury over a document that was far too much in flux. One wonders what Trimel might say about that organization.

And in the background, domestic firearms and ammunition manufacturers were none-too-thrilled with the proposed treaty, either because it could have had a severe impact on their international business. Likewise, European gun makers were not happy because they sell a lot of firearms here in the United States and elsewhere.

This column’s revelation that the treaty would create a new gun control “secretariat” — translation: a new international bureaucracy — raised even more alarms. That detail was buried several pages back in the treaty draft, and as the saying goes, the Devil is in the details.

The meetings actually went on for about three weeks with little or no movement until the past few days. Gottlieb, who was at the U.N. with his wife, Julianne Versnel, both told Examiner that many people were frustrated at the process. Because the final treaty draft was not delivered until late Thursday afternoon, people simply did not have the opportunity to study it. Versnel noted that other countries — China and Russia most notably — threw up roadblocks as well.

Global gun control proponents are determined to bring this treaty proposal back to the table in September. They are an unhappy lot, so much so that Suzanne Nossel, executive director of Amnesty International USA, felt compelled to say this:

“This was stunning cowardice by the Obama administration, which at the last minute did an about-face and scuttled progress toward a global arms treaty, just as it reached the finish line. It’s a staggering abdication of leadership by the world’s largest exporter of conventional weapons to pull the plug on the talks just as they were nearing an historic breakthrough.”—Suzanne Nossel, quoted by USAToday.

The irony of this statement is perhaps most stunning to American gun owners, who see the Obama administration as the archenemy of gun rights. It was, after all, President Obama who appointed two liberal anti-gunners to the U.S. Supreme Court. It was Mr. Obama who provided last-minute cover to embattled Attorney General Eric Holder in his effort to withhold documents from the Fast and Furious investigation. It was the president who said in 2009 that he supported the ATT and indicated he would sign it.

Now the president is taking a verbal beating from those with whom he might be most closely allied, both politically and philosophically.

Victoria Nuland, spokeswoman for Hillary Clinton’s State Department is quoted by the Associated Press story that appears in the Seattle She reportedly said the U.S. — meaning the Obama administration — wants another round of negotiations next year, as in “after the November election.”

Gun owners are coming to full realization just how important the election is, not only on domestic issues but also on an international scale. Because this treaty still has a genuine possibility of resurrection, it remains a threat and in the collective mind of the firearms community the most effective way to stop it is to replace the administration that wants to sign it.

NFA Canada shares thoughts on the UN ATT

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Original Story Via:  National Firearms Association (Canada)

UN Arms Trade Treaty Talks Close Without Consensus

The United Nations talks on an Arms Trade Treaty ended today without consensus on any of the latest proposed treaty drafts.  The UN’s self-imposed deadline of July 27 saw considerable disagreement remaining on the part of many nations as to the content and goals of various draft treaty language.

Speaking from Orangeville, Ontario NFA President Sheldon Clare stated that, “While many may view this as a relief, it is important to realize that there is still significant pressure from many anti-gun NGOs and governments to achieve such a treaty.  In short, the international and domestic firearms communities must continue to be informed about what happens next as part of the larger UN programs of disarmament and any potential effect on civilians who own firearms.”

Clare praised the Canadian delegation, “Canada’s National Firearms Association wishes to acknowledge the professionalism and patience of the Canadian government’s delegation during what were clearly very difficult negotiations to achieve a treaty that would impose “no new burdens” on Canadians.”   He continued, “While the NFA has stronger views on the talks than some of those of the government, I believe that Canadians were well served by our national representatives.  In particular, the Canadian delegation was vocal in supporting the NFA’s right to have our voice heard at the talks.”

Mr. Clare continued, “The key question for Canadians is what will happen next.  Canada’s National Firearms Association will be watching the UN’s next moves and it is important that all firearms owners stay tuned for new developments.  One thing is clear, vigilance is important to ensure that we are able to fully protect all aspects of our rights and freedoms.”

In addition to its participation at the UN with the World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities, Canada’s National Firearms Association is a founding member of The International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR) which includes many national and international organizations promoting civilian ownership of firearms. At over 62,000 members, Canada’s National Firearms Association is this country’s largest advocacy organization promoting the rights and freedoms of all responsible firearm owners and users.

For more information contact:

Blair Hagen, Executive VP Communications, 604-753-8682

Sheldon Clare, President, 250-981-1841

Canada’s NFA toll-free number – 1-877-818-0393

NFA Website:


Friday, July 27th, 2012

Original Story Via:

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today applauds the decision by the United States to not sign the proposed International Arms Trade Treaty, and CCRKBA credits grassroots action for the gun rights victory.

CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, who is at the United Nations in New York, said the announcement came Friday morning after a week of intense negotiations.

“I think the grassroots surge by American gun owners against this treaty convinced our government to not sign this document,” Gottlieb said. “The proposed treaty, as written, poses serious problems for our gun rights, and the sovereignty of our Second Amendment.”

CCRKBA has been active in raising public awareness about the proposed treaty, and Gottlieb said he is proud of members and supporters who made “stepped up to the plate” and contacted their U.S. senators.

“This is freedom in action,” Gottlieb stated. “We are gratified that so many did so much to protect their Second Amendment rights from an international gun rights grab.

HARD COPY: UN Arms Trade Treaty Final Draft

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

UN Arms Trade Treaty Final Text


The draft of the Arms Trade Treaty



Submitted by the President of the Conference





The States Parties to this Treaty,


Guided by the Purposes and Principles of the Charter of the United Nations;


Recalling that the Charter of the United Nations promotes 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, combat and eradicate the illicit trade of conventional arms and to prevent their diversion to the illicit market and for unauthorized end use;


Recognizing the legitimate political, security, economic and commercial rights and interests of States in the international trade of conventional arms;


Reaffirming the sovereign right and responsibility of any State to regulate and control transfers of conventional arms that take place exclusively within its territory, pursuant to its own legal or constitutional systems;


Recognizing that development, human rights and peace and security, which are three pillars of the United

Nations, are interlinked and mutually reinforcing;


Recalling the United Nations Disarmament Commission guidelines on international arms transfers adopted by the

General Assembly;


Noting the contribution made by the 2001 UN Programme of Action to preventing, combating and eradicating the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects, as well as the 2001 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;


Recognizing the security, social, economic and humanitarian consequences of the illicit trade in and unregulated trade of conventional arms;


Recognizing also the challenges faced by victims of armed conflict and their need for adequate care, rehabilitation and social and economic inclusion;


Bearing in mind that women and children are particularly affected in situations of conflict and armed violence;


Emphasizing that nothing in this Treaty prevents States from exercising their right to adopt additional and more rigorous measures consistent with the purpose of this Treaty;


Taking note of the legitimate trade and use of certain conventional arms, inter alia, for recreational, cultural, historical, and sporting activities and lawful ownership where such ownership and use are permitted and protected by law;


Recognizing the active role that non-governmental organizations and civil society can play in furthering the object and purpose of this Treaty; and


Acknowledging that regulation of the international trade in conventional arms should not hamper international cooperation and legitimate trade in materiel, equipment and technology for peaceful purposes.




Guided by the Purposes and Principles of the Charter of the United Nations, States Parties, in promoting the object and purpose of this Treaty and implementing its provisions, shall act in accordance with the following principles:


1.  The inherent right of all States to individual or collective self-defence;


2.  The settlement of international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered;


3.  To refrain 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 Un ited Nations;


4.  Non-intervention in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any State;


5.  The duty to respect and ensure respect for international humanitarian law and to respect and ensure human rights;


6.  The responsibility of all States, in accordance with their respective international obligations, to effectively regulate and control international transfers of conventional arms, as well as the primary responsibility of all States in establishing and implementing their respective nation al export control systems;


7.  States Parties should respect the legitimate interests of States to acquire conventional weapons for legitimate self-defence and peacekeeping operations and to produce, export, import and transfer conventional arms; and


8.  The necessity to implement this Treaty consistently and effectively and in a universal, objective and non – discriminatory manner.


Have agreed as follows:


Article 1

Goals and Objectives


The goals and objectives of the Treaty are:


a.    For States Parties to establish the highest possible common standards for regulating or improving the regulation of the international trade in conventional arms; and


b.    To prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and their diversion to the illicit market or for unauthorized end use;


in order to:


c.     contribute to international and regional peace, security and stability;



d.    Prevent the international trade in conventional arms from contributing to human suffering; and


e.     Promote cooperation, transparency and responsibility of States Parties in the trade in conventional arms, thus building confidence among States Parties.



Article 2



A.   Covered Items


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


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.    Each State Party shall establish or update, as appropriate, and maintain a national control list that shall include the items that fall within paragraph 1 of this article, as defined on a national basis and, at a minimum, based on relevant United Nations instruments. Each State Party shall publish its control list to the extent permitted by national law.


B.         Covered Activities


3.    This Treaty shall apply to those activities of the international trade in conventional arms set out in articles 5, 6, 7,

8 and 9, hereafter referred to as “transfer,” for the conventional arms covered under the scope of this Treaty.


4.    This Treaty shall not apply to the international movement of conventional arms by a State Party or its agents for its armed forces or law enforcement authorities operating outside its national territories, provided the conventional arms remain under the State Party’s ownership.


Article 3

Prohibited Transfers



1.    A State Party shall not authorize any transfer of conventional arms 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 within the scope of this Treaty if the transfer would violate its relevant international obligations, under international agreements to which it is a Party, in particular those relating to the  international transfer of, or illicit trafficking in, conventional arms.



3.     A State Party shall not authorize a transfer of conventional arms within the scope of this Treaty for the purpose of facilitating the commission of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes constituting grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, or serious violations of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.


Article 4

National Assessment


1.    In considering whether to authorize an export of conventional arms within the scope of this Treaty, each State Party shall assess whether the proposed export would contribute to or undermine peace and security.


2.    Prior to authorization and pursuant to its national control system, the State Party shall assess whether the proposed export of conventional arms could:


a.    be used to commit or facilitate a serious violation of international humanitarian law;


b.   be used to commit or facilitate a serious violation of international human rights law; or


c.     be used to commit or facilitate an act constituting an offense under international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism to which the transferring State is a Party.


3.    In making the assessment, the exporting State Party shall apply the criteria set out in paragraph 2 of this article consistently, and in an objective and non-discriminatory manner, taking into account relevant factors, including information provided by the importing State.


4.    In assessing the criteria set out in paragraph 2 of this article, the exporting State Party may also take into consideration the establishment of risk mitigation measures, including confidence-building measures and jointly developed programmes by the exporting and importing States.


5.                       If, after conducting the assessment called for in paragraph 1 and 2 of this article, and after considering the mitigation measures provided for in paragraph 4 of this article, the State Party finds that there is an overriding risk of any of the consequences under paragraph 2 of this article, the State Party shall not authorize the export.


6.                       Each State Party, when considering a proposed export of conventional arms under the scope of this Treaty, shall consider taking feasible measures, including joint actions with other States involved in the transfer, to avoid the arms:


a.    being diverted to the illicit market or for unauthorized end use;


b.       being used to commit or facilitate gender-based violence or violence against children;


c.       being used for transnational organized crime;


d.       becoming subject to corrupt practices; or


e.       adversely impacting the development of the importing State.


Article 5

General Implementation


1.    Each State Party shall implement this Treaty in a consistent, objective and non -discriminatory manner, in accordance with the goals and objectives of this Treaty.


2.    The implementation of this Treaty shall not prejudice obligations undertaken with regard to other instruments. This Treaty shall not be cited as grounds for voiding contractual obligations under defence cooperation agreements concluded by States Parties to this Treaty.


3.    Each State Party shall take all appropriate legislative and administrative 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 international transfer of conventional arms.


4.    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 12, of its national point(s) of contact and keep the information updated.


5.    States Parties involved in an international transfer of conventional arms shall, in a manner consistent with this

Treaty, take appropriate measures to prevent diversion to the illicit market or for unauthorized end use.


6.    If a diversion is detected, the State or States Parties that made the detection may notify the State or States Parties that could be affected by such diversion, to the extent permitted in their national laws, in particular those States Parties that are involved in the transfer or may be affected, without delay.


Article 6



1.    Each exporting State Party shall conduct national assessments, as detailed in paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of article

4 and taking into account the considerations as detailed in paragraph 6 of article 4, whether to authorize the export of conventional arms under the scope of this Treaty under its jurisdiction. Each State Party shall apply articles 3 and 4, taking into account all relevant information.


2.    Each State Party shall take measures to ensure all authorizations for the export of conventional arms under the scope of this Treaty are detailed and issued prior to the export. Appropriate information about the export in question shall, upon request, be made available to the importing, transit and transshipment State Parties, in accordance with national laws.


3.    If, after an authorization has been granted, a State Party becomes aware of new relevant information that causes it to reassess that there is an overriding risk of any of the consequences of paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of article 4, the State Party may suspend or revoke the authorization.


4.    Each State Party shall establish and maintain a national control system to regulate the export of ammunition for conventional arms under the scope of this Treaty, and shall apply article 3, and paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 o f article 4 prior to authorizing any export of ammunition.


5.    Each State Party shall establish and maintain a national control system to regulate the export of parts and components, to the extent necessary, for the conventional arms under the scope of this Treaty, and apply article 3 and paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of article 4 prior to authorizing any export of those parts and components.



Article 7



1.    Each importing State Party shall take measures to ensure that appropriate and relevant information is provided, upon request, in accordance with its national laws, to the exporting State Party to assist the exporting State Party in its national assessment.


2.    Each importing State Party shall put in place adequate measures that will allow them to regulate, where necessary, imports of conventional arms under the scope of this Treaty. Each importing State Party shall also adopt appropriate measures to prevent the diversion of imported conventional arms under the scope of this Treaty to the illicit market or for unauthorized end use.


3.    Each importing State Party may request information from the exporting State Party concerning any pending authorizations where the importing State Party is the country of final destination.


Article 8



Each State Party shall take the appropriate measures, within its national laws, to regulate brokering taking place under its jurisdiction for conventional arms under the scope of this Treaty. Such controls may require brokers to register or obtain written authorization before engaging in brokering transactions.


Article 9

Transit and Transshipment


1.    Each State Party shall adopt appropriate legislative, administrative or other measures to regulate, where necessary and feasible, conventional arms covered by this Treaty that transit or transship through its territory.


2.    Importing and exporting States Parties shall cooperate and exchange information, where feasible and upon request, to transit and transshipment States Parties, in order to mitigate the risk of diversion.


Article 10

Reporting and Record-Keeping


1.    Each State Party shall maintain national records, in accordance with its national laws and regulations, of the export authorizations or actual exports of the conventional arms under the scope of this Treaty and, where feasible, details of those conventional arms transferred to their territory as the final destination or that are authorized to transit or transship territory under its jurisdiction.


2.    Such records may contain, inter alia, quantity, value, model/type, authorized international transfers of conventional arms under the scope of this Treaty, conventional arms actually transferred, details of exporting State(s), importing State(s), transit and transshipment State(s) and end users, as appropriate. Records shall be kept for a minimum of ten years, or longer if required by other international obligations applicable to the State Party.


3.    Each State Party may report to the secretariat, when appropriate, any actions taken to address the diversion of conventional arms to the illicit market or for unauthorized end use.



4.    Each State Party shall, within the first year after entry into force of this Treaty for that State Party, provide an initial report to the secretariat of relevant activities undertaken in order to implement this Treaty, including national laws, regulations and administrative measures. States Parties shall report on

any new activities undertaken in order to implement this Treaty, when appropriate. Reports shall be made available and distributed to States Parties by the secretariat.


5.    Each State Party shall submit annually to the secretariat by 1 July a report for the preceding calendar year concerning the authorization or actual transfer of conventional arms under the scope of this Treaty. 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 11



Each State Party shall adopt appropriate national measures and policies as may be necessary to enforce national laws and regulations and implement the provisions of this Treaty.


Article 12



1.    This Treaty hereby establishes a secretariat to assist States Parties in the effective implementation of this Treaty.


2.    The secretariat shall be adequately staffed. Staff shall have the necessary expertise to ensure the secretariat can effectively undertake the responsibilities described in paragraph 3 of this article.


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 in this Treaty;


b.    Maintain and distribute regularly to States Parties the list of national points of contact;


c.     Facilitate the matching of offers of and requests for assistance for Treat y 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 mandated by this Treaty.



Article 13

International Cooperation


1.    States Parties shall cooperate, as appropriate, to enhance the implementation of this Treaty, consistent with their respective security interests and national laws.


2.    Each State Party is encouraged to facilitate international cooperation, including the exchange of information on matters of mutual interest regarding the implementation and application of this Treaty in accordance with its respective security interests and national legal system.


3.    Each State Party is encouraged to consult on matters of mutual interest and to share information, as appropriate, to support the implementation of this Treaty.


4.    Each State Party may cooperate, as appropriate, in order to enforce the provisions of this Treat y, including sharing information regarding illicit activities and actors to assist national enforcement and to counter, prevent and combat diversion to the illicit market or for unauthorized end use, in accordance with national laws. States Parties may also exchange experience and information on lessons learned in relation to any aspect of this Treaty, to assist national implementation.


Article 14

International Assistance


1.    In implementing this Treaty, each State Party may seek, inter alia, legal or legislative assistance, institutional capacity building, and technical, material or financial assistance. Each State Party in a position to do so shall, upon request, provide such assistance.


2.    Each State Party may request, offer or receive assistance, inter alia, through the United Nations, international, regional, subregional or national organizations, non-governmental organizations, or on a bilateral basis.


3.    States Parties may also contribute resources to a voluntary trust fund to assist requesting States Par ties requiring such assistance to implement the Treaty. The voluntary trust fund shall be administered by the secretariat under the supervision of States Parties.



Article 15

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 and shall remain open for signature until its entry into force.


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


3.    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 16

Entry into Force


1.    This Treaty shall enter into force ninety days following the date of the deposit of the sixty-fifth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession 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, the 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 17

Provisional application


Any State may at the time of its ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, declare that it will apply provisionally articles 3 and 4 of this Treaty pending its entry into force for that State.


Article 18

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 notice of such withdrawal to the depositary, which shall notify all other States Parties. The instrument of withdrawal shall include an explanation of the reasons motivating this withdrawal. The

instrument of withdrawal shall take effect ninety days after the receipt of the instrument of withdrawal by the depositary, unless the instrument 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 the Treaty, including any financial obligations that may have accrued.


Article 19



1.    Each State Party may formulate reservations, u nless the reservation is incompatible with the object and purpose of this Treaty.


2.    Reservations may be withdrawn at any time.


Article 20



1.    At any time after the entry into force of this Treaty, a State Party may propose an amendment to this



2.    An y proposed amendment shall be submitted in writing to the secretariat, which shall then circulate the proposal to all States Parties, not less than 180 days before the next meeting of the Conference of States Parties. The amendment shall be considered at the next Conference of States Parties if a majority of States Parties notify the secretariat that they support further consideration of the proposal, no later than

120 days after its circulation by the secretariat.


3.    An y amendment to this Treaty shallbe adopted by consensus of those States Parties present at the Conference of States Parties. The depositary shall communicate any adopted amendment to all States Parties.


4.    A proposed amendment adopted in accordance with paragraph 3 of this article shal l enter into force for all States Parties to the Treaty, upon deposit with the depositary of the instruments of acceptance by a majority of States Parties at the time of the adoption of the amendment. Thereafter, it shall enter into force for any remaining State Party on the date of deposit of its instrument of acceptance.



Article 21

Conference of States Parties


1.    A Conference of States Parties shall be convened no later than one year following the entry into force of this Treaty. The  Conference of  States  Parties shall  adopt  rules  of  procedure and  rules  governing its activities,  including  frequency  of  meetings  and  rules  concerning  payment  of  expenses  incurred  in carrying out those activities.


2.      The Conference of States Parties shall:


a.    Consider and adopt recommendations regarding the implementation and operation of this Treaty, in particular the promotion of its universality;


b.    Consider amendments to this Treaty;


c.     Consider and decide the tasks and budget of the secretariat;



d.    Consider the establishment of any subsidiary bodies as may be necessary to improve the functioning of the Treaty; and


e.     Perform any other function consistent with this Treaty.


3.  If circumstances merit, an exceptional meeting of States Parties may be convened if required and resources allow.


Article 22

Dispute Settlement


1. States Parties shall consult and cooperate to settle any dispute that may arise between them with regard to the interpretation or application of this Treaty.


2. States Parties shall settle any dispute between them concerning the interpretation or application of this

Treaty through negotiations, mediation, conciliation or other peaceful means of the Party’s mutual choice.


3. States Parties may pursue, by mutual consent, arbitration to settle any dispute between them, regarding issues concerning the implementation of this Treaty.


Article 23

Relations with States not party to this Treaty


States Parties shall apply articles 3 and 4 to all exports of conventional arms within the scope of this Treaty to

States not party to this Treaty.


Article 24

Relationship with other instruments


States Parties shall have the right to enter into agreements in relation to the international trade in conventional arms, provided that those agreements are compatible with their obligations und er this Treaty and do not undermine the object and purpose of this Treaty.


Article 25

Authentic Texts and Depositary



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.

International gun banners pulling out all stops at UN

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Original Story Via: TheGunMag.comUN Olympics Gun Control Flyer

By Dave Workman

Senior Editor

The gloves have come off at the United Nations as negotiations over the proposed global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) are moving toward a climax, and two leading gun rights advocates on the scene are convinced treaty proponents want to include small arms and ammunition in the document, and slip around the Second Amendment.

Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, told TGM that, “Some movement in our direction is anticipated, but it will not be enough to make a difference. These would be minor modifications to placate us, but they will not be enough to address the concerns of American gun owners.”

“This is 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,” he asserted.

His wife, Julianne Versnel, said the ATT “is, in essence, an attempt by the rest of the world to impose their view of civilian firearms ownership on us, and negate the Second Amendment.”

They are at the UN representing the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, the Second Amendment Foundation and the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR). Both helped create IAPCAR, which now has member organizations around the world.

A coalition of global gun control organizations is pushing for the most extreme language and tenets in the treaty, which is supposed to be signed this week. That group includes International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) and Oxfam International and Control Arms. The latter group is apparently responsible for a handout depicting their vision of the treaty provisions highlighted in Olympics-style rings.

Ominously, two of those items are “Arms and Bullets” and “Global Standards Over National Views.” The former alludes to privately owned firearms, and the latter is a veiled but direct threat to the Second Amendment, Gottlieb said.

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

But with less than four months to go before the national elections, Barack Obama is painting himself into an ever-tightening corner with American gun owners. That represents a significant and influential voting bloc, and a global gun control treaty could easily push many undecided voters into the Romney camp.

Int’l gun control lobby sets sights on ammo, 2A at United Nations

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Original Story Via: Dave Workman, Seattle Gun Rights Examiner

UN Olympics Gun Control Flyer

UN Olympics Gun Control Flyer

The gloves are definitely off at the United Nations as negotiations continue over the proposed global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), where Bellevue’s Alan Gottlieb and Julianne Versnel are raising alarms about a handout distributed Thursday morning by Control Arms, one of the gun control groups pressing for the most extreme provisions.

They say global gun control proponents are directly targeting small arms and ammunition – including civilian-owned rifles, shotguns and handguns – and the Second Amendment. With a layout deliberately designed to mimic the Olympic rings, the handout specifies “Arms and Bullets” and “Global Standards Over National Views.”

The latter, they suggest, is a thinly-veiled reference to world gun control regardless of what the U.S. Constitution might say.

Gottlieb and Versnel are in New York representing the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, the Second Amendment Foundation and the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR).

Versnel supplied Examiner with the image above that makes it clear the gun ban crowd – a coalition which includes the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) and Oxfam International – are after small arms and ammunition.

In a telephone interview, Versnel made it clear what that means.

“The ATT is, in essence, an attempt by the rest of the world to impose their view of civilian firearms ownership on us, and negate the Second Amendment,” she said.

Negotiators recessed Thursday morning but were to resume in the afternoon. Gottlieb said there are “rumors” that a slightly revised document, discussed by this column yesterday and posted on the IAPCAR website, might be introduced.

“Some movement in our direction is anticipated,” he said, “but it will not be enough to make a difference. These would be minor modifications to placate us, but they will not be enough to address the concerns of American gun owners.”

Gottlieb’s bottom line: “This is 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.”

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

But with less than four months to go before the national elections, Barack Obama is painting himself into an ever-tightening corner with gun owners. As this column noted earlier, he is “out of the closet” as a gun control proponent, even hinting at renewed focus on so-called “assault weapons.”

Unfortunately for gun prohibitionists, the proverbial horse has left the barn on that subject. With millions of semiautomatic rifles and shotguns now in circulation, banning them is out of the question unless the president thinks he can charm gun owners into surrendering them.

In that, the president and the United Nations are in the same leaky boat, with a gun rights tidal wave coming right at them.

NFA Warns of Problems With UN Arms Trade Treaty

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

NFA Warns of problems with UN Arms Trade Treaty

25 July 2012

A near final draft and the closing days of the UN Arms Trade Treaty talks could spell trouble for Canadian interests.  There is tremendous pressure to conclude a deal by July 27 and if the latest draft is any indication, the deal will not be a good one for Canadians.

“The draft treaty still affects civilian ownership of firearms and could cause trouble for Canadians travelling with firearms,” according to Sheldon Clare, President of Canada’s National Firearms Association who was present for part of the talks. “Even more significantly though, are clauses which would establish an expensive and intrusive Implementation Support Unit, a body which would be engaged in keeping firearms trade records.  The ISU would be a likely conduit for providing money to unscrupulous regimes from UN coffers partially funded by Canadian taxpayers.  That is certainly not something that Canadians want or need.”

Clare continued, “One of the most potentially dangerous clauses is the proposed amending formula which under Article 20 introduces a two-thirds majority requirement to amend the ATT.  Such a clause is a direct threat to national sovereignty in that it removes the traditional need for consensus in UN decision making.  It could easily lead to despots and dictators making amendments that would be binding on Europe and North America.  When combined with Article 23 which would mean that even countries that don’t sign it are subject to it, we have a clear step towards a dangerous system of world governance that would harm the interests of Canada and individual Canadians.“

“In addition, there are aspects of the draft treaty that could prevent Canada from providing aid to its needy allies, especially if such aid conflicted with the aims of countries opposed to Canadian values.  The recent draft of the Arms Trade Treaty is bad for Canada and Canadians, and our government should not sign it,” stated Mr. Clare.  “While governments need to act against terrorism, perhaps better ways to deal with unrest would be to address the economic situations, political differences, and human rights issues that contribute to people agitating for change.”

“A global ATT would only be in the interests of those who would seek economic advantage by limiting market opportunity and of regimes who would use such a treaty to disarm their citizens in order to rule through fear.”

In addition to its participation at the UN with the World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities, Canada’s National Firearms Association is a founding member of The International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR) which includes many national and international organizations promoting civilian ownership of firearms.  At over 62,000 members, Canada’s National Firearms Association is this country’s largest advocacy organization promoting the rights and freedoms of all responsible firearm owners and users.

For more information contact:

Blair Hagen, Executive VP Communications, 604-753-8682

Sheldon Clare, President, 250-981-1841

Canada’s NFA toll-free number – 1-877-818-0393

NFA Website:

The Arms Trade Treaty – Falling Apart?

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Original Story Via:

By Paul Gallant, Sherry Gallant, Alan Chwick, & Joanne D. Eisen

Manasquan, NJ –-( With only a week left for treaty negotiations, one might surmise from the multitude of complaints of its proponents that the Treaty, as it is being drafted, is destined to fail because it is becoming too weak.

But no matter how “strong” its language, it will fail very simply because it’s a foolish idea, concocted with fantasies that cannot work.

Deepayan Basu Ray,of anti-gun group Oxfam, stated: “Under no circumstances should countries agree to a watered down Treaty that fails to control the arms trade and failsto reduce human suffering.”

And here we thought all along that the objective of an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was to control the illegal arms trade, not to control the actions of tyrants (an impossible goal)!

Attempting to press home a sense of urgency, Anna MacDonald, Head of the Arms Control Campaign at (anti-gun) Oxfam, stated: “The negotiations are running at least a week behind schedule. The clock is ticking now and we need to see a greater sense of urgency from delegates, who must agree a strong treaty text [sic]. The world is watching, and people across the globe are demanding a treaty that will tighten up controls on the arms trade and close the loop holes that allow the illicit and irresponsible part of the trade to flourish. There is not a moment to lose.”

The arguments and complaints being bandied about by Treaty proponents are abundant.

For example,the July 19 issue of the Arms Trade Treaty Monitor states:

On Wednesday morning, the Chair of Main Committee I released a new draft text on the goals and objectives of the arms trade treaty (ATT). The most glaring change to the text was the removal of language stating that preventing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law is an objective of the treaty. Leaving this out will have serious repercussions for the negotiation of other sections of the treaty and for the treaty’s implementation. It is an abso­lute necessity that this be corrected [sic].

The revised language, written by the Chair of the Main Committee I, states that “The goals of the treaty are….in order to…. ensure that the international trade in conventional arms does not contribute or facilitate human suffering….” This is upsetting to the Treaty’s advocates because “Without an explicit reference to gender-based violence, international humanitarian law (IHL), and international human rights law (IHRL), the treaty is in substantial danger of failing to meet its original purpose.

The Treaty’s proponents further complain about language that is watered down:

Achieving the fundamental goals of the ATT also means the treaty will need strong, clear, and effective implementation mechanisms. Unfortunately, the draft text on implementation does not yet meet this requirement. It suggests notification of export authorizations to relevant transit and transshipment states would be voluntary when it should be mandatory. It indicates that contractual obligations to sell arms would supersede the ATT when clearly the ATT should take precedence. It suggests actions states “may” take on brokering, when such actions should be mandatory.In general, it is vague on binding language. If adopted as written, the implementation section would undermine the treaty’s objectives [emphasis ours].

There are practical reasons for these complaints. The Treaty’s proponents need to pressure those countries that expect to be on the receiving end of generous financial gifts, and which are expected to increase their capacity to comply with the Treaty’s obligations. They also need to keep their supporters eager for the next “iterations”(revisions) to come.

The only benefits to us of a weaker treaty is that it will take longer to implement —and longer to fail— giving us the time we need to ride out the destructive waves of futile and foolish attempts to control the actions of evil-doers, and to destroy legal civilian firearm ownership.

We certainly should not be depending on U.S. politicians to safeguard our right to self-protection, as they have not done so in the past. We cannot depend on our national firearm organizations, as they are only as strong as we make them. (With an estimated 70-80 milliongun-owners in the U.S., how many support the various national firearm organizations??)

We need time to prepare for a new century of attempts to break the strength of civilian sovereignty, and a rash of new weapon-control laws attempting to bring us into compliance with “global norms,” luring us with the hint of paradise on earth.

About the authors:
Dr. Paul Gallant and Dr. Joanne D. Eisen practice optometry and dentistry,respectively, on Long Island, NY, and have collaborated on firearm politics forthe past 20 years. They have also collaborated with David B. Kopel since 2000, and are Senior Fellows at the Independence Institute, where Kopel is Research Director. Most recently, Gallant and Eisen have also written with Alan J.Chwick. Sherry Gallant has been instrumental in the editing of virtually all ofthe authors’ writings, and is immensely knowledgeable in the area of firearm politics; she actively co-authored this article.

Almost all of the co-authored writings of Gallant, Eisen, Kopel and Chwick can be found at, which contains more detailed information about their biographies and writing, and contains hyperlinks to manyof their articles. Their recent series focusing on the Arms Trade Treaty can be found primarily at


Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Original Story Via:

Twenty-six more members of Congress have signed on as co-sponsors to the Second Amendment Protection Act, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms announced today.

“This is good news,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan M. Gottlieb. “With a vote looming on the proposed United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, this sends a clear message to the Obama administration that the president will face real trouble if he or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signs any document that threatens our constitutionally-protected individual right to keep and bear arms.”

Sponsored by Illinois Republican Congressman Joe Walsh, H.R. 3594 was written with help from CCRKBA staff, Gottlieb noted.  It now has 60 co-sponsors, and has been referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. CCRKBA has been urging members and supporters to contact Congress and demand action on this bill.

“The U.N. is scheduled to vote on the proposed treaty next week,” Gottlieb said. “Right now they are pushing to include small arms and ammunition, and because the Devil is always in the details, when they finally hammer out a document that the Obama administration has already indicated it will sign, this could be extremely bad for American gun owners.

“Fortunately, Congressman Walsh had the foresight to understand this,” he continued, “so he introduced this legislation to protect Second Amendment sovereignty. We want the United Nations gun grabbers, and the Obama administration to understand that they are treading in perilous waters if they adopt a treaty that even remotely threatens the firearms freedoms of our citizens.

“We are coming down to the wire on this treaty,” Gottlieb stated. “Our constitutional rights far outweigh the administration’s desire to push its ‘citizen-of-the-world’ philosophy down the throats of American gun owners. We want to see action on the Second Amendment Protection Act, and with 26 new co-sponsors, we are one step closer to achieving that goal.”

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 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.

American Legion Calls for Rejection of Arms Trade Treaty

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Original Story Via: MarketWatch

INDIANAPOLIS, Jul 10, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Calling a proposed United Nations Arms Trade Treaty a “potential threat to our Constitutional rights,” the head of the nation’s largest organization of wartime veterans said the White House and the U.S. Senate should reject any proposal that usurps the sovereignty of the American people.

“Since the American Revolution, America’s veterans have defended the U.S. Constitution,” said American Legion National Commander Fang A. Wong. “Many died. Many bled. The American Legion has always opposed usurpation of U.S. sovereignty by an international body. We opposed the International Criminal Court on the grounds that it left U.S. service members vulnerable to charges of alleged war crimes. We opposed the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) because it created a precedent for future share-the-wealth schemes. We opposed U.S. troops being placed under the command of U.N. forces. And any Arms Trade Treaty that not only threatens the Second Amendment rights that are enshrined in our Constitution, but also represents the growing movement to place an international entity above our governing and founding document will be opposed. While we understand the effort to combat the international trade in arms that make possible human rights violations and genocide, the drafters should be cognizant that the United States views its Constitution, including the Second Amendment, as preeminent.”

The American Legion has been a staunch defender of the U.S. Constitution since the organization was founded in 1919. It has repeatedly passed national resolutions reaffirming support for the Second Amendment and other constitutional rights. At its 1996 national convention in Salt Lake City, American Legion delegates unanimously passed a resolution reaffirming that “the efforts of government should be directed to the enforcement of existing laws rather than banning the possession of firearms by the millions of our citizens who desire them for traditionally legitimate purposes…”

The American Legion was founded on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 14,000 posts across the nation.

SOURCE: The American Legion

The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty and the Second Amendment

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Original Story Via:

By Ted R. Bromund, Ph.D.

For much of the past two weeks, I’ve been attending the U.N.’s Arms Trade Treaty conference in New York and blogging on the craziness of Turtle Bay. A number of comments on my blogs—and many external commentators—have raised the question of whether the ATT is, pure and simple, a “gun grab” treaty.

Let’s start with three basic points:

  1. No external power, and certainly not the U.N., can disarm U.S. citizens or deprive us of our Second Amendment rights by force. If there is a Second Amendment problem, it comes from the actions of U.S. authorities.
  2. The U.N. and many of its member states are hostile to the private ownership of firearms.
  3. The U.S. is exceptional: It is one of the few nations that has a constitutional provision akin to the Second Amendment.

Thus, the default U.N. tendency—partly out of malevolence, partly out of ignorance—is to act in ways contrary to the Second Amendment, and the fundamental job of the U.S. at the U.N. is to try to stop bad things from happening. The alternative of completely quitting the entire U.N. is appealing but unwise, because the U.N. would keep doing things that would affect the U.S. even if we were not in it.

The U.N. is aware of the political dangers of appearing to stomp openly on the Second Amendment. It uses code words; it runs closed meetings—a veteran of the process tells me that meetings were normally open until the National Rifle Association began showing up at them—and, above all, it plays a long game. A big problem with talking about the ATT as a “gun grab” treaty is that the U.N. works by taking slices: when it comes to the U.N., being outraged by one development is no substitute for focusing on how the slices pile up over time.

I don’t give much too much credit to the U.S. for stating as a red line that it will uphold the Second Amendment, because that raises the question of what relevant activities are (as the State Department puts it in its red line) “permitted by law or protected by the U.S. Constitution.” Simply backing the Second Amendment is good, but it is better to spell out—as Senator Jerry Moran (R–KS) did at Heritage recently—exactly what rights and activities you believe the Second Amendment protects. Only in that way does a promise to uphold the Second Amendment carry the full weight that it deserves.

So what are the domestic concerns posed by the ATT? Four are important.

  1. Transfer requirements. First, there are specific textual requirements. The most recent draft text states, for example, that the ATT will apply to “all international transfers of conventional arms” but then goes on to define “international transfers” as “the transfer of title or control over the conventional arms.”

Does this mean that any transfers, including domestic ones, count as international and are thus subject to the treaty’s provisions? There are similar concerns related to the potential reporting requirements of the treaty and thus to the possible creation of a U.N.-based gun registry. If it is to be true to its published red lines, the U.S. cannot accept any of this.

  1. International business. Second, most major U.S. arms manufacturers have an international financing, insurance, and parts and components chain. The ATT could become a means for foreign countries to pressure U.S. firms to exit the market, reducing the ability of Americans to make effective use of their firearms rights.
  2. Further review of the rules. This is not the end of the process. The ATT will be elaborated at review conferences, where the U.S. goal is to develop “best practices” for its implementation. Similarly, if President Obama were to sign the ATT but not submit it to the Senate for ratification, the U.S. would hold itself obligated to “refrain from acts which would defeat the object and purpose” of the ATT.
  3. Constitutional interpretation. Finally, the ATT is part of a process that will inspire judges and legal theorists who believe that the Constitution needs to be reinterpreted in light of transnational norms. This is the most important problem of all, though it is broader than the ATT.

Just because the ATT is not a “gun grab” treaty does not mean it raises no domestic concerns: “Gun grabs” are less plausible than “death by a thousand cuts.” On the other hand, the ATT should raise concerns beyond the Second Amendment. Representative Mike Kelly (R–PA) recently led 130 of his colleagues in expressing a range of concerns about the ATT to the Administration.

It makes sense to balance legitimate expressions of concern for the Second Amendment with concerns on economic, foreign policy, and national security grounds. There’s enough to dislike about the ATT to keep everyone busy.

SAAMI official statement at UN ATT negotiations

Friday, July 13th, 2012

SAAMI – the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute – delivered the following official statement at the UN Arms Trade Treaty negotiations.

Click here for the official copy via SAAMI

UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty

New York, 11 July 2012

Statement by Richard Patterson, Managing Director

Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute, Inc.

Thank you, Mr. President. My name is Richard Patterson and I’m the Managing Director of the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute, also known as SAAMI. SAAMI was created in 1926 at the request of the US government to create safety and reliability standards in the design, manufacture, transportation, storage and use of firearms, ammunition and components.

The true success of this conference requires a focus on the big picture. Guns are tools, and like any tool can be used for great good and great harm. We all know the tragedy caused by those few who choose the path of violence, regardless of the tools they use. But you must also remember that hundreds of millions of citizens regularly use firearms for the greater good. Regulated hunting keeps wildlife populations in balance with healthy ecosystems and is a major contributor to economic stability—and thereby promotes peace—in rural areas and developing countries. Target shooting has its roots in the very beginnings of civilization. This is an Olympic year, and shooting events attract the third largest number of participating nations of any sport at the Olympic Games. And people in every nation in this room—including the UN itself—use firearms to protect the law abiding and enforce peace. A well-meaning treaty that does not support the positive use of firearms is doomed to cause more harm than good. A simple step in the right direction is to focus on the fully automatic weapons of war and exclude sporting firearms.

There are some who want to see the inclusion of small arms ammunition in this treaty. As the UN’s Group of Government Experts has determined, the shear numbers involved in ammunition—the US alone produces more than 8 billion rounds of ammunition per year and there are potentially hundreds of billions of rounds in stockpiles around the world—prevent any sort of realistic marking and tracing scheme. But even if the treaty includes a general requirement for shipments, what will that do? The US has some great legal and technical points supporting their position, but let me focus for a minute on the practical side of the equation. Millions of dollars would be spent creating and implementing an export and import authorization process for ammunition. Even more money must be spent for a system of verification. As an example, let’s say a shipment of 1 ton of small arms ammunition goes through this bureaucratic process and is approved. An expensive follow-up system results in a trained inspector showing up at the intended point of delivery. The inspector sees there is far less than 1 ton of ammunition and says “Where’s the rest of the shipment?”

And the answer is “we shot it.”

Now what does the inspector do? Millions of dollars would have been wasted—diverted into a system that cannot work. This money could otherwise have been used to fight those who choose violence.

Just as you cannot be all things to all people, this treaty can’t either. Focus on the real problems, that can be managed—focus on military weapons, and avoid being distracted by topics like ammunition, which are laudable in their idealism, but completely lacking in their practicality. Be focused, be specific, and draft a treaty with precise definitions that minimize the loopholes of “creative interpretation.” This is the path to a successful Arms Trade Treaty.

Thank you.

Canada’s National Firearms Association Statement to UN on ATT

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Click here to read document: NFA UN Presentation on ATT July 2012

More information about IAPCAR member NFA of Canada is available at


Mr. President, I am Sheldon Clare, President of Canada’s National Firearms Association.  Our members are collectors of everything from cartridges to fully automatic firearms; they’re sports shooters and Olympic competitors, wholesalers and retailers, re-enactors, members of the movie industry, hunters, people who hand load ammunition, and those who own firearms for defence.  Our members are concerned that UN attempts to regulate trade in arms are misdirected and will have an unfair and unreasonable effect upon the ability of free people to have access to firearms and ammunition for perfectly legitimate purposes. It is a false premise that civilian access to small arms is the problem.

Canada’s National Firearms Association (NFA) recommends that controls on small arms and light weapons be limited solely to major weapon systems possessed or sold by nation states – not firearms owned or desired to be owned by civilians, also called non-state actors. The rights and property of Canadians, and our firearms businesses engaged in the lawful trade in firearms and ammunition, including surplus firearms and ammunition, must not be subject to UN edict or control.  Quite simply, these are matters of national sovereignty, civil freedoms and property rights, and are related to national culture.  Also, marking and accounting for ammunition would be exceptionally onerous and expensive for manufacturers and firearm owners alike. Control of ammunition would be unreasonable, unnecessary, and impossible.

The proposed Implementation Support Unit (ISU) could potentially serve as a form of promotional and enforcement agency for the ATT and thus interfere with national sovereignty over laws affecting firearms ownership and use. It could be used to operate a form of international registration system. Funds given to this body and other initiatives such as the Victims Assistance Fund could be directed to terrorist states. Supporting these potentially huge and inappropriate expenses is not in the best interests of Canadians.

Reducing arms in civilian hands can significantly limit the ability of people to defend themselves. This is especially important in the event of unrest and disorder, or in case of state-mandated crimes against humanity. Civilian ownership of arms is an important factor in preventing and limiting the effect of events such as what occurred in Sebrinica and Rwanda. While governments need to act against terrorism, perhaps better ways to deal with unrest would be to address the economic situations, political differences, and human rights issues that contribute to people agitating for change.

A global ATT would only be in the interests of those who would seek economic advantage by limiting market opportunity and of regimes who would use such a treaty to disarm their citizens in order to rule through fear.   Thank you for your consideration Mr. President.


AUDIO: Panel on UN Arms Treaty, IAPCAR

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Original Story Via:

Last year the Gun Rights Policy Conference in Chicago held a panel discussion on how to fight international limitations on civilian arms rights.

The topics ranged from legal actions in other countries, the actual actions at the UN, and the formation of the new international gun rights group IAPCAR.

The Gun Rights Policy Conference scheduled for September 28th 29th and 30th in Orlando Florida is currently accepting registration at


UN Arms Trade Treaty – Targeting U.S. Guns as a Cure-All for Global Violence?

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Original Story VIA:  AMMO LAND

New York, NY –-( In a matter of days, officials and activists will descend upon the U.N. in NYC to create a finished version of an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

The stated goal of an ATT has always been to reduce weapons-related violence by controlling the global trade in arms.

The Treaty will never accomplish that laudable goal. It will succeed only in strengthening the power of thieves and tyrants.

Proponents of the ATT will likely accept any treaty at all —weak or strong— in order to have something for President Obama to sign. Obama’s signature is their goal, and they will beg, intimidate and lie shamelessly in order to set to paper an ATT prior to his departure from office, and obtain that essential scrawl.

As it now stands, in order for an ATT to be accepted, there is a requirement for unanimous agreement for the Treaty’s provisions, which was the only way to get States to agree to enter into negotiations. Therefore, the primary goal of the weapons-prohibitionists is to change the meaning of the word “consensus.”

A February 2012 ControlArms briefing paper urged participating States to “Define consensus in line with most common U.N. practice in a way that does not give every country veto power, but rather only requires ‘wide agreement’ on the final treaty text.”

Don’t Forget the Ammo
But since they may not be able to change the meaning at this late date, the weapons-prohibitionists have kept up a barrage of propaganda intended to get their demands heard and enacted. For example, they have been attempting to get ammunition covered by the Treaty in order to eliminate the crucial component of small arms.

  • In 2011, Hilde Wallacher an anti-gun researcher, whose focus is on the international arms trade, complained: “attempting to exclude any type of small arms ammunition will cause significant loopholes to the treaty, and leave it significantly weakened in its ability to prevent arms transfers that risks contributing to human rights violations or other humanitarian problems.”
  • A May 2012 Oxfam paper stated the obvious: “Guns are useless without bullets….”
  • And a UNIDIR (United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research) paper commented that “while some states may have legitimate concerns about including ammunition in an ATT, ultimately there is no compelling reason for its exclusion.”

However, there is no point of including ammunition in an ATT, since about 50% of the world’s countries produce arms and ammunition, and can supply themselves regardless of any global restrictions.

What such an inclusion of ammunition into the treaty will do is mandate laws for the use of special markers known as “taggants.”  These taggants are added to the round’s powder, and they are used to identify the place of manufacture, just like a serial number. The use of such taggants will increase the price of ammunition, and will increase the difficulty of lawful acquisition of ammunition and components by civilians. But an even greater issue with these are the danger of creating ammunition with both too much or too little powder, as the taggants will change the powder weight and volume density, thus greatly affecting the quality of the ammunition and its accuracy. And this leads to possibilities of all kinds of personal injuries or even deaths—to the shooter and innocent bystanders if the barrel should blow up because the pressure of a round is higher than a firearm can withstand, and to the intended target (e.g. rapist or other violent perpetrator) by impairing the accuracy of the firearm, and where that bullet will end up.

Guns Impeding Economic Development
Lately, we’ve been hearing of a push to incorporate the concept of “development” into the Treaty. For example, a UNIDIR paper stated: “An ATT with strong criteria will help establish the necessary security conditions for economic and social development to flourish, while helping to stem the flow of arms that has prevented such progress in the past.”

This recent “concern—impeded development by the mere presence of firearms— is an indication of the degree of frustration felt by proponents of a strong Treaty. Since they are unable to control tyrants directly, they need to blame weapons for the lack of social and economic development seen in many countries. Yet despite years of futile attempts to control weapons and weapons-related violence, they have failed. So they changed strategy to push for a global, legally binding treaty that —they hope— will finally lead to some relief from the ills of the world.

What they will discover, instead, is that a treaty attempting to control weapons will never control tyrants or violence, or lead to productive human development.

However, this factoid —that the presence of arms impedes development— was put to rest in a paper published in a 2005 issue of Engage, by David B. Kopel, Paul Gallant & Joanne D. Eisen, entitled “Does the Right to Arms Impede or Promote Economic Development?”

The paper’s authors show how and why a corrupt dictatorial government is a much better explanation for the failure of development than the presence of weapons:

At the simplest level, there is an obvious connection between SALW and underdevelopment: SALW are among the weapons used in war. Although wartime can be a period of economic development in countries which are producing goods for the war…it is rare for countries where combat is taking place to advance economically during the fighting….Blaming SALW for development failure serves several political purposes.

The rhetoric attempts to enlist the development community in the arms prohibition movement, and even to divert development funds into arms confiscation projects….We suggest instead that corrupt and dictatorial government is a better explanation of underdevelopment….The 2004 annual report of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) highlights the manmade tragedy of underdevelopment: “Chronic hunger plagues 852 million people worldwide…Hunger and malnutrition cause tremendous human suffering, kill more than five million children every year, and cost developing countries billions of dollars in lost productivity and national income”….The governments which keep their victim populations hungry and diseased are the true obstacles to development.

Empowering victim populations is an essential precondition to development, and disarming victim populations, leaving them helpless against tyrants, simply makes things worse.

Doomed To Fail, Just Not In The USA
It should be obvious by now that an ATT is doomed to fail, because the only States which will abide by its terms are those States which are law-abiding in the first place. Those States governed by dictators and human rights abusers may sign onto an Arms Trade Treaty, but are not likely to obey its terms, placing the U.S. in a much more vulnerable position than before the Treaty was enacted.

Ted Bromund, Senior Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, and an expert on ATT affairs, summed it up when he cautioned in his June 4, 2012 issue brief, “The Risks the Arms Trade Treaty Poses to the Sovereignty of the United States”:

All treaties impose limits on U.S. freedom of action….But the ATT will effectively bind only the democracies that accept it. The failure of other states to live up to their commitments under the ATT will not cause its restrictions on the U.S. to lapse. In a world of states that do not respect human rights, a universal treaty based on the vague and wide-ranging human rights criteria that the ATT will seek to apply to arms transfers will always apply with more force to the law-abiding [e.g. the U.S.] than it does to the lawless. It will always be used by the naïve and the evil to apply the powerful weapon of shame against those with a deeply ingrained respect for the rule of law.

About the authors:
Dr. Paul Gallant and Dr. Joanne D. Eisen practice optometry and dentistry, respectively, on Long Island, NY, and have collaborated on firearm politics for the past 20 years. They have also collaborated with David B. Kopel since 2000, and are Senior Fellows at the Independence Institute, where Kopel is Research Director. Most recently, Gallant and Eisen have also written with Alan J. Chwick. Sherry Gallant has been instrumental in the editing of virtually all of the authors’ writings, and is immensely knowledgeable in the area of firearm politics; she actively co-authored this article. Almost all of the co-authored writings of Gallant, Eisen, Kopel and Chwick can be found at, which contains more detailed information about their biographies and writing, and contains hyperlinks to many of their articles. Their recent series focusing on the Arms Trade Treaty can be found primarily at . Respective E-Mail addresses are:,,,


VIDEO: Senator Jerry Moran on the UN ATT

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

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The U.N. Speaks: The Arms Trade Treaty Will Affect “Legally Owned Weapons”

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Original Story VIA:  The Heritage Foundation

Ted R. Bromund, Ph.D.

Yesterday, the U.N. released its press kit for the July conference that will finalize the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The most interesting item in the kit is a lengthy paper by the U.N.’s Coordinating Action on Small Arms (CASA) program titled “The Impact of Poorly Regulated Arms Transfers on the Work of the UN.”

This paper perpetuates the belief, on which much of the ATT is based, that the big problem the world faces is a lack of agreed standards on arms transfers. That’s wrong: The big problem the world faces in this regard is that many U.N. member states are dictatorships, supporters of terrorists, or simply incapable of controlling their own borders.

But the paper makes it clear that the job of the U.N.—as the U.N. itself sees it—is to make the case for a very broad treaty. As CASA puts it, “Advocacy efforts should be developed…through relevant reports and op-eds, messages, and statements at relevant meetings and to the press.” So watch out for U.S. taxpayer-funded funded U.N. propaganda in a newspaper near you.

But in spite of its desperate efforts to rebut Second Amendment concerns, the U.N. can’t stop stepping on its own shoelaces. After proclaiming that the ATT “does not aim to impede or interfere with the lawful ownership and use of weapons,” the CASA paper goes on to say that “United Nations agencies have come across many situations in which various types of conventional weapons have been…misused by lawful owners” and that the “arms trade must therefore be regulated in ways that would…minimize the risk of misuse of legally owned weapons.”

How, exactly, would the ATT do that if it doesn’t “impede” or “interfere” with lawful ownership? The U.N. would have a lot more credibility on the ATT if it didn’t imply so regularly that the problem is as much lawful ownership as it is the international arms trade.

Of course, CASA isn’t just concerned with lawful ownership; it’s also campaigning against “community attitudes” that “contribute to the powerful cultural conditioning that equates masculinity with owning and using a gun, and regards gun misuse by men as acceptable.”

All this just goes to show that the U.N. regards gun ownership—even under national constitutional protection and for lawful activities—as a cultural failure that it needs to redress and that it has no patience at all with the idea that self-defense is an inherent right.

And that is exactly why the concerns that Senator Jerry Moran (R–KS) expressed at Heritage on Tuesday are so important—and why his criteria to ensure that the ATT does not infringe on Second Amendment rights are so valuable.