During his speech at the annual NRA convention Friday, President Trump officially signed the order to withdraw the USA from the United Nations “small arms treaty.”
“Under my Administration, we will never surrender American sovereignty to anyone. We will never allow foreign bureaucrats to trample on your Second Amendment freedoms. And that is why my Administration will never ratify the UN Arms Trade Treaty” he announced to the raucous crowd.
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“Under my Administration, we will never surrender American sovereignty to anyone. We will never allow foreign bureaucrats to trample on your Second Amendment freedoms. And that is why my Administration will never ratify the UN Arms Trade Treaty.” pic.twitter.com/j1xnuUdX1x
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) April 26, 2019
The most comprehensive treaty of its kind, the ATT would regulate weapons trade throughout the world on everything from battleships to bullets.
And as information trickles out of Turtle Bay in New York City, it is obvious the UN is getting more clever about taking the focus off of “small arms.”
With an eye cast in the direction of the U.S.—in particular, toward the U.S. Senate which must ratify the treaty—the most recent Draft Paper for the Arms Trade Treaty recognizes in its preamble “the sovereign right of States to determine any regulation of internal transfers of arms and national ownership exclusively within their territory, including through national constitutional protections on private ownership.”
That statement, taken by itself, is troubling. Americans’ right to keep and bear arms exists whether or not it is “recognized” by some UN committee. The right enshrined in the Second Amendment predates our own Constitution, and does not need an international stamp of approval.
But the preamble aside, the scope of the treaty is what’s most damaging. Though negotiations will continue for another year, some provisions are certain to be contained in the final draft.
The ATT will, at the very least, require gun owner registration and microstamping of ammunition. And it will define manufacturing so broadly that any gun owner who adds so much as a scope or changes a stock on a firearm would be required to obtain a manufacturing license.
It would also likely include a ban on many semi-automatic firearms (i.e., the Clinton gun ban) and demand the mandatory destruction of surplus ammo and confiscated firearms.
Any suggestion that the treaty might not impact all firearms—right down to common hunting rifles—was thrown out the window after seeing the reaction to the Canadian government’s motion that hunting rifles be exempted from the treaty.
The treaty had been signed by Obama several years ago, but it was never ratified by the Senate.