NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox attended a meeting at United Nations headquarters in July to send a simple, unequivocal message to the international bureaucrats who want to eliminate your Right to Keep and Bear Arms: An international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) that in any way, shape or form affects the constitutional rights of American gun owners is completely unacceptable.
In his address to conference participants from around the world, LaPierre made it clear that NRA will accept no compromise on this critical issue.
“The Right to Keep and Bear Arms in defense of self, family and country is ultimately self-evident and is part of the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution,” he said. “Reduced to its core, it is about fundamental individual freedom, human worth and self-destiny. We reject the notion that American gun owners must accept any lesser amount of freedom in order to be accepted among the international community.”
In 2009, at the behest of the Obama administration, the United States joined 152 other countries in endorsing a U.N. Arms Trade Treaty Resolution. The resolution establishes an international conference to be held next year, at which leaders from countries around the world—many of which have deplorable human rights records—will draw up an international treaty designed to severely restrict or even outright ban your right to sell, purchase, carry or own a firearm.
In reversing President George W. Bush’s opposition to U.N. mandated global gun control, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared, “The United States is committed to actively pursuing a strong and robust treaty that contains the highest possible, legally binding standard. …”
NRA has alerted American gun owners to be on guard against this ticking time bomb for years. NRA-ILA was the first group to be officially recognized by the U.N. as a “non-governmental organization” determined to protect the freedoms of American gun owners, hunters and shooters. The threat to those freedoms posed by an international Arms Trade Treaty has gained steam under the current administration.
President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the U.N. claim that the only purpose of the ATT is to fight terrorism and international crime syndicates. Americans should not be fooled.
In speaking out for the nation’s gun owners, LaPierre warned that, “Those working on this treaty have asked us to trust them. … but they’ve proven to be unworthy of that trust.”
Dissecting the U.N. blueprint, LaPierre concluded that:
• “We are told, ‘Trust us, an ATT will only affect the illegal trade in firearms. ’But then we’re told that in order to control the illegal trade, all states must control the legal firearms trade;
• “We are told, ‘Trust us, an ATT will not require registration of civilian firearms.’ Yet, there are numerous calls for record-keeping and firearm tracking from production to eventual destruction. That’s nothing more than gun registration by a different name;
• “We are told, ‘Trust us, an ATT will not interfere with the lawful international commerce in civilian firearms.’ But a manufacturer of civilian shotguns would have to comply with the same regulatory process as a manufacturer of military attack helicopters.”
LaPierre demanded that proposals affecting civilian firearm ownership that are woven throughout the ATT must be completely removed from the scope of any international agreement, saying, “On this there can be no compromise, as American gun owners will never surrender their Second Amendment freedoms.”
There can be no question that what is taking shape at the U.N. is an all-out attack on the constitutional freedom of American gun owners. U.N. bureaucrats have focused intensely on record-keeping, oversight, inspections, supervision, tracking, tracing, surveillance, marking, documentation, verification, paper trails and data banks, new global agencies and data centers regarding firearms and ammunition. Nowhere are there provisions about respecting citizens’ rights of self-defense, privacy, property, due process or observing personal freedoms of any kind.
International gun-ban activists have demanded ATT provisions that would force America to license firearm owners, severely restrict all firearm purchases, destroy firearms deemed “unauthorized,” ban commonly owned semi-automatic rifles and join an international gun registry.
While a treaty can’t override the Second Amendment, it can become the law of the land either directly—equal to any law passed by Congress—or through implementing legislation. Even if a treaty isn’t ratified by a two-thirds majority of the U.S. Senate, it never dies, and can still affect your rights. The U.S. Senate could take a signed treaty off the shelf and vote to ratify it 10, 20 or 50 years from now—as we know from experience. Just two years ago, NRA fought a push to consider a 1997 Organization of American States (OAS) gun control treaty in the Senate. Although the U.S. never ratified that treaty, the Clinton administration used it as an excuse to restrict exports of gun parts and accessories to Canada.
In a 2010 speech to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Hillary Clinton’s Under Secretary for Arms Control told the audience: “We will work between now and the U.N. Conference in 2012 to negotiate a legally binding Arms Trade Treaty, and we’ll need your help in achieving it. We have made that a fundamental policy commitment.”
So you can bet that if President Obama wins a second term he’ll move full-speed ahead for Senate ratification and implementation of the ATT’s mandates.
Obama and Clinton have spent their entire careers demonizing American gun owners and doing everything in their power to make firearm ownership more expensive, more difficult and, in many cases, illegal. Now they want to unleash the U.N. gun-ban axis on our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
It’s time for all Americans to sound the alarm on this treacherous assault on U.S. sovereignty and join the NRA in this all-out fight to oppose any ATT that includes civilian firearms within its scope.
The cornerstone of our freedom is the Second Amendment. Neither the United Nations, nor any other foreign influence, has the authority to meddle with the freedoms guaranteed by our Bill of Rights, endowed by our Creator and due to all humankind.
In all of this, as the full measure of the Obama administration’s sell-out of our nation unfolds, NRA members must stand united to prevent and reverse the damage the administration’s “change” is inflicting on American freedom and our sovereignty.
To read the full text of Wayne’s speech before the U.N. and get the latest news on the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty, go to: www.nraila.org/unArmsTradeTreaty.
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