Second Amendment advocates are concerned that the Obama administration will use a United Nations treaty as a basis for executive action on gun control.
The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty is set to take effect on Christmas Eve. Though the United States delegation to the U.N. has supported the treaty, it has very little chance of being ratified by two-thirds of the Senate. But there is still reason for concern, said Catherine Mortensen, spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association.
"We are worried about an end-run around Congress," Mortensen told TheBlaze. "Barack Obama or a future anti-gun president could use ATT and international norms compliance to rationalize enacting gun control policies through executive actions, especially in the import and export realms."
"Even now, with an existing appropriations rider prohibiting action to implement the treaty unless it is approved by Congress, administration officials are publicly professing support for international efforts to bring the treaty into effect. That's outrageous," she added.
The U.N. General Assembly adopted the treaty in April 2013 with a vote of 154 to 3. The State Department points out that only Iran, Syria and North Korea opposed it.
“Make no mistake, we would never think about supporting a treaty that is inconsistent with the rights of Americans citizens to be able to exercise their guaranteed rights under our constitution,” Secretary of State John Kerry said a few months after the passage of the treaty.
Still, the treaty has some very unsavory supporters, said Mortensen of the NRA.
“The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty is an attempt by other countries – including some despotic regimes – to try and infringe on our constitutional rights,” Mortensen said. “While the NRA and a bipartisan majority of pro-gun Senators have succeeded in blocking this treaty's ratification in the United States, this treaty is a very real threat.”
The parties are required to establish export and import controls for combat vehicles, aircraft and small arms and light weapons. The treaty further says that “Each State Party shall establish and maintain a national control system, including a national control list, in order to implement the provisions of this Treaty.”
It further says that “Each State Party is encouraged to include in those records: the quantity, value, model/type, authorized international transfers of conventional arms covered under Article 2 (1), conventional arms actually transferred, details of exporting State(s), importing State(s), transit and trans-shipment State(s), and end users, as appropriate.”
“The United Nations is trying to establish what they call basic norms and bring international pressure on the United States to eviscerate our Second Amendment Rights and they have found willing allies in the Obama administration and John Kerry,” Mortensen added.
Investor’s Business Daily editorialized this week warning that Obama could use it as a basis for executive action on guns, even if it is not ratified by the Senate.
“All treaties must be ratified by two-thirds of the Senate, and that's not about to happen in the case of the unratified Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), particularly after the 2014 election that gave the GOP Senate control,” the editorial said. “The same, of course, could have been said about the Kyoto Protocol and other climate change deals that mandate that governments tie their economies in knots to meet arbitrary emission goals to save the planet. The Senate has not and won't ratify any of those either. Yet a president who pays no attention to Congress or the Constitution has through Environmental Protection Agency regulations sought to impose Kyoto and cap-and-trade through regulation and fiat.”
Alabama voters adopted a state constitutional amendment to guarantee for the right to bear arms after lawmakers cited the threat of international agreements the could limit gun rights.