Complete Text of the UN Arms Treaty Along With Facts and Myths
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There is a lot of controversy swirling around about the UN Arms Trade Treaty that was signed by Secretary of State John Kerry this week. The treaty would still have to be ratified by the Senate by a 2/3 majority vote. This seems highly unlikely right now. However, treaties, unlike bills, do not have to be reintroduced to Congress each session, so the treaty could literally sit in committee for years waiting for an anti-gun Senate to come to power and pass it.
There is a lot of false information floating around the internet about the treaty. Don’t get me wrong, this is a bad treaty that the US has no interest in taking part in, however, we need to make sure when discussing it we are actually discussing facts, not fiction.
Presenting false talking points doesn’t help our cause, they hurt it.
First off, here is the actual UN Arms Treaty, embedded straight from the UN website. It’s only 12.5 pages and about half of those are procedural issues. So let’s all take a moment to read it.
Now that we’ve all read it (you read it, right?), let’s talk about some real dangers presented by the treaty and some myths that are floating around the Internet.
Real Threat #1: The Amendment Process
As you can see, towards the end of the document there is a process for amending the treaty. This requires a simple 3/4 majority vote of member nations who are present during a vote. This opens the US up to being part of a treaty which could, at some point in the future, attempt to restrict individual gun rights in our country. This would pit our Constitution against an international treaty. Granted, our Constitution should always win in such a case, but why even put ourselves in such a position in the first place?
Real Threat #2: Cost and Availability of Foreign Made Guns and Ammo Will be Affected
The treaty clearly puts additional checks, record keeping requirements and regulations on the import and export of guns and ammo between countries. There is simple no way that these additional regulations and record keeping requirements won’t affect the cost of the import/export process. This means imported guns and ammo will certainly go up if this treaty was ratified. It also means availability will likely decrease as well since many manufacturers will likely not want to deal with the hassle of the new international regulations and just stick to selling in their own country.
Real Threat #3: De Facto Gun Registry
The treaty encourages all member nations to track the value, source, and destination of all imported and exported guns. Depending on how thorough these records are, the US could start tracking all sales of all imported guns all the way to their individual owner. If you start doing some research I think you’ll be surprised how many gun makers, even so called, “US gunmakers” make some or all of their parts outside of our country.
Myth #1: The Treaty Imposes Weapons Bans on Member Nations
FALSE. The treaty does not mention banning any type of weapons either for military or civilian ownership anywhere in the document.
Myth #2: The Treaty Imposes Magazine Limits
FALSE. The treaty does mention magazine capacity limits anywhere in the document.
Myth #3: UN Troops Will Have the Power to Confiscate Privately Owned Firearms
FALSE. These is nothing in the document that gives the UN the power to enforce compliance with the treaty at all, let alone confiscate guns door to door.
Hopefully this article has cleared up some of the myths surrounding the Arms Treaty and opened your eyes to some of the very real threats it could present in the future if ratified by the Senate.