WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Obama Administration has made a reversal in the stance of the United States in regards to agreeing to putting U.S. arms under the control of the United Nations, and what has been unacceptable to past presidents, is now a priority of the Obama Administration.
As of Tuesday, final deliberations have begun on the fate of the world’s first global and legally binding treaty to regulate the international conventional arms trade, and it has firearms enthusiasts and advocacy groups in the United States raising alarms.
The United Nations (U.N.) has been working on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) since 2006, and after positive feedback from member states’ governments, including that of the United States, the group is looking to pass the measure following a four-week diplomatic conference to discuss the matter in New York from July 2-27.
The treaty is ostensibly designed to prevent the top-down trickle (and oftentimes outright trade) of small and heavy arms from U.N. member states to dictators, terrorists, and other human rights violators throughout the world. As Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon stated in the opening of the conference:
"Our common goal is clear: a robust and legally binding Arms Trade Treaty that will have a real impact on the lives of those millions of people suffering from the consequences of armed conflict, repression and armed violence. It is ambitious, but it is achievable."
It is also something that would be totally contrary to the U.S. Constitution under the Second Amendment.
The scope of arms covered by the treaty would include tanks, military helicopters and other aircraft, missiles, and small arms such as rifles, handguns, shotguns, etc. of all calibers and type, among others.
The treaty is drawing a massive amount of flak from concerned citizens and shooting sports advocacy organizations in the United States, primarily because the existence of such international influence on firearms raises fears of outside interests restricting the United States’ firearm ownership rights.
President Bush’s administration voted against even beginning the process to draft an arms trade treaty in 2006, stating that national controls were more effective. Last week a group of 130 senators sent a letter to President Obama (who overturned the Bush decision) stating that the ATT was “likely to pose significant threats to our national security, foreign policy, and economic interests as well as our constitutional rights.”
But currently, President Obama has given every indication that he expects the United States to sign onto this international treaty, that could very well have huge national implications.