Archive for the ‘United Nations Treaties and Policies’ Category

U.N. ATT (Arms Trade Treaty) what is it?

May 14, 2012

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty is perhaps the most misunderstood and potentially harmful stride towards the loss of second amendment rights in the United States that we as a people currently face.  But there is a lot of this movement that just isn’t accurate and perhaps we are a bit premature on the topic.

Without question the UN ATT has massive potential to control our rights as law abiding Americans, but the Arms Trade Treaty needs to be understood a bit better by those who both champion it and despise it, because it’s much more complicated than it appears on the surface.

*A Note: Firstly, I must explain that the UN ATT (Arms Trade Treaty) is a non-partisan issue, and while you may often see my viewpoints as incredibly conservative (compared to the current administration), my political viewpoints are based on my interpretation of the Constitution, and individual and state liberties will always be the most important thing in my mind.  Our sovereignty is dependent on the promise of freedom to the individual and their ability to align with the state that they feel most comfortable with. It is impossible for the UN or any other non American institution to understand what it means to be American and to enjoy the freedoms we do as individuals. My hope is that you understand that my inclination is to protect the individual freedoms secured by the United States constitution above all else, and it is the major reason I continue to write daily.  Please look at this article whether Liberal or Conservative, with non-partisan eyes and try to understand the core issue: potential loss of freedoms.


How difficult would it be to pass the UN ATT (Arms Trade Treaty)?


As a basis for discussion one must understand that because of the landmark case Reid vs. Covert the United States of America cannot effectively enter into any treaty which trumps the Constitution of the United States.  The Senate could effectively pass a treaty into existence, but the treaty would be unable to supersede the laws and governance portrayed by the Constitution.  Congress would have to pass such a treaty by a 2/3 vote; and as such, politicians, or even the President alone, regardless of who he/she may be, cannot perpetrate such a coup.  THE ONLY WAY to remove the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment would be to repeal it or to adjust it through the incredibly difficult amendment process.  At the current state of the Union, it is inconceivable that such an event is possible, despite all the pressure and the prevalence of threat against it at many levels.

The Senate holds 100 seats.  In 2011, 58 of those stood up for American ideals (51 of the 100 seats were Democrats in 2011), authoring and sending signed letters to the President stating their absolute opposition to the proposed 2011 UN ATT (Arms Trade Treaty).  In the 2012 Elections the expectation is that as many as 12 seats are suspected to change hands, putting more conservatives into a position to oppose such legislation. Among the Democrats that opposed the UN ATT, 13 of them stepped forward to sign a letter drafted by Montana Democratic Senator Jon Tester.

The Letter signed by the 58 senators can be read in the link below (this is not my content):

This letter shows the current unification against the arms trade treaty, and potentially denotes the intolerance for future changes in opinion by the administration or other governing bodies.

Needless to say, at this point, the UN ATT would be near impossible to pass.  That isn’t to say that if a few key seats change hands; a few words in the charter at the United Nations changes; a few people change their minds, or there is a decided shift in ideology over the next couple of years, that this couldn’t pass, but it isn’t likely in the next several years.


What is the Arms Trade Treaty (UN ATT)?


In around 2002 a group of international Noble peace recipients decided it was time to address the concerns with illicit guns in nations across the world. In 2003 a leader for the “resolution” (dubbed “61/89”) emerged in a man by the name of Oscar Arias.  It claimed to be a standard between member countries for the transportation and movement of small arms.

153 Member countries agreed with the charter when it was finally introduced in 2006 by the UK delegate John Duncan.

24 member countries abstained from voting in the initiative:


  • China
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Libya
  • Pakistan
  • Russia
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Yemen

Others who could someday be of note (from the perspective of the United States):

  • Kuwait
  • Laos
  • Oman
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Venezuela
  • Zimbabwe

Others who use the sale of military arms to support their budgets:

  • Bahrain
  • Belarus
  • Egypt

Other countries who oppose the Resolution 61/89:

  • India
  • Marshall Islands
  • Nepal
  • Qatar
  • UAE

The United States voted against the UN ATT Arms Trade treaty Initiative.


The ISACS initiative on the UN ATT otherwise known as the general arms trade treaty.


SAAMI (a name that many shooters know well) produced a recent publication (the link is attached at the bottom of this article to a pdf version of it) about the ISACS initiative.

For clarification: ISACS is the International Small Arms Control Standards, an initiative by IANSA (the International Action Network on Small Arms) an anti gun group whose charter you can see as an attachment to this article (listed below).  IANSA is the official sponsor (read: author) of the current iteration of the “accepted” UN Arms Trade Treaty as it currently stands.

The SAAMI document highlights the following points:

  • SAAMI alleges that their and other’s (pro-gun) input is not being credited with enough credence relative to the anti gun organizations involved in the process
  • UNICEF has a substantial input and authorship of supporting documents at the UN presentation level
  • UNICEF claims: “{Unicef} cannot support the idea that guns are a recreational or useful thing for youth ANYWHERE…”
  • SAAMI alleges that the group does not apply governing rules for investigation equally amongst all information sources specifically to damage pro-gun positions
  • The inclusion of political statements and unsubstantiated reports alleging illegal behavior in widespread use by dealers in the United States (the largest small arms exporter in the world)
  • False premises used to manipulate the text of the “findings” so many subordinate “facts” by virtue of connection are also false
  • There is only a tiny amount of time to review each portion of the “initiative” by the opining organizations (sometimes many pages only got half a week)
  • SAAMI says: the “standards” presented in the Arms Trade Treaty are simply not standards, but rather loosely formed opinions unable to be substantiated

SAAMI points out some rather scary potential regulation under a proposed UN ATT or arms trade treaty, in this case those under the ISACS set:

  1. Executives of gun or ammunition manufacturing companies must themselves be able to use the machinery
  2. A manufacturer must be held to security clearances and keep “state secrets” or risk not being issued a continual operating license under the accord
  3. Advanced scanners must be present at all borders
  4. Sport shooting organizations cannot be privatized and must be state sponsored and approved
  5. Serialization of small arms must be controlled by secondary unique company specific identifiers
  6. ANY shipment of firearms or Ammunition could be disallowed to be shipped under loosely constructed potential theft rules
  7. Transfers of all kinds are prohibited outside of closely held groups with “proper authority to initiate transfers
  8. Control regulations (regulations which arbitrarily set standards for control of a specific weapon)
  9. Personal life changes could be investigated by a hiring company or outside agency if the person is attempting to gain employment at an arms or ammunition manufacturer
  10. Firearms for recreation are only explicitly protected if they are within the Olympics; not including sport shooting, hunting or other recreational shooting

Furthermore, this regulatory structure calls for the following:

a)      Psychiatric and medical examinations, fingerprints and other background procedural checks for those involved with arms or ammunition at federal government, state government or manufacturer levels

b)      Extensive and ridiculous longstanding tracking obligations by the country shipping firearms (essentially perpetual tracking requirement)

c)       Firearms are NOT ALLOWED, locked or otherwise, where children are present

d)      Hunting in any country is disallowed until the participant reaches the age of 18

e)      Many small internal parts must be mechanically marked, even if the marking will weaken the part

f)       Firearm registry records must be kept in perpetuity (forever)

g)      Specific and additional licensing must be in place in order to touch a firearm without consequence


i)        Every firearm must be marked at 5 separate stages of their lifecycle to ensure proper cataloging and tracking; this includes marking it before it is demilled/destroyed


k)      Requires the individual marking of every necessary part to firearm function regardless of the size

l)        Civilian firearms cannot be transferred to the government for usage, only destruction

m)    The marking methods are limited in their size (4 digits and 5 digits) which begs the question: are we setting ourselves up for limitation on overall production numbers of firearms?

n)      Nationalized gun registries are mandatory

o)      Border control techniques are mandatory

p)      All component manufacturing operations must be licensed in accordance with manufacturer standards of companies that produce full weapons

q)      Manufacturer registries are mandatory

r)       Metal evaluations are mandatory for those involved in manufacturing, though no specific standards are set for the inclusion into the “safe” category

s)       Upon any investigation or audit, a license can be suspended or a company put out of business

t)       Licensure is mandatorily renewed each year

u)      All employees of an ammunition manufacturer must have the ability (by their own standards) to possess a legal firearm

v)      There are criminal consequences for failing to properly mark a pin or spring

w)    Labor standards must be adhered to (the UN setting those standards)

Obviously this is a set of regulations intent on making the manufacture and distribution of firearms so prohibitively costly as to effectively remove the industry.  Furthermore, it seems that the use of firearms would be seriously impeded, and the potential the firearm has to protect the individual is nullified if such regulatory architecture were to be enacted on a widescale basis.  Invasion by foreign powers would be incredibly difficult to perpetrate; the citizens offering little to no help to the volunteer armies protecting the citizens.

This is an agreement that the United States must eventually vote on; remember that the UN gives the U.S. a single vote against a total body of member countries standing at 193 entities. Remember 153 already voted to ratify this arms trade treaty (sometimes called the UN Small arms treaty or the UN ATT or the ISACS accord). 153 out of 193, and the United States has only a single vote in the matter.


Hilary Clinton gives the go-ahead for the Arms trade Treaty (UN ATT)

Hilary Clinton has agreed to negotiate terms based on ONLY the following and signed an agreement to do so in October 2009: “upon agreement and consensus that allows ALL countries to abide by the rules”.

We are now a nation of apologists, idealists and dreamers to believe that countries will abide by arbitrary laws which do not have effective implementation or enforcement.  We will weaken our position by abiding by these rules while others will strategically avoid the regulations.  North Korea, China, Russia, Iran, Iraq and others have all sidestepped UN enforcement to carry on in their specific endeavors, and we think that they will magically abide now by the most restrictive agreement ever proposed by the UN general counsel? Wow. We must be in bad shape.

We are the most important treaty ratfier. Without our support in the UN, it would be near impossible for the UN to make this treaty effective.  We account for over 40% of all firearm exportation in the world.

There is a bit of a concern.  The original signers of the letter to Obama/Clinton comprised of that 58 person senate block only agreed to avoid the subject if it infringed upon 2nd amendment rights.  With the right mix of pressure, contortionism and lubrication, such a measure could easily be ratified in the next couple of years.  If this administration is reelected, such a measure would be top priority of some of the administration as now would be the only time it could pass in the next decade or so.  If Obama is not reelected, and there is a change in the Senate to increase Democrats, such a treaty could be ratified easily under a Romney administration even.

It’s unlikely we will see such occurrences, but it’s not completely out of the question.  Such a treaty could jeopardize a $35 Billion dollar a year industry in the United States, kill 125K jobs domestically initially and up to 350k+ in the long term; effectively remove our sovereignty in the case of a malicious attack on our soil by foreign powers not in compliance with the rules, and help to enact widespread changes in our power throughout the world.

President Bush opposed the Arms trade treaty alluding to the massive economic losses associated with the UN ATT, but he also knew the concerns that come from removing gun liberties from the law abiding citizens of the United States of America.


Finalization of the Arms Trade Treaty in 2012


In July 2012 a meeting will take place at the UN headquarters in New York from July 2nd through July 27th.  24 days (July 4th is a recognized holiday) of “discussion” to “finalize” the UN ATT accord.  That seems like an awful long time for discussion that could have been had for years prior.  It also seems that the 1-2 days (2-3 hours a day) that Hilary Clinton will be present is far too little for her to understand the arguments presented.  There are a few Non-governmental organizations “lobbying” against the accord as “accredited organizations”, of course headed by the NRA and the NRA-ILA.  They will be given limited access to present a discussion to the body (as convoluted and segregated as it will be) to try to contribute to the “conversation”.

May 14th is the deadline for applying for NGO “Accreditation” status, so you had better get your applications in if you want to “present”.  See the documents linked below the article.

I think that gun rights are non-partisan. But I believe that the Arms Trade Treaty is simply a pathway towards domestic gun control and believe that the most important thing we can do as a nation is elect representatives to the Senate which will uphold the Constitutional rights we were guaranteed by the blood and faith and efforts of Brave men who founded our country.

We have been under pressure as gun owners before, but never on so many fronts.  It’s important to understand this “treaty”, write your Senators expressing your concerns and join in on the NRA and NRA-ILA’s actions to keep this UN ATT at bay and away from our gun rights.

The absolute key to the passage of this treaty is the inclusion of the United States on the sponsorship line.  We CANNOT allow such a decision, regardless of who is in power.

Let’s remember: this is the same UN whose representative just asked America to give Mount Rushmore back to the American Indians last week.  It’s not that I am against Indian Nations, the atrocities done to the native Americans in the past were not acceptable.  But let’s be realistic: you can’t just go around continually throwing arbitrary requests around to try and rectify hundred year old mistakes.  Surely there is a more reasonable solution to the problem.  What has the UN become?  It seems like we have become apologists to appease an organization that few people actually take seriously. The regime that is the Untied Nations is much more a concern than it is a solution, or even a respectable entity. What is the purpose of the UN anyway? Peace.  They purportedly promote peace.  What? We have a gun named in honor of peace: the Peacemaker.  Isn’t that as big an endorsement for peace as anyone has ever provided?  Get enough Peacemakers in enough responsible citizens hand’s and we can probably gain some peace.  Certainly that resolution is more appropriate than the ridiculous UN ATT (Arms Trade treaty).