As soon as the election returns were in, the United States voted to reopen negotiations on the Small Arms Treaty from which it had backed off in the summer of 2012. Now the Treaty is slated for signature in March of 2013.
The Treaty is designed to establish “common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms.” The White House claims that the goal is to “fight illicit arms trafficking and proliferation” and assures us that it will not accept any “treaty that infringes on the constitutional rights of our citizens to bear arms.”
But, as the Washington Times noted in a recent editorial, “it is hard to take the White House response seriously.” The treaty requires signatory nations to “take the necessary legislative and administrative measures, to adapt, as necessary, national laws and regulations to implement the obligations of this treaty.” As the Times wrote “The agreement’s language is so broad, vague and poorly defined it could be stretched in a variety of ways that would pose a threat to the Second Amendment.”
The editorial warns that “activist judges adjudicating cases arising under the treaty and enabling legislation” could use the provisions to require gun registration and limit gun possession, even to the point of requiring confiscation. If the judges who interpret the treaty could take the position that “anything that indirectly or incidentally affects the trade in arms would fall under its control.”
The Times adds: “A ratified treaty, with constitutional authority, could be interpreted in a way that applies to any imported weapon or round of ammunition, those made with foreign components, those containing imported materials, those that might someday be exported, and those capable of being exported. If it affects the overall arms market, it could be said to be part of “international” trade, even if the item never leaves our shores. In practice this logic would give the government free rein to regulate all weapons, foreign and domestic.”
The question for us is: Can we marshal enough Senatorial opposition to stop the Treaty’s progress? The NRA has gotten the commitments of 51 Senators to vote against the Treaty if it infringes on the Second Amendment. But the phony reassurance the Treaty will offer to supporters of gun rights in the US might provide a fig leaf to get Senators to vote yes.
We need ironclad commitments to get the no votes we need.
Please sign this petition to go to the Republican Senators to get them to stand up for our Second Amendment rights.
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