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View Full Version : Obama Seeks to Reintroduce Failed 1997 U.S.-Mexico Weapons Treaty


Bartholomew Roberts
April 17, 2009, 09:34 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/17/world/americas/17prexy.html?partner=msnbcpolitics&emc=rss

But on Thursday the president went a step further, announcing that he would press the Senate to ratify the long-stalled inter-American arms treaty, which the United States had a major hand in negotiating through the Organization of American States.

The treaty, signed by President Clinton, stalled in the Senate, but went into effect in 1998 after two dozen other nations ratified it. The treaty seeks to crack down on illicit firearms by, among other things, establishing a system for the import, export and transfer of firearms, and by fostering cooperation among law enforcement agencies investigating illegal trafficking.

This is a concern for gun owners. For one, I am wary of any treaty on firearms that the Clinton Administration signed but the Senate would not ratify. Second, this is an excellent avenue to push backdoor gun control since it only requires ratification in the Senate and does not expose House Democrats to an anti-gun vote that might hurt their reelection chances.

The text of the treaty (Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and other Related Materials) is located here:
http://www.oas.org/juridico/English/treaties/a-63.html

So far, I have found only this Editorial in the St. Louis Examiner opposing the treaty on RKBA issues:
http://www.examiner.com/x-2581-St-Louis-Gun-Rights-Examiner~y2009m4d17-Senate-must-reject-InterAmerican-Arms-Treaty

The main concern of the author is a provision in the treaty requiring anyone who manufactures ammunition or firearms to have a license from the government. Under our current laws, this would make such activities as reloading, assembling an AR15 from an upper and lower, building a 1911 on a frame, and similar home gunsmithing projects require an FFL or similar license - along with the regulatory burdens that might entail.

Be sure to contact your Senators and let them know how you feel about this:
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

raimius
April 17, 2009, 10:24 AM
Forgive my ignorance, but assembling an AR-15 would not be manufacture, would it? Only the stripped lower would technically be the firearm, and you are not manufacturing that.
What am I missing?

vranasaurus
April 17, 2009, 10:25 AM
Does the treaty enforce those provisions or foes it require signatories to pass laws to enforce them?

if the former the question I have is can a us citizen be prosecuted in us courts for violation of a treaty?

And if its the latter would the house and senate actually pass the laws the treaty requires?

I am under the impression that its the latter and treaties must be backed up and enforced with laws. I could be wrong though.

Bartholomew Roberts
April 17, 2009, 11:08 AM
Forgive my ignorance, but assembling an AR-15 would not be manufacture, would it? Only the stripped lower would technically be the firearm, and you are not manufacturing that.

In the past, the ATF has argued that custom work on a 1911 frame was sufficient to constitute "manufacturing" of a new firearm for the purposes of paying the excise tax. ATF also takes that position with regard to assembling an AR15 on a stripped lower (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=313409&highlight=excise+tax+stripped+lower). Currently, it is OK to do that as long as the firearm is for personal use - however, a license would be required under this treaty if ATF relies on the same definition of "manufacturing."

Does the treaty enforce those provisions or foes it require signatories to pass laws to enforce them?

I am a little rusty on my international law, so I would need to look up how that would be enforced if it was ratified; but at a minimum, there is a great deal of executive authority (note the ATF definition of manufacturing above) that would be affected by such a treaty. Imagine ATF totally reworking its existing regulations citing this treaty as authority. That alone is a fairly big can of worms even without Congress passing additional laws.

Old Wanderer
April 17, 2009, 05:01 PM
What are you missing....Read the treaty::::

Definitions

For the purposes of this Convention, the following definitions shall apply:

1. "Illicit manufacturing" : the manufacture or assembly of firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials:
b. without a license from a competent governmental authority of the State Party where the manufacture or assembly takes place;

Who will license you to hand load, or assemble you weapon after cleaning???

Not to worry we already have a government orginzation that is giving all the people in our industry fits:

http://www.progunleaders.org/DDTC/

When we ratify a treaty then we MUST pass laws to fulfill the treaty obligations..



Sleep well ladies and gentlemen your government is at work.

Bartholomew Roberts
April 17, 2009, 09:56 PM
When we ratify a treaty then we MUST pass laws to fulfill the treaty obligations.

Actually, there is language in this treaty acknowledging that there is no obligation of the signatory to pass laws to implement the treaty. However, I am still concerned about the possible effect it would have on the ATFs executive authority.

Bartholomew Roberts
April 20, 2009, 08:11 AM
NRA-ILA weighs in on treaty...

NRA-ILA Grassroots Alert Vol. 16, No. 15 4/17/09

President Obama Announces Support for Firearms Treaty

During an official visit to Mexico on April 16, President Obama announced his support for Senate ratification of an inter-American treaty on firearms trafficking. In response, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox issued the following statement:

"The NRA is well aware of the proposed Organization of American States treaty on firearms trafficking, known by its Spanish initials as CIFTA. The NRA monitored the development of this treaty from its earliest days, but contrary to news reports today, the NRA did not 'participate' at the meeting where the treaty was approved.

"The treaty does include language suggesting that it is not intended to restrict 'lawful ownership and use' of firearms. Despite those words, the NRA knows that anti-gun advocates will still try to use this treaty to attack gun ownership in the U.S. Therefore, the NRA will continue to vigorously oppose any international effort to restrict the constitutional rights of law-abiding American gun owners."

alloy
April 22, 2009, 05:01 PM
If CIFTA is ratified, any speculation on permits required to avoid illicit manufacturing of ammunition, and does this appear to be on course to be accepted?
Anyone keep up with this stuff currently, or is this just old news to file in the circular file with the rest of the drive-by posts?

http://www.oas.org/juridico/english/treaties/a-63.html

SKULLANDCROSSBONES65
April 22, 2009, 05:39 PM
G'day. I received an email from a friend in America today, part of witch states, Just got an email here this morning saying--it's in our immediate future that we will only be able to 'carry and own' ammo that is individually stamped and 'registered' with the gov't. All reloaded and 'unstamped--uncoded' ammo will have to be destroyed. If we're caught using it after the 'grace period' we'll face heavy penalties. Is this the type of thing you are referring to?

SwampYankee
April 22, 2009, 05:40 PM
This seems to be the first credible and plausible piece of "gun control" I've seen from the Obama administration and it scares me. It's a backdoor attempt and one might say it's not even about gun control in the US (although some would disagree). But it might be successful. I'm waiting to see what Pelosi and Reed have to say on the matter. If they do not support it, it will be a dead issue. I have scoured the net looking for more info, but aside from Obama, I have not heard any other politician's views.

I'm more worried about "illicit reloading" than stamping and serializing of ammo. That ain't never gonna happen...

alloy
April 22, 2009, 06:29 PM
Skullandcrossbones65, i am refering to this passage of the text, from the link in my first post. Section B particularily.

1. "Illicit manufacturing": the manufacture or assembly of firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials:

a. from components or parts illicitly trafficked; or

b. without a license from a competent governmental authority of the State Party where the manufacture or assembly takes place; or

c. without marking the firearms that require marking at the time of manufacturing.



And my main question is whether this is just floating around since Clinton and nothing to worry about because like the Kyoto treaty, we might promote/push/praise it politically, but not actually ratify it. Or is this something else, that actually might be part of what is happening recently...and end up as the real enchilada. Lots of stuff flying around out in the IWEB these days.

Al Norris
April 22, 2009, 11:41 PM
I'm going to merge this with Barts thread, which deals about this and is still open. I suggest everyone read this thread from the beginning, look at the link (to the treaty - its a short read), and get up to speed with this.

It is most certainly a back door into gun control.

orchidhunter
April 27, 2009, 01:51 PM
I found this letter on another gun site, it shows how the Anti gun-rights folks can use the CIFTA Treaty. orchidhunter

To: Barack Hussein Obama, President of the United States
From: (As if written by the anti-gun-rights lobby)
Re: CIFTA Treaty

Dear Mr. President,

We commend your common-sense support of the CIFTA Treaty for reducing
illicit arms manufacture and gun trafficking. This is a brilliant stratagem
in the exhausting effort to rid our country of the scourge of gun violence.

With the treaty in place and ratified by the Senate, you will be obligated
to take certain steps with regard to private ownership of firearms that we
have never been able to move through the houses of Congress. Further, you
will be able to take these actions unilaterally, making swift change
possible and, under international obligation to act you are insulated from
direct criticism.

Our attorneys assure us the steps we outline here are in full compliance
with international law and the terms of the treaty itself. Article VI of
the U.S. Constitution unambiguously gives such a treaty a degree of
supremacy over the nation, its laws, the states and the public (even though
some in the powerful gun lobby deny this or point to questionable court
precedents). This is especially useful as we adapt to a global economy,
world courts, an empowered U.N. and environmental concerns on a planetary
scale.

In addition, we know that if a law can be interpreted to either spread or
curtail the proliferation of arms in the hands of average people, the
common-sense interpretation must be to curtail arms whenever possible.
CIFTA provides the perfect platform for this very reasonable approach.

There will be little disagreement that CIFTA's surface goal of keeping
arms out of the hands of dictators, tyrants, terrorists, violent criminal
cartels, syndicates and gangs, insurgents, non-state actors, and genocidal
regimes is a worthy goal. The value for domestic gun control here and
abroad is equally worthy, and lies in virtually every measure required to
track and control arms. We are eager to see your signature on this
important step forward for the safety of Americans.

csmsss
May 14, 2009, 07:42 AM
Dreadful. Positively dreadful that a Presidential administration is so gung ho to abandon national sovereignty and go to war with his own populace.

Scott Conklin
May 14, 2009, 12:17 PM
Dreadful? Was there actually any doubt before this person was even elected? Apparently people failed to listen to what he, and his sidekick, said and did both before and during the election.

csmsss
May 14, 2009, 12:31 PM
Dreadful? Was there actually any doubt before this person was even elected? Apparently people failed to listen to what he, and his sidekick, said and did both before and during the election.Oh, I have never had any doubts about the threat that this Manchurian candidate and his cronies pose to this nation's freedom - but there are plenty on this board and elsewhere who pooh-poohed the notion and suggested that he wasn't going to bother with guns because there were more pressing issues and that gun control wasn't politically popular.

I'll put it simply - the Obama administration considers the greatest threat to this country to come from its own law-abiding citizenry. If that doesn't send chills down your spine, I don't know what would.

txbirddog
May 27, 2009, 11:18 PM
Lou Dobbs also weighed in on this. Very interesting on just how it is being presented.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9X2VbhSH9o&feature=player_embedded

FALPhil
May 28, 2009, 02:49 PM
Dreadful? Was there actually any doubt before this person was even elected? Apparently people failed to listen to what he, and his sidekick, said and did both before and during the election.

If one sees the Constitution as a contract, does signing this treaty constitute the unilateral breaking of the contract?

Bartholomew Roberts
May 28, 2009, 03:10 PM
I don't see how you could reach that conclusion (breach of contract) since the Constitution expressly authorizes the President to sign treaties and the Senate to ratify them.

However, I'd appreciate it if those interested started a separate thread on that subject so we could keep this one focused on the Treaty itself.

FALPhil
May 28, 2009, 07:08 PM
Done. (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=359953)

armsmaster270
May 28, 2009, 07:17 PM
The treaty, signed by President Clinton, stalled in the Senate, but went into effect in 1998 after two dozen other nations ratified it. The treaty seeks to crack down on illicit firearms by, among other things, establishing a system for the import, export and transfer of firearms, and by fostering cooperation among law enforcement agencies investigating illegal trafficking.

How can we do that if most of the south of the border cops are corrupt and on the take as well as the army.