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Old May 20, 2010, 08:32 AM   #1
Bartholomew Roberts
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Arms Treaties and Second Amendment Problems

With all the "UN Treaty" threads circulating these days, I thought it might be worthwhile to point out a more relevant threat to Second Amendment rights via international treaties.

The Heritage Foundation has an interesting article on the 1997 CIFTA Treaty.

A little background, in 1997, then President Bill Clinton signed a treaty sponsored by the Organizaion of American States. It is a small arms control treaty that is known by its Spanish acronym - CIFTA. However, neither President Clinton nor President Bush ever presented the treaty to the Senate for ratification. Recently, President Obama has called on the Senate to ratify the CIFTA treaty and has made it one of its 17 "priority" treaties in 2009 (where it went nowhere due to other legislative battles and NRA opposition).

Recent Obama appointee Harold Koh not only expressed support for the treaty, he has also argued for it as a basis for domestic regulation and suggested that reservations from it lack legal validity (a "reservation" in international treaty is basically the equivalent of "Well, we're not going to do that part of the treaty)

The Heritage Foundation in the link above discuss the possible effects of the treaty on your First and Second Amendment rights (the treaty criminalizes some forms of speech as well) and the impact of Heller and other Supreme Court decisions on the treaty.

Some important things from the treaty:

1. Mandatory creation of a domestic small arms licensing system
2. Broadens the definition of "manufacture" to include things like assembling an AR15 upper, switching uppers, reloading ammunition, etc.
3. Prohibits police departments or military from selling surplus small arms equipment to civilians
4. Broadens the range of firearms related accessories that require an import/export license (no more sending slings or magazines to your buddy in Iraq)
5. Model legislation proposed by OAS calls for gun and ammunition registry
6. Extends record keeping time to 30 years and calls for signatory nations to share such information between themselves.
7. Attempts to criminalize "counseling" others to arm themselves or in other ways violate the treaty.
8. Could potentially create private rights in anti-gun foundations to sue the United States under this convention.

To the best of my knowledge, the Senate has not yet taken up President Obama on this issue and there appears to be little likelihood that they will with Sen. Harry Reid as majority leader. It also appears that there are not the 2/3 votes necessary to ratify such a controversial treaty, let alone to start enacting even a fraction of the laws it proposes. The Heritage Foundation link acknowledges this as well and argues that the real purpose in ratifying the treaty is to create additional pressure for gun control by arguing that the U.S. is not living up to its international treaty obligations. It would also give administrative agencies a big license to "reinterpret" existing regulations in light of the obligations created by the treaty.

However, the Heritage Foundation link is a good discussion on the subject and it might be worth a mention the next time you write your Senator.

Here is the previous TFL discussion on the subject:
http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...ighlight=cifta

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Old May 20, 2010, 08:38 PM   #2
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I Strongly suggest that members read the above post and the links by Bart, before staring another Rant on treaties and arms confiscations.

The original thread by Bart is still open for further comments and this thread will also remain open (barring abusive posts).
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Old May 21, 2010, 06:37 AM   #3
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delete

delete. Wrong spot.
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Old June 1, 2010, 09:23 AM   #4
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"Wholly Domestic" vs. "Commerce Clause"

Mandated Creation of a Domestic License System. The convention’s preamble states that it does not apply to “firearms ownership, possession, or trade of a wholly domestic character.”[4] This provision is obviously subject to interpretation of what is “wholly domestic.” As President Clinton implied upon signing the convention on November 14, 1997—“in [this] era…our borders are all more open to the flow of legitimate commerce”—the concept of globalization is often held to imply that nothing is a wholly domestic concern.[5] Thus, the convention’s preamble offers no meaningful protection to domestic firearms ownership or trade.



We've seen the way our own federal government has twisted, distorted, and completely misdirected what the "commerce clause" was meant to be. The federal government can now dictate to us which lightbulbs will be available for us to buy for our own homes, because lightbulbs move in interstate commerce. Thus, the feds have taken the position that they can ban certain types of lightbulbs for sale within the several states.

Who out there thinks that the phrase "Wholly Domestic", contained in CIFTA, won't be abused in a similar manner to regulate which types of firearms, what type of ammo, and what accessories (detachable magazines for example), civilians may possess? They'll have us limited to shotguns with low power target loads (for trap shooting) and .22 rifles (no handguns allowed) before we know it. We know the underlying ideologies of the governments and their reps who are pushing and supporting this dangerous treaty. They don't like an armed populace because that endangers their plans for one world government and control of "the people". Our founders tried to protect us from this coagulation of power, even within our own nation. Can anyone imagine them agreeing that such an international treaty as CIFTA would protect our freedoms and guarantee our safety as individuals? I think not. This is backdoor gun control. It's being supported by the Obama administration. Didn't he tell us gunowners that we had nothing to fear from his administration?
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Old June 1, 2010, 12:40 PM   #5
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It is easy to slumber and believe such things can never happen....

I am not an attorney but there are many highly educated people who include attorneys who seem to share these worries (founded or unfounded).

My opinion respectfully differs from some of the staff so let me leave you with the suggestion to read it (the proposed treaty) yourself and come to a opinion.
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Old July 21, 2010, 06:29 PM   #6
Bartholomew Roberts
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Here is an update from SAF regarding the current UN Arms Trade Treaty (which is separate from the Small Arms Treaty; but related in content):

Quote:
Originally Posted by Second Amendment Foundation
The Following is an up to the minute report from Julianne Versnel, Director of Operations for the Second Amendment Foundation who is representing SAF as an NGO delegate at the United Nations ATT meeting.

The Arms Trade Treaty Prep Committee began on July 12, 2010 and will conclude on July 23, 2010. Ambassador Roberto Garcia Moritan of Argentina is the Chair. On Friday, July 19, Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) representatives were told that the majority of the meetings would be closed to them. The critical discussions on the scope of the treaty will have no input from any non-governmental entity. Scope is critical in the Arms Trade Treaty process. In North America, some Pan Asian Countries and in some other parts of the world, the arms that we expect to have covered in this treaty are nuclear weapons. In much of Europe and most all of Africa, the delegates anticipate that the ATT will cover rifles, shotguns, handguns and ammunition as well.

There appears little doubt that some sort of treaty will be adopted by 2014, if not by 2012. It is anticipated that the final treaty will attempt to register all firearms, require micro-stamping, destruction of surplus ammunition on a very set schedule, registration of all firearms and restriction on any transfer of arms including between private individuals and many other restrictions. If the United States is a signatory and this is ratified by the U.S. Senate, this UN treaty would be the law. On October 30, 2009, UN members voted in favor of an ATT. The United States voted in favor of an ATT.

The UN has an aggressive schedule of meetings planned to push for these restrictions and we will be there representing you in every way we can. We will be at the CTOP/COP meeting in Vienna the week of October 18 and a General Assembly meeting at the end of October. In January, the five permanent members of the Security Council will meet and this is on the agenda. There will be another ATT Preparatory meeting at the end of February in New York. The regional UNIDIR meeting sponsored by the EU will start in March. We will come full circle with the Programme of Action Experts Meeting in May 2011 and the July 17-21 ATT Preparatory meeting that is expected to offer the final draft to the treaty.
So, it looks like control of the Senate in 2012 is going to be a major issue to be concerned with. Also interesting that the UN shut out all of the NGOs in this meeting. That is probably not a good sign for us.

There is also a good discussion of the current state of affairs by David Kopel and Theodore Brommund.

So in summary, not really time to act yet; but we need to be thinking about 2012 and planning for it. That appears to be when we can expect a serious push to produce an Arms Trade Treaty and have it ratified by the U.S. Senate (and based on current status, there isn't going to be much in there we'll like).
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Old July 21, 2010, 06:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Also interesting that the UN shut out all of the NGOs in this meeting. That is probably not a good sign for us.
Indeed. Perhaps less so, if Rebecca Peters and her ilk are also excluded.
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Old July 22, 2010, 12:10 PM   #8
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Enforcement?

How will they enforce this treaty on the United States? Will the federal government take on the citizens of the US? What about the 2nd A.? Will the USSC have any say in enforcing a law which could run afoul of our own Constitution? This will be a very interesting situation to keep an eye on. The UN has not been very good at ensuring their policies are followed up by any nation because they typically don't have the "power" in men and guns to do so. Look how inept they've been in places where genocide was being conducted right under their noses. Look at how Saddam's regime basically told them to pound sand and did what ever they wanted. The UN complained, but that's about all they could do. I'm not saying this isn't a scary precedent if this treaty is passed and ratified by our own Senate. I'm just saying that the enforcement of such a treaty would seem to be an issue for the UN if the US govt. doesn't enforce it for them. Would the US govt. enforce such a treaty? Would the Supreme Court step in? We can't predict the future. We must be vigilant to protect our own futures, however.
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Old July 28, 2010, 08:13 PM   #9
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Wasn't long ago some of my respect friends who I value said this could never happen...... I pray to be wrong...
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Old August 2, 2010, 09:49 AM   #10
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heh, Obama has a friend that tried/did this too,
"This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!" - Adolf Hitler, 1935
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Old August 2, 2010, 01:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
"This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!" - Adolf Hitler, 1935
Besides adding pretty much zero information of value to anyone looking for more information on current arms treaties and how these might impact Second Amendment rights, your comment is also false. Hitler never said that.

See: http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcbogus.html
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Old August 6, 2010, 06:40 PM   #12
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You will not see this come up in 2010. Harry and Pelosi do not want to bring the NRA and other gun rights organizations breathing fire. Ex Pres Clinton has probably already told them you are in hot water right now. Leave the gun rights folks alone or they will party like its 1994 again.

I live in SE Texas and still remember the look on Jack Brooks face when he found out he was losing in 1994.

They are still out there waiting....
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Old August 10, 2010, 08:41 AM   #13
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You won't see it come up in 2010; but Senators are elected for six-year terms. So any Senators up for election this year are going to be in a position to support or block this issue when it comes up again in 2012.
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Old August 13, 2010, 09:37 PM   #14
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The UN would not have the power to enforce it over a nation with the military might we have. In my mind the only question would be would the executive branch of the US Federal government enforce it even against the 2nd amendment.

In fact without US dollars financing so many things, Im pretty sure the UN wouldn't be able to do much of anything...

This issue seems pretty cloudy but given the political events of the past few years who know how this could pan out?

An interesting note is if inflation should hit the US dollar hard, it might bring the UN to a halt for lack of value of our currency.. I haven't really thought this part of it all the way out to the end but it is interesting....
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Old August 22, 2010, 10:01 PM   #15
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The more I think about this issue the more I am coming to believe it probably wont get passed or if it does so it will have no enforcement.

Without debating the issue or the politics around it: I believe that our country is broke and not far down the road severe inflation or severe deflation or some combination of the two will rip our economy further apart.

How this will affect this issue is that: If the dollar is worthless there wont be any money to pay for the enforcement of such a agreement nor paid police to enforce it.

Further the institutions it would require our government to create it can ill afford financially not to mention the probably near permanent end to whatever political party passed it.

Any political group that cant afford the police to protect itself from a potentially outraged population could ill afford legislation like this that might enrage it.

As much as I can see how the left would love to get this in place I dont think they have time to play with this when there are so many other hot button issues on there agenda. Not to mention a growning number of sites paint a less and less rosy picture our our financial future over the next two years.

In the end I suspect this will be the "bridge too far" so to speak.... Sure I'll still worry that I could be wrong but I dont think so.
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Old September 8, 2010, 05:31 PM   #16
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If i remember correctly and the stuff i learn on school are true, UN are not made to "enforce" anything.
Like with the "Human Rights", they say that some countries violate them, others don't recognize them, but they are not actually enforcing them.

Actually, enforcing anything by violence is against the UN itself i believe...

And even in small parts of the world like Kossovo, a multi-national peace-keeping force had to be assembled. These troops as i know, because we took part in many peace-keeping missions, are not UN Troops, but troops from the armies of the Countries taking part.

As said above, even if UN wanted to enforce something, that cant be done without the US Marines and US Navy. At least.
And to be honest i believe the UN exist because of United States. The way i see it, China or Russia would not be interested much in supporting UN (from the superpowers) but United Sates and EU do support UN.

So, if UN suggest to United States to re-make their Constitution according to the model they will create, that would not only confirm many conspiracy theories, but would also be ridiculous.

UN has to know that in United States the existence of freedom requires for citizens to bear guns to protect it in the form of a Militia (With the American meaning of the term). Without the right to bear arms, there is no freedom and there are no United States.
If i got it right, each US Citizen has to be in readiness like the Minutemen, and he also has to be a watchman over the government (and society), exactly because the government has power from the people that elects it.

Also, there is an other thin that troubles me. What would the US Citizens, Military Men AND Police Officers would do in the case that something against the Second Amendment is passed?
You would do like us and and support the government to take the power and freedom of the people, or you will stand for United States, the Constitution and the people?

That would be an interesting question to ask to ourself, yes i mean everyone, not only Americans, because even here and in all the Europe there are anti-gun law proposals being made and having lived in country that doesn't allow any right to self-defense, i can tell you that sucks.
So, don't be like us!
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Old September 19, 2010, 09:24 PM   #17
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It's not about the UN imposing its will/mandate upon the U.S. It's about the hubris of not one but two Presidents making an end run around the constitutional amendment process in order to avoid Supreme Court scrutiny and half of the legislative body.

What's necessary, in my opinion, is a REAL constitutional amendment which will, once and for all, make it ironclad that no treaty, under any circumstances, can suborn rights guaranteed under the constitution nor abrogate our national sovereignty to any international body. Get that? You don't have to worry about nefarious treaties such as this.
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Old September 23, 2010, 05:35 PM   #18
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As CCRKBA has noted, former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels was recently appointed as alternate representative to the UN.

For those who don't recognize the name, Greg Nickels is the Seattle Mayor who pushed a gun ban in Seattle even though the ban was preempted by state law and he had already been informed by the Washington state Attorney General that the ban was against state law. CCRKBA sued to overturn the law and has been successful so far; but the extent that Greg Nickels was willing to go, including ignoring state law, is a good clue of his feelings on this, even without his long history of leadership in anti-gun organizations.

With thoroughly anti-gun U.S. representation in the UN, the importance of the Senate's role in ratifying treaties cannot be overstated. We need Senators who would be willing to filibuster any attempts at ratification or we need a Senate Majority Leader who will keep it off the calendar. While the UN Treaty does not come up for a vote until 2012, the CIFTA Treaty has already been signed and only needs to be ratified.

At present these remain remote dangers; but the midterm elections can change that depending on how they go for pro-RKBA candidates.
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Old July 13, 2011, 10:52 AM   #19
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For those interested in the UN Small Arms Treaty, the negotiations on the draft treaty to be presented in 2012 are going on this week and NRA News is covering the negotiations. The NRA News pieces are available as podcasts through iTunes and are also on Sirius/XM radio during the NRA's Cam and Company show every day (these are the July 11 - July 15, 2011 podcasts).

Short version: It appears Mexico and several of the Caribbean countries are insisting that civilian firearms must be tracked from manufacture to destruction as part of this treaty. However, this appears to be a minority position at the UN currently.
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Old July 13, 2011, 12:45 PM   #20
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That's some scary stuff.

What sticks out "most" is "attempts to criminalize counseling someone else to arm.".

Myself, I almost always lean more towards the DEMs on issues except for guns. But, that specific statement is unbelievable from any American.

Great post BR
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Old July 13, 2011, 03:19 PM   #21
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And as another Mexican national was executed in Texas you can see that no treaty by itself alters US law.

The SCOTUS threw the case back since Incongruous Assembled has failed to pass any laws codifying a treaty 'obligation.'

Since Congress has not acted the state of Texas has no duty to enforce the terms of a treaty by allowing consular access for the accused killer, now executed.
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Old July 13, 2011, 03:49 PM   #22
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Quote:
It's not about the UN imposing its will/mandate upon the U.S. It's about the hubris of not one but two Presidents making an end run around the constitutional amendment process in order to avoid Supreme Court scrutiny and half of the legislative body.

What's necessary, in my opinion, is a REAL constitutional amendment which will, once and for all, make it ironclad that no treaty, under any circumstances, can suborn rights guaranteed under the constitution nor abrogate our national sovereignty to any international body. Get that? You don't have to worry about nefarious treaties such as this.
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Old July 13, 2011, 09:40 PM   #23
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I'm not sure where the "factual" data for those executive orders comes from, but I know it's coming from someone or something that has never actually READ the XOs...

NO Executive Order has the ability to suspend the Constitution or Bill of Rights.

Anyone who claims that is a mouth-breathing, conspiracy theory shrieking moron.

It's also COMPLETELY off topic for this discussion, and is thus deleted.
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Old July 15, 2011, 07:38 AM   #24
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If you have been following NRA News, then you already know that Wayne LaPierre addressed the UN yesterday and demanded that civilian firearms be excluded entirely from the scope of the Arms Trade Treaty. He also pointed out that there was no way such a treaty would be ratified by the Senate. Other nations that are now skeptical about the treaty appear to be China and Russia (which is no suprise since they are primary traffickers of actual military small arms to various conflicts). If Russia and China refuse to join the treaty, that would be a major blow to the Arms Trade Treaty.

Finally, the NRA is circulating a letter to President Obama signed by the various United States Senators indicating that they will not ratify any Arms Trade Treaty that includes civilian firearms in its scope and that a 12ga over/under should not face the same regulations as a military helicopter loaded with ordnance. This should be an easy sell for your Senator in the sense that it is not a binding vote and gains him or her some easy pro-RKBA credit. Please take a moment to contact your Senator and let them know you would like to see their name on that letter. It also demonstrates to the President that the Arms Trade Treaty lacks the votes to be ratified in the Senate.
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Old July 23, 2011, 05:34 PM   #25
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The letter.

http://moran.senate.gov/public/index...0-f42fbb39387f
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