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True Colors

True Colors

* Originally appeared in the October 2013 print issue 

Bureaucrats within the United Nations have admitted what the National Rifle Association predicted, what the gun-ban lobby tried to conceal, and what anyone paying attention has understood all along; that there are increasingly influential forces within the U.N. that want to:

Ban your guns.

Reduce the ranks of gun owners.

Eliminate freedoms guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Interfere with U.S. domestic policy—even if that means violating our national sovereignty—to achieve these goals. 

It’s all laid out in chilling detail in a document entitled “International Small Arms Control Standards: National Controls Over the Access of Civilians to Small Arms and Light Weapons”—or “ISACS 03.30” for short. The document details one portion of an array of “standards” sought by the U.N.’s “small arms coordination mechanism,” Coordinating Action on Small Arms (casa), which works to implement the U.N.’s Program of Action (POA) on small arms. The POA is part of the U.N.’s efforts to encourage countries to voluntarily adopt domestic firearm regulations. 

In its 23 pages, ISACS 03.30 lays out an elaborate, multi-tiered set of “standards” regarding civilian arms ownership—meaning your rifles, shotguns and handguns. 

These “standards” for civilian firearm ownership include: 

  • Bans on firearms said to be “configured for military use” (this is the new U.N.-speak for what anti-gunners ordinarily label “assault weapons”).
  • Bans on ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.
  • Universal licensing of all gun owners.
  • National registration of all firearms.

But that’s just the beginning. Read this document for yourself—it’s available online—and you’ll see it’s filled with prohibitions, prior restraint, restrictions, limits, disqualifiers, delays and requirements regulating every aspect of your right to acquire, own, use, store, sell, lend, borrow or possess any firearm, ever again. 

In short, it reads like the all-time fantasy wish list of the gun-ban lobby.

“This is outrageous,” said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. “For over a decade, the U.N. promised they’d never try to infringe on our Second Amendment rights, or restrict lawful civilian arms ownership, or interfere in the domestic affairs of the United States. This ISACS document proves those were empty promises and what their real agenda is.” 

United Nations Gun-Ban Treaty Races Toward Ratification

Worse yet, the Obama administration—whose delegation to the U.N. joined 154 other nations in approving the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) at the U.N. General Assembly this past April—is expected to formally sign that treaty, possibly even before this issue arrives in your mailbox. From there, all it would need is the consent of two-thirds of the U.S. Senate to become domestic U.S. law.In its 23 pages, ISACS 03.30 lays out an elaborate, multi-tiered set of “standards” regarding civilian arms ownership—meaning your rifles, shotguns and handguns.

Though separate threats now, a danger facing U.S. gun owners is that in the future the U.N. could use the ATT as a vehicle to mandate the draft ISACS 03.30 standards. Moreover, once a critical mass of countries voluntary adopt the standards, they could attain the status of an international “norm” and be used to portray the United States as a “rouge nation” on the subject. This could lead to restrictions on imports and exports of firearms or ammunition, or worse, changes in domestic policy as a result of international pressure to conform.  

As Tom Mason, who represents the World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities, explained, “They claim ISACS is only in draft form as a way to blunt opposition.” But, Mason added, “The Arms Trade Treaty is a deliberately ambiguous treaty.” 

How so? According to Mason, because so much of the treaty consists of nebulous “norms,” vague “standards” and unwritten international law, it can be re-interpreted or misapplied to mean whatever the global gun-ban movement wants it to mean. 

And that “blank slate” for abuse would apply retroactively. As Mason warned, any nation considering adoption of the treaty should realize that, once the treaty is ratified, the U.N. could very well come back and say that the “standards” set down in ISACS were what the nation already agreed to. In other words, bait and switch. 

Worse yet, Mason said, six years after the treaty is ratified, the United Nations can amend it—or add to it—with nothing more than a three-quarters majority vote of its members. 

In other words, to paraphrase former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s comment regarding the Obama health care mandate, “We have to pass it so you can find out what’s in it.”

How The Treaty Could Affect Your Firearms And Freedoms

Here’s a frightening look at what ISACS 03.30 contains already:

First, and maybe most disturbing, ISACS requires nations to enact national laws defining what reasons are “legitimate” for civilians to own firearms.

Although it defines six reasons for owning a gun as “legitimate,” it makes no mention of the primary reason the Second Amendment was written into the U.S. Constitution in the first place: To ensure the security of a free state, which as the United States Supreme Court explained, “meant ‘security of a free polity’….” Put another way, the purpose of the Second Amendment is to secure the state of freedom in the United States, a goal directly at odds with the ISACS standards. “For over a decade, the U.N. promised they’d never try to infringe on our Second Amendment rights, or restrict lawful civilian arms ownership, or interfere in the domestic affairs of the United States. This ISACS document proves those were empty promises and what their real agenda is.” — Wayne LaPierre

As the bumper sticker says, “The Second Amendment isn’t about duck hunting.” But as the foreign dictatorships and tyrannical governments of the United Nations know, allowing their subjects to be armed would make as much sense as for Colonel Sanders to hand over pitchforks to his chickens.

Yet even if you want to own a gun for the reasons the U.N. defines as “legitimate,” you’d have to jump through plenty of hoops to get a government-issued license. As ISACS 03.30 decrees, “The burden should be on applicants for a small arms license to prove their eligibility.” 

What does that mean? For one thing, it means you’d have to prove your “suitability” to own a gun “in the form of one or more references from responsible members of society who know [you], e.g. a police officer, doctor, lawyer, teacher, etc.” 

If you want to own a firearm for sport shooting, it means you’d have to prove, to the government’s satisfaction, that you participate in sport shooting.

If you want to own a firearm for self-defense, you’d have to prove a legitimate “need”—which means the right to carry would effectively cease to exist. After all, before “shall-issue” Right-to-Carry laws were adopted by dozens of states, requiring proof of “need” was how most states denied citizens their concealed-carry permits (and how some states continue to do so to this day).

And forget about teaching your kids or friends to shoot. Under the ISACS 03.30 “standards,” they’d have to obtain a license to own a gun before even using a gun. And to prove their “eligibility” for that license, they’d have to prove they were already active in using the gun that they hadn’t yet even touched. It’s like that bitter joke known by entry-level job applicants everywhere: You need experience to get a job—but you can’t get that experience until you get a job; Catch-22.

In fact, the ISACS “standards” include nearly every tried-and-failed gun-control scheme of the past 50 years.

They require a waiting period “of at least seven days between the submission of a license application and the granting of a license to acquire and possess a small arm.” Never mind that waiting periods have never been shown to reduce violent crime. And never mind that waiting periods can leave innocent citizens who need protection the most—battered wives and stalking victims, for example—utterly defenseless. 

They impose limits “on the number of small arms that an individual civilian may … possess at any one time; and … acquire during a specific period of time.” They require that a firearms license “shall have an expiry date after which it is no longer valid … (e.g., 3 to 5 years).”

They mandate that your firearms must be unloaded and locked under “safe storage” laws—making them useless for defending yourself and your family in your own home—and call for “periodic inspections of premises” to ensure your firearms are properly secured in your home.

And last but by no means least, they call for national registration of firearms, including their so-called “ballistic signatures,” in “an official database,” giving computer hackers, axe-grinding journalists, criminals and government gun-grabbers your name, address and a list of the guns you own to use as they see fit. Yet even if you want to own a gun for the reasons the U.N. defines as “legitimate,” you’d have to jump through plenty of hoops to get a government-issued license.

And since the ISACS “standards” seek to ban weapons supposedly “configured for military use” and any magazine with a capacity greater than 10 rounds, it’s not hard to imagine what they have in mind: the same sweeping bans on so-called “assault weapons” that gun grabbers have pushed within the United States for decades.

How Obama Could Ban Your Guns Without Passing Any Law

As former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton wrote in the Wall Street Journal in July regarding the ATT, “Gun-control advocates will use these provisions to argue that the U.S. must enact measures such as a national gun registry, licenses for guns and ammunition sales, universal background checks, and even a ban of certain weapons. The treaty thus provides the Obama administration with an end-run around Congress to reach these gun-control holy grails.”

In other words, what anti-gun politicians can’t achieve in the U.S. through the legislative process, with its checks and balances and the safeguards built into the U.S. Constitution, they’ll impose through the international treaty process. 

 “It’s the same thing we’ve seen for years in Washington,” said NRA’s LaPierre. “If you’re sick and tired of politicians and bureaucrats saying one thing, and then doing just the opposite, then get ready for a fight. Because the same sickening arrogance, abuse of power and contempt for the rule of law that we’ve seen for years in Washington is now on steroids at the United Nations. 

 “If they want a fight over the fundamental rights of free people, then they’ve come to the right place,” LaPierre continued. “Because the NRA knows how to fight and knows how to win—to defend the God-given, constitutionally guaranteed freedoms that make America a unique and precious nation in the history of the world.”