With his time in office quickly winding down, President Barack Obama gave America’s law-abiding gun owners one last poke in the eye on Friday by sending the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to the U.S. Senate for consideration.
We’ve been reporting on the Arms Trade Treaty for years (see two examples, here and here, for some background on its dangers). John Kerry signed the ATT on behalf of the Obama administration back in 2013, and it took effect in 2014. But 67 U.S. senators must vote for its ratification—a tall order to fill with the Senate’s current pro-gun landscape.
Upon Kerry’s signing of the treaty, Chris W. Cox, NRA-ILA executive director, issued a dire warning about the consequences if it were ever approved by the U.S. Senate at some time in the future.Since then, the treaty has never been far from the center of NRA’s radar.
“The Obama administration is once again demonstrating its contempt for our fundamental, individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms,” Cox said at the time. “This treaty threatens individual firearm ownership with an invasive registration scheme. The NRA will continue working with the United States Senate to oppose ratification of the ATT.”
“With the country’s attention focused on the results of the national elections, it is easy to forget about the fight being waged on our Second Amendment-protected rights in the international arena,” Cox said. “While there are numerous initiatives that we continue to monitor internationally, the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is at the forefront of the NRA’s focus to protect America’s law-abiding gun owners from the continued push for gun control by international anti-gun interests.”
Cox added, “As the NRA predicted, however, the focus of the treaty is now shifting almost exclusively to the domestic civilian trade in firearms. While we expected this shift all along, the move to undermine and attack the Second Amendment-protected rights of ordinary law-abiding Americans came sooner than we could have imagined.”
In a nutshell, the treaty gives gun-ban advocates an opportunity to bypass the Second Amendment’s authority, instead leaving American gun owners subject to the authority of the U.N.—an international body that lacks both accountability and commitment to the natural rights that served as guiding principles for our Founding Fathers. It is already being used as a pretext by many governments to continue eradicating gun ownership by their citizens—thus leaving U.S. firearm freedoms all the more isolated and vulnerable. … in his incredible arrogance, he simply couldn’t resist giving one more middle finger to America’s law-abiding gun owners on his way out.
Additionally, the ATT may directly endanger imports to the United States. At worst, if ratified it could be used as a pretext to impose anti-gun repression within the United States.
And that’s something many in the U.S. Senate will not support.
“Since 2012, many senators, including myself, have expressed opposition to the small arms treaty, citing an array of concerns with Second Amendment rights,” U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said in a statement released upon learning that Obama had sent the treaty to the Senate. “Nothing has changed over the last four years to suggest the treaty is in our national interest, and it will remain dead in the water. I reiterate my strong opposition and will work with my colleagues to protect the rights of Americans.”
Indeed, it seems unlikely—though certainly not impossible—that the ATT could get the support necessary in the current Senate to ratify the treaty. Same goes for the next legislative session, when Republicans will retain a 52-48 advantage.
Which begs the question: Why would President Obama send the treaty to the Senate for consideration now, when he hasn’t done so over the past three years?
Only the president knows the answer to that. It’s possible that he did it so that later, when he writes his memoirs in an attempt to prop up his failed presidency, he can list the ATT as one more “common-sense” measure he sent to Congress to try to save us all from “gun violence.”
It’s more likely, though, that in his incredible arrogance, he simply couldn’t resist giving one more middle finger to America’s law-abiding gun owners on his way out. And that anti-gun arrogance is something we won’t miss after Jan. 17.
Use Your Power!
National Rifle Association members and other law-abiding gun owners are urged to contact their U.S. senators and ask them to deny Obama’s final anti-gun act by voting against ratification of the ATT. You can contact your senators directly byclicking here.