By Bill Wilson — If a new United Nations (UN) treaty governing small arms passes the U.S. Senate with a two-thirds majority, it will directly regulate gun owners in the U.S., warns acclaimed constitutional attorney Michael Farris.
“[I]t is aimed not only at arms dealers — it is aimed at every ‘end user’ of firearms,” Farris wrote in a Facebook update, pointing to provisions in the treaty that define small arms, a requirement that all gun purchasers be put into a federal database, and even new powers in the treaty for the government “to prohibit the transfer of arms from any location under that State’s jurisdiction and control.”
Currently, there is no federal database compiling information on every gun owner in the country. And there really is no reason for there to be one — other than to confiscate firearms.
In the past, gun registration was a key Jim Crow law in the South. Such requirements had little to do with enforcing the law, and everything to do with confiscating firearms.
Now with such a database, the federal government would suddenly have the ability to take away everyone’s firearms if it chose to do so. This is dangerous.
And the problem is that the treaty would supersede current protections under the Second Amendment, endangering the rights of every gun owner in the U.S.
“If anyone thinks that this UN treaty would never be used against private people — but only against arms dealers and terrorists, they need to read the following decision of the Supreme Court of the United States,” Farris wrote, pointing to the 2010 U.S. v. Bond decision.
That case involved a woman who was prosecuted under the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act of 1998 — a treaty whose provisions were supposed to be enforced against terrorists.
In July, National Rifle Association (NRA) Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre recently testified in front of the UN Arms Trade Treaty Conference that his organization would oppose any treaty that includes civilian arms.
Now that the text of the treaty is available, it is clear as day that is exactly what it does.
The treaty itself gives House Republicans with quite an issue to take advantage of. Namely, if this treaty proceeds, the House could refuse to fund the United Nations. Every year, taxpayers give more than $500 million to that body for its regular budget, and over $2 billion for its peacekeeping budget.
While their Senate colleagues fight against this treaty, House Republicans should begin the process of scrutinizing the UN budget. Republicans could — and should — make the UN’s budget a referendum on this gun control treaty. Unless the treaty is withdrawn, then the U.S. should withdraw from the UN.
After all, why should the American people be forced to fund a body that seeks to take away their constitutional rights to keep and bear arms?
Bill Wilson is the President of Americans for Limited Government. You can follow Bill on Twitter at @BillWilsonALG.