What's the straight dope on the UN arms treaty?

The pro-gun message boards are abuzz about this. What’s really in it? Will it be signed by HRC this Friday? Does it need to pass the Senate with a 2/3rds vote?

I should waste time looking this up, why?
Hilliary is the Secretary of State, not the UN ambassador. Hilliary can sign anything she wants (treaties, recipie books, photos, etc…), so can I and it will have the same legal effect.
You’re right about the Senate having to ratify treaties. Handy reference to the US Constitution below. See Article II sections 2 and 3.

Get a straight answer from the government about gun control??? Shirley you jest…

IMO, they will do their best to disarm the citizens and make guns like they made drugs with the ‘War On Drugs.’

How is that working for us?

I think you’re referring to the Arms Trade Treaty. The Wikipedia article on it is here and the UN site for it is here.

Its a trade about the international transfer of arms. I know the US is often characterised as thinking that a certain country in N America is the world. But, how would this effect any constitutional right to own Glocks?

There are reports coming out from the committee (since the text is still being negotiated) that it includes language to “prohibit transfer of small arms to non-state actors” i.e. only government employees, such as police & military, would be able to own firearms.

Whether these reports are accurate are not will not be known until the official text is released.

No, Clinton cannot sign the treaty. But she is involved in the negotiations over it. Yes, it will require a 2/3 majority in the Senate for the USA to ratify the treaty.

If the sentence is accurate, it probably means “prohibiting transfer of weapons from states to non state-backed military organizations (like revolutionary groups and such)”
UN treaties don’t deal with such matters as private ownership of handguns. Besides, if it would, plenty of countries allow such ownership and wouldn’t sign it. And finally, even if this disposition was signed, and then somehow approved by the US senate (is that even remotely conceivable?), any resulting regulations would be struck down by your own Supreme Court.

The whole idea that the USA could sign an UN treaty that would result in American citizens not being allowed to own firearms is full blown paranoia from beginning to end.

If that is going to be in there I don’t see this or any administration wanting to sign on. We do like our proxy wars.

The scope of the Arms Trade Treaty is to regulating the international sale of arms - sales between one nation and another nation, or sales from a nation to citizens of another nation.

It has absolutely no impact on a person within a nation buying a gun from a person or company within that nation. Any claims that the treaty will result in “the UN taking your guns” are standard NRA conspiracy hogwash.

I agree it’s hogwash. The Senate can ratify any treaty they like, but the right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States, and in the 1957 case “Reid v. Covert”, the U.S. Supreme Court established that the Constitution supersedes international treaties, even if they have been ratified by the Senate.

But as an aside, do you have any evidence that the NRA is behind this scare campaign? I’ve received about 4 or 5 emails frothing at the mouth about the UN and Obama conspiring to ban guns via foreign treaties, but in none of them is any evidence of NRA sponsoring this drivel.

I don’t usually respond to emails of this sort, but this case was so egregious that I responded to each, with numerous cites that it was garbage. Feel a little like trying to hold back the tide with a teaspoon.

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So far, the only “NRA hogwash” I’m seeing is from the usual crowd of Dopers griping about it. It sounds like this is probably an honest mistinterpretation of what the treaty is supposed to entail. Of course, we won’t actually know anything until they release the text of the treaty.

In the end, I agree with those who say the treaty will never get ratified by the US. Proxy wars are one of the primary go-to tools in the US’ war chest.

I haven’t been looking hard but I have not seen anything of substance coming from the official NRA crowd. The NRA is too smart to attack something before they have a chance to look at it. Its just speculation now. But there is plenty of noise from the Alex Jones camp. Did you know the Aurora shooting was a plot by the Obama administration to get the country behind the UN treaty?

Agreed that we won’t know until the final version is available, but the drafts available online have some very vague wording. The worry is that an innocuous-sounding general mandate will be established and that we won’t know what actual measures will be deemed necessary to fulfill it until it’s too late. For example, it’s been suggested that meeting some of the requirements of the treaty could obligate the US to enact national registration of all firearms and transfers.

I’ve received three push-poll calls with a recorded message from Wayne LaPierre (VP of the NRA) telling me about the Kenyan Muslim Socialist Conspiracy with U.N. Terrorists to Take My Guns. Then they ask me if I’m okay with that. Yes, the NRA is pushing this absurd story.

The NRA has been weighing in heavily against the treaty.

As was said before, there is no way that a treaty that even implied registration would be approved by the Senate – apparently 58 senators have already stated they are against the treaty if it has anything to do with private gun ownership. In any case, the Senate has the power to make “reservations” to a treaty: if the Senate agrees to 97% of a treaty, it can draft a reservation which basically says, “Yeah, no, we’re just not going to do this particular thing.”

However, based on what is publicly known about the treaty, strong indications are that it isn’t going to be a very effective treaty – cite. The idea that the treaty would have anything to do with private gun ownership is less and less plausible.

Unfortunately, I did know that. I have a crazy person on my Facebook newsfeed who keeps posting articles about how the shooter was backed by US government agencies to turn public opinion in favor of gun control and the UN treaty to take away our firearms. I swear this friend used to be a normal person.

How does any UN member state effectively control the small arms sales of it’s small arms manufactures if the member state doesn’t register all small arms sales?

Historically-speaking, registration leads to confiscation.

It depends on the specific area of the country, of course, but politicians in the U.S. understand that the majority of tax-paying voters won’t elect/re-elect anti-2nd politicians. The NRA only has some 4 million members in a country that has 310 million residents. Only 129 million cast votes in the 2008 general election. The NRA doesn’t have enough voters to make a difference. However, many voters do support the 2nd Ammendment and they do support the NRA’s position on the 2nd. They won’t support the politicians who vote for this UN treaty.


Thanks I didn’t see that. They claim to have seen draft copies of early versions. If what they say is in it is, there is no way it will be ratified by the Senate.