Governor Greg Abbott (R) is warning that the recently reintroduced Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) could allow the UN to regulate guns in the United States.
Abbott originally issued this warning via Twitter on December 13, but the Austin American-Statesman seized on that warning on December 25, explaining Abbott’s exact concerns in the process.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) December 13, 2016
On December 25, the Statesman noted that Abbott’s staunch opposition to the ATT centers around concern that the treaty is a way for the UN to usurp the Second Amendment and U.S. oversight over guns (and gun rights) in this country. Abbott’s concerns are shared by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam (R), who has already taken steps to make the treaty unenforceable in TN, should the Senate ratify it.
On December 13, the day of Abbott’s original tweet, Breitbart News reported that Obama had renewed his push for the Senate ratification of the ATT. Secretary of State John Kerry signed the treaty on September 25, 2013, even as the NRA warned, “This treaty threatens individual firearm ownership with an invasive registration scheme [and is full of regulations and requirements that are] blatant attacks on the constitutional rights of every law-abiding American.” Republican senators shared the NRA’s sentiment and aligned to end any chance of the ATT’s ratification, but Obama is making an additional push for ratification before leaving office.
The ATT is chiefly about tracking “small arms and light weapons” as they cross borders, and an internal “registration scheme” is a necessary part of that tracking process. Abbott believes these aspects of the treaty pose significant risks to U.S. sovereignty on guns, and he warns that ratifying the treaty “could” result in burdensome UN regulation of guns on U.S. soil.
In 2013, Abbott told Fox News, “The concern is that the United States is trying to use the United Nations as a back-door mechanism to try to legislate here in the United States, in this instance trying to impose gun control.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.