Here We Go Again: Obama Sends Arms Trade Treaty to Senate for Ratification


With just over a month left in office and no gun control achievements to speak of during his time in the White House, President Obama has sent the United Nation’s Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to the Senate for one last shot at ratification.

The ATT garnered a lot of attention as it moved through various bureaucratic channels in 2012 and 2013. Breitbart News reported that the treaty was supported by 46 Senators, two of whom were Independents–Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Angus King (I-Maine)–and the rest of whom were Democrats. It was signed by Secretary of State John Kerry on September 25, 2013, but it is not binding because Republican Senators shot down ratification efforts.

At the time that Kerry signed the treaty 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.”

The “registration scheme” referenced by the NRA is a clear and present danger which still presents itself in this latest ratification attempt. This is because the ATT is advertised as a way to monitor and control the movement of “small arms and light weapons across borders.” To that end, the treaty encourages records for “end use or end [users]” to be maintained for “a minimum of ten years” after the weapons reach their final destination. This requires the creation of a database of sales records–which would include information on the weapons and the owners–and that information would be internationally maintained; after all, this is a UN treaty.

Breitbart News warned that firearm registration must proceed from the ATT if it is to be enforceable. Think about it–if a goal of the treaty is to stop the movement of “small arms [and] light weapons” across borders, how can agents tasked with enforcing this treaty ascertain the origin of smuggled weapons without a comprehensive registration on file?

The treaty gives gun controllers an opportunity to usurp the authority of the Second Amendment, replacing it with the authority of the UN–an unaccountable international body that lacks commitment to the natural rights which served as guiding principles for our Founding Fathers.

Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) released a statement on Obama’s new attempt at ratification, saying:

Since 2012, many senators, including myself, have expressed opposition to the small arms treaty, citing an array of concerns with Second Amendment rights. 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.

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


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