More on the Inter-American Arms Treaty

You can find the text of the treaty here.  Let’s take a look at the point of this treaty and see just how bad what Obama is advocating is.  This treaty is definitely a problem, especially for home manufactures, hand loaders, and accessory makers.  Let’s take a look at some of the provisions that should worry us.

The treaty bans “illicit”manufacturing” of firearms, defined as:

the manufacture or assembly of firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials:

a. from components or parts illicitly trafficked; or

b. without a license from a competent governmental authority of the State Party where the manufacture or assembly takes place; or

c. without marking the firearms that require marking at the time of manufacturing.

This would seem to require a government license for home building, assembling from parts, and quite likely many types of repairs and customizations.  And here’s the really scary part, it defines “other related materials” this way: “any component, part, or replacement part of a firearm, or an accessory which can be attached to a firearm.”  This would make all people who make accessories that attach to a firearm to have a license.  It would presumably also ban home manufacture of these items without a government license.  Do you own trigger jobs?  Reload your own ammunition?   Not anymore, not without a government license!

It defines illegal trafficking as “the import, export, acquisition, sale, delivery, movement, or transfer of firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials from or across the territory of one State Party to that of another State Party, if any one of the States Parties concerned does not authorize it.”  This would not seem to affect any of these things happening exclusively within the domestic market.

It requires states to destroy seized firearms. “States Parties shall adopt the necessary measures to ensure that all firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials seized, confiscated, or forfeited as the result of illicit manufacturing or trafficking do not fall into the hands of private individuals or businesses through auction, sale, or other disposal.”

It would seem to require some vague requirement for transport: “States Parties, in an effort to eliminate loss or diversion, undertake to adopt the necessary measures to ensure the security of firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials imported into, exported from, or in transit through their respective territories.”

Here are the licensing requirements:

  1. States Parties shall establish or maintain an effective system of export, import, and international transit licenses or authorizations for transfers of firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials.
  2. States Parties shall not permit the transit of firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials until the receiving State Party issues the corresponding license or authorization.
  3. States Parties, before releasing shipments of firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials for export, shall ensure that the importing and in-transit countries have issued the necessary licenses or authorizations.
  4. The importing State Party shall inform the exporting State Party, upon request, of the receipt of dispatched shipments of firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials.

It’s hard to say how they expect this to be implemented.  It could, if interpreted strictly, make traveling internationally with a firearm impossible or next to impossible without expensive licenses.  We already have licenses required for commercial import or export, but personal import, export, or international transit has always been considered a separate matter.

It would seem to regulate carriage of weapons:

1. States Parties shall exchange among themselves, in conformity with their respective domestic laws and applicable treaties, relevant information on matters such as:

a. authorized producers, dealers, importers, exporters, and, whenever possible, carriers of firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials;

This could mean your concealed carry records would be subject to being shared with foreign nations.  It doesn’t specify whether they mean carrier in the sense of guns, or common carrier, in the sense of shippers.  Do you trust the Mexican government with information about you?  I don’t.  I’d give the list about 10 minutes before someone bribes a Mexican official for the lists of American licensees.

I think this treaty fits in the framework of “very bad news.”  We have to fight this.

34 thoughts on “More on the Inter-American Arms Treaty”

  1. Outlawing reloading would definitely qualify as infringement for those people who own firearms for which commercial loadings are no longer available. Seems like a fairly straight-forward court fight given Heller.

    I would also concur that “carriage” in that sentence seems to imply carry permit information, “to the extent possible” means that if the records exist, it must be delivered. Registration leads to confiscation — in this case, confiscation by foreign criminals breaking into your house to steal the guns that they know you have. Gun-control through crime?

  2. Good news: the NRA was involved in the initial drafting process!

    To be fair, it looks like it would have been even worse without that. Supposedly it was drafted to not explicitly require new domestic US regulations, but in the hands of a Democrat administration I don’t trust that very far.

    I’m curious to see if the NRA will oppose ratification in any meaningful manner. I couldn’t find any word on that in an admittedly quick search. (It does look like the Senate’s inaction in 1998 and since was partly due to fear of the NRA as well as remembering the 1994 elections, but I can’t find anything current.)

  3. There is a lot of the treaty that basically mandates existing law, but there’s a lot to be concerned about. I’m still trying to find more information on the treaty.

  4. I am as pro-gun as anyone you’ll ever meet, but I guess even MY conspiratorial mind can’t see how reloading would be banned:

    The treaty bans “illicit”manufacturing” of firearms, defined as:

    the manufacture or assembly of firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials:

    a. from components or parts illicitly trafficked; or

    b. without a license from a competent governmental authority of the State Party where the manufacture or assembly takes place; or

    c. without marking the firearms that require marking at the time of manufacturing.

    Subsection a) says that if you make stuff that was from parts or components illicitly trafficked. Last time I bought components from Cabela’s they were legal as far as I knew and, therefore, not illicitly trafficked.

    The rest of them are “or”, meaning a license would be required. I don’t think even the NRA, at its most bumbling, would screw it up for hunters who reload.

  5. As with all treaties, the mechanisms will be in place to subvert state soverignty on this and morph the regulations into the draconinan aims they really have as their goal. We must defeat this treaty.

  6. TimW,

    The text says “…illicitly trafficked; OR without a license”. The “OR” signifies “any of” not “all of”. The word you are thinking of is “AND”.

    Now, read it again: this treaty defines unlicensed ammunition manufacture — reloading — as “illicit” and bans it.

  7. DaveR,

    Can you produce some documentation that the NRA helped draft it?

    As anyone who reads the comments here knows, I am not a pro-NRA guy. But LaPierre was on Beck today and flat out denied that the NRA had anything to do with the treaty.

    If the NRA didn’t have anything to do with it, we in the 2A community shouldn’t be eating our own.

    If the NRA did have something to do with it, members should ask for his head on a pike.

  8. Skullz: a fair point. I had to search for the first place I read that, and it turns out to be secondary. From a 1999 article:

    “What the OAS Convention studiously avoids is the question of civilian ownership and possession of firearms. Some attribute this omission to the participation of the National Rifle Association (NRA) in the convention drafting process. Critics charge that the NRA’s main objective was to ensure that the text would contain no recommendations for modifying existing domestic gun laws. The result is a treaty which uses the bilateral programs the U.S. conducts in Latin America as a model for regional cooperative efforts as OAS states try to improve and harmonize their arms control measures. The OAS Convention would not require the United States to make significant changes to domestic laws, so when ratification finally moves forward there is little doubt that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will ratify the OAS Convention expeditiously.”

    The CDI, Center for Defense Information, claims to be founded and staffed by retired military officers, but there are charges it’s got a leftist or even Marxist bent. So, their assertion the NRA watered it down may have been tactical.

    Here’s something, though. A Federation of American Scientists (another anti-gun, pro-ratification group) report also asserts the NRA had some influence. On page 41:

    “Statements made by US gun rights groups confirm that at least some of their views and concerns were addressed during the drafting of the Convention. Shortly after the conclusion of the drafting process, an analyst from the British American Security Information Council interviewed Tom Mason, a representative for the National Rifle Association, who reportedly expressed satisfaction with the influence his organization was able to exert over the process.”

    So, alright, google BASIC. From their 1999 report:

    “While support from Washington was critical to the agreeing of the OAS Convention, the US gun lobby and its interpretation of the constitutional “right to bear arms” had a negative impact on the negotiations. In particular, the gun lobby’s influence is reflected in the fact that the OAS Convention explicitly states that the agreement is purely a law enforcement measure and is not intended to infringe on domestic legislation or to require any legislative changes “pertaining to firearms ownership, possession, or trade wholly of a domestic character.”36

    Tom Mason, a lobbyist for the NRA, said that the gun lobby was pleased with the influence it had on the process. In particular, he pointed to the inclusion of a paragraph in the preamble to the convention referencing the “different cultural and historical uses for firearms” and stating that the convention “is not intended to discourage or diminish lawful leisure or recreational activities.”38”

    This one seems to be the original source. 38 footnotes to: “Geraldine O’Callaghan interview with Tom Mason, National Rifle Association, 22 October 1997,” which I can’t find online, but Geraldine O’Callaghan is one of the authors of the paper, so it’s either unpublished or she’s bluffing.

    I should have said “influenced” instead of “involved in,” but there’s a credible claim there. And again, it may well have been for the best, but it’s a strategy I think can backfire. In any case, when I first posted LaPierre’s statement wasn’t out yet, and part of my concern was that they’d be backed into a compromise in some way. So the LaPierre statement goes a long way with me.

  9. I found all that stuff too, from the 90s. NRA said quite emphatically that none of it was true. Sounds like they were able to observe, but had no part in drafting language.

  10. FYI, I’m in the logistics business, in the context it is used in the document ‘carriers’ refers to entities that are licensed to transport weapons, ammo, explosives etc. in bulk, i.e. common carriers. This would refer to trucking companies, rail shippers, cargo airlines, cargo ships, and the like. The document sucks, but you don’t need to worry about that particular piece applying to OC or CC.

  11. Back door all the way: Obama pushes treaty; Senate ratifies on Democrat agenda; and Dems then use treaty as excuse to pass a variety of legislation to register and track arms – all of which tests Heller under other Constitutional provisions such as treaty law, foreign policy powers of President to implement treaties, etc. ~ we know Roberts et al love enhancing Presidential Powers – so that’s a back door for Obama to use Presidential Powers and Treaties to force through legislation that would otherwise not make it (e.g., HR 45 – Blair Holt….)

    All gun owners should IMHO oppose this immediately and start writing well-written letters to their Senators explaining why this Treaty is not needed and is being used to leverage Obama’s anti-gun agenda – quite obviously as reported in the press –

    No reason to let Barry do indirectly through Treaties what we don’t want him (and Feinstein/Pelosi) to do directly through legislation and enforcement.

  12. In though the back door policy again, just when you think they aren’t looking they get you.

  13. One very important item that I did not see in the discussion (forgive me if I missed it.) The impact of treaties is that interpretation of those treaties is subject to international law. When that occurs, it matters not at all what our constitution or federal or state laws say, only what the international courts say. Do you want to be subject to interpretation of this treaty by the leading members of the UN, including Russia and other countries with such substantial adherence to individual rights?

  14. That’s not addressed, because it’s not the case. Only US courts have jurisdiction over matters of American Law. The party states can make all the protests they want, but the can’t force the United States to pass any law. There’s no decision by any international body that would make law binding on the United States.

  15. This might sound stupid but how would a I put all this info into a letter to my congress critters?

  16. Look for one piece of legislation some time to pop up that would require all firearm transfers between individuals to also go have to go through an FFL so there is a record of it. If guns were then banned about 10 years later then all they would have to do is come to your door and say “okay we see you bought all these guns in the last 10 years and we want them now”. Then if you did not give up the guns, or give up where they went, then they could assume you are either A)Hiding the guns or B)Sold them to someone else, and since the sale would have been illegal at the time then they’ve got you either way. You couldn’t just say “well Is old it so someone at a gunshow or a garage sale” because that type of sale would have then been illegal. Watch for the gun banners to push for this type of legislation the hardest, because it would be absolutely required to make a gun ban work in this country.

  17. Clearly the treaty REQUIRES the USA to adopt laws that make reloading a crime. They pass the treaty, then whine that they are duty-bound to adopt the laws.

    “1. States Parties that have not yet done so shall adopt the necessary legislative or other measures to establish as criminal offenses under their domestic law the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials.”

  18. EVERYTHING that the DummyCraps in Congress and White House do is ALWAYS a slick, slight of hand, diversionary, tactical bit of DECIET and TRICKERY !!! . . . It’s a hell of a thing to have to watch our elected officials with a magnifying glass in every little thing they do !!! . . .

    Previous administrations have been caught, at times, in lying or decieving the public once in a while, . . But, . . THIS ADMINISTRATION and THIS CONGRESS CAN’T BE TRUSTED EVEN FOR A MINUTE. . . THEY HAVE NO RESPECT FOR THE NATION OR THEIR FELLOW AMERICANS. . . NONE !!!

    I am 65 years old and I’ve NEVER seen so much rampant dishonesty and trickery in the U.S. Government. . . This is the most polarizing President and Congress to ever have held office in my lifetime. . . They are driving wedges between groups of people, . not only in America, . but all around the world !!! . . . They are an embarrassing HAZARD looking for someplace to EXPLODE !!! . . . And they will, . . Sooner or later, they will make mistakes which cannot be smoothed over with mere WORDS !!! . . . They’re like a bunch of Keystone Cops running round and round and all over each other. . .

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