Will Obama Sign the UN Arms Treaty On July 27th?

There’s been a persistent rumor on the Internet floated about that Obama is planning to sign the UN Arms Trade Treaty on July 27th. I’ve seen this going around, and wanted to address this issue, particularly since this morning I received a FOAC newsletter which says:

“Of course we may not have to wait long if the reports coming out of D.C. are true.  Informed sources have told us that the United Nations ATT treaty is most likely to be signed by President Obama on July 27th and if this is true then we may have an even tougher road ahead of us.”

The source of this Dick Morris, former Clinton advisor, and apparently someone none too happy with the Clintons for how he views he was treated. The guy has an axe to grind, and more importantly, a book to sell, which he gets to in the video. I’m skeptical that Morris knows anything, other than the UN conference meant to supply a draft version of the treaty ends on the 27th, so he’s betting on the Obama Administration making a non-binding commitment to support the treaty. This would be a great campaign issue to use against Obama, but the treaty can’t be effectively ratified without consent of Congress. Obama’s commitment would mean nothing legally. As I’ve said before, the real threat, long term, is the effect the treaty will have on the domestic supply of imported firearms and ammunition, on which our shooting community depends heavily. The threat of ATT passage is probably less, due to the supermajority requirements, than other generic gun control we could expect from Congress. FOAC continues:

“A gun ban is the next logical step and the ATT, under the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution, would have the power of a constitutional amendment and would, effectively, repeal the Second Amendment guaranteeing us the right to bear arms.”

I would agree with FOAC and Morris that if this treaty were actually ratified, we’d have a serious problem on our hands, but only because it means Congress is overwhelmingly in the mood for some gun control. A treaty can’t erase the Second Amendment, per the case Reid v. Covert. It was the case of Missouri v. Holland which established that the treaty power was separate and distinct from Congress’ other enumerated powers when the Court upheld the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Congress’ treaty powers are extensive, but they may not destroy the Bill of Rights.

I don’t want to downplay the potential danger the ATT poses. If the New York Times is pushing it, it’s definitely something to keep an eye on. The treaty is also being pushed by a who’s who of the international gun control movement, so I have high expectations it will develop into a threat, but I’m wary of ginning up threats that don’t exist, or blowing the issue way out of proportion. If Obama does make a non-binding commitment to the ATT, it will mean about as much as it meant when Clinton did it back in the 1990s. It’ll be a campaign issue we can use against Obama, but from a practical standpoint, we’re in pretty good shape to prevent ATT ratification in the Senate. The real damage was done when Obama reversed the Bush era opposition to even talking about the Arms Trade Treaty, which kept a lid on this idea at the UN for the duration of his administration. Once they were free to draft a treaty, there was always a risk that the gun control NGOs would push it in their direction.

Dick Morris is trying to get exposure to sell his book. It’s not a big prognostication to suggest that perhaps after we have a draft treaty, the Obama Administration will make a non-binding commitment. It’s also no big prognostication to suggest that Obama Administration will do nothing in regards to the treaty, to avoid giving us a campaign issue to use in the fall. I wouldn’t bet on it going either way, but regardless of how it goes, it’s something to get angry about, not something to panic about.

17 thoughts on “Will Obama Sign the UN Arms Treaty On July 27th?”

  1. The big problem I have is people dismissing this saying “it would be political suicide for the president to sign it”. To which I say: “Other than the obvious grab for power, name ONE thing this president has done that is along the lines of a typical politician.”

    A typical politician wouldn’t have passed that joke of a healthcare bill that was hated by well over 60% of the country. A typical politician would have changed course by now with the realization that his policies aren’t working for him (see Clinton quickly moving to the center in order to get re-elected). After spending years saying it was those evil Republicans that were going to take away old people’s medicare, it was the Obamacare bill that made the largest cuts to it in years. After claiming to only want to raise taxes on the rich, he championed the largest across the board tax increase in recent years.

    This man has committed political suicide every step of the way. Don’t depend on that kind of thinking to say “oh yeah, he’ll never sign it”.

    1. I believe Sebastian specifically said, “I wouldn’t bet on it going either way, but regardless of how it goes, it’s something to get angry about, not something to panic about.”

      And I agree with Sebastian: we can’t predict what Obama is going to do, but we should be angry about it until he actually does something.

  2. I heard the Morris comments this morning while listening to a podcast. I tend to discount much of the hysteria he is promoting as well.

    It is my understanding that a majority of the Senate has said they will not ratify the ATT if presented with it. If and when it comes to that, we’ll see.

    The bigger problem in my mind is that the ATT will undoubtedly pass and be ratified by the majority of the UN members if not the US. As such, imports of ammunition and firearms could be greatly impaired. This would range from AK parts kits and surplus ammo for Mosin-Nagants to high-dollar Purdy, Holland and Holland, and Beretta shotguns. This is a strong move on to include parts and components in this treaty so replacement parts as well as magazines would come under the ATT.

    I sincerely doubt the rogue nations plus China and Russia will do anything more than pay lip service to a ratified ATT. There will still be child warriors in Africa, there will still be Muslim insurgencies in the Philippines, and there still will be well-armed narco-terrorist south of the Border treaty or no treaty.

    1. What bothers me is the massive amount of people that are becoming more and more mentally unhinged about it. When I tried to explain reality I had multiple people call me either a paid liberal shill or a progressive liberal and threaten to kill me.

      Many of the commentors on that forum are in the more crazy realm of conspriciy theorists bringing up FEMA camps, chemtrails and the like. Needless to say it is impossible to reason with these people. They are totally incoherent.

      What also amazed me is that even after I stated my pro-gun beliefs they still attacked me directly. Here are some choice comments I got directed at me:

      “You have to be a crack head if you think anything you just said is true! Im sure you voted for Obama and plan on doing it again and in your cracked out mind he can do no wrong.” This is after I explained how treaties are ratified in the senate. Assuming without evidence.

      Another one: “I am threatening no one, so don’t get your panties all in a wad just because no one here is listening to anything you say. I am merely giving you a warning that you and the people you work for have grossly underestimated the American people.
      So tell your bosses that you all had better find someone else to “rule over” … cause we ain’t havin none of it. Dig?
      Hills. That way. Start running.” This individual through various replies had convinced himself without evidence that I was a paid shill working for the liberal left in an effort to take away his rights. In a previous comment he made a veiled death threat so I went after it directly. Mind you this was all after I told him I was an NRA member, pro-gun and donated time and money to the SAF and NSSF which I suspect he has no idea what they are.

      “(middlefinger to you) you come across as another troll and a liberal progressive one at that. the only irrational comments on here are from you and leodious the ridiculous. why dont you admit it, you dont like the fact that so many people are awake and can smell the bullshit from people like you. you will be the first pansy-ass screaming from the fema camps for one of us “liberators” to come rescue you. you are as the u.n puts it; a useless eater.” Conspiricy whackjob.

      The problem is that regular people may see this and think were ALL like that. I’m already engaged in converstation with 3 other people who saw the comments and came to the conclusion we’re all irrational.

      1. With almost every public media reference to gun owners as Gun Nuts, lunatics or worse the seeds of gun banning are planted. Chicago has some, if not the, most restrictive gun laws anywhere and a murder rate, among other violent crimes, to match. The danger in complacency on this issue is that once it’s passed, enacted whatever, it’s over. We will never regain the ability of self defense. Banning guns will do nothing but create a thug’s paradise.

  3. Obie could claim that that treaty is the gun control
    that he was working on “Under the Radar” and not
    the fast & furious debacle that is rapidly consuming more and more of his appointed lackeys time and gaining more and more visibility in some of the press.
    I await the Latinos and Latinas to start asking questions about the over 200 dead Mexicans slaughtered with guns Obies lackeys sent over the border.

  4. I don’t buy the hysteria but am concerned how this could play long term. There is a reason the wrong people are pushing it.

    The goal of this thing is restricting international civilian arms sales worldwide. It’s that simple. The controls are so weak for sales to governments that they are useless. Russia will still sell arms to the Syrian army even if they signed the ATT because there is no restriction on doing so. This is meant to stop sales not sanctioned by and through governments – meaning those to civilians. I have serious doubts the Russians would even follow those.

    If everyone but the US is a signatory, the chances this thing taking off are about zero. Unless the USA stops buying arms overseas, someone, somewhere will violate ATT “for the good of our nation” and sell into our market. They would have a near monopoly on foreign-sourced sales…right until the next country ignored ATT.

    The USA is the lynch-pin. If the world’s largest buyer of civilian arms continues to buy from international sellers, then everyone will continue selling arms to that huge market. No treaty will stop that.

    That doesn’t mean we ignore this thing. Hysteria aside, it is still dangerous and cannot be ignored. It must get the smack-down if it ever shows up in the Senate.

  5. Glock isn’t going to leave the US civilian market to S&W, any more than the opposite occurred with the police market. Too much money on table

  6. Of course he will sign it. Then he will blame the senate if they do not vote his way. He doesn’t want guns he hates America and he is the closest thing we have to undermining the constitution in a long time. The GOV wants to take over the firearm industry and restrict firearms to citizens.

    it is in plain sight.

  7. “Thefirstandsecond”, did come damn near to making my point, but not quite.

    See, it’s not Congress who ratifies treaties, but just simply, the Senate.

    Which, at present time, is under Democrat control.

    Now, as relatively “gun friendly” as Reid tends to be in terms of domestic legislation, this could be exactly the cover he’d need to utterly dump on all of us Bitter Clingers, once and for all.

    He might be OK with guns, but he hates the non-Fudd gun culture.

    If this gets sent to the Senate for ratification, I’d suggest nothing than a maximum effort to stop it.

    No, I’m not panicky over it, but I agree with previous posters here…. I’m fighting mad about 0dumbo, and all of his “under the radar” efforts against us. This is but one of them, but it is one of the worst.

    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

  8. Don’t worry. If Romney wins, he’ll probably sign it too. I can’t imagine any other reason he wouldn’t at least give his position on the subject.

      1. And therein lies the problem. Seems like a pretty obvious thing for him to state a position on, right? Unless his position is .. inconvenient. So to infer his position, all we have to go on is his past. I’m sure you see where that leads.

        1. Well, there’s a theoretical world where such a treaty would prevent agents of a government from deliberately forcing gun store owners to sell firearms to known agents of international foreign criminal conspiracies, and require governments to allow private sales. We don’t live in such a world, of course.
          The more likely reason is that most people just don’t care, and the more the candidate to whom the media is actively hostile says, the more his words can be twisted against him. It would take very little effort to spin opposition to the ATT into opposition to the UN; and while that would go over very well here, perhaps not so much with the “independent middle.”
          Finally, don’t worry about the Senate. It requires a super-majority top ratify a treaty, and there is no anti-gun super-majority in the Senate. In fact, there’s rather the opposite. There’s a reason no vote for the national reciprocity bill will be scheduled any time soon.

          1. Well I care, and his stance (or non-stance) on this issue and others is why I won’t be voting for him. Perhaps his campaign calculated that his chances are better if people don’t know what his positions are. Judging from what I’ve seen so far, I can see why.

            I really hope this guy doesn’t win.

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