Hours after President Obama won a second term, the administration expressed willingness to work with the United Nations about ratifying the controversial Small Arms Treaty. This move caused uproar with Second Amendment advocates, but was downplayed by the administration. With the White House assuring that the treaty would only apply to exports, is there a real threat to the ownership of firearms?
To answer that question lets look at three things: The intentions of the Democrats who control the Senate, the history of President Obama, and the recommendations from the United Nations Report of the Disarmament Commission.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is an outspoken critic of current gun laws. Two days before the elections, she assembled her staff to discuss the introduction of a new assault weapons bill. The bill she drafted would essentially ban thousands of firearms and require gun owners to turn them over to the federal government. The bill would ban magazines over 10 rounds, semi-automatic rifles with handgrips, and semi-automatic shot guns. The law would make it illegal to own an AR-15 or AK-47.
Attempts to reintroduce the Assault Weapons Ban have failed in the past, but the Democrats have kept searching for a way to reinstate it since it expired in 2004.
President Obamas voting record and speeches confirm that he agrees with Sen. Feinsteins point of view. In a speech, President Obama pledged to engage in violence reduction, and stated AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals. As a state senator, Obama supported banning all forms of semi-automatic weapons and tighter restrictions on firearms.
The White House has also attempted to reinsure critics that the UN treaty would apply only to exports. However, President Obama has already blocked the import of firearms. In August of 2010, President Obama banned South Korea from reimporting 100,000 American made M-1 rifles. These rifles are over 50 years old and are considered relics by federal law. However, the administration claimed the weapons could be smuggled to terrorists, gangs or other people with bad intentions.
There is a clear history of strict regulation from the Democrats, and they have made their intentions clear that they wish to heavily restrict firearms once again. So what is the intention of the United Nations?
The UN has a division called United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs. Their stance is that The United Nations has a central role in the field of disarmament. This role is to coordinate all action on small arms within the United Nations system.
A recent report from the Disarmament Commission stated that a comprehensive approach integrating certain disarmament measures, particularly with small arms, to reduce crime, terrorism, violence, and lawlessness. The commission states that each nation should reduce the number of small arms and light weapons to a level that corresponds to a countrys legitimate self-defense. This report contained the following policies that each country should adopt:
- Inventory and periodic reassessment of firearms is a prerequisite to an efficient arms collection, control, disposal and/or destruction process.
- Use incentive programs such as turn-in, buy-back, and swap as a measures to control, collect, and destroy weapons.
- Public display of the destruction of such weapons can help to dramatize the enactment of peace.
- Observe the highest standards of responsibility in the transfer of small arms and ammunition.
- Work towards the introduction of appropriate national legislation, administrative regulations and licensing requirements under which firearms can be acquired.
- In particular, institute the prohibition of private ownership of small arms specifically designed for military purposes, such as assault rifles.
- Ensure that arms production, trade and holdings are under strict and effective control through appropriate licensing, supervision, and inspection. Establish national inventories of legally held weapons.
After examining the history and intentions of the Democrats and President Obama, along with goals and objectives of the UN, it is clear that an upcoming push for new regulations is coming. If the United States enters into a treaty that restricts the ownership of assault weapons, as the UN report suggest, the assault weapons ban would be easier to push through congress as well as a National Registry. The forces against legal gun ownership have mobilized, and with the elections behind President Obama, they are making their move.