Steve Stockman is leaving the United States Congress. But not before pretending that the United Nations has set its sites on American gun owners.
The congressman from Texas, who is under an ethics investigation following a spectacularly unsuccessful bid to win the Republican primary against long-serving Texas Senator John Cornyn, is sponsoring a bill that would strip the UN of funding should it infringe on the Second Amendment.
Congressman Stockman is moving to block any potential or future attempt by the United Nations to restrict gun ownership with H.R. 575, the “Second Amendment Protection Act of 2013.”
“Treaties like the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty still pose a threat to our national sovereignty and the Second Amendment. My bill is absolutely necessary in preventing such treaties from being ratified and further limiting our constitutional right to keep and bear arms,” said Congressman Stockman. “The U.N. has no right to infringe upon our nation’s gun rights.”
If enacted, this bill would ensure that Congress does not adopt any treaties that violate our national sovereignty and any American’s constitutional rights. In addition, this bill would strip any funding to the United Nations if the United Nations restricts or infringes upon the right to keep and bear arms.
It has been referred to the House Foreign Affairs committee and has received two co-sponsorships from Congressmen Charles Boustany (R-LA) and Rob Bishop (R-UT).
This is a complete waste of his time.
The Arms Trade Treaty was adopted a year ago by the General Assembly. Its goal is to prevent conventional arms from ending up in the hands of terrorists, child soldiers and other abusive end users. Countries that accede to the treaty agree to impose regulations on the international sale and transfer of arms. Domestic gun laws are specifically excluded from this treaty.
In other words, Stockman is responding to an imaginary threat. He says, “The U.N. has no right to infringe upon our nation’s gun rights.” You know who agrees with him? The UN! Specifically, the 118 member states that have so far signed the Arms Trade Treaty.
How can I be so sure? I’ve read the treaty. (It’s not that long or complicated) The fifth paragraph makes explicit that the scope of the treaty is exclusively international. It reaffirms “the sovereign right of any state to regulate and control conventional arms exclusively within its own territory, pursuant to its own legal or constitutional system.” Treaty enshrines the inviolability of the Second Amendment (and other country’s gun laws) by making clear that every country can control arms within their borders in any way they see fit.
The USA signed the treaty on September 25. Ratification requires a two thirds majority of the US Senate. That could be a long way off so long as members of congress and other outside pressure groups deceive their constituents into believing this is a UN gun grab.
Image credit: Photo: Gabriel Galwak/IRIN