By Wayne LaPierre
(From July 15)
I just delivered a message to those anti-gun elitists at the United Nations, who are meeting to discuss ways to craft an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) that could go after your Right to Keep and Bear Arms. I want you to see for yourself the message that was delivered on behalf of America's gun owners.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for this brief opportunity to address the committee. I am Wayne LaPierre and for 20 years now, I have served as Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association of America.
The NRA is the largest and most active firearms rights organization in the world and I am proud to defend the tens of millions of lawful people NRA represents.
This present effort for an Arms Trade Treaty, or ATT, is now in its fifth year. We have closely monitored this process with increasing concern.
We've watched, and read ... listened and monitored. Now, we must speak out.
The Right to Keep and Bear Arms in defense of self, family and country is ultimately self-evident and is part of the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution. Reduced to its core, it is about fundamental individual freedom, human worth, and self-destiny.
We reject the notion that American gun owners must accept any lesser amount of freedom in order to be accepted among the international community. Our Founding Fathers long ago rejected that notion and forged our great nation on the principle of freedom for the individual citizen — not for the government.
Mr. Chairman, those working on this treaty have asked us to trust them ... but they've proven to be unworthy of that trust.
We are told "Trust us; an ATT will not ban possession of any civilian firearms." But, proposals to ban civilian firearms ownership have not been rejected.
We are told "Trust us; an ATT will not interfere with state domestic regulation of firearms." Yet, there are constant calls for exactly such measures.
We are told "Trust us; an ATT will only affect the illegal trade in firearms." But then we're told that in order to control the illegal trade, all states must control the legal firearms trade.
We are told, "Trust us; an ATT will not require registration of civilian firearms." Yet, there are numerous calls for record-keeping, and firearms tracking from production to eventual destruction. That's nothing more than gun registration by a different name.
We are told, "Trust us; an ATT will not create a new international bureaucracy." Well, that's exactly what is now being proposed — with a tongue-in-cheek assurance that it will just be a SMALL bureaucracy.
We are told, "Trust us; an ATT will not interfere with the lawful international commerce in civilian firearms." But a manufacturer of civilian shotguns would have to comply with the same regulatory process as a manufacturer of military attack helicopters.
We are told, "Trust us; an ATT will not interfere with a hunter or sport shooter travelling internationally with firearms." However, he would have to get a so-called "transit permit" merely to change airports for a connecting flight.
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There is only one solution: the complete removal of civilian firearms from the scope of any treaty. I will repeat that point as it is critical and not subject to negotiation — civilian firearms must not be part of any treaty. On this there can be no compromise, as American gun owners will never surrender their Second Amendment freedom.
The proposals include endless demands for record-keeping, oversight, inspections, supervision, tracking, tracing, surveillance, marking, documentation, verification, paper trails and data banks, new global agencies and data centers.
Nowhere do we find any thought about respecting anyone's right of self-defense, privacy, property, due process, or observing personal freedoms of any kind.
For the United States to be a party to an ATT, it must be ratified by a two-thirds vote of the U.S. Senate. Some do not realize that under the U.S. Constitution, the ultimate treaty power is not the President's power to negotiate and sign treaties; it is the Senate's power to approve them.
The proposed ATT is already strongly opposed in the Senate — the very body that must approve it by a two-thirds majority.
There is extremely strong opposition to this treaty in the United States — all based on the same objection — infringement on the constitutional freedom of American gun owners.
The cornerstone of our freedom is the Second Amendment. Neither the United Nations, nor any other foreign influence, has the authority to meddle with the freedoms guaranteed by our Bill of Rights, endowed by our Creator, and due to all humankind.
Therefore, the NRA will fight with all of its strength to defeat any treaty that includes civilian firearms within its scope.
I meant every last word of what I said. We will fight with all of our might to protect the 2nd Amendment from any U.N. treaty that tries to attack it, and I'll keep you informed of any new developments from the anti-gunners at the United Nations.