UPDATE: NRA Response:
The NRA is well aware of the proposed Organization of American States treaty on firearms trafficking, known by its Spanish initials as CIFTA. The NRA monitored the development of this treaty from its earliest days, but contrary to news reports today, the NRA did not "participate" at the meeting where the treaty was approved.
The treaty does include language suggesting that it is not intended to restrict "lawful ownership and use" of firearms . Despite those words, the NRA knows that anti-gun advocates will still try to use this treaty to attack gun ownership in the U.S. Therefore, the NRA will continue to vigorously oppose any international effort to restrict the constitutional rights of law-abiding American gun owners.
Maximum Barry has decided to support the Inter-American Arms Treaty as a sop to Mexican President Calderone. Here's the story that just went up on WaPo:
President Obama will announce in a visit here today that he will push the U.S. Senate to ratify an inter-American arms trafficking treaty designed to curb the flow of guns and ammunition to drug cartels and other armed groups in the hemisphere.Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell is doing a masterful job of covering this story, and he doesn't agree at all with that last "experts" statement:
The Clinton administration signed the treaty, better known by its Spanish acronym CIFTA, after the Organization of American States adopted it in 1997. In all, 33 countries in the hemisphere have signed the treaty. The United States is one of four nations that have yet to ratify the convention, although Obama administration officials say the U.S. government has sought to abide by the spirit of the treaty for years.
The treaty requires countries to take a number of steps to reduce the illegal manufacture and trade in guns, ammunition and explosives.
In addition to making illegal the unauthorized manufacture and exporting of firearms, the treaty calls for countries to adopt strict licensing requirements, mark firearms when they are made and imported to make them easier to trace, and establish a cooperative process for sharing information between national law-enforcement agencies investigating arms smuggling.
Advocates for the treaty have argued that the United States, even if it is trying to follow many of the convention's requirements, is undermining its credibility by failing to ratify it. The treaty was sent to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1998, but no action has been taken since then.
U.S. gun-rights groups participated as observers in drafting the treaty, which experts say includes language stating that it does not impinge on the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment.
Licensing requirements? Unauthorized manufacture? The answer to this, from the Senate, better not be no. It needs to be “HELL NO!” If Harry Reid even peeps that he’ll back this, I can guarantee he will be target numero uno in 2010. He’s already facing a tough race.Also read his second post, here:
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.More as the story develops...
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!