Politics RKBA

Obama Pushing Treaty To Ban Reloading

Obama Pushing Treaty To Ban Reloading
— Even BB guns could be on the chopping block

Gun Owners of America E-Mail Alert
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151
Phone: 703-321-8585 / FAX: 703-321-8408

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Remember CANDIDATE Barack Obama? The guy who “wasn’t going to take away
our guns”?

Well, guess what?

Less than 100 days into his administration, he’s never met a gun he
didn’t hate.

A week ago, Obama went to Mexico, whined about the United States, and
bemoaned (before the whole world) the fact that he didn’t have the
political power to take away our semi-automatics. Nevertheless, that
didn’t keep him from pushing additional restrictions on American gun

It’s called the Inter-American Convention Against Illicit Manufacturing
of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other
Related Materials. To be sure, this imponderable title masks a really
nasty piece of work.

First of all, when the treaty purports to ban the “illicit” manufacture
of firearms, what does that mean?

  1. “Illicit manufacturing” of firearms is defined as “assembly of
    firearms [or] ammunition… without a license….”

Hence, reloading ammunition — or putting together a lawful firearm from
a kit — is clearly “illicit manufacturing.”

Modifying a firearm in any way would surely be “illicit manufacturing.”
And, while it would be a stretch, assembling a firearm after cleaning it
could, in any plain reading of the words, come within the screwy
definition of “illicit manufacturing.”

  1. “Firearm” has a similarly questionable definition.

“[A]ny other weapon” is a “firearm,” according to the treaty — and the
term “weapon” is nowhere defined.

So, is a BB gun a “firearm”? Probably.

A toy gun? Possibly.

A pistol grip or firing pin? Probably. And who knows what else.

If these provisions (and others) become the law of the land, the Obama
administration could have a heyday in enforcing them. Consider some of
the other provisions in the treaty:

  • Banning Reloading. In Article IV of the treaty, countries commit to
    adopting “necessary legislative or other measures” to criminalize
    illicit manufacturing and trafficking in firearms.

Remember that “illicit manufacturing” includes reloading and modifying
or assembling a firearm in any way. This would mean that the Obama
administration could promulgate regulations banning reloading on the
basis of this treaty — just as it is currently circumventing Congress
to write legislation taxing greenhouse gases.

  • Banning Gun Clubs. Article IV goes on to state that the criminalized
    acts should include “association or conspiracy” in connection with said
    offenses — which is arguably a term broad enough to allow, by
    regulation, the criminalization of entire pro-gun organizations or gun
    clubs, based on the facilities which they provide their membership.
  • Extraditing US Gun Dealers. Article V requires each party to “adopt
    such measures as may be necessary to establish its jurisdiction over the
    offenses it has established in accordance with this Convention” under a
    variety of circumstances.

We know that Mexico is blaming U.S. gun dealers for the fact that its
streets are flowing with blood. And we know it is possible for Mexico
to define offenses “committed in its territory” in a very broad way.
And we know that we have an extradition obligation under Article XIX of
the proposed treaty. So we know that Mexico could try to use the treaty
to demand to extradition of American gun dealers.

Under Article XXIX, if Mexico demands the extradition of a lawful
American gun dealer, the U.S. would be required to resolve the dispute
through “other means of peaceful settlement.”

Does anyone want to risk twenty years in a sweltering Mexican jail on
the proposition that the Obama administration would apply this provision
in a pro-gun manner?

  • Microstamping. Article VI requires “appropriate markings” on
    firearms. And, it is not inconceivable that this provision could be
    used to require microstamping of firearms and/or ammunition — a
    requirement which is clearly intended to impose specifications which are
    not technologically possible or which are possible only at a
    prohibitively expensive cost.
  • Gun Registration. Article XI requires the maintenance of any records,
    for a “reasonable time,” that the government determines to be necessary
    to trace firearms. This provision would almost certainly repeal
    portions of McClure-Volkmer and could arguably be used to require a
    national registry or database.

  • ACTION: Write your Senators and urge them to oppose the Inter-American
    Convention Against Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms,
    Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials.

    Please use the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center at to send your Senators the
    pre-written e-mail message below.

    —– Pre-written letter —–

    Dear Senator:

    I am urging you, in the strongest terms, to oppose the Inter-American
    Convention Against Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms,
    Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials.

    This anti-gun treaty was written by international bureaucrats who are
    either stupid or virulently anti-gun — or both.

    This treaty could very well ban the ability to reload ammunition, to put
    new stocks on rifles lawfully owned by American citizens, and, possibly,
    even ban BB guns!

    There are too many problems with this treaty to mention them all in this
    letter. The rest can be read on the website of Gun Owners of America

    Please do not tell me the treaty has not yet been abused in this way by
    the bevy of Third World countries which have signed it. We do not
    expect the real ramifications of the treaty to become clear until the
    big prize — the U.S. — has stepped into the trap.

    For all of these reasons, I must insist that you oppose ratification of
    the treaty.


    What’s Your Current GOA Status?

    Obviously, we now face years of invigorated attacks on our gun rights.
    Shutting down gun shows, prohibitions on specific calibers, another
    semi-auto ban, and the anti-gun extremists’ Holy Grail of mandatory
    federal licensing and registration of all gun owners — these are just
    some of the horrors that we already know we’ll have to defeat head-on.
    Not to mention this treaty nonsense. Meanwhile, we’ll take every
    opportunity to go on offense and advance the Second Amendment.

    It can’t be done without every single voice being counted. That’s why
    we are asking you to consider making the commitment of becoming a Gun
    Owners of America Life Member. By doing so, you put the politicians on
    notice that neither you nor GOA is going away — that no matter who’s in
    the White House, there is always going to be a solid wall of resistance.

    Now is a perfect time to become a Life Member. And if you aren’t a GOA
    member at all, isn’t it time you became one?

    Please go to to upgrade your
    participation in GOA.

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