2020 Marks Year Of Change for Arms Trade Treaty


President Donald J Trump Signs img NRA-ILA
President Donald J Trump Signs img NRA-ILA

Fairfax, VA – -(Ammoland.com)- At the NRA-ILA Leadership forum last year President Trump sent the international anti-firearm community into hysterics by announcing his intent to withdraw the United States from their crowning jewel, the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).  Having never secured membership from China or Russia, the thought of many was that in losing the treaty’s only top tier arms exporter the ATT would die, but that could not be further from the truth.

Like every United Nations’ initiative, with or without the United States, the show will always go on.

Despite the ATT’s abysmal compliance rate and ever-increasing deficit, voluntary financial contributions continue to keep it afloat, and as the years continue to pass the misguided argument that it be viewed as an international norm grows. This, after all, has always been the goal of the ATT.  Despite lacking membership of most of the world’s top arms importers and exporters, treaty proponents have always recognized that by establishing what they view as “legitimacy over time”, an argument can be made that the ATT’s terms be adhered to by everyone, influencing and restraining foreign policies worldwide whether a country is a member or not.

This is why the presence of the United States at every meeting of the ATT has always been critical.  They are the proverbial “adult in the room”, effectively keeping the ATT train from running off the tracks. Whether attending as a Signatory or Observer State, the U.S. delegation has to have a seat at the table. No year has this been more important than this, as 2020 marks the first year since the ATT entered into force that it can be amended, a year many of its proponents have been waiting for so that they can expand the treaty’s tentacles beyond diversion.

The first official work on the treaty’s expansion kicked off this week at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland with the convening of the first of two week-long ATT Working Group and Preparatory meetings. While attendance was lighter than usual, the presence of the U.S. delegation was a welcomed sight.

This week, proposals have been tabled calling for the incorporation of the UN’s other anti-firearm initiatives into the ATT, such as the Programme of Action and Firearms Protocol, and for expanding the ATT’s scope to specifically focus on gender and gender-based violence issues. Such expansions may seem inconsequential to some, but we assure you they are not.

Incorporation of the Programme of Action and Firearms Protocol, the first of which is simply a political agreement and later a treaty lacking the membership of the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, China and Russia, will allow the ATT to legally enforce their terms.

The significance of this cannot be overlooked, as they are both actively working to develop international restrictions on ammunition. If successful, this would mean that any restrictions developed in one of those initiatives, such as the marking, registration, tracing and restriction of ammunition, would become legally enforceable under the ATT, even to a State Party that is not a signatory to the Protocol or one who objected to the inclusion of ammunition into the Programme of Action.

On the gender and gender-based violence issues, this would grant the ATT the power to legally enforce the principle being tabled in support of their incorporation, which “requires the recognition that small arms possession is linked to violent masculinities”, or in layman’s terms, that the only way to end gender-based violence is through an outright ban on males possessing firearms.

While many States recognize these issues, rarely will an objection be raised on the floor.  Instead, work to quell support is done behind the scenes, and this is where the value of the U.S.’ presence cannot be overlooked. This week is just the first of two week-long meetings leading to the 6th Conference of States Parties to the ATT in August where any proposals developed will ultimately be voted on. We trust that the U.S. has been working to educate our allies on the significance of such attempts to expand the ATT this week, but we also don’t trust blindly and have been here all week counseling our friends as well.

National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)


Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit: www.nra.org

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Tionico (@tionico)
1 year ago

Since we are not a signer of this travesty, er, I mean, treaty, it does not bind us. Even when we were signatories, it was never ratified. Even if it HAD been ratified, since it is directly contradictory to our COnstitution it still cannot be binding here, as ONLY treaties consistent, and in agreement with, our US COnstitition are binding upon we Americans. tjhey can say/do whatever they want. THEY do not own or control us. And if they try to… those bright blue helmets are VERY easy to see from a long distance. Many I know can hit what… Read more »

1 year ago
Reply to  Tionico

Hey. If the left can disown Trump as their President, with some like actor and Sensei Steven Segal even leaving the country because of it to hang out with his Russian buddy Putin, then surely we have the right to disown any and all unconstitutional laws they pass, and expect us to gleefully embrace? You can bet your ass that when Segal wants to come back home, the left will welcome that traitor with open arms, expecting us to do the same. I will not comply!

1 year ago

Your shallow attempt at infringing on my Constitutional rights will not be tolerated, and in fact will be seen as an aggressive act towards my liberties, where the first shot fired will be at your head. Just as sure as you are trying to get me to own your political nonsense, you can bet that mine will prevail because it’s backed not by what’s popular, but by the very foundations that made this country what is. Ignore them at your own peril.

Terry (@tbell50)
1 year ago

So since the world is working on a gender Neutral world with her being no female or male anyone could still own firearms

Ryben Flynn
Ryben Flynn
1 year ago

Signed and never ratified, never even submitted to Congress, and unsigned last year.
“On April 26, 2019, President Donald Trump announced in his speech at an annual NRA meeting that the United States will be withdrawing its signature on the treaty. He signed an order to this effect on stage.”
Wikipedia. Arms Trade Treaty

Rock (@rock)
1 year ago