Brian Darling
Defenders of Americans’ constitutional right to “keep and bear” arms have been rightly alarmed by treaty negotiations underway in Turtle Bay. Thankfully, the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is finally getting the congressional attention it deserves.

How bad is it? Here’s one clue: Iran was selected to provide one of the 14 vice presidents for the ATT conference. That’s right: a treaty that’s supposed to be about stopping terrorism and preventing human rights abuses, and the U.N. decides to give the ceremonial spotlight to Iran, a nation that supplies arms to Hamas, Hezbollah, and the murderous Syrian government.

John Lott wrote for Fox News that we know a lot about the Treaty just by virtue of the nations negotiating its details. Many of the countries included in the negotiations ban handguns and do not recognize the inherent right of personal self-defense. And, as Lott notes, “The Obama administration is undoubtedly the most hostile administration to gun ownership in U.S. history, with Obama having personally supported of handguns and semi-automatic weapons before becoming president.” All of this should raise red flags for constitutional conservatives.

Lott worries the ATT will give U.S. anti-gun activists leverage to regulate private ownership of guns. According to Lott, “The most likely regulations to be pushed by the UN treaty are those that have been the favorites of American gun control advocates for years -- registration and licensing, micro-stamping ammunition, and restrictions on the private transfers of guns.” Given their political failures, the best way for anti-gun activists to implement these sneaky schemes is through an ATT that contains language requiring the U.S. government to promote their favorite policies.

Pro-gun groups are already fighting back. Wayne LaPierre of the NRA addressed the ATT conference earlier this month and said, “No foreign influence has jurisdiction over the freedoms our Founding Fathers guaranteed to us.” John Velleco of Gun Owners of America tells Townhall that “we have seen bad gun control ideas in the past, but we have never seen anything as insidious as the Arms Trade Treaty.”

Brian Darling

Brian Darling is Sr. Vice President for Third Dimension Strategies, a strategic communications public relations firm in Washington, D.C. Darling served as Sr. Communications Director and Counsel for Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) from 2012-15. Before his tenure with Sen. Paul, Darling served in three different capacities with The Heritage Foundation. Follow him @BrianHDarling on Twitter.