The UN and its supporters, e.g., the NY Times, the LA Times, Amnesty International, etc., are busy pushing a so-called global arms treaty (full text here).
Like all UN texts, this treaty has high-flying language that sets out all sorts of noble purposes and aspirations. I have written many, many times before that the real purpose of 99% of UN resolutions is slowly, sometimes subtly, to change definitions and alter the very language we use when discussing a topic. While the vast majority of UN resolutions do not have the force of law, they seek to alter the battlefield of ideas so that one finds himself using UN terms and relying on UN data and definitions. When I worked at the UN, under the Reagan administration, we fought ferociously, for example, against persistent UN efforts to define "individual rights" not as limitations on the power of the state and as something which accrues to an individual merely for being alive, but as something that is given by the state to the individual. We were quite successful, but since then the US position has softened, and we have bought off on the idea of social and economic rights which require the state to do something to secure. We find ourselves losing the battle on rights at the UN and the OAS, as a consequence. Rights, in essence, are now whatever the state says they are,
This UN text, however, goes beyond just definitional games and abstract debates. This proposes to be a full-blown treaty; it would have the power of law. For anybody concerned with individual rights, especially the right of an individual to self-defense, this treaty poses enormous problems. Read the text yourself and you will find them one after another. The treaty, as with all liberal/leftist efforts, seeks a massive role for the state and an implied one for lawyers, in those countries, such as ours, where we take the law seriously. Look at Article I, for example. The objectives laid out there would require an enormous new body of law and regulations to be drafted and implemented in the US; it would require it to be drafted in such a way as "to establish the highest possible common standards for regulating or improving regulation of the international trade in conventional arms." In other words, we would have to try to bring our laws and regulations into sync with those of the rest of the world. I do not need to spell out what that means when it comes to bearing arms.
Articles 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 comprise the core of the treaty. These articles would provide endless employment activity for "activists' and their lawyers. They establish obligations on the "State Parties" that would, in essence, kill the trade in small arms. The language about weapons "being diverted to the illicit market," or "used to commit or facilitate gender-based violence or violence against children" means endless lawsuits against exporting and importing states, manufacturers, and sellers. While the ostensible purpose is international trade, that would quickly become a domestic legal issue in the US. Say, for example, that a Glock, either one made in Austria or in a Glock factory in the US, were used for "illicit" purposes or was involved in an incident of "gender-based violence" in the US, the lawsuits would be ferocious. The threat of constant legal action effectively would halt the export and import of small arms--at least from and to those countries that take laws and treaty obligations seriously. The treaty would provide the basis for additional US domestic legislation that would incorporate the UN language and ideas into our laws. Private firm gun manufacturing and sales would be halted by the constant threat of lawsuits.
While proponents claim that the UN Treaty would not infringe on the second amendment rights of Americans, that is a lie. The purpose of the treaty is to circumvent the second amendment by destroying the small arms industry and trade. It is an effort at a gun ban. They know that and we know that.