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Section Six
Dangerous Norms and Bad Treaties: The Growing Transnational Threat to Second Amendment Freedoms

Over the past four years, a series of treaties and international agreements - from the Organization of American States' CIFTA Convention, to the U.N.'s Arms Trade Treaty and its "Programme of Action on Small Arms" - have raised the public profile of diplomatic and transnational efforts to regulate the manufacturing, possession, and transfer of small arms and light weapons. These treaties have failed (and will continue to fail) to achieve their nominal aims, which in theory focus on restricting the ability of terrorists and human rights abusers to purchase or acquire weapons. But in practice, this international realm poses a growing threat to Second Amendment freedoms, because neither the Un.N. nor most of its member-states have ever accepted the legitimacy of the private ownership or transfer of firearms. Worse, the American treaty process fails to effectively defend U.S. sovereignty and freedoms by allowing the President to commit the U.S. internationally without receiving the advice and consent of the Senate. Ultimately, these treaties and negotiations are part of a larger transnational strategy, which is to develop so-called international norms that can be used to re-interpret the Second Amendment (among others), and thereby - without amending the wording of the Constitution - undermine the freedoms they were crated to protect.

Senior Research Fellow in Anglo-American Relations
Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom
The Heritage Foundation