Biden Administration Moves to Reinstate UN Small Arms Treaty that Trump Nixed

The U.N. treaty could force the U.S. to keep a record of the “end users” of all firearm imports. (Photo: United Nations)

GunsAmerica readers might remember when former President Donald Trump backed out of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty at the NRA show in 2019. The move was hailed as a reaffirmation of national sovereignty and a commitment to keeping European bureaucrats out of U.S. gun policy.

Now, it looks like the Biden Administration is working to put U.S. gun owners under international control.

William Malzahn, a U.S. State Department official at the Office of Conventional Arms Threat Reduction, assured his European counterparts at a recent conference that the Biden Administration remains committed to “strong and effective” controls on conventional arms, according to a transcript obtained by Breitbart News:

I have come from Washington D.C. this week to take the floor on the agenda item Treaty Universalization to underscore the continuing commitment of the United States to responsible international trade in conventional arms.  The United States has long supported strong and effective national controls on the international transfer of conventional arms, and the Arms Trade Treaty is an important tool from promoting those controls internationally.

The National Rifle Association warned back in 2013 that the treaty would impose a registration scheme on imported firearms by requiring each state party to maintain “national records” on the “end users” of imported firearms “for a minimum of ten years.”

The Obama administration made the treaty a priority, but it remained inoperative because the U.S. Senate never gave its approval.

Still, Obama’s Secretary of State John Kerry had signed the treaty, which prompted President Trump to revoke that signature in 2016. “We will never surrender American sovereignty to anyone,” Trump said during his NRAAM address that year. “We are taking our signature back.”

This latest move by the Biden Administration could indicate that Secretary of State Antony Blinken plans to sign it once again.

If that happens, it’s highly unlikely that the Senate will agree to ratify. The Constitution requires two-thirds of the Senate (67 members) to approve any treaty signed by the president or secretary of state. Since Democrats only hold a one-vote majority, they would need 17 Republicans to join them in signing.

President Biden has been mostly stymied in his attempts to restrict Second Amendments rights domestically. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is set to adopt rules redefining “firearms” and banning arm braces, but the Democrat-controlled Congress has failed to pass any of Biden’s other agenda items.

In his recent weeks, however, the administration has worked to restrict firearms and ammunition imports, a sector where the White House has more power to act unilaterally. Biden’s officials announced last month new sanctions on Russian ammunition, which could dry up supplies from that country if they are not lifted within the next few years.

About the author:
Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at

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