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Firearms and the Constitution Versus Treaties

August 20, 2010
Lesley Swann
8/18/2010

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under that Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.” – Article VI, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution

Recently I attended a gun show, where I handed out information material and answered questions on the Tenth Amendment Center. Several people were concerned about the U.S. making a treaty that would gut the U.S. Constitution and potentially take away firearms from law abiding citizens here in the U.S. They argued that the paragraph above from the Constitution places treaty law above the Constitution as the supreme law of the land.

Our Founders very clearly stated the conditions under which the U.S. Constitution could be amended, or changed, in Article 5. It is quite illogical to conceive that our Founders would write such a brilliant document to be the foundation of our union, only to create a giant backdoor for foreign governments to come in and destroy the liberty we had worked so hard to achieve. In fact, our Founders themselves said otherwise.

“The only constitutional exception to the power of making treaties is that it shall not change the Constitution…” – Alexander Hamilton

“I do not conceive that power is given to the President or the Senate to dismember the empire, or alienate any great, essential right. I do not think the whole legislative authority to have this power.” – James Madison

“I say the same as to the opinion of those who consider the grant of treaty-making power to be boundless. If it is, then we have no Constitution.” – Thomas Jefferson

So, when I began re-reading this section of the Constitution I realized that they didn’t leave a backdoor, but in fact were expressly forbidding this type of maneuver in Article VI. The answer to the riddle that confuses many people isn’t to be found in an indecipherable tome on constitutional law, but instead in simple English grammar and a little attention to detail.

And now… the rest of the story. …..

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