National Rifle Association president David Keene made a February 16 appearance on conspiracy theorist Gary Franchi's television show as part of his media tour to oppose strengthening gun laws. Franchi is involved in the 9/11 Truth movement and believes the government is secretly building FEMA concentration camps that will be used to round up American citizens.
Franchi interviewed Keene about his belief that President Obama may use the Newtown school massacre to aid in the passage of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.
Franchi is a well-known and avid conspiracy theorist. During the 2012 election cycle, Franchi was the head of Revolution PAC, a pro-Ron Paul group. He made headlines when NBC News reported on his extensive history of promoting outlandish conspiracy theories.
As explained by NBC, Franchi was the founder of the Lone Lantern Society, a group that supports "'the birth of freedom and the death of the New World Order,' a secretive elite that is supposedly trying to set up a world government." The Lone Lantern held numerous demonstrations calling for a new investigation of 9-11.
In a 2008 interview with former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, Franchi asked if Ridge endorsed the idea of a "new investigation for 9-11" based on the idea that there may have been a "controlled demolition of the World Trade Center." (During the conversation, Franchi also asks Ridge about the "North American Union," the conspiracy that the governments of America, Canada, and Mexico are secretly planning to merge; a hypothetical North American currency union; and whether he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, and the Bohemian Grove.)
Franchi has also repeatedly endorsed the paranoid conspiracy that the government has been building FEMA concentration camps to imprison political opponents. He produced two separate documentaries on the subject, titled Camp FEMA: American Lockdown and Enemy of the State: Camp FEMA Part 2.
According to a 2010 report by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Franchi was a "regular speaker at Patriot conferences, offering a familiar diet of fears of globalist plotters," warning against a cabal of bankers and elite organizations that secretly control governments.
During his interview with Franchi, Keene suggested that President Obama would exploit the December 14 massacre of 20 students and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in order to ensure passage of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.
According to Keene, Obama may try to take advantage of "the emotional uprising that took place after Sandy Hook":
KEENE: The U.N. is now planning to have a meeting in March, at which point they will transmit the treaty to the President. So, this was something that had been negotiated earlier, was in the cards, and that the President held off on calling any public attention to until after he got passed the election. But, long before the Connecticut tragedy, the President was planning to ask for, and planning to sign, this treaty. Now, I suspect that the President and his allies think that the emotional uprising that took place after Sandy Hook could make it more possible, that he could get this treaty ratified by the Senate. I don't think that's going to happen, but I think that would certainly crank into their thinking, not in terms of signing it but in terms of the campaign they're going to run to get it ratified.
While the NRA alleges that the ATT is actually a secret plot to disarm Americans, in reality the United Nations seeks to create standards on the international trade of arms to prevent the diversion of weapons to human rights abusers. The most recent draft of the treaty expressly prohibits the imposition of domestic firearms regulations upon parties to the treaty by "[r]eaffirming the sovereign right and responsibility of any State to regulate and control transfers of conventional arms that take place exclusively within its territory, pursuant to its own legal or constitutional systems."
Keene is not the only major gun advocate to appear on the radio program of a well-known conspiracy theorist in recent months. Erich and Larry Pratt from Gun Owners of America are frequent guests on the radio show of prominent 9-11 truther Alex Jones. (Franchi is also a regular Jones guest.)
Larry Pratt is listed alongside Jones as one of the stars of Camp FEMA.