Arms Trade Treaty

Senators announce opposition to Obama-backed U.N. Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) faces a nearly impossible road to ratification after half of the United States Senate reiterated their opposition to the measure in a letter to President Barack Obama.

The letter, which was spearheaded by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and signed by 50 senators, meticulously explained the reasons for opposition, including the lack of consensus at the U.N. and weak recognition of the lawful use of firearms.

“[T]he treaty was adopted by a procedure which violates a red line laid down by your own administration. In October 2009, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that the U.S. supported the negotiation of the treaty only by ‘the rule of consensus decision-making,’” noted the senators in the letter to President Obama.

“But in April 2013, after the treaty failed to achieve consensus, it was adopted by majority vote in the U.N. General Assembly,” the senators wrote. “We fear that this reversal has done grave damage to the diplomatic credibility of the United States.”

President Obama supports the treaty, which was signed last month by Secretary of State John Kerry. Many Second Amendment supporters believe that the treaty will serve as a backdoor for gun control regulations, including gun registration, as a provision of the measure requires countries to track gun ownership of small arms to the “end user.”

The senators noted that the treaty’s lack recognition of lawful ownership and tracking requirements played a factor in their opposition.

Kerry will sign U.N. Arms Trade Treaty

Despite bipartisan opposition in the United States Senate, Secretary of State John Kerry has signed the United Nations’ controversial Arms Trade Treaty, which gun rights supporters fear is a backdoor way to advance strict gun control measures:

Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday signed a controversial U.N. treaty on arms regulation, riling U.S. lawmakers who vow the Senate will not ratify the agreement.

As he signed the document, Kerry called the treaty a “significant step” in addressing illegal gun sales, while claiming it would also protect gun rights.

“This is about keeping weapons out of the hands of terrorists and rogue actors. This is about reducing the risk of international transfers of conventional arms that will be used to carry out the world’s worst crimes. This is about keeping Americans safe and keeping America strong,” he said. “This treaty will not diminish anyone’s freedom. In fact, the treaty recognizes the freedom of both individuals and states to obtain, possess, and use arms for legitimate purposes.”

Many gun rights supporters believe that the treaty will serve as a backdoor for more strenuous gun control measures than what is currently being pushed by the White House. In particular, there is a requirement for countries to track gun ownership of small arms to the “end user” (gun registration).

Obama will Sign U.N. Arms Treaty

The spotlight may have drifted away from gun control, but it may soon become an issue again in the United States Senate. Earlier this week Secretary of State John Kerry said that the Obama Administration will sign the controversial United Nations Arms Trade Treaty:

Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that the Obama administration would sign a controversial U.N. treaty on arms regulation, despite bipartisan resistance in Congress from members concerned it could lead to new gun control measures in the U.S.

Kerry, releasing a written statement as the U.N. treaty opened for signature Monday, said the U.S. “welcomes” the next phase for the treaty, which the U.N. General Assembly approved on April 2.

“We look forward to signing it as soon as the process of conforming the official translations is completed satisfactorily,” he said. Kerry called the treaty “an important contribution to efforts to stem the illicit trade in conventional weapons, which fuels conflict, empowers violent extremists, and contributes to violations of human rights.”

Many gun rights supporters believe that the treaty will serve as a backdoor for more strenuous gun control measures than what is currently being pushed by the White House. In particular, there is a requirement for countries to track gun ownership of small arms to the “end user” (gun registration).

UN Approves Obama-backed Arms Trade Treaty

United Nations

The United Nations has approved the controversial Arms Treaty Treaty (ATT), which is expected to lead to a standoff between Second Amendment supporters in the Senate and the White House:

The United Nations’ overwhelming approval Tuesday of an arms trade treaty opposed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) sets up a showdown between President Obama and the powerful gun lobby’s friends on Capitol Hill.

President Obama is expected to sign the treaty within the next few months after the United States joined 153 other countries in supporting the treaty.

The Senate, however, has vowed to block ratification, which requires a two-thirds majority and is needed for the treaty to be legally binding on the U.S.

Many gun rights supporters believe that the treaty will serve as a backdoor for more strenuous gun control measures than what is currently being pushed by the White House. In particular, there is a requirement for countries to track gun ownership of small arms to the “end user” (gun registration).

ICYMI: Senate Takes Stand Against U.N. Arms Trade Treaty

United Nations

While the vote may only be symbolic, it’s still important. In case you missed it in my brief rundown of amendments to the budget, it’s worth mentioning once more.

Early Saturday morning, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) presented an amendment to the budget that would prevent the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, which opponents say could put Second Amendment rights at risk:

In the pre-dawn hours Saturday, the Senate approved a measure “to uphold Second Amendment rights and prevent the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.”

By a vote of 53-46, the Senate passed the amendment to the budget bill sponsored by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.).
[…]
“We’re negotiating a treaty that cedes our authority to have trade agreements with our allies in terms of trading arms,” Inhofe before the vote on his amendment. “This is probably the last time this year that you’ll be able to vote for your Second Amendment rights.”

According to a story in The Hill, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) proposed his own amendment “that clarified that under current U.S. law, treaties don’t trump the Constitution and that the United States should not agree to any arms treaty that violates the Second Amendment rights.” Leahy’s amendment also passed.


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