Kerry signs UN arms treaty, US Senators vow to block

Kerry signs UN arms treaty, US Senators vow to block
Thu Sep 26, 2013 16:42:21

US Secretary of State John Kerry has signed a new UN treaty on arms regulation that may be strongly blocked in the Senate because of gun-owners right violation concerns.

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

The UN has been working for a long time on tactics to disarm and control Americans.

The purpose of the UN Arms Trade Treaty (UN-ATT) is to regulate the transfer of guns which obviously requires that all guns be registered and tracked by governments — which many think is in facts about registering and tracking gun owners.

"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," Kerry 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."

US lawmakers, though, have long said the treaty could lead to new gun control measures. They note the US Senate has final say on whether to approve the agreement.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., in a letter to President Obama, urged his administration not to take any action to implement the treaty without the consent of the Senate.

He warned the treaty raises "fundamental issues" concerning "individual rights protected by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution."

The National Rifle Association blasted the plan, saying it would impose an "invasive registration scheme" by requiring importing countries to give exporting countries information on "end users."

"The Obama administration is once again demonstrating its contempt for our fundamental, individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms," Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement.

"These are blatant attacks on the constitutional rights and liberties of every law-abiding American. The NRA will continue to fight this assault on our fundamental freedom."

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., one of the most vocal opponents of the treaty, also sent a letter to Kerry declaring the treaty "dead in the water," since a majority of senators has gone on record against the agreement.

"The administration is wasting precious time trying to sign away our laws to the global community and unelected UN bureaucrats," he wrote.

Over the summer, 130 members of Congress signed a letter to President Obama and Kerry urging them to reject the measure for this and other reasons.

The chance of adoption by the US is slim. A two-thirds majority would be needed in the Senate to ratify.

The treaty covers battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, large-caliber artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles and missile launchers, and small arms and light weapons.

It prohibits states that ratify it from transferring conventional weapons if they violate arms embargoes or if they promote acts of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes. The treaty also prohibits the export of conventional arms if they could be used in attacks on civilians or civilian buildings such as schools and hospitals.

In addition, the treaty requires countries to take measures to prevent the diversion of conventional weapons to the illicit market. This is among the provisions that gun-rights supporters in Congress are concerned about.


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