Secretary of State John Kerry said that the United States will sign a United Nations treaty regulating the international trade of small arms, a measure that has been met with resistance from some Congressional lawmakers concerned that the treaty could lead to new gun-control laws being implemented in the U.S.
Kerry issued a statement Sunday, saying that the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) doesn’t threaten the 2nd Amendment:
The Treaty is 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. The Treaty will require the parties to implement strict controls, of the kind the United States already has in place, on the international transfer of conventional arms to prevent their diversion and misuse and create greater international cooperation against black market arms merchants. The ATT will not undermine the legitimate international trade in conventional weapons, interfere with national sovereignty, or infringe on the rights of American citizens, including our Second Amendment rights.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the treaty gives nations throughout the world more power to regulate weapons transfers that sometimes put firearms in the hands of terror organizations.
“The eyes of the world are watching arms traders, manufacturers and Governments as never before,” Ban said.
“The treaty will provide an effective deterrent against excessive and destabilizing arms flows, particularly in conflict-prone regions,” he continued. “It will make it harder for weapons to be diverted into the illicit market, to reach warlords, pirates, terrorists and criminals, or to be used to commit grave human rights abuses or violations of international humanitarian law.”
While President Barack Obama did not sign the treaty along with the U.K., France and other major Western allies during a signing ceremony in New York on Monday, his Administration vows the President’s support.
“We look forward to signing it as soon as the process of conforming the official translations is completed satisfactorily,” read Kerry’s statement.
Even if the President signs the treaty, however, it is unlikely to pass Congressional muster and garner the two-thirds support in the Senate required for ratification. Senators voted 53-46 for a symbolic measure opposing U.S. participation in the treaty in March— eight Democrats and all 45 Senate Republicans opposed it.