The U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday approved a sweeping, first-of-its-kind treaty aimed at regulating the estimated $60 billion international arms trade, brushing aside gun rights groups’ concerns that the pact could lead to a national firearms registry in the U.S.
The long-debated U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) requires countries to regulate and control the export of weaponry such as battle tanks, combat vehicles and aircraft and attack helicopters, as well as parts and ammunition for such weapons.
The treaty also provides that signatories will not violate arms embargoes or international treaties regarding illicit trafficking, or sell weaponry to countries where they could be used for genocide, crimes against humanity or other war crimes.
“This is a good day for the United Nations, and a good day for the peoples of the world,” said Australian Ambassador Peter Woolcott, the lead negotiator during the process.
With the Obama administration supporting the final treaty draft, the General Assembly vote was 155-3, with 22 abstentions. Iran, Syria and North Korea voted against the proposal.
U.S. gun rights activists say the treaty is riddled with loopholes and is unworkable in part because it includes “small arms and light weapons” in its list of weaponry subject to international regulations. The activists said they do not trust U.N. assertions that the pact is meant to regulate only cross-border trade and would have no impact on domestic U.S. laws and markets.
One provision requires participating countries to keep records of arms exports and imports, including the quantity, value, model/type, and “end users, as appropriate” for at least 10 years.
Gun record-keeping is a thorny issue in the U.S., where similar questions have stalled a debate over expanding background checks to include all private gun sales.
Second Amendment supporters worry that such records eventually will pave the way for a national firearms registry, currently prohibited by federal law.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott wrote a letter to President Obama on Tuesday saying he would sue to block the treaty if it is ratified. It “appears to lay the groundwork for an international gun registry overseen by the bureaucrats at the UN,” the letter said.
The Senate last month also signaled its aversion, voting 53-46 to oppose the treaty in a nonbinding test vote as part of the budget debate. Eight Democrats joined all 45 Republicans in opposing the treaty.
Sen. Jerry Moran, Kansas Republican, said Tuesday that it made no sense to pass a treaty that will bind the U.S., while Iran, Syria and North Korea will ignore it.
By David Sherfinski
The Washington Time
Co-Founder @ DontComply.com
Murdoch Pizgatti is a voluntaryist that participates in activism of all shades. President and founder of Come And Take It Texas he has been focusing on gun rights the last two years. As the Co-founder of DontComply.com he deals with the corruption of the state and heads up programs to rally against the unjust and unconstitutional laws in the USofA.
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