While President Obama lost a round this week on his gun-control agenda in Congress, he’s making up for lost ground by pursuing a broader gun grab at the United Nations.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said there was not enough support to give Sen. Dianne Feinstein the stand-alone vote she demands on the “assault weapon” ban, but the upper chamber may soon be the deciding factor in whether the United States ratifies an international treaty that could strip Americans of their Second Amendment rights.
On Monday, the United States joined in the nine day conference in New York to finalize negotiations of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The treaty is intended to regulate the global trade of conventional weapons, but depending how the final document is worded, it could put at risk Americans’ right to keep and bear arms.
The countries were negotiating the draft last July, but stopped when the U.S. asked for a delay. Many believe Mr. Obama pushed the issue past Election Day in order not to further alienate gun owners. Now that he has more “flexibility” in his second term, the U.S. is back at the table.
Secretary of State John Kerry has encouraged reaching consensus by March 28. “The United States is steadfast in its commitment to achieve a strong and effective Arms Trade Treaty that helps address the adverse effects of the international arms trade on global peace and stability,” he wrote in a statement Friday.
Mr. Kerry only modified his enthusiasm with a nod to public disapproval by stating that, “We will not support any treaty that would be inconsistent with U.S. law and the rights of American citizens under our Constitution, including the Second Amendment.”
The National Rifle Association (NRA) strongly opposes the treaty because the draft includes civilian firearms under what is called the “scope” provision of the draft. NRA representatives in New York are finding strong resistance from non-government organizations and leftist states to removing the civilian firearm provision.
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