Secretary of State John Kerry stated Monday that the Obama Administration intends to sign a U.N. treaty that would restrict trade of conventional weapons, despite opposition from the Senate. Fox News reports:
“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.”
The treaty would require countries that ratify it to establish national regulations to control the transfer of conventional arms and components and to regulate arms brokers, but it will not explicitly control the domestic use of weapons in any country.
Still, gun-rights supporters on Capitol Hill warn the treaty could be used as the basis for additional gun regulations inside the U.S. and have threatened not to ratify.
Last week, 130 members of Congress signed a letter to Obama and Kerry urging them to reject the measure for this and other reasons.
Since ratification of a treaty will require a 2/3 vote from the Senate, it is unlikely that the administration will succeed in getting ratification. This by no means implies that gun rights activists should rest on their laurels on this issue. If the President decides to sign this treaty, everything possible must be done to guarantee that the Senate will not ratify it. As for when the treaty could be signed, it could be any time – either in the near future, or months from now.