Society

Americans Flock to Gun Stores as Arms Trade Treaty Vote Looms

| by Dabney Bailey
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The United Nations is just 2 days away from voting on the controversial Arms Trade Treaty, which would place regulations on the import and export of firearms. These restrictions would limit Americans’ access to guns from foreign manufacturers like Glock and Heckler & Koch. Even weapons from allied countries, like the Israel Military Industries-made Uzi, could become scarce.

The looming treaty has provoked a gun grab in the States as gun rights advocate scramble for small arms and assault rifles. This is simply the continuation of an ongoing trend – gun sales spiked before the presidential election amid fears that Obama would be elected, and gun sales soared once more in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting. Despite all of this gun control sentiment, it’s actually been a fairly successful year for gun manufacturers.

After Thursday, however, some overseas shoppers who want to get their hands on a new gun might have a hard time. Right now, more than 100 countries do not have any sort of legislation in place for regulation the trade of firearms. The treaty will, as John Kerry promises, “bring all countries closer to existing international best practices, which we already observe, while preserving national decisions to transfer conventional arms responsibly.”

Kerry went on to assure gun rights advocates that the treaty wouldn’t trample over Second Amendment rights, but critics are skeptical. John Bolton, a former US ambassador to the UN, argued that the treaty will gradually limit US trading power while dictatorships and rogue organizations will continue to do as they please.

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Of course, firearms aren’t the only thing on the chopping block. The Arms Trade Treaty will also place limits on some of the most dangerous weapons of war, like missiles and tanks. Even if dictatorships are eager to get their hands on a new engine of war, the Arms Trade Treaty could make distributors think twice about trading over international borders.

Sources: Washington Post, New York Times, CSM