Politics

NRA Opposes UN Arms Trade Treaty Designed to Stop Arms Trafficking

| by Michael Allen
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The National Rifle Association (NRA) is opposing the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty, which is designed to restrict the flow of guns to conflict zones around the world.

Negotiators will try this week to agree on the landmark U.N. treaty designed to regulate the multibillion-dollar global arms trade, reports FoxNews.com.

The Arms Trade Treaty would require countries to determine and report if the weapons they sell would be used to commit serious human rights violations, terrorism or transnational organized crime.

According to the Washington Post, the NRA claims that the Arms Trade Treaty would be used to regulate civilian weapons in the U.S., which is not mentioned in the treaty and is legally impossible as U.S. law trumps U.N. law in the U.S.

Human rights activists say that the Arms Trade Treaty would reduce the trafficking of weapons, including the AK-47 assault rifle, to outlaw regimes and rebel groups engaged in war crimes.

“This treaty is a common-sense alignment of the interests of governments, law-abiding citizens and individuals all over the world, who deserve the right to live free from harm,” said Michelle A. Ringuette of Amnesty International USA. “Any step toward restraining the illicit sale and transfer of weapons used to commit horrific crimes is a good move forward, and the world could use a lot more steps in the direction of ending human rights abuses.”

“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,” Secretary of State John F. Kerry said in a statement. “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.”

“What we really object to is the inclusion of civilian firearms within the scope of the ATT,” said Tom Mason, the NRA’s executive secretary and a lawyer who represents the NRA. “This is a treaty that really needs to address the transfer of large numbers of military weapons that leads to human rights abuses. We have submitted language that you can define what a civilian firearm is.”

The American Bar Association’s Center for Human Rights said last month that “it is unlikely the proposed treaty would compromise Second Amendment rights,” and if it did, “the treaty itself would be void.”

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Source: Washington Post and FoxNews.com