The United Nations has accepted the highly controversial Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) that aims to limit the gun trade across international lines. The treaty received overwhelming support with a total vote count of 154-3 and 23 abstentions. The naysayers were Iran, Syria, and North Korea – each political enemies of the United States.
While members of the United Nations are generally on board with the treaty, attitudes about the ATT here in the States are much more divisive.
Gun rights organizations such as the National Rifle Association have blasted supporters of the treaty. Luckily for the NRA, they’ve got support in the Senate. Thad Cochran (Miss-R) promised that the Senate would oppose the Treaty: “The Senate has already gone on record in stating that an Arms Trade Treaty has no hope, especially if it does not specifically protect the individual right to bear arms and American sovereignty. It would be pointless for the president to sign such a treaty and expect the Senate to go along. We won’t ratify it.”
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott also stated that he would sue if the “unconstitutional” UN Arms Treaty was ratified.
Gun control advocates, on the other hand, are excited about the treaty. Frank Jannuzi, Deputy Executive Director of Amnesty International, saw the victory in the United Nations as a culmination of two decades of hard work. He said, "Amnesty International played a leading role in initiating the campaign for this treaty nearly 20 years ago and has fought tirelessly to stop weapons from being sent to countries where we know they are used to commit human rights atrocities. This has been a life-saving struggle that never could have been achieved without the support of millions of human rights activists who stepped forward to demand change. We call on President Obama to be first in line on June 3 when the treaty opens for signature."
It’s clear that these supporters have a hard fight ahead of themselves as they move to ratify the bill in the States. Between this treaty and the impending bill that would require universal background checks on all firearm purchases, gun rights advocates are preparing for a fight.