On April 2, the United Nations General Assembly voted 153-4 to pass the Arms Trade Treaty, with the United States voting in favor and several countries abstaining.
The vote in the General Assembly pushed the treaty
process forward after negotiations twice failed to deliver on the goal
of developing the treaty by consensus. The Obama Administration is
expected to sign the treaty soon after it is opened for signature on
According to a May 16 Amnesty International article, a senior US
diplomat--Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Countryman--has confirmed
the U.S. government will be quick to sign the new treaty. According to
the article, Countryman said on Wednesday that the United States would
sign the Arms Trade Treaty "in the very near future."
If the deeply problematic treaty is signed, the fight will move to the
U.S. Senate. The Obama administration would need to find 67
senators to ratify the treaty.
The anti-gun Amnesty International approves of the treaty and is advocating
its signing and ratification. In addition, Amnesty International has
gone so far as to claim that the treaty will not affect "domestic gun
On the contrary, the Arms Trade Treaty does indeed
threaten the rights and privacy of American gun owners. Signatories will
be encouraged to keep information on the "end users" of arms imported
into their territory and supply such information to the exporting
Exporting nations, nearly all of which have civilian firearm
control regimes far harsher than the U.S., will be encouraged to take
the firearm control laws of an importing country into account before
approving a transfer of arms. And the treaty also encourages states to
adopt domestic legislation to facilitate the treaty's onerous
In a related development -- The Star-Ledger reported last Friday that after a closed-door hearing on gun control in the New Jersey Senate the previous day, Democrats Loretta Weinberg, Sandra Cunningham and Linda Greenstein were complaining, "We needed a bill that was going to confiscate, confiscate, confiscate." Youtube recording
The individual right to keep and to bear arms, and the individual right of personal self-defense are fundamental rights that all government must recognize.