NRA-ILA reports that the Obama Administration is expected to sign the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty soon after it is opened for signature on June 3.
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. 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. In the article, Countryman said that the United States would sign the ATT “in the very near future.” If the deeply problematic treaty is indeed signed, the fight will move to the U.S. Senate, where the Obama administration would need to find 67 senators to ratify the treaty.
NRA-ILA says the ATT threatens 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 country. 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 requirements, NRA-ILA asserts.
Once a treaty has been signed, it normally remains available for the Senate to ratify in perpetuity, unless a later president withdraws from it.