Members are fearful that Obama’s post-election amenability to the treaty puts Americans’ Second Amendment rights in danger.
Dozens of lawmakers in the House are trying to stop a second-term drive by President Obama to sign a United Nations treaty they say would put Americans’ Second Amendment rights at risk.
Obama reversed the course of the George W. Bush administration in October 2009, supporting negotiations at the UN for the Arms Trade Treaty that began in 2001 with the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.
At the July 2012 international conference on the treaty, the administration called the selection of Iran to serve as vice-president of the conference “outrageous.” Global players accused the U.S. of undermining treaty efforts to look more gun-friendly on the campaign trail, and talks collapsed.
After Obama’s re-election, he proved — shall we say — more flexible.
Mere hours after his victory, the UN General Assembly’s disarmament committee seized the day and put forth a resolution calling for resumption of the arms treaty talks. It passed with no objections, 18 abstentions, and 157 “yes” votes. The U.S. voted in favor of the resolution.
Negotiations begin again in March, and a deal could be reached just months after that.