Senate Must Reject Inter-American Arms Treaty

Having backed off–for now–from the politically difficult push for a ban of so-called “assault weapons,” President Obama hopes to assuage Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s disappointment with a promise to push the Senate to ratify the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and other Related Materials, a treaty signed in 1997, but never ratified in the U.S.

President Obama announced in a visit here today that he will push the U.S. Senate to ratify an inter-American arms trafficking treaty designed to curb the flow of guns and ammunition to drug cartels and other armed groups in the hemisphere.

Obama no doubt believes that ratification of this treaty is much more feasible than passage of a renewed AWB, and in that assessment he is almost certainly correct.  There is, for example, no indication to this point of any organized resistance to ratification of the treaty.  Although the NRA contests the Washington Post article’s contention that it participated in the meeting at which the treaty was drafted, the NRA has not made clear that it has determined the treaty to be a threat to gun rights in the U.S., and thus something to be forcefully opposed.

Even a cursory glance at the text should convince any gun rights advocacy group (or individual) that this agreement is indeed dangerous to the rights of American gun owners.  This section stands out (emphasis added):

1. “Illicit manufacturing”: the manufacture or assembly of firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials:
a. from components or parts illicitly trafficked; or
b. without a license from a competent governmental authority of the State Party where the manufacture or assembly takes place; or
c. without marking the firearms that require marking at the time of manufacturing.

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Source: St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner

 

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