Kerry signs UN arms treaty, senators threaten to block it
September 25, 2013
Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday signed a controversial U.N. treaty on arms regulation, riling U.S. lawmakers who vow the Senate will not ratify the agreement.
As he signed the document, Kerry called the treaty a “significant step” in addressing illegal gun sales, while claiming it would also protect gun rights.
“This is about keeping weapons out of the hands of terrorists and rogue actors. This is about reducing the risk of international transfers of conventional arms that will be used to carry out the world’s worst crimes. This is about keeping Americans safe and keeping America strong,” he said. “This treaty will not diminish anyone’s freedom. In fact, the treaty recognizes the freedom of both individuals and states to obtain, possess, and use arms for legitimate purposes.”
U.S. lawmakers, though, have long claimed the treaty could lead to new gun control measures. They note the U.S. Senate has final say on whether to approve the agreement.
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., in a letter to President Obama, urged his administration not to take any action to implement the treaty without the consent of the Senate.
He claimed the treaty raises “fundamental issues” concerning “individual rights protected by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.”