US Secretary of State, John Kerry, Has Signed the UN Arms Treaty, What’s Does This Mean For You?
Today, Secretary of State John Kerry signed the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.
“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.”
Despite Kerry’s signature, don’t panic just yet. The treaty must also be ratified by the Senate, which is unlikely to happen in the immediate future.
In fact, in March, the Senate voted to keep the US out of the arms treaty by a vote of 53-46.
Treaties require a 2/3 majority vote by the Senate in order to be ratified, however, unlike regular bills, treaties do not have to be reintroduced for each session of Congress. This means the treaty could sit in committee until the Senate is more likely to pass it after future elections.
The treaty will not take effect until at least 50 member nations sign and ratify it.
UN soldiers will not be confiscating any guns under this treaty as it’s currently written. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a bad treaty. If ratified, this will certainly affect the price and availability of foreign made guns. That alone, in an already stretched market is bad enough.
The treaty also encourages member nations to track all gun sales, possibly leading to some sort of de facto gun registry depending on how such a requirement is implemented.
One particularly troubling part of the treaty is the process for amending it. Amending the treaty only requires a 3/4 majority vote of member nations. This means that US gun rights could be in the hands of other nations who take part in the treaty in the future, making the treaty a slippery slope.
Here is the amendment language straight from the Treaty:
3. The States Parties shall make every effort to achieve consensus on each amendment. If all efforts at consensus have been exhausted, and no agreement reached, the amendment shall, as a last resort, be adopted by a three-quarters majority vote of the States Parties present and voting at the meeting of the Conference of States Parties. For the purposes of this Article, States Parties present and voting means States Parties present and casting an affirmative or negative vote.
The Depositary shall communicate any adopted amendment to all States Parties.
4. An amendment adopted in accordance with paragraph 3 shall enter into force for each State Party that has deposited its instrument of acceptance for that amendment, ninety days following the date of deposit with the Depositary of the instruments of acceptance by a majority of the number of States Parties at the time of the adoption of the amendment. Thereafter, it shall enter into force for any remaining State Party ninety days following the date of deposit of its instrument of acceptance for that amendment
Personally I don’t want my future gun rights to be in the hands of a 3/4 majority of foreign nations.
Hopefully this has shed some light on the remaining process and the treaty itself.