The Washington Times
Secretary of State John F. Kerry is set to sign a far-reaching international treaty in New York on Wednesday designed to regulate the international purchase and sale of conventional firearms -- despite intense resistance from the American gun lobby and warnings from at least one Republican that the pact will never get ratified in Washington.
The UN Arms Trade Treaty requires signatories to draw up national regulations to control the transfer of conventional arms and components and to regulate arms brokers, but drafters insist it will not control the domestic firearms market in any country. It prohibits the transfer of conventional weapons if they violate international arms embargoes or if they go to regimes accused of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes.
The United States was one of 154 countries who voted in April to approve the final draft of the UN pact, with only Syria, Iran and North Korea voting against.
In notifying lawmakers of the plan to proceed forth with signing the treaty, the Obama administration drew harsh criticism from Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-OK), who claimed the treaty is "already dead in the water in the Senate."
"The administration is wasting precious time trying to sign away our laws to the global community and unelected UN bureaucrats," Mr. Inhofe said, asserting that his own push against the treaty in March revealed that the Obama administration was far short of the 67 votes needed to ratify the treaty.
"Fifty-three senators from both parties went on the record and voted against the treaty, meaning the president does not have the majority for ratification," Mr. Inhofe said in his statement.
Sen. Bob Corker (Ri-TN), the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also warned the administration against trying to implement any provisions of the treaty before the Senate can vote.
"The [treaty] raises significant legislative and constitutional questions. Any act to implement this treaty, provisionally or otherwise, before the Congress provides its advice and consent would be inconsistent with the United States Constitution, law, and practice," Mr. Corker said Tuesday.
The administration appeared uninterested in such claims Tuesday, circulating a statement attributable to a "senior State Department official" who said the US had announced its intention to sign the Arms Trade Treaty "months ago"...
But a political fight over the treaty's ratification looms, with fierce resistance anticipated from the American gun lobby -- a reality the National Rifle Association made known in May, when the Obama administration first signaled its intention to sign the agreement.
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: 09/24/2013
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