Secretary of State John Kerry signed the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty Wednesday morning, despite the Obama administration’s apparent inability to get the agreement ratified in the Senate.
Kerry affixed his signature at the U.N. General Assembly in New York, amid Senate threats to block it, according to Fox News.
After signing the instrument on behalf of the United States, Kerry said:
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. 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.
Senate leaders are saying, Not so fast.
“This treaty is already dead in the water in the Senate, and they know it,” said Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services, The Hill reported. “The administration is wasting precious time trying to sign away our laws to the global community and unelected U.N. bureaucrats.”
The NRA noted Inhofe’s remarks in this tweet:
— NRAILA (@NRAILA) September 24, 2013
The treaty doesn’t affect a country’s domestic use of weapons. But the main sticking point is that it requires countries to control the sale of arms, including a gun-tracking provision that would require a national gun registry, according to the National Rifle Association.
In the following NRA video, America’s former U.N ambassador, John Bolton, refers to the arms trade treaty as a “feel good” agreement that would “restrict those who don’t need restrictions, and it won’t restrict those who don’t plan to pay any attention to it.”
Bolton has one final observation:
“If we were to ratify this, it would be like putting a sign on our back saying, ‘Kick me.’”