Senate Votes to Keep U.S. Out of UN Arms Trade Treaty

By:  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
03/25/2013
       
Senate Votes to Keep U.S. Out of UN Arms Trade Treaty

An amendment sponsored by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) to keep the US out of the UN Arms Trade Treaty was approved by the Senate early Saturday morning.

In the pre-dawn hours Saturday, the Senate approved a measure “to uphold Second Amendment rights and prevent the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.”

By a vote of 53-46, the Senate passed the amendment to the budget bill sponsored by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.).

This reporter is in New York covering the negotiations at the UN aimed at drafting a treaty calling for the eradication of small arms trade, sale, and transfer by anyone other than UN-approved governments.

“We’re negotiating a treaty that cedes our authority to have trade agreements with our allies in terms of trading arms,” Inhofe before the vote on his amendment. “This is probably the last time this year that you’ll be able to vote for your Second Amendment rights.”

According to a story in The Hill, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) proposed his own amendment “that clarified that under current U.S. law, treaties don’t trump the Constitution and that the United States should not agree to any arms treaty that violates the Second Amendment rights.” Leahy’s amendment also passed.

A resolution of similar intent sponsored by Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) is currently pending before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Moran’s measure declares that it is the sense of Congress that:

the President should not sign the Arms Trade Treaty, and that, if he transmits the treaty with his signature to the Senate, the Senate should not ratify the Arms Trade Treaty; and

until the Arms Trade Treaty has been signed by the President, received the advice and consent of the Senate, and has been the subject of implementing legislation by Congress, no Federal funds should be appropriated or authorized to implement the Arms Trade Treaty, or any similar agreement, or to conduct activities relevant to the Arms Trade Treaty, or any similar agreement.

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