Republican Mike Lee of Utah on Wednesday became the 34th senator to oppose an international treaty that would regulate the $60 billion global small arms trade, giving the opposition enough votes in the U.S. Senate to block its ratification.
International treaties such as the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty require a two-thirds vote in the 100-seat Senate for ratification once the president signs off. The resolution in opposition to the treaty — introduced by fellow Republican Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas — defeated that threshold with Lee’s co-sponsorship.
“I have great concerns that this treaty can be used to violate the Second Amendment rights of American citizens, and do not believe we should sign any treaty that infringes on the sovereignty of our country,” Lee said. “I am pleased to join 34 of my colleagues in signaling to this administration that the UN-ATT is a non-starter in the Senate.”
The treaty appeared dead on arrival in the Senate as soon as the United States voted in favor of it at a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday. A growing number of lawmakers had been voicing concerns over protecting constitutional gun rights.
The Senate last month voted to prevent the United States from entering into such an arms treaty with all 45 Republicans and eight Democrats, supporting an amendment drafted by Republican Sen. James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma.
Opponents to the treaty were also concerned that it constrained the United States and other democracies, and not the most lawless and irresponsible regimes like North Korea and Iran, which voted against it, Ted Bromund, a senior research fellow with The Heritage Foundation, tells Newsmax.
“Any treaty that you secure through the U.N. process is bound to impact the law-abiding countries and not the bad guys,” Bromund said.
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