In a message on Twitter, Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott urged his constituents to tell the Senate to reject a United Nations treaty which he says would give the global body some measure of control over American firearms.
The agreement is called the Arms Trade Treaty and was described by Guns.com as an attempt “to regulate the world’s annual exchange of $70 billion in conventional weaponry.”
It seeks to track arms as they cross borders. The problem is that, as Breitbart reported, it requires a kind of internal tracking measure of firearms to be maintained by signatory countries. This, according to Gov. Abbott, is why he believes the ATT could be a form of “backdoor” gun control, designed to enact universal background checks
“The concern is that the United States is trying to use the United Nations as a backdoor mechanism to try to legislate here in the United States, in this instance trying to impose gun control,” Gov. Abbott said in 2013, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) December 13, 2016
While Politifact said that Abbott’s concerns about the treaty were “false,” there was troubling language in the document that could signal its use as a method of gun control.
In a portion of the text titled “Diversion,” for instance, it stated that all signatories “involved in a transfer of conventional arms (exporting, transit/trans‐shipment and importing states) shall adopt measures to prevent diversion,” which includes examining “all relevant information and parties.”
One of the assessment criteria was “(w)hether or not the recipient state has a national control system, including a national control list.”
In other words, it’s just vague enough to be troubling. And if you don’t think that’s a problem, just ask Israel how that’s turned out for them.
The treaty was signed by the U.S. in 2013; it hasn’t passed through Congress. In spite of the fact that the NRA is against it and the Senate has repeatedly expressed its indifference, the Obama administration is making one last push to get the bill through the upper chamber before leaving the White House. Will it work? We’ll see.
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