Kerry to sign UN arms treaty

Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to sign an arms trade treaty opposed by the Senate and the gun lobby as early as Wednesday, and Republicans aren't happy about it.

Kerry's plan to sign the treaty on the margins of the U.N. General Assembly in New York this week has sparked immediate criticism from GOP opponents. 

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“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 Administration is wasting precious time trying to sign away our laws to the global community and unelected U.N. bureaucrats.”

A majority of Senators oppose the treaty because it covers small arms, making ratification impossible in the short term.

Kerry had already announced in June that the administration would sign the treaty as soon as it was satisfied with its translations into the different official U.N. languages. Reuters reported that he is likely to sign the treaty this week.

The news sparked immediate criticism from Republicans. 

An Inhofe amendment to the Senate Budget resolution in March blocking the U.S. from joining the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty garnered 53 “yes” votes.

The National Rifle Association insists the pact is a U.N.-backed gun grab. Advocates of the treaty say it's only aimed at regulating international sales to prevent terrorists and other rogue actors from getting their hands on weapons.

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