Arms control champions say Republican restrictions on UN treaty go too far

Proponents say the treaty aims craft “common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional weapons” that would guarantee that the rest of the world adopt high standards of transparency similar to the ones already in place in the United States. The treaty is not expected to come before the U.S. Senate before next year at the earliest, if U.N. members can reach consensus on a document by the end of July. 

Galen Carey, the vice-president of government relations for the National Association of Evangelicals, said his group wouldn't be part of the coalition pushing for the treaty if it believed there were Second Amendment concerns with it. And Frank Januzzi, head of the Washington office of Amnesty International USA, said he's hopeful the public will come to realize the treaty will be written in a way that aims to curb international weapons sales to terrorists and rogue regimes.

“There's an element here of political theater, but they're also laying down a marker with regard to the Second Amendment,” he said. “The good news on that is, we agree. We don't support a treaty that will in any way infringe on the Second Amendment rights of Americans.

“There's no one in the administration, no one who is advocating for this treaty that would be arguing for a position that would infringe on the Second Amendment rights of American citizens.”