Senate votes to stop US from joining UN Arms Trade treaty
My own view is that some on the right were making far too big a deal of this treaty. It's a fanciful idea that the UN could negotiate any treaty that threatened confiscation of the guns of US citizens without congressional approval, as some on the right claimed.
Neverthreless, the treaty is a shot across the bow of arms dealers -- many of them US corporations.
In the last batch of amendment votes to the budget, the Senate voted on several foreign policy proposals.
Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) introduced an amendment that would prevent the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty in order to uphold the Second Amendment. His amendment passed on a 53-46 vote.
Republicans have been critical of President Obama's decision to consider the treaty, although Obama has said he would not vote for anything that would violate the Second Amendment.
"We're negotiating a treaty that cedes our authority to have trade agreements with our allies in terms of trading arms," Inhofe said. "This is probably the last time this year that you'll be able to vote for your Second Amendment rights."
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) offered an alternative 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. His amendment passed by voice vote.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said he thought it was irresponsible to be considering major foreign policy decisions at 3 a.m. on Saturday morning.
Leahy's grandstanding aside, he makes valid points. Of course treaties don't trump the Constitution. Whoever heard of such a thing? The fear ginned up over this treaty by the NRA probably raised a lot of money for them, but also made them look ridiculous.