Hands Off Our Guns! NRA Blasts UN’s Arms Trade Treaty

by Ryan Villarreal,  |  published on March 23, 2013

The National Rifle Association claims the global Arms Trade Treaty under discussion at the U.N. threatens gun ownership rights in America.

The treaty aims to regulate the international arms trade to prevent weapons from illicitly flowing into conflict zones and would require countries to determine which weapons they export are likely to end up in the wrong hands.

The NRA says the treaty doesn’t distinguish between military and civilian weapons, and claims that it will ultimately be used to prevent ownership in the U.S. of arms like AK-47 assault rifles, which are included in the treaty under the category of small arms and light weapons among grenade launchers and Stinger missiles.

“What we really object to is the inclusion of civilian firearms within the scope of the [treaty],” Tom Mason, the NRA’s executive secretary who has also provided the group with legal representation at the U.N. for nearly two decades, said in the Washington Post.

“This is a treaty that really needs to address the transfer of large numbers of military weapons that leads to human rights abuses,” he added.

Human rights advocacy group Amnesty International says such a distinction is dubious and would undermine the fundamental purpose of the treaty.

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