WASHINGTON D.C. – Secretary of State John Kerry says that the U.S. will sign a controversial United Nations treaty on arms control in spite of bipartisan opposition from lawmakers.
Kerry released a written statement on Monday saying the U.S. “welcomes” the next phase for the treaty, which the U.N. General Assembly approved on April 2 but which gun rights advocates on Capitol Hill fear could lead to new gun control measures domestically, reports Fox News.
“We look forward to signing it as soon as the process of conforming the official translations is completed satisfactorily,” Kerry said, adding that the treaty is “an important contribution to efforts to stem the illicit trade in conventional weapons, which fuels conflict, empowers violent extremists, and contributes to violations of human rights.”
The treaty would reportedly require countries that ratify it to establish national guidelines to govern the transfer of conventional arms and components and to regulate arms brokers.
Supporters of gun rights have warned that it could be used as the basis for more gun control measures in the U.S.
Last week, 130 members of Congress signed a letter to President Barack Obama and Kerry calling on them to reject the measure.
“We strongly encourage your administration to recognize its textual, inherent and procedural flaws, to uphold our country’s constitutional protections of civilian firearms owners, and to defend the sovereignty of the United States, and thus to decide not to sign this treaty,” they wrote.