UN Arms Treaty...can't trump the Constitution
POSTED: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - 5:56pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 4, 2013 - 5:17pm
The United Nations has agreed to and signed an international arms control treaty.
The purpose is to control the flow of arms to terrorists and dictatorial regimes.
They’ve been debating this treaty since the 1990’s and most of the weapons covered are large, complex, deadly planes ships and tanks.
But it also includes small, semi and fully automatic weapons.
And, frankly, for good reason.
The flow of arms, particularly small arms and the ammunition for them, is big business, both above and under the table.
Just the reported trade in small arms internationally amounts to 4.3-billion dollars, and neither China or Russia report their deals, so that figure is low.
And where do they go? Drug cartels, rebels, terrorists and brutal regimes, along with legitimate governments and buyers overseas.
So the United Nations has approved a treaty to provide more transparency and accountability regarding who ends up with these weapons.
That worries gun rights groups like the National Rifle Association.
“An international treaty cannot override a provision of the US Constitution. The Constitution takes precedence over everything in American law,” says TJC Political Science Professor John Ross.
In fact, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Covert Versus Reid, that no treaty
can conflict with the Constitution.
“It only regulates exports of guns. It’s to set some common standards among states and our laws are already in place doing it. It wouldn’t make any change in our laws,” says Ross
In fact, the US Arms Export Control Act already does what this treaty calls on others to do.
“I think it’s instructive to look at who voted against this. It was 3 countries against which there are arms embargos, Syria, Iran and North Korea,” He says.
The treaty must be ratified by 2/3rds of the Senate.
Despite assurances from the State Department, some senators still think domestic law will be affected.