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GENERAL ASSEMBLY PASSES ARMS TRADE TREATY

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Start of a UN Gun Grab?
By Harold Hutchison

After negotiations to build a consensus failed, the UN General Assembly rammed through the Arms Trade Treaty by a vote of 154 to 3, with 23 abstentions. The only three “no” votes were Syria, Iran, and North Korea.

The Obama Administration abandoned its insistence upon consensus late Thursday, paving the way for the General Assembly to ram through the treaty.

"This abrupt about face on the long standing United States requirement for 'consensus' illustrates that the Obama Administration wants a sweeping U.N. arms control treaty," Lawrence Keane, senior vice president and general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, said in a statement posted at the organization’s blog. "We are troubled by the timing of the Obama Administration's decision to abandon consensus on the eve of the Senate debate on pending gun control measures. The United Nations treaty would have a broad impact on the U.S. firearms industry and its base of consumers in the U.S."

The United States Senate seems unlikely to adopt the treaty, with a majority of Senators supporting an amendment to the Democratic budget intended to halt implementation of the treaty. Also, 34 Senators have signed on to a resolution of disapproval, which would effectively block ratification of the treaty.