WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) today urged President Barack Obama to sign the international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which became available for his signature this morning. Murphy released the following statement:
There are currently more international regulations for the cross-border sale of armchairs than firearms. In fact, furniture, fruit, and iPods are just a few of the things that cross international borders every day with more stringent regulations than the illegal weapons that fuel wars and genocide around the globe today.
That simply has to change.
It is time to come together to stop the illicit arms trade that has brought devastation and horror to places like Mali, the Balkans, Israel, and Mexico. In Africa, about 95 percent of the weapons most commonly used in conflict—derivatives of the Kalashnikov rifle – come from outside the continent, often illegally. Conflicts fueled by the unrestricted sale of the deadliest arms have destroyed families, inflamed ethnic hatred, and caused the tragic death and maiming of millions of men, women, and children.
And yet the National Rifle Association is working hard to stop this treaty, putting out distorted or misleading information about it in an effort to ensure that there is no barrier to the international trade in weapons such as tanks, machine guns and shoulder-fired missiles. The NRA is in extremely bad company here: when the treaty came for a vote before the United Nations, the only countries to oppose it were Iran, Syria, and North Korea.
The goal of the Arms Trade Treaty is to prevent weapons from reaching the hands of warlords and human rights abusers, and does not interfere with domestic arms sales or legitimate international trade. It will do nothing to infringe on Americans’ Second Amendment rights. This treaty will help save countless lives—President Obama should sign it and the Senate should ratify it without delay.