LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Treaty won’t grab your guns

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“Thwarting global gun grabbers” (Commentary, Thursday) inaccurately claims the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) could infringe on Second Amendment rights if activist judges are appointed to the courts. The truth is that the ATT would provide a global solution to the rogue and irresponsible trade of weapons across borders, not deploy black helicopters to swoop in and take away your guns.

Without an ATT, our troops and national security are at risk every day. While the United States and a few other countries have tough regulations governing the trade of weapons, many countries don’t have any laws. For example, just 52 of the world’s 192 governments have laws regulating arms brokers, and fewer than half of those have criminal or monetary penalties associated with illegal brokers. The treaty will require countries to follow our lead in adopting strong laws and will close the national-security loopholes that allow arms dealers to supply war criminals, human rights abusers and terrorists with impunity.

Some members of the House of Representatives, such as Rep. Mike Kelly, Pennsylvania Republican, would prefer to cater to special-interest groups rather than acknowledge these facts. The Obama administration has publicly stated numerous times that it will not support a treaty that infringes on Second Amendment rights guaranteed by our Constitution. Unless you’re a gun-runner or are operating illegally, the treaty will not affect you or U.S. manufacturers, which already have to follow the stringent laws of the United States.

Members of the House of Representatives need to separate fact from fiction and stop fueling the paranoia that special-interest groups are using for fundraising purposes.

SCOTT STEDJAN

Senior policy adviser for humanitarian response

Oxfam America

Washington

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