About 150 nations have sent representatives to U.N. headquarters in New York to see if they can hash out details for an international arms treaty to regulate weapons sales.
Second Amendment rights groups in the United States denounce the discussions and say such a treaty would impose on Americans’ rights to own weapons. But gun-control supporters are arguing that one person dies from gun-related violence every minute, and that a treaty is necessary to curb this statistic, Reuters reports. They say it’s imperative to stop the flow of unregulated weapons into areas of conflict.
The General Assembly agreed to the new round of arms treaty talks in December.
The talks could impact a $70 billion trade that includes weapons on naval ships, helicopters — even assault rifles, Reuters says.
But the talks aren’t guaranteed to produce results. In July 2012, similar tries fell apart due to dissension from the United States, Russia and China, Reuters reports.
Still, the Obama administration wants a treaty.
COVERAGE: Second Amendment & Gun Control
Secretary of State John Kerry gave a show of support on Friday. The administration was “steadfast in its commitment to achieve a strong and effective Arms Trade Treaty that helps address the adverse effects of the international arms trade on global peace and stability,” he said in a Reuters report.