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Kaine: Treaty doesn't infringe on gun rights


Date published: 4/30/2014

Carl Grenn Sr. of Fredericksburg recently wrote a letter, published elsewhere, challenging a vote I cast related to the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.

While the U.S. Senate has yet to vote on ratification of the international treaty, on April 2, 2013, I voted against an amendment to the Senate budget that would have prevented the Senate from considering the measure altogether.

The treaty, which in no way affects our Second Amendment rights or domestic gun sales, establishes common, worldwide guidelines to keep weapons out of the hands of human rights abusers and criminals who fuel violent conflicts around the world, like in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Plainly speaking, the treaty attempts to create an international standard for weapons sales that matches our own existing U.S. standards, which are the best in the world.

The treaty does not change or restrict any right or liberty guaranteed to American citizens by the U.S. Constitution.

In fact, the U.S. Constitution strictly prohibits the U.N. or any other international entity from infringing on our national sovereignty or individual rights.

The treaty would also protect U.S. commercial interests by ensuring our country can still export defense equipment to reliable partners.

As a gun owner and strong believer in Second Amendment rights, I am confident this treaty does not infringe on these rights, and that it also ensures that the U.S. remains in control of its own arms export arrangements.

Sen. Tim Kaine

Richmond

The writer is a U.S. senator from Virginia.