The National Rifle Association is gearing up to oppose a United Nations treaty designed to restrict the flow of arms to conflict zones, the Washington Post reports. Negotiations open Monday in New York City on the Arms Trade Treaty, which would require countries to determine whether weapons they sell would be used to commit serious human rights violations, terrorism, or transnational organized crime.
The gun lobby fears the treaty would be used to regulate civilian weapons. Human rights activists contend that it would reduce the trafficking of weapons, including small arms like the ubiquitous AK-47 assault rifle, to outlaw regimes and rebel groups engaged in atrocities against civilian populations. The Obama administration, which has wavered, said it was willing to support the accord. “The United States is 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,” said Secretary of State John Kerry.