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Senators Agree: The UN Is Gonna Take Our Guns!

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AP Photo / Cliff Owen

"I have great concerns that this treaty can be used to violate the second amendment rights of American citizens, and do not believe we should sign any treaty that infringes on the sovereignty of our country," Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) said in a statement Wednesday.

"Not only would it violate Texans' Second Amendment rights, including the right to self-defense, it also raises US sovereignty and national security concerns," Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) said in a statement last month, before the treaty was finalized. "Law-abiding Texans who are in the market for an imported shotgun, pistol, or rifle ought to be very concerned by any future development of this treaty."

The NRA promised its "greatest force of opposition" to the treaty, which is doomed in the Senate, where 67 votes are required for ratification. Thirty-four senators have signed on to a resolution pledging to kill it. Among them are Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (WV) and Max Baucus (MT) -- the chairman of the powerful Finance Committee, who faces reelection in 2014.

"It's our job to make sure any Treaty the U.S. enters doesn't interfere with our sovereign ability to uphold the rights of Americans," Baucus said in a statement. "The Arms Treaty simply doesn't include strong enough protections to pass that test, and I won't support any Treaty that undermines the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Montanans."

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott claimed the treaty would lead to an "international gun registry overseen by the bureaucrats at the UN," a contention that is lacking in evidence.

The treaty's predictable demise in the Senate exemplifies the gun lobby's muscle, which it is flexing promiscuously as President Obama proposes new firearm restriction in the United States.

About The Author

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Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.