Thursday, April 16, 2009
During a visit to Mexico today, President Obama and President Calderon pledged to work together to bring gun-related violence under control. As part of that effort, the Obama Administration announced support for the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and other Related Materials (aka CIFTA). CIFTA was concluded under the auspices of the Organization of American States in 1997 and entered into force in 1998. There are currenty 29 States party to the CIFTA. President Clinton signed the CIFTA on behalf of the United States and sent it to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but is has languished there since. President Obama is expected to push the Senate to give its advice and consent to the treaty. CIFTA requires States to take a number of steps to reduce the illegal manufacture and trade in guns, ammunition and explosives. U.S. gun rights groups participated as observers during the treaty negotiations to ensure that it did not infringe on rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.