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Gun owners upset by proposed U.N. treaty restricting international sale of firearms

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TWC News: Gun owners upset by proposed U.N. treaty restricting international sale of firearms
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CHARLOTTE — Gun owners are upset about a proposed treaty restricting the sale of firearms.

Those who own a firearm say the move would strip their Second Amendment rights and hurt small businesses.

"No law has really been effective at keeping the bad people from doing the bad things, " said Larry Hyatt, who owns a gun shop in West Charlotte.

Hyatt is upset about a United Nations treaty, up for a vote in July, that could impose restrictions on the sale of guns and ammo around the world. The treaty's exact terms are still up for negotiation, but it likely would require sellers to disclose more information about firearm transactions.

The Obama administration is expected to back the treaty. Supporters say it is vital to controlling worldwide violence.

“Those who are likely to perpetrate grave violations of human rights should not have access to conventional arms and weaponry,” said Frank Jannuvi, who leads Amnesty International's Washington office.

Proponents say the agreement does not infringe on gun rights.

"This is about the international trade in munitions and arms and not about the rights of U.S. citizens to bear arms," said Jannuvi.

Supporters say the measure could stop the flow of arms to terrorists and war criminals; something everyone should support.

"The goal is to make it harder for bad governments, bad militias and bad people to get hold of the weapons they need to prevent the slaughter of women and children," said Jannuvi.

However Hyatt said if the agreement holds, the costs outweigh the benefits.

"We have a lot more of our freedom to lose on these treaties," said Hyatt.

Congress would have to ratify any treaty and House Republicans say they will reject any measure that restricts gun rights. Treaty supporters say the issue is now a political one because the firearms industry is worth an estimated $60 billion a year.

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