On April 16, 2009, President Obama emerged from a meeting with Mexico’s President Calderón to announce his support for the “Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing and Trafficking in Firearms” treaty (CIFTA): an international gun control treaty signed by President Bill Clinton in 1997 but never ratified by the U.S. Senate.
Unlike Clinton, Obama has no plans to let the treaty languish without ratification. Thus he promised to push the treaty through the Senate quickly as a means of curtailing the border violence and arms trafficking in Mexico’s current drug wars. Yet the text of CIFTA indicates that the treaty would do very little to curtail violence in Mexico, unless creating a national gun registry in the United States is something that will cut crime south of the border.
For example, the preamble of the treaty describes “the urgent need for all states, and especially those states that produce, export, and import arms, to take the necessary measures to prevent, combat, and eradicate the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms.” To accomplish this, the preamble calls for the “exchange of information” and “effective control of firearms [and] ammunition” between nations that sign treaty.
The “exchange of information” implies that our government would not simply have a gun registry that is nationally accessible, but internationally accessible as well. Read More