Diplomats from around the world are to gather at the United Nations for talks on an international arms trade treaty, in an effort to stop the sale of illegal conventional arms. Similar talks held last July failed, mainly due to the objections of the United States and Russia, the world’s two largest arms exporters. The talks will kick off at the UN headquarters on Monday and will last two weeks

The National Rifle Association, fears that the treaty would be used to regulate civilian weapons. Human rights activists counter that it would reduce the trafficking of weapons, including small arms such as the ubiquitous AK-47 assault rifle, to outlaw regimes and rebel groups engaged in atrocities against civilian populations.

“What we really object to is the inclusion of civilian firearms within the scope of the ATT,” said Tom Mason, the group’s executive secretary and a lawyer who has represented the NRA at U.N. meetings for nearly two decades. “This is a treaty that really needs to address the transfer of large numbers of military weapons that leads to human rights abuses. We have submitted language that you can define what a civilian firearm is.”

The NRA also argues that the treaty could infringe on gun rights as understood in the United States and could force Americans onto an international registry.

Read more: washingtonpost.com

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