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Abbott: Legal Action Could Follow Arms Treaty Ratification

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has warned that the state will file its 30th lawsuit against the Obama administration if a United Nations arms treaty is ratified.

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Texas could be on verge of filing its 30th lawsuit against the Obama administration.

Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is running for Texas governor, reiterated on Tuesday that the state would “lead the charge” in bringing legal action against the federal government if the U.S. ratified the United Nations’ Arms Trade Treaty. 

His comments followed Secretary of State John Kerry's signing of the treaty, which is intended to regulate international arms sales and combat the illegal international trade of weapons. The treaty must now be ratified by the U.S. Senate.

Abbott called the signing of the Arms Trade Treaty a “tramping of constitutional liberty” that endangers an individual’s right to bear arms.

“By signing this treaty, the Obama administration has attempted to subject Americans' right to bear arms to the oversight of the United Nations,” Abbott said in a statement. “...This treaty contradicts the underpinning philosophy of our country and establishes the precedent that the UN has some level of authority to govern our lives."

Abbott singled out the the treaty’s inclusion of “small arms,” which he said could lead gun owners and gun store operators into a “complex web of bureaucratic red tape” imposed by the U.N. department overseeing the treaty.

“We can’t stand back and let our individual freedoms be signed away,” Abbott said. “We urge senators to vote against this dangerous precedent.”

Kerry has stressed that the treaty applies to international deals and does not restrict an individual country’s ability to regulate weapons within its boundaries.

But that hasn't stopped Texas Republicans from sounding the alarm.  

“I’d like the see the UN try to send inspectors to the Texas State Rifle Association’s annual gathering,” Texas Sen. John Cornyn said in a statement. “Secretary Kerry’s signature on the UN Arms Trade Treaty is the latest in a long line of the Obama administration’s attempts to trounce on the constitutional rights of law-abiding Texans and Americans across the country.”

Cornyn is part of a bipartisan group of at least 51 U.S. senators who pledged to oppose the Arms Trade Treaty if they believed it restricted the rights of gun owners.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has also raised concerns about the treaty; he previously tweeted that it should be “rejected outright” by the Senate, which earlier this year passed an amendment aimed at preventing the U.S. from entering into the treaty. 

Abbott isn't just attacking the treaty; he's also hoping to capitalize on it. His campaign sent an email to supporters on Tuesday afternoon asking for contributions to help him fight for Second Amendment rights.  

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