Apr 02 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS), Max Baucus (D-MT) and James Inhofe (R-OK) – cosponsors of S. Con. Res. 7, the bipartisan resolution which makes clear a United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) that undermines Constitutional freedoms of American gun owners will not be ratified by the Senate – today responded to the vote in the U.N. General Assembly to pass the U.N. ATT. The General Assembly vote was forced as a result of Iran, North Korea and Syria blocking the U.N. ATT last week and infringes on the Administration’s previous insistence on consensus.
"The passage of a treaty that Iran, Syria, and North Korea have made clear they have no intention of abiding by will only serve to constrain law-abiding democracies like the United States," Sen. Moran said. "The U.S. Senate is united in strong opposition to a treaty that puts us on level ground with dictatorships who abuse human rights and arms terrorists, but there is real concern that the Administration feels pressured to sign a treaty that violates our Constitutional rights. Given the apparent support of the Obama Administration for the ATT, members of the U.S. Senate must continue to make clear that any treaty that violates our Second Amendment freedoms will be an absolute nonstarter for ratification."
"It's our job to make sure any Treaty the U.S. enters doesn't interfere with our sovereign ability to uphold the rights of Americans,” Sen. Baucus said. The Arms Treaty simply doesn't include strong enough protections to pass that test, and I won't support any Treaty that undermines the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Montanans."
"The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty that passed in the General Assembly today would require the United States to implement gun-control legislation as required by the treaty, which could supersede the laws our elected officials have already put into place," Sen. Inhofe said. "Recently, 53 Senators went on the record voting in favor of my amendment to stop the State Department from negotiating this treaty. It's time the Obama Administration recognizes it is already a non-starter, and Americans will not stand for internationalists limiting and infringing upon their Constitutional rights. Furthermore, this treaty could also disrupt diplomatic and national security efforts by preventing our government from assisting allies like Taiwan, South Korea or Israel when they require assistance. I will continue to work with my colleagues Sens. Moran, Baucus and others to ensure the American people's voices are heard and that this treaty is not ratified."
By agreeing to the hasty process that sent the treaty to the General Assembly for a majority vote, the Administration abandoned its previous insistence on consensus.
"Consensus is needed to ensure that all countries can be held to standards that will actually improve the global situation by denying arms to those who would abuse them and to avoid loopholes in the Treaty that can be exploited by those wishing to export arms irresponsibly,” the U.S. Department of State said in its June 2010 Elements of an Arms Trade Treaty fact sheet.
A crucial mechanism for defending U.S. interests in multilateral negotiations, consensus was previously the basis on which the Administration defended its participation in the Arms Trade Treaty negotiations. This sets a dangerous precedent for failed consensus-based multilateral negotiations in the future.
S. Con. Res. 7, authored by Sen. Moran, is co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of 33 Senators and outlines specific criteria that must be met for a U.N. ATT to be ratified by the U.S. Senate and recognized as customary international law. The companion resolution was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA).
Last July, the U.N. Conference on the ATT dissolved without a consensus treaty text. This was in part thanks to the U.S. delegation asking for additional time after receiving a letter from Sen. Moran and 50 of his Senate colleagues expressing intent to oppose ratification of any treaty that infringes upon our Second Amendment freedoms. On November 7, 2012, the day after President Obama’s reelection, his administration announced its intent to reengage in treaty negotiations which resulted in the passage vote in the U.N. General Assembly today.
"The NRA is the voice of over 4.5 million members and represents tens of millions of other gun owners who are concerned about preserving their Second Amendment rights. We have always been clear that any treaty which does not expressly exclude civilian firearms ownership from its scope will be met with the NRA’s greatest force of opposition," said Chris W. Cox, executive director for the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. "We thank Senator Moran for his leadership, and look forward to working with him and his colleagues to defend the fundamental Second Amendment freedoms of all Americans."
Sen. Moran’s concurrent resolution is cosponsored by 33 U.S. Senators including: Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), John Barrasso (R-WY), Max Baucus (D-MT), John Boozman (R-AR), Richard Burr (R-NC), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Thad Cochran (R-MS), John Cornyn (R-TX), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Dean Heller (R-NV), John Hoeven (R-ND), James Inhofe (R-OK), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Rand Paul (R-KY), Rob Portman (R-OH), Jim Risch (R-ID), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), John Thune (R-SD), Pat Toomey (R-PA), David Vitter (R-LA) and Roger Wicker (R-MS).
S. Con. Res. 7 has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association, Heritage Action, and the Endowment for Middle East Truth.
Click here to read S. Con. Res. 7 outlining criteria that must be met for a U.N. ATT to be ratified by the Senate.