More than two centuries ago, our founding fathers wisely amended the United States Constitution to guarantee a Bill of Rights for its citizens. Since then, our democracy has stood strong as Americans have enjoyed liberties unparalleled in the world – including the fundamental right to keep and bear arms. Throughout my time in Congress, I have stood with Kansans in my efforts to protect these valuable freedoms.
One significant threat to our Second Amendment freedoms is the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, signed by Secretary of State John Kerry on September 25, 2013. The intent of the treaty is to establish “common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms,” but it fails to exempt civilian firearms from its scope or even recognize the individual right of self-defense. As such, I introduced S. Con. Res. 7 in March 2013, legislation signed by 35 of my Senate colleagues, to make clear any Arms Trade Treaty that infringes upon the Second Amendment rights of Americans is dead on arrival in the U.S. Senate. When the Obama Administration ignored our concerns and signed the treaty in September, 50 U.S. Senators joined my letter to express our regret and opposition to ratification. For now, our overwhelming bipartisan opposition has deterred the Administration from formally seeking Senate ratification.
During my time in the Senate, I have also introduced legislation to prohibit taxpayer money from being used by the Department of Homeland Security to purchase ammunition without presenting the necessary justification to Congress. Additionally, I have fervently supported legislation to support concealed carry reciprocity – allowing law-abiding citizens to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense while traveling or temporarily living away from home. On March 28, 2013, I signed a letter authored by Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee stating our intent to oppose any legislation that would infringe upon the constitutional right of Americans to bear arms.
While much needs to be done to prevent violent crime in our nation, more restrictions on responsible, law-abiding firearm owners are not the answer. We must redouble our efforts to enforce all existing gun laws, which are extremely effective in protecting law-abiding citizens from each other, and use our legal power to prosecute criminals who misuse firearms to the fullest extent of the law. I will continue to support Second Amendment freedoms and oppose any legislation before Congress that violates our gun rights.