Jul 22 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) today led 44 senators in expressing grave concern about the dangers posed to Second Amendment rights by the United Nations’ Arms Trade Treaty. The 45 senators notified President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton of their intent to oppose ratification of an Arms Trade Treaty that in any way restricts the rights of law-abiding American gun owners. This is enough to block the treaty from Senate passage, as treaties submitted to the U.S. Senate require approval of two-thirds of Senators present to be ratified.
“Our country’s sovereignty and the Second Amendment rights of American citizens must not be infringed upon by the United Nations,” Sen. Moran said. “Today, the Senate sends a powerful message to the Obama Administration: an Arms Trade Treaty that does not protect ownership of civilian firearms will fail in the Senate. Our firearm freedoms are not negotiable.”
In the letter, the senators wrote: “As the treaty process continues, we strongly encourage your Administration to uphold our country’s constitutional protections of civilian firearms ownership. These freedoms are not negotiable, and we will oppose ratification of an Arms Trade Treaty presented to the Senate that in any way restricts the rights of law-abiding U.S. citizens to manufacture, assemble, possess, transfer or purchase firearms, ammunition and related items.”
“As we have for the past 15 years, the NRA will fight to stop a United Nations Arms Trade Treaty that infringes on the Constitutional rights of American gun owners,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA Institute for Legislative Action. “This letter sends a clear message to the international bureaucrats who want to eliminate our fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms. Clearly, a U.N. Arms Trade Treaty that includes civilian arms within its scope is not supported by the American people or their elected U.S. Senators. Sen. Moran is a true champion of our freedom. We are grateful for his leadership and his tenacious efforts on this issue, as well as the 44 other senators who agree with the NRA’s refusal to compromise on our constitutional freedoms.”
In October of 2009 at the U.N. General Assembly, the Obama Administration reversed the previous Administration’s position and voted for the U.S. to participate in negotiating the Arms Trade Treaty, purportedly to establish “common international standards for the import, export, and transfer of conventional arms.” Preparatory committee meetings are now underway in anticipation of a conference in 2012 to finalize the treaty. A treaty draft has not yet been produced.
The letter was signed by U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), John Barrasso (R-WY), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Scott Brown (R-MA), Richard Burr (R-NC), Dan Coats (R-IN), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Susan Collins (R-ME), Bob Corker (R-TN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Jim DeMint (R-SC), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Dean Heller (R-NV), John Hoeven (R-ND), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), James Inhofe (R-OK), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Mike Lee (R-UT), John McCain (R-AZ), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rand Paul (R-KY), Rob Portman (R-OH), Jim Risch (R-ID), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), John Thune (R-SD), Pat Toomey (R-PA), David Vitter (R-LA), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).
Click here to read the full text of the signed letter.