WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) commended President Trump for announcing that the United States will withdraw from the United Nations (UN) Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The ATT was signed by the Obama Administration in 2013 and has threatened the Second Amendment rights of Americans. Since 2013, Sens. Moran and Inhofe have successfully led bipartisan efforts in the Senate to prevent the ratification of this treaty.
“From its outset, the UN Arms Trade Treaty has represented a threat to the lawful private ownership of firearms in our country, and at no point has it represented a real solution to the illegal export of arms,” said Sen. Moran. “The United States should ratify treaties only when they are in our national interest, clear in their goals and language, respect our sovereignty and do not infringe upon our constitutional freedoms. Because the ATT failed to meet any of these tests, I have joined Senator Inhofe in leading a bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate in opposition. I commend President Trump for his decision today to formally reject the ATT and to uphold our country’s constitutional protections of civilian firearm ownership.”
“Since the Obama administration signed the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty in 2013, I have successfully blocked its ratification and prevented American tax dollars from going to fund its implementation,” said Sen. Inhofe. “By withdrawing the United States as a party to the treaty, President Trump is standing up for our sovereignty, our Second Amendment and our national security. I’m proud to work with him on this important issue.”
The ATT would have opened the door for U.N. bureaucrats to regulate the purchase of individual firearms and would have required approval from the international body before America could assist our allies, including Israel, Taiwan and South Korea.
On December 24, 2014, the ATT went into force and more than 60 countries have ratified the treaty. A Secretariat of the U.N. Conference on the ATT oversees the practical and logistical arrangements related to the work of the Conference. In discussions of providing funding to the Secretariat, many nations supported the idea that all signatory countries contribute, including the United States, even if they have not ratified the treaty. This would have likely required the U.S. to contribute approximately 22 percent of the funding – in line with their contribution level to the U.N. as a whole if it weren’t for Sens. Moran and Inhofe’s legislative provisions.
Items to note:
- On July 22, 2011, Sen. Moran led 44 Senate colleagues in expressing concern to President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the dangers of the ATT and announcing their intent to oppose its ratification.
- On July 26, 2012, while the Obama Administration was negotiating the ATT, Sen. Moran led a bipartisan group of senators in expressing grave concern about the dangers posed to Americans’ Second Amendment rights by the UN ATT, and their intent, again, to oppose its ratification.
- On March 13, 2013, Sen. Moran sponsored an amendment to the Senate budget resolution that would uphold Americans' Second Amendment rights and prevent the United States from entering into the U.N. ATT.
- On October 15, 2013, Sens. Moran and Inhofe led a bipartisan group of 50 Senators in opposing the ratification of the treaty and that the United States will not be bound by its obligations.
- On September 25, 2014, Sens. Moran and Inhofe expressed frustration with the U.N.’s implementation of the ATT.
- On March 3, 2015, Sens. Moran and Inhofe announced the support of 12 freshman Senators in joining the Senate’s strong opposition to the ATT.
- In March 2017, Sens. Moran and Inhofe secured language in the National Defense Authorization Act banning funding for the ATT’s implementation.
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