NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre Stands Up for American Gun Owners at United Nations

Posted on July 15, 2011

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NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre drew a line in sand on behalf of American gun owners at the United Nations Thursday. LaPierre spoke to the UN’s Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) Preparatory Committee, the group drafting an international treaty that will supposedly control all non-nuclear arms, worldwide, including civilian firearms. He told the audience of delegates from approximately 150 UN member states that the NRA would vehemently oppose any UN treaty that in any way restricts American gun owners’ rights. (To watch the speech, please click here.)

LaPierre made the position of NRA and American gun owners clear. “The NRA will fight with all of its strength to oppose any ATT that includes civilian firearms within its scope,” he stated emphatically.

LaPierre reminded the audience that under the American system a treaty must be approved by two-thirds of the United States Senate to be ratified. He also told them that there was already significant resistance in the Senate, including a letter to President Obama, now being circulated, that opposes the proposed treaty. LaPierre pointed out that it was unprecedented to have a treaty rejected before it was even presented.

Executive Vice President LaPierre presented the UN group with a long list of ways the treaty would interfere with American gun owners’ rights. These include bans on certain types of arms, registration requirements, a UN demand for more domestic firearms laws, barriers to international trade in firearms and ammunition, special permits for hunters travelling to different countries and a new UN gun control bureaucracy. He said these were just a few of the objections that the NRA had to the proposed treaty. LaPierre went on to say the only way these objections could be addressed was to completely exclude civilian firearms from the treaty.

The issue of including civilian firearms within an ATT is perhaps the most contentious question facing the Preparatory Committee. Earlier in the day, Canada took a position that hunting firearms should be excluded from any ATT. Mexico immediately responded that they should be included. It has been Mexico’s strident view that any UN ATT must control civilian firearms.

UN officials were visibly taken aback by LaPierre’s statement, coming as it did after the earlier skirmish between Canada and Mexico.  There is clear opposition in the U.S. Senate to an ATT that includes civilian firearms, especially given the two-thirds vote requirement and the already emerging opposition. At this time, Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) is circulating a letter to be sent to President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton strongly stating opposition to any inclusion of civilian arms in the proposed treaty.  As of today, that letter has 31 signatories, only a few short of the number needed to block the treaty (please click here to read related story).  NRA worked closely with Sen. Moran in drafting his letter, and we continue to actively lobby senators to sign it.

LaPierre made it clear, and anti-gun treaty advocates should now understand this simple reality:  Any treaty that includes civilian firearms will not win approval by the United States Senate, and will therefore not include the United States.

The UN ATT Preparatory Committee will next meet the week of February 13, 2012 and then there will be a four-week negotiating session to (theoretically) finalize the treaty in July of 2012.  To keep up the pressure against an anti-gun treaty, NRA members are strongly encouraged to contact their U.S. Senators and urge them to stand by Sen. Moran, the Constitution and America's gun owners by supporting and signing his critically important letter. You can find contact information for your U.S. Senators here, or you may contact them by phone at (202) 224-3121.

Currently, Sens. Ayotte (R-N.H.), Blunt (R-Mo.), Boozman (R-Ark.), Burr (R-N.C.), Coats (R-Ind.), Coburn (R-Okla.), Cochran (R-Miss.), Corker (R-Tenn.), Cornyn (R-Tex), Chambliss (R-Ga.), Crapo (R-Ida.), DeMint (R-S.C.), Enzi (R-Wyo.), Graham (R-S.C.), Hatch (R-Utah), Heller (R-Nev.), Hoeven (R-N.D.), Hutchision (R-TX),  Inhofe (R-Okla.), Isakson (R-Ga.), Johanns (R-Neb.), Kyl (R-Ariz.), Moran (R-Kan.), Paul (R-Ky.), Roberts (R-Kan.), Rubio (R-Fla.), Sessions (R-Ala.), Shelby (R-Ala.), Thune (R-S.D.), Vitter (R-La.), and Wicker (R-Miss.), have signed the letter.  If your senator is on this list, please be sure to contact him or her and offer your thanks for their support.

In addition, Sen. Tester (D-Mont.) has drafted his own letter to President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressing concerns about any treaty that infringes upon the Constitutionally-guaranteed rights of American gun owners. /pdfs/unarmstreatytester.pdf


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Further Reading

  • U.S. Senate Stands with NRA in Strongly Opposing UN Arms Trade Treaty

    58 members--a majority-- of the U.S. Senate have signed letters to President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton saying they will oppose any ATT that includes civilian firearms ownership. These strongly worded letters caution the President and Secretary of State to uphold the Constitution of the United States. As Senator Jerry Moran's letter warns, “(A)s the treaty process continues, we strongly encourage your administration to uphold our constitutional protections of civilian firearms ownership. These freedoms are non-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.”
    FULL STORY

  • No Compromise: NRA Takes on the United Nations

    NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox attended a meeting at United Nations headquarters in July to send a simple, unequivocal message to the international bureaucrats who want to eliminate your Right to Keep and Bear Arms: An international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) that in any way, shape or form affects the constitutional rights of American gun owners is completely unacceptable.
    FULL STORY

  • How the UN Endangers Your Firearms Freedoms

    At the end of February 2011, United Nations delegates will descend upon New York City to continue working out the details of their Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which is expected to be released for ratification this summer.
    FULL STORY