Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

U.N. Arms Trade Treaty Negotiations Underway

Friday, July 6, 2012

As we reported last week, for nearly 20 years, the NRA has fought tirelessly to oppose any United Nations effort to undermine the constitutional rights of law-abiding American gun owners.  That fight has grown more intense lately, as the U.N. and global gun banners have markedly stepped up their attack on our Second Amendment freedoms by including civilian arms in the proposed Arms Trade Treaty.

As called for in a resolution adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 2009, a conference began this week in New York City to draft the treaty's language.  The United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty is one of the most serious threats to American gun owners in decades.

The NRA will continue to maintain a strong presence at the ATT meeting, which will run through July 27.  And we will continue to champion the position that any ATT must in no way impact gun owners' rights.

Day one of the conference began with a stunning degree of inaction, as the meeting failed to formally convene for either morning or afternoon sessions.  However, anti-gun groups are present in force and are insisting that civilian firearms be included within the scope of the ATT.  

Addressing the conference on Tuesday, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon made an emotional speech calling for an ATT.  He said, it was a "disgrace" that there is no treaty covering conventional arms (the implication being the inclusion of small arms) and that the world is "over armed."  He also called for strict national legislation to control arms.  Meanwhile, Norway made its opening statement and called for the scope of the treaty to include "non-military arms," a direct call that civilian firearms should be included within the ATT.

Thursday's negotiations got off to a very slow start due to procedural issues, and adjourned late due to more of the same.  Some countries did make statements that illustrated the deep divisions in the assembled body, especially over the issue of civilian firearms.  

While the New Zealand delegate stated that, "The task is not to regulate state's internal matters, such as conditions of domestic sales of arms or national systems of gun control or registration,"  the delegate from Mexico took the opposite tack, saying individuals' rights (i.e., the Second Amendment) are not an excuse for "products traded without controls."  This statement continued Mexico's efforts to blame its drug cartel problem on American guns.  The Mexican delegate then went on to say specifically that civilian firearms needed to be included in the ATT.

And, in a joint position statement issued this week, French, German, British, and Swedish government officials said, "We believe that an arms trade treaty should cover all types of conventional weapons, notably including small arms and light weapons, all types of munitions, and related technologies."

It's important to note, however, that in order for any treaty to take effect, it must be ratified by two-thirds of the U.S. Senate.   To ensure that ratification of an anti-gun treaty cannot take place, the NRA has worked to get as many U.S. Senators as possible to publicly oppose any ATT that includes restrictions on civilian arms.

Last year, U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kans.) and 57 other senators signed a letter to President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reminding them that the Senate has final say on treaties, and stating their unequivocal opposition to any treaty that would affect civilian ownership of firearms, challenge the authority of Congress to regulate firearms within the United States, or call for an international gun registry.

This echoes what NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said in a speech at the U.N.  last July, when he told delegates that the NRA would vehemently oppose any U.N. treaty that in any way restricts American gun owners' rights. (To watch the speech, please click here.)

In March of this year, Sen. Moran introduced the "Second Amendment Sovereignty Act," (S. 2205), an NRA-backed bill that would prohibit the administration from using "the voice, vote, and influence of the United States, in connection with negotiations for a United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, to restrict in any way the rights of United States citizens under the second amendment to the Constitution of the United States, or to otherwise regulate domestic manufacture, assembly, possession, use, transfer, or purchase of firearms, ammunition, or related items, including  small arms, light weapons, or related materials."

Last month, during consideration of the Fiscal Year 2013 State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Bill, Sen. Moran took additional steps to safeguard our rights and joined Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) in offering an amendment to protect the rights of American gun owners from being undermined by the proposed ATT. 

The Tester-Moran amendment, which passed by a voice vote, will block any taxpayer dollars from being used to advocate or agree to any provision that would restrict in any way the rights of United States citizens under the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, or that would otherwise regulate the domestic manufacture, importation, assembly, possession, use, transfer or purchase of firearms, ammunition or related items.

A similar amendment, offered by Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), was adopted by the House Committee on Appropriations in the Fiscal Year 2013 State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs last Thursday by a bipartisan vote of 30-20.

Finally, last Friday (June 29, 2012), U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) and 129 co-signers sent a letter to President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton detailing their concerns regarding the negotiation of the ATT and saying, in part, " The U.S. must not accept an ATT that infringes on our constitutional rights, particularly the fundamental, individual right to keep and to bear arms that is protected by the Second Amendment, as well as the right of personal self-defense on which the Second amendment is based.  Accordingly, the ATT should not cover small arms, light weapons, or related material, such as firearms ammunition.  Further, the ATT should expressly recognize the individual right of personal self-defense, as well as the legitimacy of hunting, sports shooting, and other lawful activities pertaining to the private ownership of firearms and related materials.  

Rest assured that NRA will be present throughout the entire U.N. meeting and will provide frequent updates.  You may also rest assured that NRA will continue to lead the fight against any U.N. treaty that undermines the constitutional rights of American gun owners.

As we await the conclusion of the meeting, please be sure to contact your U.S. Senators and urge them to strongly oppose any U.N. treaty that in any way diminishes our constitutional rights.

You can find contact information for your U.S. Senators by using the "Write Your Representatives" tool at www.NRAILA.org.  You may also contact your Senators by phone at (202) 224-3121.

TRENDING NOW
“F” Stands for Fail: School Jeopardizes Student’s Future for Possession of Squirt Gun

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, April 21, 2017

“F” Stands for Fail: School Jeopardizes Student’s Future for Possession of Squirt Gun

Public education’s long-running “zero tolerance” war against anything that suggests the idea of a firearm (including, for example, clothing, gestures, toys, food, computer images, and favorable opinions of self-defense) has claimed another victim. This time ...

Oregon: Anti-Gun Bill Heads to Senate Floor

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Oregon: Anti-Gun Bill Heads to Senate Floor

Yesterday, on the deadline for policy bills to move out of committee, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to pass Senate Bill 719 with its -5 amendment.  Because a number of bills were effectively dead for ...

Chicago: Mayor Emanuel Demands Tougher Laws for Gun Dealers as Straw Purchaser Gets Probation

News  

Friday, April 21, 2017

Chicago: Mayor Emanuel Demands Tougher Laws for Gun Dealers as Straw Purchaser Gets Probation

On Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel met with representatives of the UCAN organization to make the case for further gun controls to combat the city’s violent crime. Chicago’s WLS reported that Emanuel used the opportunity ...

The Prosecutors and the Pagans: Two Sides of the Empire State’s Gun Laws

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Prosecutors and the Pagans: Two Sides of the Empire State’s Gun Laws

Early this month, members of the gun-control group Prosecutors Against Gun Violence met at a “Manhattan Summit” and took the time to express their dismay and alarm over federal bills proposing national concealed carry reciprocity. ...

Pennsylvania: Firearms Preemption Bill Heads to the House Floor Next Week

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Pennsylvania: Firearms Preemption Bill Heads to the House Floor Next Week

Today, April 19, the House Judiciary Committee passed House Bill 671 by a 20-5 vote. HB 671 is scheduled to go before the full House for consideration next week.  Anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg and the gun ...

California: Open Carry Ban Passes in the Assembly

Friday, April 21, 2017

California: Open Carry Ban Passes in the Assembly

Yesterday, the state Assembly passed Assembly Bill 7 by a vote of 44 to 29.   AB 424 was not considered during yesterday’s floor session, however it remains eligible for a vote at any time.  

California: One Gun a Month Bill Passes Senate Public Safety Committee

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

California: One Gun a Month Bill Passes Senate Public Safety Committee

On Tuesday April 18, the Senate Public Safety Committee passed SB 497 by a party-line vote and will be assigned to the Senate Appropriations committee for further consideration.  On Monday, April 17, the Senate Appropriations Committee sent ...

For 2017, A Historic NRA-ILA Leadership Forum

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, April 21, 2017

For 2017, A Historic NRA-ILA Leadership Forum

For the past decade, NRA-ILA has sponsored leadership forums that have allowed our members to hear directly from national leaders.  Next Friday, that tradition continues and the line up of speakers is top notch.

Washington: Governor Inslee Signs Bill for Permit Renewal Notices

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Washington: Governor Inslee Signs Bill for Permit Renewal Notices

Today, Governor Inslee signed House Bill 1100.  Sponsored by state Representative David Taylor (R-15), HB 1100 creates a renewal notice postcard for concealed pistol licenses that will be sent out 90 days before the expiration beginning ...

NRA Congratulates Senate for Passing Bill to Expand Self-Defense

News  

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

NRA Congratulates Senate for Passing Bill to Expand Self-Defense

The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) congratulates the Alabama State Senate for passing Senate Bill 24 – a Constitutional Carry bill that would expand the options of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves. ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.