NRA Explore
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
Virginia Politician and Clinton Backer Brands Trump Supporters as “Mentally Deficient”

News  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Virginia Politician and Clinton Backer Brands Trump Supporters as “Mentally Deficient”

With the presidential race tighter than ever as it heads into its final stretch, panicked Hillary Clinton supporters are desperate to find a way to discredit, not just Donald Trump, but anyone who would dare ...

Show Your Support—NEW NRA Yard Signs Available!

News  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Show Your Support—NEW NRA Yard Signs Available!

Show your support for NRA and the Second Amendment this election cycle by purchasing an NRA yard sign.  With everything that is at stake this year, including the Presidency, the balance of the U.S. Senate ...

War on Terror or a War on Guns?

News  

Friday, September 23, 2016

War on Terror or a War on Guns?

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, was in New York City recently on an official visit. Commenting on the bombs that exploded while he was in town, he opined that such attacks are now simply ...

Montana: Bloomberg Targeting Missoula – Your Action Needed NOW!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Montana: Bloomberg Targeting Missoula – Your Action Needed NOW!

On Monday, September 26, the Missoula City Council is scheduled to consider an ordinance that would only create a burden for law-abiding citizens and may turn them into criminals if they unknowingly violate the ordinance.

California: Signature Efforts for Veto Gunmageddon Extended to September 24th

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

California: Signature Efforts for Veto Gunmageddon Extended to September 24th

If you have not yet signed the petitions to repeal the seven gun bills signed by Governor Jerry Brown earlier this year, please make sure that you do so by September 24th! After that, all ...

California: Final Weekend to Sign Referendum Petitions, Signatures Still Needed

Friday, September 23, 2016

California: Final Weekend to Sign Referendum Petitions, Signatures Still Needed

This is the last weekend to sign the referendum petitions! Signatures are still needed to ensure each of the Veto Gunmageddon Referendums qualify for the 2018 ballot.

Get the Official NRA-ILA App for an Exclusive NRA Store Discount!

Take Action  

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Get the Official NRA-ILA App for an Exclusive NRA Store Discount!

For a limited time only, the official NRA Store is offering a special deal to anyone who downloads the NRA-ILA App! Once the app is installed on your smartphone, you’ll receive a discount code that you can ...

Pennsylvania: Semi-Automatic Rifle Hunting Legislation will go to the House Floor Next Week!

Hunting  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Pennsylvania: Semi-Automatic Rifle Hunting Legislation will go to the House Floor Next Week!

Next week, and important pro-hunting reform bill, Senate Bill 737, may be considered in the House of Representatives.  Please call your state Representative and urge them to vote in favor of Senate Bill 737!

Hillary Clinton Labels Americans “Deplorable” and “Irredeemable.”

News  

Friday, September 16, 2016

Hillary Clinton Labels Americans “Deplorable” and “Irredeemable.”

If there’s one quality any aspiring president should have, it should be a love for America. And not just the America that supports that person’s candidacy, but the whole melting pot of people, backgrounds, cultures, ...

California: Signature Efforts Still Underway for Veto Gunmageddon Referendum

Saturday, September 17, 2016

California: Signature Efforts Still Underway for Veto Gunmageddon Referendum

The deadline to submit signatures for the Veto Gunmageddon Referendum effort is closing in fast!  The success of the Veto Gunmageddon effort depends on citizen involvement.  We must collect the necessary number of signatures to ...

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.