Mr. President, thank you for this brief opportunity to address this conference. I am Wayne LaPierre and for 21 years now, I have served as Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association of America.
The NRA is the largest and most active firearms rights organization in the world, with four million members who represent 100 million law-abiding Americans who own firearms.
On behalf of those 100 million American gun owners, I am here to announce NRA’s strong opposition to anti-freedom policies that disregard American citizens’ right to self-defense.
No foreign influence has jurisdiction over the freedoms our Founding Fathers guaranteed to us.
We will not stand idly by while international organizations, whether state-based or stateless, attempt to undermine the fundamental liberties that our men and women in uniform have fought so bravely to preserve – and on which our entire American system of government is based.
For six years, the NRA has closely monitored this effort for an Arms Trade Treaty.
We have watched with increasing concern and, one year ago, I delivered to the Preparatory Committee our objections to including civilian arms in the ATT. I said then … and I will repeat now … that the only way to address NRA’s objections is to simply and completely remove civilian firearms from the scope of the treaty.
That is the only solution. On that there will be no compromise. American gun owners will never surrender our Second Amendment freedom. Period.
Our Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment so Americans would never have to live in tyranny.
For any foreign entity to attempt to encroach on that great freedom is offensive to every American who has ever breathed our free air, or who has ever used a firearm to fend off an evil attacker – whether a criminal breaking into their home, or in defense of their family against a tyrant halfway around the world.
Our Second Amendment is freedom’s most valuable, most cherished, most irreplaceable idea. History proves it. When you ignore the right of good people to own firearms to protect their freedom, you become the enablers of future tyrants whose regimes will destroy millions and millions of defenseless lives.
Without apology, the NRA wants no part of any treaty that infringes on the precious right of lawful Americans to keep and bear arms.
Let there be no confusion. Any treaty that includes civilian firearms ownership in its scope will be met with the NRA’s greatest force of opposition.
Mr. President, there are those who believe that merely excluding civilian firearms from the ATT preamble will be sufficient.
Let me state – in the clearest possible terms – that it is not. A preamble to a treaty has no force of law. We know that, and a strong bipartisan majority of the United States Senate and House of Representatives know it as well.
Any Arms Trade Treaty must be adopted by two-thirds of the U.S. Senate, which has 100 members. Already, 58 Senators have objected to any treaty that includes civilian arms, and a majority of the U.S. House of Representatives also opposes such a treaty.
The NRA represents hundreds of millions of Americans who will never surrender our fundamental firearms freedom to international standards, agreements, or consensus.
America will always stand as a symbol of freedom and the overwhelming force of a free, armed citizenry to protect and preserve it.
On behalf of all NRA members and American gun owners, we are here to announce that we will not tolerate any attack – from any entity or organization whatsoever – on our Constitution or our fundamental, individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms.