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NRA Stops U.N. Arms Trade Treaty

Friday, July 27, 2012

U.N. ATT Conference Comes to an Impasse

The Conference on the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (U.N. ATT) has broken down and will not report a draft treaty to the member nations.

This is a big victory for American gun owners, and the NRA is being widely credited for killing the U.N. ATT.

For nearly 20 years, the NRA has worked tirelessly to warn American gun owners about the United Nations’ efforts to undermine the constitutional rights of law-abiding American gun owners by putting in place international controls on small arms.

NRA became a recognized Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) and has monitored all U.N. activities that could impact on our Second Amendment rights. As a result, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre testified before the U.N. (2012 remarks, 2011 remarks) making it clear that the NRA would fight any international treaty that included civilian arms.

NRA worked with our allies in the U.S. Congress and successfully assembled strong bipartisan opposition to any treaty that adversely impacts the Second Amendment. On two occasions NRA was successful in convincing a majority of the U.S. Senate to sign letters to President Obama that made it clear that any treaty that included civilian arms was not going to be ratified by the U.S. Senate.

Yesterday (July 26), Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) gathered the signatures of 51 Senators on a letter to President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton opposing any treaty that infringes on our rights. The letter stated "As the treaty process continues, we strongly encourage your administration not only to uphold our country's constitutional protections of civilian firearms ownership, but to ensure--if necessary, by breaking consensus at the July conference--that the treaty will explicitly recognize the legitimacy of lawful activities associated with firearms, including but not limited to the right of self-defense. As members of the United States Senate, we will oppose the ratification of any Arms Trade Treaty that falls short of this standard."

NRA members made their voices heard on this issue as well, calling their elected representatives and urging their opposition to the treaty.  As a result, 130 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have voiced strong opposition to the treaty.

During the past week, it became increasingly possible that the Conference would fail to come to an agreement on draft language.  On Thursday, the Conference President produced yet another draft of the ATT in an effort to salvage the process. The new draft, like previous ones, was wholly incompatible with the Second Amendment rights protected by our Constitution.

The proponents of the treaty have goals that are clearly at odds with the American Constitution. Their refusal to remove civilian arms from the treaty was one major issue that led to the breakdown in negotiations.  The U.S. delegation made it clear that they could not move forward with the language as it had been drafted.

While this conference has failed to complete a treaty, the proponents will not give up.  It is likely that a new conference will be held in the future and NRA will continue to fight to protect the rights of American gun owners.

NRA maintains its steadfast opposition to any treaty that includes civilian arms in any way.  NRA will continue to work with our allies, particularly in the U.S. Senate, to insure that the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is not threatened by this or any future international treaty.



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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.