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Senator Moran Reaffirms Opposition to U.N. Arms Trade Treaty

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

As we recently reported, following the election, the Obama administration moved forward with its plans to support a United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The day after Election Day, the U.S. mission to the U.N. made clear its support for renewed ATT negotiations, casting a vote in favor of a resolution that calls for a “Final United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty” to be held in New York City from March 18-28, 2013.

In response to President Obama’s acknowledged intent to resume negotiating an ATT, U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, r-Kan., has reiterated the grave concern that he and fellow pro-gun senators have regarding the dangers posed to Americans’ Second Amendment rights by a U.N. ATT.

“On July 26 of this year, 50 of my Senate colleagues joined me in sending a powerful message to the Obama administration: A U.N. Arms Trade Treaty that does not protect our firearm freedoms will fail in the Senate,” Sen. Moran said in the Nov. 15 press release. “Our bipartisan warning to President Obama and Secretary Clinton demonstrated clear and sufficient opposition to ratification of a treaty that in any way restricts the rights of law-abiding American gun owners. When the U.N. [ATT] conference dissolved this summer without a treaty, it was clearly a positive conclusion for American gun owners and I’m glad we were able to steer the administration toward this outcome. 

“Unfortunately, the threat is not gone,” Sen. Moran continued. “Within hours of securing his reelection, President Obama declared his support for continued negotiations of the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty.

“The stakes are high as a new round of negotiations is now scheduled for March. While the administration has previously declared its intent to protect our Second Amendment freedoms, the president’s insistence on continued treaty talks is alarming. We must avoid a situation where the administration, due do its continued willingness to play ball, feels pressured to sign a treaty that violates our Constitutional rights. It is clear that Congress must reiterate its concerns with the latest draft of the treaty. I intend to lead this effort once again, and make certain President Obama knows there is sufficient opposition in the new Congress to block ratification.”

In October of 2009, at the U.N. General Assembly, the Obama administration reversed the positions of the two previous administrations and voted for the United States to participate in negotiating the ATT. Meetings and negotiations have continued regularly since then.

NRA was instrumental in halting the most recent ATT negotiations, which took place in July of this year. During the July negotiations, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre made clear to the assembled U.N. delegates, “Any treaty that includes civilian firearm ownership in its scope will be met with the NRA’s greatest force of opposition.” 

Needless to say, our position will remain the same on any treaty that could adversely affect the rights of American gun owners.

NRA applauds Sen. Moran and the U.S. Senate for their commitment to stand by the Second Amendment and America’s millions of law-abiding gun owners by opposing the U.N. ATT.

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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.