NRA Explore
APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

U.S. Senate and House Send Letters Saying "NO" to U.N. Arms Trade Treaty

Friday, October 18, 2013

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 United Nations Arms Trade Treaty. On September 25, 2013, Obama's designs on international gun control were realized, as Secretary of State John Kerry signed the ATT on behalf of the Obama administration. The NRA strongly opposes this treaty, which clearly jeopardizes the right to keep and bear arms protected by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

A bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate is already on record in opposition to ratification of the ATT. On March 23rd of this year, the Senate adopted an amendment to its FY 2014 Budget Resolution, offered by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), which establishes a deficit-neutral fund for "the purpose of preventing the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty." This amendment is in addition to the previous efforts of Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) to pass concurrent resolutions opposing the treaty in their respective chambers.

This week, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House released concurrent, bipartisan letters pledging their opposition to ratification of the ATT.

As detailed in his press release, on October 15th, Sen. Moran led a bipartisan group of 50 U.S. Senators, including Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Jim Inhofe, in reiterating to President Obama that the Senate overwhelmingly opposes the ratification of the ATT and will not be bound by its obligations.

"The Administration's recent signing of the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty was a direct dismissal of the bipartisan Senate majority that rejects this treaty," Sen. Moran said.  "Throughout this process, it has been disturbing to watch the Administration reverse U.S. policies, abandon its own 'red line' negotiation principles, admit publicly the treaty's dangerous ambiguity, and hastily review the final treaty text.  Today I join my colleagues in upholding the fundamental individual rights of Americans by reiterating our rejection of the ATT.  The Senate will overwhelmingly oppose ratification, and will not be bound by the treaty."

The press release further notes that, in the letter to the president, the Senators outline six reasons why they will not give advice and consent to the treaty and are therefore not bound to uphold the treaty's object and purpose.

"We urge you to notify the treaty depository that the U.S. does not intend to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty, and is therefore not bound by its obligations," the 50 Senators wrote to President Obama.

As noted by Senior Research Fellow, Ted Bromund, in a Heritage Foundation blog article, while the Senate has the lead responsibility for treaties, the House must pass any implementing legislation that is necessary to bring a treaty into effect.  Because it has the power of the purse, it is also particularly responsible for funding the implementation of the ATT.  A bipartisan letter, paralleling the one in the Senate and led by Representatives Mike Kelly and Collin Peterson (D–Minn.), has been signed by 181 Members--more than 40 percent of the House.

Rep. Kelly's press release notes that the House letter includes members of House Leadership, such as Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), and Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.).

Rep. Kelly said in the release, "Today the People's House takes a stand for national sovereignty where the White House failed to do so.  The ATT is a clear threat to the Constitutional rights of all Americans and should never have been signed.  This letter makes it absolutely clear to President Obama and his cabinet that the United States Congress will not support any implementing legislation to give this dangerous treaty the legs it needs to take effect.  We will also oppose any efforts by this administration or future ones to implement or enforce this treaty through executive action.  The liberty of the American people and the independence of the United States are far too sacred to ever be sacrificed at the altar of a dysfunctional global institution like the United Nations.  For the sake of our freedom at home and our strength abroad, this fight must continue."

(The Senate letter can be accessed via Sen. Moran's press release, and the House letter can be accessed via Rep Kelly's press release.)

Once a treaty has been signed, it normally remains available for the Senate to ratify in perpetuity, unless a later president withdraws from it. This means that American gun owners must remain vigilant in ensuring this treaty is never ratified.

NRA applauds those Members of Congress who signed these letters and reaffirmed their commitment to stand by the Second Amendment and America's millions of law-abiding gun owners by opposing the U.N. ATT. The NRA will continue to work with our allies in the Congress to ensure the treaty remains unratified.

But as important as these letters are, they are not the end of the story. As Ted Bromund, concluded in his Heritage Foundation blog article, the State Department accepts under the customary international law of treaties that the U.S. is bound not to violate the "object and purpose" of a signed but unratified treaty. Both Senate and House letters reject this assertion.  Further, the Administration has implied that it can implement the ATT through its existing authorities and without new appropriations. It is therefore incumbent on the Senate and House to reject this claim, hold appropriate hearings on the treaty and the Administration's proposed implementation of it, and prepare the way for this President or a future one to "unsign" the ATT.

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 ...

California: Governor Brown Takes Action on Final Firearm-Related Bills

Monday, September 26, 2016

California: Governor Brown Takes Action on Final Firearm-Related Bills

Today, Governor Brown made his decision on the final firearm-related bills of the 2016 legislative session that made it to his desk.   Governor Brown vetoed two anti-gun bills, AB 450 and SB 1332, and signed ...

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.

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!

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.

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 ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

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.