Montana's Congressman, Denny Rehberg, today successfully added an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2013 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill to block funding to advocate for or agree to any provision of a United Nations (UN) small arms treaty that would restrict the Second Amendment rights of American citizens or further regulate U.S. firearms users or manufacturers. The amendment was adopted in committee by a vote of 30-20.
"The Bill of Rights are simply not subject to the authority of the United Nations or any other international body," said Rehberg, a member of the Second Amendment Task Force with an A+ Rating from the National Rifle Association. "President Obama and his Senate allies have waged a proxy war on gun rights, appointing anti-gun Supreme Court justices and deferring to international laws. But the Second Amendment is crystal clear, and I'm going to do everything I can to protect law abiding gun owners from President Obama's dangerous agenda."
The UN is currently planning on entering into negotiations over an international Arms Trade Treaty that would provide a standard for regulating arms sales internationally. For advocates of the Second Amendment, this poses a number of problems from actual gun rights to a question of sovereignty.
While the previous administration was reliably opposed to entering into talks on a UN Arms Trade Treaty, the anti-gun Obama Administration reversed that position and on October 30, 2009, the US voted in the General Assembly to support UN-sponsored talks on a treaty to regulate the $55 billion-a-year trade in conventional weapons.
While a treaty would require Senate ratification, the Senate has lately been eager to rubber stamp President Obama's treaty agenda, including most notably, New START which requires unilateral US nuclear disarmament.
"Taxpayer funds should not be used to lobby against our constitutional rights. Law-abiding Americans have the right to keep and bear arms. The scope of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty could drastically undermine this constitutional right. The NRA firmly believes that the U.N. should never be allowed to be the arbiter of American freedom," said Chris W. Cox, executive director for NRA's Institute for Legislative Action. "The NRA would like to thank Congressman Rehberg for his leadership and for offering this vital amendment in support of the Second Amendment."