U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) introduced an amendment today to protect the rights of American gun owners from the effects of a U.N. Arms Trade Treaty in the Senate Appropriations Committee. The Second Amendment Sovereignty Act passed in committee today and would prevent the Obama Administration from negotiating an Arms Trade Treaty that restricts in any way Americans' Second Amendment rights, or that regulates the domestic manufacture, possession or purchase of firearms and ammunition -- therefore restricting the lawful private ownership of firearms in the United States.
"Our freedoms and our country's sovereignty are in danger of being undermined. This amendment seeks to reinforce that our country's sovereignty and firearm freedoms will not be infringed upon by an international organization made up of many countries with little respect for gun rights," Sen. Moran said. "By prohibiting funding for the negotiation of an Arms Trade Treaty, this amendment will help make certain the rights of Americans are protected. America leads the world in export standards to ensure arms are transferred for legitimate purposes and my amendment will make certain that law-abiding Americans are not wrongfully punished."
"The United Nations must be prevented from interfering with our constitutional freedoms. Equally important, American taxpayers should not be forced to foot the bill for the U.N.'s efforts to restrict our Right to Keep and Bear Arms," said Chris W. Cox, executive director for NRA's Institute for Legislative Action. "The NRA would like to thank Senator Moran for his leadership in offering this amendment to protect American freedom."
In October of 2009 at the U.N. General Assembly, the Obama Administration reversed the previous Administration's position and voted for the United States to participate in negotiating the Arms Trade Treaty, purportedly to establish "common international standards for the import, export, and transfer of conventional arms," including tanks, helicopters, and missiles.
In July, the U.N. Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty will take place in New York, during which time a treaty will be finalized for adoption.
Preparatory Committee meetings have made it clear that many U.N. member states aim to craft an extremely broad treaty that includes civilian firearms within its scope. For example, Mexico and several countries in Central and South America have called for the treaty to cover "all types of conventional weapons (regardless of their purpose), including small arms and light weapons, ammunition, components, parts, technology and related materials." Such a treaty would be incredibly difficult to enforce, and would pose dangers to all U.S. businesses and individuals involved in any aspect of the firearms industry, from manufacturers to dealers to consumers.
The introduction of the Second Amendment Sovereignty Act is Sen. Moran's most recent action in his effort to make certain an Arms Trade Treaty that undermines the Constitutional rights of American gun owners is dead on arrival in the Senate. In July 2011, Sen. Moran led 44 of his Senate colleagues in notifying President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton of their intent to oppose ratification of a treaty that in any way restricts Americans' Second Amendment rights. This is enough to block the treaty from Senate passage, as treaties submitted to the U.S. Senate require approval of two-thirds of Senators present to be ratified.