The United States Constitution guarantees American's right to keep and bear arms. No international treaty should ever be considered that would infringe on that right or national sovereignty, said U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., who signed a letter with 50 of his colleagues to President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton expressing concerns that the Administration agreed to participate in the negotiating of the United Nations' Arms Trade Treaty.
While the final treaty text won't be public until it has been agreed to, initial drafts include provisions that pose dangers to rights protected by the Second Amendment. Certain provisions would require an expansion of federal firearms controls and the creation of a U.N.-based firearms registry.
"Our rights and our sovereignty are not up for negotiation. Not now, not ever," said Enzi. "Civilian gun ownership is constitutionally protected as is the right to self-defense. I will fight any and all attempts, foreign or domestic, to erode these rights."
The letter Enzi signed demands that the Administration uphold our country's constitutional protections of civilian firearms ownership and to guarantee that the treaty explicitly recognize the legitimacy of lawful activities associated with firearms, including but not limited to the right of self-defense before considering ratification.
The treaty cannot go into effect unless the Senate votes to agree to it.
"The Administration's obligations are to our laws and our Constitution. No international body has authority over our rights and I will oppose ratification until the U.N. recognizes the lawful possession and use of firearms," said Enzi.
July 20 shooting in Colorado
The July 20 movie theater shooting in Colorado has prompted some to call for more gun control. Enzi agreed with the remarks of Colorado Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper who said the killer would have found a way to "create horror" with or without tougher gun laws.
"We're all deeply saddened by this tragic event and we all want to do what we can to stop these kinds of evil acts from happening. I think that is the real key. Each of us is going to have to work to make better connections with our neighbors and our communities. I don't think the solution will come from Washington," Enzi said.
Enzi said the U.S. Constitution guarantees Americans right to own firearms and this precludes any negotiations outside our borders.
"There is no place for the UN in a debate about individual gun ownership in the U.S.," Enzi said.