U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement today in opposition to the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) as the body begins its final negotiations over the treaty at the U.N. headquarters today in New York. Rep. Kelly, a national leader in the movement to stop the ATT, introduced H. Con. Res. 23, a bipartisan concurrent resolution in the House of Representatives last week to oppose the treaty. As a private citizen, he also created an online petition to stop the ATT which has currently garnered more than 20,000 supporters.
"Today begins a very ominous week for the Second Amendment and our national sovereignty -- two things that should never be trivialized by a dangerous treaty like the ATT. There is no good reason why America should allow itself to be entangled in a needless contract that would only serve to curb our freedom and threaten our ability to defend our friends around the globe. Even former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called our arms control policy the "gold standard' of the world. Why should we choose to undermine it by entering an unprecedented accord with states that fervently disagree with our values and interests? The choice remains in our hands, and we must resist. That is why I introduced a concurrent resolution last week to stop our government from joining the ATT before it's too late. With growing opposition in the House and Senate, as well as in households all across America, I am proud to continue this fight for as long as necessary in order to preserve our nation's independence abroad and sacred liberty at home."
The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty has elicited warnings from numerous legal and foreign policy experts who agree that the treaty, as drafted, poses significant threats to the Second Amendment rights of U.S. citizens, the nation's domestic defense manufacturing base, and America's ability to protect and assist our allies including the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the State of Israel.
In July 2012, Rep. Kelly sent a bipartisan letter, signed by 130 House members, to the president and the Secretary of State, opposing the ATT. Rep. Kelly authored H. Res. 814, introduced in November 2012, with 89 bipartisan co-sponsors. On March 13, 2013, he re-introduced it as H. Con. Res. 23, a concurrent resolution in the House with 122 bipartisan original co-sponsors. Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) introduced the identical companion resolution, S. Con. Res. 7, with 28 original co-sponsors in the U.S. Senate.