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Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2008--Continued

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2008--Continued


Mr. VITTER. Mr. President, this amendment is very simple and straightforward. In fact, perhaps I should not have waived reading of it. It is a few sentences. So I will do it myself:

None of the funds made available under this Act may be made available to any international organization, agency, or entity (including the United Nations) that requires the registration of, or taxes a gun owned by a citizen of the United States.

That is the entire amendment, the entire sum and substance of the amendment. As such, it is a straight funding limitation amendment, which has been ruled by the Parliamentarian as completely germane. This is a version of a full-blown, freestanding bill that I have filed in the past, specifically last Congress. It was S. 1488. I filed that bill and had 17 cosponsors.

Many folks who haven't followed the proceedings on this in the U.N. may ask: What is this all about? Why is this necessary? Unfortunately, it is about an effort in the United Nations to bring gun control to various countries through that international organization. Unfortunately, that has been an ongoing effort which poses a real threat. This goes back to 1995, when this issue of international gun control was first put before the U.N. General Assembly. Then, in 2001, the General Assembly adopted a program of action designed to infringe on second amendment rights. In fact, from July 11 to 15 they met at the U.N. in New York City to finalize some agreements on that.

It is of significance that Dr. Rebecca Peters is the new head of that effort in the U.N. and, in particular, the entity within the U.N. that leads that International Action Network on Small Arms. That may not be a household name but perhaps it should be, particularly to second amendment advocates, because Dr. Peters is the person who led Australia's massive effort at far-reaching gun control. She has been very vocal on the subject, debating, for instance, Wayne LaPierre of the NRA on numerous occasions. Other pro-gun control advocates would help facilitate procedures within the U.N. program of action that could very well impact and infringe U.S. citizens' second amendment rights.

Therefore, again, that gets back to the Vitter amendment, which simply says we are not going to support any international organization that does that; that requires a registration of U.S. citizens' guns or taxes U.S. citizens' guns. If other folks in this Chamber think that is not happening, that it is never going to happen, my reply is simple and straightforward: Great, then this language has no effect. It is no harm to pass it as a failsafe. It has no impact. But, in fact, related efforts have been going on in the U.N. since at least 1995. I hope this can get very wide, bipartisan support, and I urge all my colleagues to support this very fundamental, straightforward amendment.

I yield back my time.


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