U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) today reiterated the grave concern in the U.S. Senate about the dangers posed to Americans' Second Amendment rights by the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). President Obama recently announced his intent to resume negotiations of the ATT even though the majority of the Senate notified both the President and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton of their intent to oppose ratification earlier this year.
"On July 26 of this year, 50 of my Senate colleagues joined me in sending a powerful message to the Obama administration: An Arms Trade Treaty that does not protect our firearm freedoms will fail in the Senate," Sen. Moran said. "Our bipartisan warning to President Obama and Secretary Clinton demonstrated clear and sufficient opposition to ratification of a treaty that in any way restricts the rights of law-abiding American gun owners. When the U.N. Conference dissolved this summer without a treaty, it was clearly a positive conclusion for American gun owners and I'm glad we were able to steer the Administration toward this outcome.
"Unfortunately the threat is not gone. Within hours of securing his reelection, President Obama declared his support for continued negotiations of the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty," Sen. Moran continued. "The stakes are high as a new round of negotiations is now scheduled for March. While the Administration has previously declared its intent to protect our Second Amendment freedoms, the President's insistence on continued treaty talks is alarming. We must avoid a situation where the Administration, due do its continued willingness to negotiate, feels pressured to sign a treaty that violates our Constitutional rights. It is now clear that Congress must reiterate its concerns with the latest draft of the treaty. I intend to lead this effort once again, and make certain President Obama knows there is sufficient opposition in the new Congress to block ratification."
In October of 2009 at the U.N. General Assembly, the Obama Administration reversed the positions of the two previous Administrations and voted for the United States to participate in ATT negotiations, purportedly to establish "common international standards for the import, export, and transfer of conventional arms." However, by threatening to include civilian firearms within its scope, the treaty could restrict the lawful private ownership of firearms in the United States.
The U.N. conference that took place in New York in July 2012 ended without a treaty after the Senate made clear there was strong enough opposition to block the ATT from Senate passage.