Though Secretary of State John Kerry signed the UN Arms Trade Treaty in September, there are positive signs that the treaty will be dead on arrival in the Senate. Last week Sens. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Joe Manchin, D-W.V., released a bipartisan letter opposing the treaty, which was signed by 48 of their colleagues. And on Tuesday, four Democratic Senators sent a letter to President Obama, Kerry and the UN stating that the small arms treaty would not be ratified.
The letter, sent by Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., said that “because of unaddressed concerns that this Treaty’s obligations could undermine our nation’s sovereignty and the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans, we would oppose the Treaty if it were to come before the U.S. Senate.”
The following two excerpts by Ted Bromund, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, remind us why so many legislators are fighting against the ATT:
The ATT nominally requires signatory nations to act to regulate their import and export of conventional weapons and related activities. But all nations already have the unquestioned right to control such activities.
The fact that many nations haven’t done so suggests that they’re not actually interested in or capable of such regulations. The ATT will bind the U.S., but it is unlikely to lead the world’s bad and incompetent governments to behave any better. We have nothing to gain from signing.
And from a September article on the treaty:
But it is the Treaty’s vague norms that pose the biggest long-term problem. At the heart of the Treaty are terms like “international humanitarian law” and “international human rights law.” By committing itself to uphold these terms, the U.S. is binding itself to meet requirements that it does not define. That will affect not only our domestic firearms market but our foreign policy.
“This letter sends a clear message to President Obama and Secretary Kerry that the Arms Trade Treaty will not receive the 67 votes in the U.S. Senate necessary for ratification,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “On behalf of our 5 million members, the NRA would like to thank those who signed this letter for their principled stand in defending the Second Amendment freedoms of all law-abiding Americans against this attempt by the U.N. to undermine American sovereignty.”
It’s encouraging to see a bipartisan effort underway in the Senate and House to oppose the ATT and protect the Second Amendment—even if the Obama administration isn't.