Last week, members of the United Nations (UN) began another, and likely the final, round of negotiations on what could become the first international treaty to regulate $70 billion global conventional arms trade.
I have serious concerns about the impact this treaty would have on our sovereignty and security in America. Specifically, this overreaching treaty, known as the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), would regulate international arms trade, ownership, and use, and could place limitations on our ability to import or export certain firearms in this nation. Allowing the UN to place limitations of any kind on U.S. Citizens’ right to keep and bear arms, even if intended to limit war and civilian violence in tumultuous nations abroad, is something for which I will not stand.
Though the Obama Administration could have already put an end to discussions of the UN ATT, they have chosen to allow talks to continue. As such, it is possible that an agreement within the UN could be made as early as today.
Even if the UN approves the ATT, it is unlikely that the treaty would receive the support of two-thirds of the U.S. Senate as required for ratification. I was encouraged by a recent vote in the Senate in which fifty-three U.S. Senators voted to allow the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee the discretion to reallocate funding to prevent the U.S. from entering into the UN ATT. Furthermore, a Senate resolution of disapproval for the treaty now has 34 cosponsors, making ratification impossible unless a Senator has a change of heart.
Though the Senate is the legislative body that votes on ratification of treaties, I recently co-sponsored resolution in the House of Representatives – H. Concurrent Resolution 23 – which expresses the sense of Congress that the president should not sign the treaty or allow it to be enforced with federal resources. There are many variables at stake within this treaty and it is my sincere hope that the UN fails to agree to this overreaching proposal.
As Americans, we must remember that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance and that is why I will continue following this issue very closely and remain firmly opposed to any global effort to restrict the constitutional rights of American citizens.