Moran Letter on UN ATT a Good First Step

“In a letter released Thursday, October 10, 2013, blasting the Obama administration signing of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas is absolutely correct,” says John M. Snyder, “but the underlying problem really is United States membership in the United Nations itself.”

Sen. Moran addressed the president in the letter.  He is inviting other U.S. Senators to join his as co-signers.

Sen. Moran noted, “The treaty was adopted by a procedure which violates a red line laid down by your own administration.  In October 2009, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that the U.S. supported the negotiations of the treaty only by ‘the rule of consensus decision-making.’  But in April 2013, after the treaty failed to achieve consensus, it was adopted by majority vote in the U.N. General Assembly.  We fear that this capitulation has done great damage to the diplomatic credibility of the United States.”

The Moran letter outlines four more reasons for condemning the Obama administration’s signing of the ATT and urges the president “to notify the treaty depository that the U.S. does not intend to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty, and is therefore not bound by its obligations.  As members of the Senate, we pledge to oppose the ratification of this treaty, and we give notice that we do not regard the U.S. as bound to uphold its object and purpose.”

Snyder noted, though, that “since the UN ATT now has been signed, it could be ratified at any time by a future Senate.  It’s an ongoing, continuing threat to Americans’ gun rights.  To have hope of obviating this threat, we should work to get the US out of the UN and the UN out of the US.”

Snyder noted also that, “The National Rifle Association was right on in blasting the Obama administration for signing the UN Arms Trade Treaty, as Secretary of State John Kerry recently did.  The real problem, though, the underlying problem, is American membership in the United Nations.

“This has been the opinion of many Americans since the founding of the UN.  This act by the Obama administration underscores part of the explanation for this reasoning.  It shows why we should dump the United Nations organization.”

Snyder said, “ATT undermines our national sovereignty and individual gun rights.  The treaty refers specifically to small arms.  This means the 300 million rifles, shotguns and handguns owned by 100 million Americans.

“Gun-grabbing interests for years have been pushing for ways to undermine the individual Second Amendment civil right of law-abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms.  They generally have butted their heads against the brick wall of domestic American opposition to various anti-gun legislative schemes.  They even have seen Americans strengthen public policy in support of some pro-gun measures, like right to carry concealed firearms and stand your ground laws.”

“With this internationalist anti-gun approach,” continued Snyder, “the gun-grabbers may think they have found a way to undermine American freedom.  The ATT calls for arms transfer activity to be regulated domestically in accordance with international UN standards.

“Obama most likely cannot induce the Senate to ratify ATT.  More than a sufficient number of Senators to defeat ratification are on record opposing ratification.  However, anti-gun forces may think they can promote additional domestic gun controls because of some legal interpretations that activity commensurate with the objective of a treaty may and should be pursued pending ratification.”

Snyder warned that, “An Obama attempt to implement the treaty will draw down upon his administration the active opposition of millions of Americans.”

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), the Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, stated, “The ATT raises significant legislative and constitutional questions.  Any act to implement this treaty, provisionally or otherwise, before the Congress provides its advice and consent would be inconsistent with the United States Constitution, law, and practice.”

Snyder reiterated that, “The real problem is United States membership in the United Nations organization.”

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