There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding the U.N.’s Arms Trade Treaty – “a legally binding instrument on the highest possible common international standards for the transfer of conventional arms.” And while the ATT is still in the drafting stages, it won’t be finalized until 2012; there are those who are preemptively safeguarding America’s Second Amendment rights against any provision within the ATT that would dismantle and/or infringe upon those rights.
One of the ongoing efforts is a letter circulated by Republican Senator Jerry Moran that states they – the 57 senators who have signed the letter – will vote against any treaty ratified by the U.N. that infringes on the rights of responsible gun owners.
“The Arms Trade Treaty must not in any way regulate the domestic manufacture, possession or sales of firearms of ammunition. Firearms possession is an individual right guaranteed by the Second Amendment and that cannot be subordinated, directly or indirectly by any international treaty,” the letter reads.
The latest effort to denude the ATT comes from Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), who this week announced his plan to introduce a bill to the House that would block U.S. funding to the U.N. if the U.N. attempts to implement gun control measures that affect U.S. gun owners.
Obviously, if Walsh’s bill were to pass through Congress and become law, it would totally dissuade the U.N. from pursuing any of its more ambitious ATT gun control goals (to see a rather extreme interpretation of those goals, click here) as U.S. taxpayer dollars fund roughly 22% of the U.N.’s operating budget and 27% of its “peacekeeping” budget.
The details of the bill have not been released as of yet, but Rep. Walsh highlighted for his House colleagues the necessity of his proposal, noting that:
• It is the constitutional power of Congress to determine United States foreign policy through the ratification of international treaties;
• U.S. Presidents, by signing on to treaties, have opened the door for international organizations to unilaterally regulate the lives of citizens of the United States;
• International and transnational organizations force their rules on people of the United States through conventions, multilateral agreements, and nonratified treaties, such as agreements that affect the private ownership of firearms by law-abiding citizens; and
• United States sovereignty is risked by domestic legal applicability of international treaties and executive agreements that have not been voted on and congressionally adopted through formal processes.
Regardless of what happens with the ATT, even if it is ratified by the U.N. in its most draconian form, it still needs to pass through the U.S. Senate by a two-thirds majority for the U.S. to officially adopt it.
So, while it would be nice if Walsh’s bill passed, we still have at least 57 Senators currently in Congress that would vote down any version of an ATT that infringes upon our Second Amendment rights.