Arms Trade Treaty - The End of the Beginning

The pro-gun community breathed a collective sigh of relief after United Nations negotiators failed to produce a treaty regulating global arms trade on Friday.

“There is no consensus and the meeting is over,” said a spokesman for the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, which sponsored the month-long conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).un-flag

However, while the demise of the ATT is a positive outcome for U.S. gun owners, it would be a mistake to believe that it spells the end of the effort to regulate small arms worldwide.

In fact, to global gun ban supporters like Amnesty International and Oxfam America, the ATT was a success whether or not a treaty was produced.

Sure, they would rather have had the treaty pass, and they complained loudly when it was scuttled. But the fact remains that the ATT represented the most serious discussion of global gun control in history and it ensures that small arms (read: your gun collection) will be part of future negotiations.

And there will be another anti-gun treaty in the near future.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called the unraveling of the ATT merely a “setback,” and insiders at the UN say they expect a vote at the next session of the General Assembly later this year to restart treaty talks.

The Obama administration continues to back a treaty and has already signaled its support for an additional round of negotiations after the next presidential election.

“While we sought to conclude the month’s negotiations with a treaty, more time is a reasonable request for such a complex and critical issue,” a State Department spokesman said.

The ATT was a convenient catch-all mechanism for the many streams of arms control measures that have been flowing from UN headquarters for years. Just because the ATT was blocked does not mean that all the streams will stop flowing.

Despite what happened -- or didn’t happen -- this year with the ATT, the drive to ratify a treaty regulating small arms is alive and well.

GOA Members Play Big Role in Stopping Anti-gun Treaty

While the ATT sought to regulate trade on conventional weapons such as battle tanks and battleships, it was the small arms provisions that stirred the most opposition in the U.S.

Earlier this year, GOA began working with Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) in an effort to get Senators on the record opposing the treaty.

The Moran letter warned that in requiring nations to take “appropriate measures” in furtherance of the goals of the ATT, the vaguely worded treaty “will be used to push the U.S. in the direction of measures that would infringe on both Second Amendment freedoms and the U.S.’s sovereignty more broadly.”

The fact Sen. Moran and millions of gun owners in America rallied fifty other Senators go on the record against the treaty was a huge obstacle for the Obama administration. It put the anti-gun side well short of the 67 votes needed in the Senate to ratify a treaty, and would have left the President “owning” an unpopular, anti-gun treaty in an election year.

Backdoor Gun Control Attempt

The President knows that he cannot get his anti-Second Amendment agenda passed through the full Congress, so he simply attempts to bypass that body whenever possible through Executive Orders, presidential directives, and international treaties.

GOA has helped to lay the groundwork to stop the UN small arms treaty. Since it first came up more than ten years ago, we have led the charge to make gun owners aware of its dangerous implications.

For now, thanks to the efforts of so many politically active supporters, we have bought some time before the next arms treaty. And that day will come. The gun grabbers know they’re running a marathon, not a sprint. They are patient and will work out a more narrowly crafted treaty that still slices away at our liberty.

But GOA, the no-compromise gun lobby, will not budge when it comes to protecting the Second Amendment from enemies at home or abroad.

Action: Contact your Senators and thank those who signed on to the Moran letter, and express disappointment in those who would sacrifice your liberty and U.S. sovereignty to the UN. When you click here, the appropriate message will be sent to your Senators depending on their position.

Click here to send a prewritten letter to your senators


The following Senators signed the Moran letter opposing the UN gun grab treaty.  Any Senator NOT on this list sided with UN gun grabbers against the Second Amendment:

Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)

Max Baucus (D-MT)

John Barrasso (R-WY)

Mark Begich (D-AK)

Roy Blunt (R-MO)

John Boozman (R-AR)

Richard Burr (R-NC)

Bob Casey (D-PA)

Dan Coats (R-IN)

Tom Coburn (R-OK)

Thad Cochran (R-MS)

Susan Collins (R-ME)

Bob Corker (R-TN)

John Cornyn (R-TX)

Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)

Mike Crapo (R-ID)

Jim DeMint (R-SC)

Mike Enzi (R-WY)

Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Chuck Grassley (R-IA)

Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

Dean Heller (R-NV)

John Hoeven (R-ND)

Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)

James Inhofe (R-OK)

Johnny Isakson (R-GA)

Mike Johanns (R-NE)

Ron Johnson (R-WI)

Jon Kyl (R-AZ)

Mike Lee (R-UT)

Joe Manchin (D-WV)

Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Jerry Moran (R-KS)

Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

Ben Nelson (D-NE)

Rand Paul (R-KY)

Rob Portman (R-OH)

Mark Pryor (D-AR)

Jim Risch (R-ID)

Pat Roberts (R-KS)

Marco Rubio (R-FL)

Jeff Sessions (R-AL)

Richard Shelby (R-AL)

Olympia Snowe (R-ME)

Jon Tester (D-MT)

John Thune (R-SD)

Pat Toomey (R-PA)

David Vitter (R-LA)

Jim Webb (D-VA)

Roger Wicker (R-MS)

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