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Congressman Jim Bridenstine Urges No Funding For UN Gun Ban Treaty Comments on State Department Appropriations Bill


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Washington D.C., May 8, 2013 | comments

President Obama once again demonstrated his disregard for the Second Amendment by having the United States vote for the Arms Trade Treaty at the United Nations General Assembly.   ATT can only take effect if, first, ratified by the Senate and, then if Congress appropriates funding for its implementation.   Along with numerous colleagues, I’ve urged the Appropriations committee to prohibit any funding for implementing ATT or even conducting any activities related ATT or similar international gun ban agreements until the Senate has ratified the treaty.  Though the Senate looks set to reject any ratification effort, no taxpayer money should go toward any preparatory activities associated with a treaty that threatens constitutional rights.

The ATT is a disaster for many reasons.  The most egregious includes its provisions that suggest keeping records on private firearms owners and giving them to an “international secretariat”.  Beyond this serious constitutional issue, ATT also would impose huge regulatory requirements on U.S. businesses; reporting requirements would harm our defense industrial base at the very time when these companies are suffering from multiple rounds of defense budget cuts and sequestration. 

President Obama famously denied that American exceptionalism exists, placing the U.S. as equals with other nations.  He proved that the point by voting for treaty that puts democracies like the U.S. on an equal footing with totalitarian regimes and dictatorships.   ATT says that all countries have equal rights and obligations when it comes to arms transfers.  It simply makes no sense to place our country – one that has respect for rule of law and democratic institutions – on par with other nations that routinely ignore treaties and agreements. 

For these reasons, I not only voiced my opposition to ATT but will work hard with like-minded colleagues to stop any activity related to ATT before the Senate has a chance to reject its ratification.

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