April 26, 2019
U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) praised President Trump for stating that the United States will withdraw from the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), a treaty signed by the Obama administration in 2013, that threatened Second Amendment rights. Since 2013, Inhofe and Moran successfully led the effort in the Senate to prevent ratification.
“Since the Obama administration signed the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty in 2013, I have successfully blocked its ratification and prevented American tax dollars from going to fund its implementation,” Inhofe said. “By withdrawing the United States as a party to the treaty, President Trump is standing up for our sovereignty, our Second Amendment and our national security. I’m proud to work with him on this important issue.”
“From its outset, the UN Arms Trade Treaty has represented a threat to the lawful private ownership of firearms in our country, and at no point has it represented a real solution to the illegal export of arms,” said Sen. Moran. “The United States should ratify treaties only when they are in our national interest, clear in their goals and language, respect our sovereignty and do not infringe upon our constitutional freedoms. Because the ATT failed to meet any of these tests, I have joined Senator Inhofe in leading a bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate in opposition. I commend President Trump for his decision today to formally reject the ATT and to uphold our country’s constitutional protections of civilian firearm ownership.”
The ATT would have opened the door for U.N. bureaucrats to regulate the purchase of individual firearms and would have required approval from the international body before we could assist our allies, including Israel, Taiwan and South Korea.
In 2012, while the Obama Administration was negotiating the ATT, Inhofe and 50 Senate colleagues expressed grave concern about the dangers posed to Americans’ Second Amendment rights by the United Nations’ Arms Trade Treaty. The Senators notified President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton of their intent to oppose ratification of an Arms Trade Treaty that in any way restricts the rights of law-abiding American gun owners.
On March 22, 2013, Inhofe introduced an amendment to the Senate budget resolution that would uphold Americans' Second Amendment rights and prevent the United States from entering into the U.N. ATT. The amendment passed by a 53-46 vote. Inhofe has continued to successfully block funding for the treaty since 2013, through legislative provisions in 2018 and 2015.
On September 24, 2013, Inhofe wrote to Secretary John Kerry, warning him about constitutional implications if the United States became a signatory to the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.
In the 113th Congress, on Oct. 15, 2013, Sens. Inhofe, Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) led a bipartisan group of 50 Senators in a letter to President Obama that the Senate overwhelmingly opposes the ratification of the treaty and that the United States will not be bound by its obligations.
On March 3, 2015, Sens. Inhofe and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) announced the support of 12 freshman Senators in joining the Senate’s strong opposition to the ATT. This brought the number to 55 currently-seated Senators who have voiced their opposition to ratification of the ATT.
On December 24, 2014, the ATT went into force and more than 60 countries have ratified the treaty. A Secretariat of the U.N. Conference on the ATT oversees the practical and logistical arrangements related to the work of the Conference. In discussions of providing funding to the Secretariat, many nations supported the idea that all signatory countries contribute, including the United States, even if they have not ratified the treaty. This would have likely required the U.S. to contribute approximately 22 percent of the funding- in line with their contribution level to the U.N. as a whole if it weren’t for Inhofe’s legislative provisions.