WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) joined Senators Roger Marshall (R-KS), Jerry Moran (R-KS), James Inhofe (R-OK), and 33 colleagues in requesting clarification on the Biden Administration’s intention to open U.S. Second Amendment rights to international oversight by rejoining the Arms Trade Treaty, an international agreement that would regulate trade in firearms.
“The vague language of the ATT makes American commitments uncertain, the most concerning of which is the lack of protections for lawful gun ownership which threatens the rights afforded to Americans under the Second Amendment,” wrote the Senators. “Under any circumstance, it is inconceivable that the United States would consider subjecting our constitutional right to bear arms to international oversight and interference.”
Co-signers of the letter include Senators Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Roger Wicker (R-MS), John Thune (R-SD), John Barrasso (R-WY), James Risch (R-ID), Thom Tillis (R-NC), John Hoeven (R-ND), Rick Scott (R-FL), James Lankford (R-OK), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), John Cornyn (R-TX), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Susan Collins (R-ME), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mike Crapo (R-ID), John Boozman (R-AR), Todd Young (R-IN), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Mike Lee (R-UT), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Mike Braun (R-IN), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Michael Rounds (R-SD), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Pat Toomey (R-PA), John Kennedy (R-LA), Lindsey Graham (R-GA), Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Tim Scott (R-SC).
Read the full letter here or below:
We write to you today seeking clarification on your Administration’s position on the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Recent remarks by Deputy Director for Conventional Arms Threat Reduction, William Malzahn, seem to indicate your intention to rejoin this misguided and overbearing international treaty.
At the Seventh Conference of States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty, Deputy Director Malzahn stated “The United States has long supported strong and effective national controls on the international transfer of conventional arms, and the Arms Trade Treaty is an important tool for promoting those controls internationally.” We find this statement to be most concerning and contrary to the current and historical position of the United States.
The vague language of the ATT makes American commitments uncertain, the most concerning of which is the lack of protections for lawful gun ownership which threatens the rights afforded to Americans under the Second Amendment. Further, with an amendment process that only requires a ¾ vote for approval, more intrusive provisions could be applied in the future; legally obligating the United States to comply with international commitments without consent from the Senate.
Under any circumstance, it is inconceivable that the United States would consider subjecting our constitutional right to bear arms to international oversight and interference. For these reasons, we request clarification on your intentions regarding this international accord. Moreover, we urge you to reject the ATT; however, should you have plans otherwise, please know we will unequivocally oppose its ratification in the Senate.
Thank you for your attention to our concerns and we look forward to hearing your response.