Dr. Boozman's Check-up

I’ve been hearing from a lot of Arkansans about the UN Small Arms Treaty.  I want to take a moment to answer a few of the questions I’ve received about it.

What is the UN Small Arms Treaty?
As called for in a resolution adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 2009, a conference began this week in New York City to draft the "United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty” with the intended goal of regulating global trade in conventional weapons.  The UN recently released a summary of the desires of the 193 UN member states engaged in treaty negotiations that set the agenda for this conference and, as predicted, it’s a direct attack on our Second Amendment rights. 

Where do you stand on the treaty?
I am vehemently opposed to the U.S. signing any UN Treaty that would regulate small arms.  I believe this is a backdoor way to chip away at every law abiding citizen’s right to keep and bear arms.   I continue to be actively involved with some of my colleagues in gathering information and educating other Senators and the general public to prove that this treaty is unnecessary and unconstitutional.

Besides signing onto two letters circulated by Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) to both President Obama and Secretary Clinton expressing overwhelming opposition to such a treaty, I am also a cosponsor of S.2205, the “Second Amendment Sovereignty Act of 2012,” which prohibits funding to negotiate a UN Arms Trade Treaty that restricts the Second Amendment rights of United States citizens.  I will continue to monitor this issue closely and I will oppose this treaty should it come to the floor of the U.S. Senate.

Would the U.S. ever be a signatory?
While the Obama Administration has expressed its support for such a treaty, it's important to note that in order for any treaty to take effect, it must be ratified by two-thirds of the U.S. Senate.  Last year, I joined 57 other senators in sending a letter to President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reminding them that the Senate has final say on treaties, and stated our unequivocal opposition to any treaty that would affect civilian ownership of firearms, challenge the authority of Congress to regulate firearms within the United States, or call for an international gun registry.  So again, even if the Obama Administration does sign the U.S. as a party to the treaty, it would have to be ratified by two-thirds of the U.S. Senate.  Right now, I do not believe the votes are there to ratify this treaty. 

This is not a new issue.  However, we remain prepared to staunchly defend our Second Amendment rights given that the current administration supports policies like the UN Small Arms Treaty.