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Rep. Kelly Issues Statement on Arms Trade Treaty as U.N. Negotiations Falter
Rep. Kelly issued the following statement on Thursday, March 28, 2013, regarding the collapse of negotiations at the United Nations conference to finalize the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). He is the original sponsor of H. Con. Res. 23, a bipartisan concurrent resolution to oppose the treaty, which currently has 129 co-sponsors in the House and 34 co-sponsors in the Senate. In his private capacity, Rep. Kelly also created an online petition to stop the ATT which attracted the support of thousands of Americans and was submitted to the White House on Wednesday.
"The fight against the ATT has been a long but necessary battle, and today it becomes more critical than ever. We have said all along that negotiating the ATT with dictatorships like Iran, Syria, and North Korea was a bad idea. Today, they made it clear to the whole world that they have no intention of abiding by the treaty, which would therefore constrain only America and our fellow democracies.
"I call on President Obama, and the rest of the free world, to recognize that a treaty on the arms trade, especially one that endangers rights protected by the Second Amendment, is both needless and foolish. It is not the democracies but the dictatorships of the world -- the rogue states like Iran, Syria, and North Korea -- who abuse human rights, arm terrorists, and irresponsibly traffic conventional and nuclear weapons. Today's collapse of the ATT negotiations should be a wake-up call that brings new awareness to the fundamental flaws of a U.N. system that puts these dictatorships at the same table as democracies like the United States.
"The ATT as drafted is a threat to freedom and still demands resistance from all Americans who refuse to endanger our Second Amendment rights or national sovereignty at the United Nations. As the greatest defender of peace and liberty in the world, why would we ever join an agreement with the world's worst actors and let them have a say in what our arms export policies might be? It is a terrible idea, enshrined in a terrible treaty, and if it comes to his desk President Obama must ultimately reject it.
"I am extraordinarily heartened by the thousands of Paul Reveres will have helped me sound the alarms about the ATT over the past days, weeks, and months. This is not a Republican issue or Democrat issue but an American issue. That is why my colleagues and I introduced a concurrent resolution to oppose this treaty in Congress, and it is why this fight will not end with today's development. Our freedom and Constitution will never be forsaken."