Second Amendment Rights Threatened if Biden Rejoins International Gun Control Pact 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today affirmed their opposition to any effort by President Biden to rejoin the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), an international agreement to regulate trade in firearms.

The Mississippi Senators are among 37 Republican Senators who signed a letter asking President Biden to clarify his Administration’s intent on rejoining the ATT, which failed to win Senate ratification in 2013 because it does not sufficiently safeguard U.S. sovereignty, protect Second Amendment rights, or exempt civilian firearms from its scope.  Read the letter here.

“As in 2013, we remain concerned by the many troubling aspects of the ATT and its impact on American sovereignty and constitutional protections.  The vague language of the ATT makes 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,” the Senators wrote.

“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 ATT; however, should you have plans otherwise, please know we will unequivocally oppose its ratification in the Senate,” the Senators wrote.

Remarks by a top Biden administration official at the recent Seventh Conference of State Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty prompted the letter.  The official said, “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.”

Then President Obama signed the ATT in 2013, but former President Trump in 2019 withdrew the United States from the treaty.

U.S. Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) led the letter, which was also signed by Senators James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), John Thune (R-S.D.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Susan M. Collins (R-Maine), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), and Tim Scott (R-S.C.).