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U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran

Monday, August 1st, 2011
U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) is the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender ofthe Month for August.In nominating him for the award,John M. Snyder, CCRKBA PublicAffairs Director, noted that, “Sen.Moran is a stalwart supporter ofthe Second Amendment civil rightto keep and bear arms. Recently, hehas taken a lead in questioning theposition of the Obama administrationon the proposed Arms TradeTreaty. He deserves to receive aCCRKBA Gun Rights Defender ofthe Month Award.”Sen. Moran is circulating to fellowSenators a draft letter to PresidentBarack Obama and to Secretary ofState Hillary Clinton about the proposedtreaty. As of the writing thereare 58 signatories to his letter. Henotes that, “at the U.N. General Assembly,your administration votedfor the United States to participate innegotiating this treaty. Preparatorycommittee meetings are now underwayin anticipation of a conferencein 2012 to finalize the treaty.”Sen. Moran writes that, “based onthe process to date,” there is concern“that the Arms Trade Treaty posesdangers to rights protected underthe Second Amendment.”“While the 2009 resolution onthe treaty acknowledged the existenceof ‘national constitutionalprotections on private ownership,’”Sen. Moran stated, “it placed theexistence of these protections inthe context of ‘the right of States toregulate internal transfers of armsand national ownership,’ implyingthat constitutional protections mustbe interpreted in the context of thebroader power of the state to regulate.We are concerned both by theimplications of the 2009 resolutionand by the hostility to private firearmsownership manifested by similarresolutions in previous years – suchas the 2008 resolution, which calledfor the ‘highest possible standards’of control.“Second, your administrationagreed to participate in the negotiationonly if it ‘operates under the ruleof consensus decision-making.’ Giventhat the 2008 resolution on the treatywas adopted almost unanimously –with only the United States and Zimbabwein opposition – it seems clearthat there is a near-consensus on therequirement for the ‘highest possiblestandards,’ which will inevitably putsevere pressure on the United Statesto compromise on important issues.”Sen. Moran points out that, “UnitedNations member states regularlyargue that no treaty controlling thetransfer of arms internationally canbe effective without controls ontransfers inside member states. Anytreaty resulting from the Arms TradeTreaty process that seeks in any wayto regulate the domestic manufacture,assembly, possession, transfer, or purchaseof firearms, ammunition, andrelated items would be completelyunacceptable to us.”He notes further noted that, “Reportsfrom the 2010 PreparatoryMeeting make it clear that many U.N.member states aim to craft an extremelybroad treaty. A declaration byMexico and other Central and SouthAmerican countries, for example,called for the treaty to cover ‘All typesof conventional weapons (regardlessof their purpose), including smallarms and light weapons, ammunition,components, parts, technologyand related materials.’ Such a broadtreaty would be completely unenforceable,and would pose dangersto all U.S. businesses and individualsinvolved in any aspect of the firearmsindustry. At the 2010 Meeting, theU.S. representative twice expressedfrustration with the wide-rangingand unrealistic scope of the projectedtreaty. We are concerned that thesecautions will not be heeded, and thatthe Senate will eventually be calledupon to consider a treaty that is sobroad it cannot effectively be subjectto our advice and consent.”Sen. Moran declares that, “Theunderlying philosophy of the ArmsTrade Treaty is that transfers to andfrom governments are presumptivelylegal, while transfers to non-stateWe agree that sales and transfers tocriminals and terrorists are unacceptable,but we will oppose any treatythat places the burden of controllingcrime and terrorism on law-abidingAmericans, instead of where it belongs:on the culpable member statesof the United Nations who havefailed to take the necessary steps toblock trafficking that is already illegalunder existing laws and agreements.“As the treaty process continues,we strongly encourage your Administrationto uphold our country’sconstitutional protections of civilianfirearms ownership. These freedomsare not negotiable, and we will opposeratification of an Arms TradeTreaty presented to the Senate thatin any way restricts the rights oflaw-abiding U.S. citizens to manufacture,assemble, possess, transferor purchase firearms, ammunition,and related items.”Sen. Moran received his J.D. degreefrom the University of Kansas Schoolof Law.