September 14, 2012
Dear Mr. D,
Thank you for contacting me about the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.
As you may know, in July the United States and other members of the United Nations asked for more time to consider the Arms Trade Treaty, stating that they had concerns with the draft treaty. Treaties are agreements between governments and do not subject citizens of one nation to the laws of an outside entity. For instance, the U.N. resolution that authorized the drafting of the small arms treaty acknowledges the right of countries "to regulate internal transfers of arms" and says that the treaty that may emerge from the process will not affect "constitutional protections on private ownership" of firearms. Additionally, there are many court rulings that establish the limits of treaties. And if an act of Congress is inconsistent with a treaty obligation, the law passed by Congress prevails.
While treaty negotiations and ratification are a coordinated effort between the Executive branch and the United States Senate, be assured I will bear your concerns in mind when legislation related to the Second Amendment comes before the House of Representatives.
It is an honor to represent Southern Arizona and keep the people I serve, like you, updated on my work in Congress that has a direct impact on their lives. My office can also help you resolve issues with federal agencies. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance to you. Again, thank you for contacting me about the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.
Member of Congress