NEWARK – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement after President Trump announced at the National Rifle Association convention he will cancel the United States’ status as a signatory of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), a 2014 multilateral arms treaty to regulate international trade of conventional arms.
“This is yet another myopic decision that jeopardizes U.S. security based on false premises and fearmongering. The Arms Trade Treaty has no impact on Americans’ Second Amendment rights, nor imposes any restrictions on U.S. arms exports. To the contrary, this treaty was negotiated to level the international arms exports playing field by requiring other countries to observe the same strict standards the U.S. does in selling arms abroad.
“While Americans from all walks of life have come to painfully understand the threat posed by not doing enough to prevent weapons from ending up in the wrong hands, it is disturbing to see this Administration turn back the clock on the little progress we have made to prevent illicit arms transfers.
“The United States Senate has failed to approve this global treaty solely because of Republicans’ paralyzing fear of backlash from the NRA. This is another reminder that if we’re going to get anywhere to break the inaction on the kind of commonsense steps to stop gun violence and keep people safe, we must stop letting the NRA set the agenda in Washington. Walking away from the Arms Trade Treaty is not simply an error; it’s dangerous and sends a message of irresponsibility to all Americans, our international allies and our adversaries.”