• Press Release

NRA Must Drop Its Campaign of Lies Against U.N. Global Arms Trade Treaty

December 19, 2012

Calls on President Obama and Congress Not to Let NRA Dictate Foreign Policy

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, [email protected], 212-633-4150, @strimel

(New York) – The National Rifle Association should immediately drop its campaign of distortions and lies about the pending United Nations’ global Arms Trade Treaty, Amnesty International said today. The human rights organization challenged the NRA to end its two decade-long opposition to the treaty, which would help stop the flow of weapons to dictators, warlords and armed groups known to commit atrocities and human rights abuses.

The treaty could save hundreds of lives every day by establishing common global standards for how countries import, export and transfer conventional weapons. Because there is virtually no regulation of the international arms trade, governments and groups known to commit atrocities and abuses can buy weapons traded on the open market and use them with impunity against civilian populations. In March 2013, member states of the United Nations, including the United States, will again come together for negotiations to finalize the global treaty to regulate small arms, conventional weapons and ammunition.

“The NRA has responded to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School by stating it wants to make a 'meaningful contribution' to prevent mass shootings in the United States,” said Michelle Ringuette, chief of campaigns and programs for Amnesty International USA. “By dropping its opposition to the Arms Trade Treaty, it has an opportunity to help keep guns out of the hands of those who routinely target children and other civilians and save countless lives around the world."

“Every day, 1,500 people die in armed conflicts around the world – one person every minute. These unregulated weapons are used to force tens of thousands of children into armed conflict and to rape women and girls in conflict zones. More than 26 million people around the globe are forced from their homes, and their livelihoods destroyed, by armed conflict. The NRA must immediately stand down on its campaign to block a global arms trade treaty,” said Ringuette.

“For years the NRA has lobbied the U.S. government to oppose the global Arms Trade Treaty through lies and distortions, asserting incorrectly the treaty would override the U.S. Constitution. President Obama and Congress must not allow the NRA dictate policy about arms control and run US foreign policy.”

Read more about the NRA’s campaign of distortions and tactics against the Arms Trade Treaty here.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.