Saxby and Isakson join other senators in opposition to UN Arms Trade treaty

Saxby Chambliss at an 2011 speaking event in Southwest Georgia. / File

In a press release Thursday morning, Georgia Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson announced they had joined 49 of their Senate colleagues in expressing grave concern about the dangers posed to Americans' Second Amendment rights by the United Nations' Arms Trade Treaty. The 51 senators notified President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton of their intent to oppose ratification of an arms trade treaty that in any way restricts the rights of law-abiding American gun owners.

The senators wrote in the letter that "as the treaty process continues, we strongly encourage your administration not only to uphold our country's constitutional protections of civilian firearms ownership, but to ensure â" if necessary, by breaking consensus at the July conference â" that the treaty will explicitly recognize the legitimacy of lawful activities associated with firearms, including but not limited to the right of self-defense. As members of the United States Senate, we will oppose the ratification of any arms trade treaty that falls short of this standard."

The U.N. conference on this issue is taking place this week in New York City. In October 2009, the Obama administration reversed the positions of the two previous administrations and voted for the United States to participate in negotiating the arms trade treaty, purportedly to establish "common international standards for the import, export, and transfer of conventional arms." However, by threatening to include civilian firearms within its scope, the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty could restrict the lawful private ownership of firearms in the United States.

The letter was signed by U.S. Senators:
Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
Max Baucus (D-MT)
John Barrasso (R-WY)
Mark Begich (D-AK)
Roy Blunt (R-MO)
John Boozman (R-AR)
Richard Burr (R-NC)
Bob Casey (D-PA)
Dan Coats (R-IN)
Tom Coburn (R-OK)
Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Susan Collins (R-ME)
Bob Corker (R-TN)
John Cornyn (R-TX)
Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Jim DeMint (R-SC)
Mike Enzi (R-WY)
Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Dean Heller (R-NV)
John Hoeven (R-ND)
Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)
James Inhofe (R-OK)
Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
Mike Johanns (R-NE)
Ron Johnson (R-WI)
Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
Mike Lee (R-UT)
Joe Manchin (D-WV)
Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Jerry Moran (R-KS)
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Ben Nelson (D-NE)
Rand Paul (R-KY)
Rob Portman (R-OH)
Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Jim Risch (R-ID)
Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Marco Rubio (R-FL)
Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
Richard Shelby (R-AL)
Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
Jon Tester (D-MT)
John Thune (R-SD)
Pat Toomey (R-PA)
David Vitter (R-LA)
Jim Webb (D-VA)
Roger Wicker (R-MS)