When resistance to the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) needed to be mounted in Capitol Hill, Congressman Mike Kelly (R-PA) took the lead in the House of Representatives and got 180 of his colleagues to co-sign a letter to President Barack Obama, opposing the administration’s signing of that treaty.

Congressman Kelly has emerged as a leader in the effort to stop the treaty, which was signed by Secretary of State John Kerry.

Among the co-signers were members of the House leadership, including Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA), Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX), and Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA).

Rep. Kelly’s letter drove home six important points, starting with the reminder that signing the treaty violated the Obama administration’s own “red line” that the treaty had to comply with the “rule of consensus decision-making,” but consensus was never achieved.

He also noted that the treaty “allows amendments by a three-quarters majority vote.” Kelly and his colleagues are concerned that this treaty will be amended and the United States will be pressured comply with amendments that it was unwilling to accept during negotiations.

A third point is crucial. The treaty, according to the letter, “includes only a weak, non-binding reference to the lawful ownership and use of, and trade in firearms, and recognizes none of these activities, much less individual self-defense, as fundamental individual rights.”

Kelly also noted that even the State Department sees the treaty as “ambiguous.”

A native of Pittsburgh, Kelly grew up in Butler, where he still lives. He attended Notre Dame on a football and academic scholarship, and after graduation, he worked at Kelly Chevrolet-Cadillac, which was founded by his father in the early 1950s. With that private sector background, he brought that experience to Congress.

He still owns the dealership, and employs more than 100 people.

He also served on the Butler City Council and has served on boards for several local and civic organizations.

When Kelly sent the letter to President Obama, he noted that “the People’s House takes a stand for national sovereignty where the White House failed to do so.”

“The ATT is a clear threat to the Constitutional rights of all Americans and should never have been signed,” he stated. “This letter makes it absolutely clear to President Obama and his cabinet that the United States Congress will not support any implementing legislation to give this dangerous treaty the legs it needs to take effect. We will also oppose any efforts by this administration or future ones to implement or enforce this treaty through executive action. The liberty of the American people and the independence of the United States are far too sacred to ever be sacrificed at the altar of a dysfunctional global institution like the United Nations. For the sake of our freedom at home and our strength abroad, this fight must continue.”

This wasn’t the first time Congressman Kelly stepped forward to lead the opposition to the ATT. Back in March, he introduced a bipartisan concurrent resolution opposing the treaty, and it garnered 149 co-sponsors in the House and 36 supporters in the Senate.

In May, he sent a letter to the president and Secretary Kerry, urging them to reject the treaty. That letter had 130 co-signers.

On June 14, according to his website, the House Appropriations Committee, basing their move on language from a bipartisan letter which Rep. Kelly authored and submitted to the State and Foreign Operations subcommittee in April, approved the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2014. That measure imposes a one-year ban on the use of federal funds for the implementation of the ATT by the State Department.

Clearly, Rep. Mike Kelly is not backing down in his efforts to protect the Second Amendment from global gun control efforts.

That’s why he deserves recognition as a Gun Rights Defender.