“We will never allow foreign bureaucrats to trample on your Second Amendment.”
The treaty, which was backed by former President Barack Obama’s administration, sought to regulate the international arms industry. But in a speech in Indiana on Friday, Trump made clear his administration would be rejecting it.
“The United Nations will soon receive a formal notice that America is rejecting this treaty,” Trump said.
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“We will never allow foreign bureaucrats to trample on your Second Amendment,” Trump continued.
In response, the NRA crowd erupted into cheers.
According to a Reuters report, the treaty was aimed at the $70 billion conventional arms business, with the goal of keeping weapons away from human rights abusers.
The measure was overwhelmingly approved by the 193-nation U.N. General Assembly in April of 2013, including by the United States.
But the treaty faced fierce opposition from the NRA over concerns the proposal would affect domestic gun rights. At the time the treaty was signed by Obama’s Secretary of State John Kerry, the NRA complained it undermined American sovereignty and that it disregarded the Second Amendment of the Constitution.
“These are blatant attacks on the constitutional rights and liberties of every law-abiding American,” said Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action at the time. “The NRA will continue to fight this assault on our fundamental freedom.”
While the Obama administration brushed off the NRA’s concerns, Trump has long been an ally of the country’s largest gun-rights group.
On stage in front of the NRA crowd, Trump signed a document he said was a “message asking the Senate to discontinue the treaty ratification process and return the now-rejected treaty right back to me in the Oval Office, where I will dispose of it.”
“I am impressed, I did not think many of you would know what it is,” Trump told the audience. “You know what it is? A big, big factor. I see a couple of very happy faces from the NRA over there. And I am officially announcing today that the United States will be revoking the effect of America’s signature from this badly misguided treatment. We’re taking our signature back.”
Trump, who is gearing up for a tough 2020 reelection bid, warned the NRA audience that Democrats were trying to disarm law-abiding Americans.
“Democrats want to disarm law-abiding Americans while allowing criminal aliens to operate with impunity. But that will never happen as long as I’m your president. Not even close,” Trump said.
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- President Donald Trump, Barack Obama: Screen grab