INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- President Donald Trump announced he was pulling the United States out of the Arms Trade Treaty with the world during an appearance at the 148th Annual Meeting of the NRA in Indianapolis today.
From the stage at Lucas Oil Stadium, Trump said he was signing an order to direct the U.S. Senate to not go forward with ratification of the treaty that was negotiated in 2013.
The president reached into his pocket, removed a pen, signed the order with his typical flourish and displayed the page to the cheering crowd of 15,000 NRA members before tossing the pen into the audience.
“In the last administration, President Obama signed the UN arms trade treaty and in his waning days in office he sent the treaty to the Senate to begin the ratification process,” he said. “This treaty threatened your subjugate, and you know exactly what’s going on here, your rights, your constitutional and international rules and restrictions and regulations.”
The treaty, voted on with overwhelming international approval, sought to curb violations of international arms embargoes and prohibit the sale of weapons, from side arms to airplanes, to customers who might be credibly believed to use the weapons in violation of human rights or in war crimes.
“Under my administration we will never surrender American sovereignty to anyone!” Trump said. “We will never allow foreign bureaucrats to trample on your Second Amendment here and that is why my administration will never ratify the UN arms treaty.”
On the floor of the NRA exhibit hall, several arms company representatives said they applauded the president’s announcement but did not understand the treaty enough to determine how it would affect their businesses.
“But we knew about this treaty,” said Wayne Floyd, an NRA member who traveled from Alaska to attend the annual meeting in Indianapolis. “We knew it was going to put the UN superior to our national sovereignty when it came to gun rights, everything from gun manufacturing to gun ownership was gonna fall under their over watch.”
The NRA’s Chief Lobbyist Chris Cox said after the president’s surprise announcement, “His commitment to un-sign the anti-gun United Nations Arms Trade Treaty that was forced on us by John Kerry and Barrack Obama, gives NRA members one more reason to enthusiastically support his presidency. Donald Trump isn’t afraid to stand on the side of freedom and defend our God-given right to self-defense and we couldn’t be prouder to stand with him.”
Trump was proceeded to the stage by former Indiana Governor Mike Pence who negotiated with the NRA to bring the gun rights group back to Indianapolis in 2019 and 2023 after the organization’s last conference here five years ago.
“Under this president and this vice president, no one is taking your guns!” said Pence who was chosen as Trump’s running mate when the candidate wrapped up his nomination with a victory in the Indiana Republican primary in May of 2016. “Under this president and this administration the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America issued the following statement about the President’s trip to Indianapolis:
It’s infuriating to watch the President and Vice President continue to prioritize the gun lobby’s profits over the safety of the American people.”
The group will hold a protest in Indianapolis Saturday at 9:30 a.m.