On the official first day of the 2019 NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, President Donald Trump took the stage at the NRA-Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) Leadership Forum.
Trump began by taking a few shots at the media before launching into a discussion on the economy, where he noted first-quarter growth of 3.2 percent. He then transitioned to the crisis at the southern border, predicting 400 miles of border wall would be complete by this time next year. The president spoke for nearly an hour.
The biggest surprise came when Trump announced that he would be dismantling the UN Arms Trade Treaty, which was met with applause from the audience.
The purpose of the 2014 treaty is to regulate the international trade of conventional weapons as a means to reduce “human suffering, political repression, crime and terror among civilian populations.” It was signed and sent to the U.S. Senate by President Barack Obama.
“I am officially announcing today that the United States will be revoking the effect of America’s signature from this badly misguided treatment,” said Trump. “We are taking our signature back. The United Nations will soon receive a formal notice that America is rejecting this treaty.
“As part of this decision, I will sign right now, in front of a lot of witnesses […] a message asking the Senate to discontinue the treaty ratification process and to return the now-rejected treaty right back to me in the Oval Office, where I will dispose of it,” he continued.
“By taking these actions, we are reaffirming that American liberty is sacred and that American citizens live by American laws, not the laws of foreign countries.”
Also speaking during the Leadership Forum was Chris Cox, master of ceremonies and executive director of NRA-ILA; Vice President Mike Pence; Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA; Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA, 1st District); and NRA president Oliver North.