U.S. President Donald Trump has rejected a UN arms trade treaty that was approved by his predecessor Barack Obama and is currently waiting in the Senate for ratification.
“The UN will soon receive a formal notice that America is rejecting this treaty,” Trump said on Friday, addressing the National Rifle Association (NRA), a pro-gun group, denouncing the “badly misguided” agreement.
On stage in Indianapolis, Trump then signed a formal message to the Senate asking lawmakers 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 said to applause.
Trump signed the letter and then threw the pen to the crowd, which was chanting “U-S-A.”
““We are reaffirming that American liberty is sacred and that American citizens live by American laws, not the laws of foreign countries,” said Trump.
In the final weeks of his presidency, Obama had sent the treaty to the Senate, which must approve international treaties under the U.S. Constitution.
The Arms Trade Treaty regulates the international trade in conventional arms. According to the UN, 101 states joined the ATT. It entered into force in 2014.
Obama pledged it would not infringe on the U.S. constitutional right to gun ownership.
Trump also used his speech to hail U.S. states that have allowed trained teachers to carry guns in the classroom “to protect themselves and their students who they love.”
The U.S. has seen a spate of school shootings over the past two decades.