INDIANAPOLIS – President Trump said Friday he would not ratify a United Nations treaty regulating international weapons trade during a speech at the NRA convention leadership forum.
Trump signed a letter during in front of 15,000 NRA members, according to an NRA press release. It directed the Senate to discontinue the ratification process for the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty. Former President Barack Obama signed the treaty in 2013, but it never passed Congress.
“As part of this decision, I will sign right now in front of a lot of witnesses — a lot, that’s a lot of witnesses — a message asking the Senate to discontinue the ratification process and to return the now-rejected treaty to the Oval Office where I will dispose of it,” he said.
After the message was signed, Trump threw his pen into the crowd for someone to keep as a memento.
“I’m a champion of the Second Amendment,” Trump said at the beginning of his speech, “and so are you.”
In his speech, Trump discussed his accomplishments as president and criticism of the Democrats alongside gun rights issues.
At one point, he brought three people up to the podium to share stories of how firearms can save lives.
One was Stephen Willeford, who stopped a gunman during a 2017 shooting at his church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
Willeford told the crowd how he had missed church that morning to rest. His 8-year-old daughter, who he said knew the sound of gunshots, ran up to him at home and told him it sounded like there were shots outside.
While his daughter called 911, Willeford grabbed his gun and took it down the street where he shot the gunman, stopping him from hurting other churchgoers.
Willeford also encouraged people to vote for Trump in 2020.
"He says, 'Make America great again,' and he's including you,” Willeford told the crowd. “He will make America great again with you."
Trump talked about the 2020 election as well, saying he cared about the Constitution more than any Democratic candidate.
He criticized the far left, which he said was stealing people’s voices, rights and freedoms.
He also mentioned the special counsel investigation against him that he calls a witch hunt. The report by special counsel Robert Mueller came out last week and didn’t result in any obstruction of justice charges.
"America's future has never been brighter, and yet Democrats have never been angrier,” Trump said. “Especially now that their collusion delusion has been exposed to the world as a complete and total fraud."
He highlighted the American economy, which grew at a 3.2% rate during the first quarter of 2019, and a drop in violent crime and murder in major cities, although this has been a trend for many years even prior to his presidency.
At the end, he told the crowd there is always a side that tries to preserve power and take control, but the people at the forum were there to maintain freedom and make America safe and great.
"I'm with you,” he said. “I will never, ever let you down."