Donald Trump has told the National Rifle Association he is withdrawing from a UN-supported international arms treaty.
The US president told the pro-gun lobby group conference he would not ratify the accord, which had been signed by Barack Obama in 2013, but has not yet been ratified by US legislators.
The Arms Trade Treaty regulates the multi-billion dollar international trade in conventional weapons, including small arms, battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships.
Mr Trump told delegates he was “taking our signature back” as the treaty was “badly misguided”.
The UN responded by saying the treaty was “a landmark achievement in the efforts to ensure responsibility in international arms transfers”.
Mr Trump used his speech at the NRA annual convention in Indianapolis to plea for votes ahead of his bid for re-election next year.
Talking about the conclusion of Special Counsel Robert Mueller that there had been no collusion between the Trump Campaign in 2016 and Russia, he said his political enemies had “tried for a coup; didn’t work out so well. And I didn’t need a gun for that one, did I?”
Earlier, vice president Mike Pence told the convention: “Under this president and this vice president, no one is taking your guns.”
Mr Trump said: “Far-left radicals in Congress want to take away your voice, your jobs, your rights, and they especially want to take away your guns.
“You better get out there and vote. It seems like it’s a long way away, it’s not.”
Talking about the Arms Trade Treaty, he told the convention: “This treaty threatened your… rights and your constitutional and international rules, and restrictions and regulations.
“Under my administration we will never surrender American sovereignty to anyone. We will never allow foreign bureaucrats to trample on your second amendment freedoms, and that is why my administration will never ratify the UN Arms Trade Treaty. I hope you’re happy.
“I’m impressed. I didn’t think too many of you would actually know what it is… but I see a couple of very happy faces.
“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.”
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the treaty was “the only global instrument aimed at improving transparency and accountability in the international arms trade.
He added: “This is particularly important in present times, when we witness growing international tensions and renewed interest in expanding and modernising arsenals.”
Source: SKY NEWS