President Trump vowed to withdraw from an international arms treaty on Friday while on stage at the National Rifle Association convention, telling gun rights' advocates in the crowd that he was protecting their Second Amendment rights from “foreign bureaucrats.” The treaty, which the U.S. signed in 2013 but never ratified, seeks to prevent illicit arms transfers by providing international rules for the sale and transfer of small arms—as well as large planes and ships. At the NRA convention, Trump reportedly pulled out a pen onstage, signed a paper and said he would take back the signature of the Obama administration. “We will never surrender America's sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable, global bureaucracy,” Trump said in a statement. The move immediately sparked backlash, with the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) announcing a hearing to examine the president's decision.
The NRA has long been opposed to the treaty, arguing that it poses a threat to Second Amendment rights. Since taking office, Trump has approved decisions to pull the U.S. from the Paris climate accord, the nuclear deal with Iran, and the U.N. educational and cultural body UNESCO.