What Mr. Trump Said
“In the last administration, President Obama signed the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty. And in his waning days in office, he sent the treaty to the Senate to begin the ratification process. This treaty threatened your subjugate — you know exactly what’s going on here — your rights, 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 freedom.”
The 2014 Arms Trade Treaty regulates international sales of conventional weapons (like tanks, combat vehicles, warships, missiles and firearms). It does not “surrender American sovereignty” over gun laws to the United Nations or hand enforcement powers over guns to “foreign bureaucrats.”
The United States was a signatory to the treaty, but did not ratify it as 101 other nations have. Mr. Trump withdrew the United States’ signature during his speech.
The treaty aims to establish international norms for regulating arms sales between countries and addressing illegal arms sales. It prohibits selling weapons to nations that are under arms embargoes or will use them to commit genocide, terrorism, war crimes or attacks against civilians.
In the preamble, the treaty explicitly reaffirms the “the sovereign right of any state to regulate and control conventional arms exclusively within its territory, pursuant to its own legal or constitutional system.” The Congressional Research Service noted that the treaty “does not affect sales or trade in weapons among private citizens within a country” and, even if ratified, “would likely require no significant changes to policy, regulations, or law” since “the United States already has strong export laws in place.”
“It has absolutely no effect on U.S. domestic gun laws,” said Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, which supports the treaty.
Adam Winkler, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, who specializes in the Second Amendment, agreed and noted that withdrawing the United States as a signatory will have very little impact given that the Senate never ratified the treaty. What Mr. Trump is relinquishing, Mr. Kimball said, is a seat at the international table to set global standards and better enforcement in countries most affected by the illegal arms trade.
What Mr. Trump Said
“We are supplying police with surplus military equipment supplies and gears that the previous administration refused to give up. This is surplus. This is extra. We don’t need it. Great equipment sitting in warehouses all over the country. Billions of dollars of equipment that the military no longer needs or wants or uses, but they are top-of-the-line. Some of it’s never been used. Brand-new. From vehicles to, essentially, supplies of all kind, including bulletproof vests.”
This is exaggerated.
Mr. Trump is referring to the Pentagon’s so-called 1033 program, which has been sending excess military equipment to the police since the 1990s.