US President Donald Trump said he is withdrawing the US from an arms trade treaty because it’s “badly misguided.”
He made the announcement in a speech to the National Rifle Association.
The move comes as pro-gun legislation is largely stalled in Congress and Trump is imploring the NRA to rally behind his re-election bid.
Trump says at the NRA that gun owners should get ready to vote for Republicans.
Former US President Barack Obama signed the pact, which has long been opposed by the NRA, in 2013. But it has never been ratified by US lawmakers.
“This treaty threatened your subjugate -- and you know exactly what's going on here -- your rights. And your constitutional and international rules and restrictions and regulations. Under my administration, we will never surrender American sovereignty to anyone," Trump said.
The United Nations says the Arms Trade Treaty that the US is exiting is “a landmark achievement in the efforts to ensure responsibility in international arms transfers.”
He said his administration “will never ratify the UN arms trade treaty”.
The United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric was responding to Friday’s announcement by President Donald Trump that he is asking the Senate to halt ratification of the treaty.
It is the first legally binding treaty to regulate the international trade in conventional arms and was overwhelmingly approved by the 193-member UN General Assembly in April 2013. It has been ratified by 101 countries.
Dujarric says the treaty “is the only global instrument aimed at improving transparency and accountability in the international arms trade.”