President Donald Trump delivered a speech to a stadium full of National Rifle Association members in Indianapolis on Friday, April 26. For three days, the NRA hosted its annual meetings and exhibits at Lucas Oil Stadium, where members could browse 15 acres of firearms and accessories.
At 11 o’clock on Friday morning, the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action kicked off its leadership forum with a speech from NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox. After an introduction by Vice President Mike Pence, Trump took the stage.
During his speech, Trump signed an executive order announcing that he will revoke the U.S. presidential signature from the United Nations’ Arms Trade Treaty. The ATT was initially signed by President Barack Obama and was designed to regulate the international trade of conventional arms.
“As part of this decision, I will sign right now, in front of a lot of witnesses—it’s a lot of witnesses—a message asking the Senate to discontinue the treaty ratification process and to return the now-rejected treaty right back to me, in the Oval Office, where I will dispose of it,” said Trump.
After signing the executive order, the president threw his pen to the crowd.
Although the majority of the president’s speech focused on the Second Amendment, he also touched on subjects such as immigration and the economy.
After declaring a state of emergency, Trump was able to secure funds for the construction of new sections of wall on the border between the U.S. and Mexico. As well as constructing the new wall, repairs are being made to existing sections of wall.
“We’ll have over 400 miles of wall built by the end of next year,” said Trump. “It’s going up rapidly.”
Trump boasted the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years, as well as the lowest unemployment rates ever recorded for African, Asian and Hispanic Americans. The president also announced a 3.2% gross domestic product growth rate for the first quarter.
“Our economy is now the hottest anywhere on the planet Earth,” Trump said. “Just this morning, we learned that the GDP smashed expectations, with the economy growing at an annual rate of 3.2% in the first quarter.”
Towards the end of his speech, the president invited three individuals to the stage to share stories of how they used firearms to protect themselves, their families and their friends from attackers.
Other speakers include Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, Indiana Senators Todd Young and Mike Braun, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise.
Scalise was shot on June 14, 2017, when a left-wing activist targeted Republican members of congress at a congressional baseball practice.
“Do you want to know why our Second Amendment rights are so important?” he asked the crowded stadium. “If David Bailey and Crystal Griner with the U.S. Capitol Police were not there with guns to counter the shooter, he would have taken every single one of us out.”
The NRA meetings and exhibits were free to NRA members. Tickets to the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum were sold to non-members ranging in cost between $10 and $40.