Donald Trump promises to be ‘the best friend gun owners have ever had’

Second Amendment

On Friday, in a speech to the National Rifle Association (NRA) on Friday night, former US President Donald Trump vowed to defend the rights of gun owners if he makes a comeback to the White House.

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a Get Out The Vote rally at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, S.C., Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)(AP)

He boasted that he resisted any pressure to enact gun control measures during his presidency.

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“We did nothing. We didn’t yield,” he said to the cheering crowd at the NRA’s Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

“I was the best friend gun owners have ever had in the White House. And your Second Amendment will always be safe with me as your president.”

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Six years after Parkland massacre

Trump’s remarks came after he won the Nevada caucuses on Thursday night, cementing his lead in the Republican race. He used the NRA platform to appeal to his conservative base, who value gun rights as a core issue. He also contrasted himself with the Democrats, who have been calling for stricter gun laws in the wake of numerous mass shootings that have claimed more than 3,000 lives since 2006.

One of those shootings, the Parkland massacre that killed 17 people at a high school in Florida, will mark its sixth anniversary next week.

Trump faced criticism for his inconsistent response to Parkland and other gun violence incidents as president. He initially expressed support for stronger background checks and criticized a Republican senator for being “afraid of the NRA.” He said he would take on the gun lobby and solve the problem of gun violence.

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But he soon backtracked after meeting with the NRA, and instead endorsed minor reforms to the background check system and the idea of arming teachers.

The former president also posted on X (formerly Twitter), that there was “not much political support (to put it mildly)” for gun control.

The only significant action his administration took on guns was banning bump stocks, the devices that enable semi-automatic weapons to fire like machine guns. Bump stocks were used by the gunman who killed 58 people in Las Vegas in October 2017.

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TJ Ducklo, a spokesman for Biden’s reelection campaign, slammed Trump for pandering to the gun lobby and said “the American people are the ones who will suffer and die if he’s allowed anywhere near the Oval Office again.”

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Trump’s next challenge is the South Carolina primary on Feb. 24, where he will face off against his sole remaining rival, Nikki Haley. The former governor of South Carolina is hoping to use her home state advantage to slow down Trump’s momentum and stay in the race until Super Tuesday on March 5, when more than a dozen states will vote and award a large number of delegates.

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