‘Best president for gun owners’ Trump to address National Rifle Association

18 May 2024, 13:24

Donald Trump speaking during the NRA Convention in 2023
Election 2024 Trump NRA. Picture: PA

Mr Trump has pledged to defend gun ownership and called himself ‘the best friend gun owners have ever had in the White House’.

Former US president Donald Trump is expected to address thousands of members of the National Rifle Association (NRA) in Texas.

Mr Trump has pledged to continue to defend the Second Amendment of the US Constitution and called himself “the best friend gun owners have ever had in the White House” as the country faces record numbers of deaths due to mass shootings.

Last year ended with 42 mass killings and 217 deaths, making it one of the deadliest years on record.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee has been criticised by US President Joe Biden, specifically for remarks he made earlier this year after a school shooting in Iowa, which he called “very terrible” only to later say that “we have to get over it. We have to move forward”.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump speaking at a campaign rally in Minnesota (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

Speaking on Friday at a campaign event in Minnesota, Mr Trump said: “You know, it’s an amazing thing. People that have guns, people that legitimately have guns, they love guns and they use guns for the right purpose, but they tend to vote very little and yet they have to vote for us. There’s nobody else to vote for because the Democrats want to take their guns away and they will take their guns away.”

He added: “That’s why I’m going to be talking to the NRA tomorrow to say, ‘You gotta get out and vote.’”

Vice president Kamala Harris said in a statement before Mr Trump’s NRA appearance that “at a time when guns are the number one cause of death for children and teens in America, Donald Trump is catering to the gun lobby and threatening to make the crisis worse if re-elected”.

She said she and Mr Biden “will continue to take on the gun lobby to keep Americans safe, while Donald Trump will continue to sacrifice our kids’ and communities’ safety to keep these special interests happy”.

When Mr Trump was president, there were moments when he pledged to strengthen gun laws. After a high school mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people and wounded 17 others, Mr Trump told survivors and family members that he would be “very strong on background checks”. He claimed he would stand up to the NRA but later backpedalled, saying there was “not much political support”.

On Saturday, he is expected to give the keynote address as the powerful gun lobby holds a forum in Dallas. Republican Texas governer Greg Abbott will also speak at the convention. Prominent gun safety groups that have already endorsed Mr Biden are planning to demonstrate near the convention centre where the gun lobby plans to meet.

While Mr Trump sees strong support in Texas, Democrats think they have a chance at an upset in November with former NFL player US representative Colin Allred leading an underdog campaign to unseat Republican senator Ted Cruz. No Democrat has won a statewide office in Texas in 30 years, which is the longest streak of its kind in the US.

On Friday, Mr Trump campaigned in Minnesota after attending his son Barron’s high school graduation in Florida.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Alex Jones speaking to the media after arriving at court in Houston, Texas, for a hearing in front of a bankruptcy judge on Friday

Judge rules Alex Jones’ assets to be sold to help pay Sandy Hook debt

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa raises his hands in parliament after being re-elected for a second term

Cyril Ramaphosa re-elected as South African president for second term after deal

Co-founder of Ozy Media, Carlos Watson arrives at Brooklyn Federal Court, for an earlier hearing

Google chief gives evidence at fraud trial of Ozy Media founder

Justice Department

US attorney general will not be prosecuted for contempt of Congress

A 12-year-old child was injured at the Valkea shopping centre in Oulu after a stabbing

'Far-right' knifeman attacks two children at Finnish shopping centre, leaving 12-year-old seriously wounded

The leaders of France left-wing coalition for the upcoming election Green Party Yannick Jadot, Communist Party national secretary Fabien Roussel, Socialist Party Secretary General Olivier Faure Presid

France’s leftist alliance leaders vow to ‘extinguish the flame’ of far right

G7 world leaders and other leaders from guest nations attend a working session on artificial intelligence, on day two of the 50th G7 summit in southern Italy

G7 leaders tackle migration, AI and economic security on final day of summit

Cyril Ramaphosa listens as members of parliament are sworn in ahead of an expected vote to decide if he is re-elected as leader of the country

Ramaphosa set for re-election in South Africa after coalition agreement

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky talks to journalists during a news conference in Italy

How 50 billion-dollar loan for Ukraine backed by frozen Russian assets will work

Lynn Conway sitting on a bench at the University of Michigan

Lynn Conway, microchip pioneer who overcame transgender prejudice, dies aged 86

Johnny Canales on stage at the Tejano Music Awards in San Antonio, Texas in 2012

Tejano singer and TV host Johnny Canales dies at 77

A rare white buffalo calf, reportedly born in Yellowstone National Park’s Lamar Valley, with an adult buffalo on grassland

Reported birth of rare white buffalo calf ‘fulfils tribal prophecy’

An Israeli flag flutters next to a fire burning in an area near the border with Lebanon, northern Israel

Hezbollah warns its intensified attacks show Israel all-out war would be costly

Vladimir Putin

Putin pledges ceasefire in Ukraine if Kyiv withdraws troops and drops Nato bid

Actor and producer Ron Simons pictured in a red jumper during the 2011 Sundance Film Festival

Tony Award-winning Broadway producer Ron Simons dies aged 63

Chamchuri with her newborn elephant twins in Ayutthaya province, Thailand

Rare twin elephants in Thailand receive monks’ blessings