UPDATE: 3:05 p.m. EDT — The National Rifle Association endorsed presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as its annual convention took place Friday in Louisville, Kentucky. In a speech to the NRA crowd, Trump thanked the group while slamming Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.
"I will not let you down," Trump said while accepting the NRA's support, noting he would never allow Clinton to take gun-owners weapons.
"Crooked Hillary Clinton is the most anti-gun, anti-Second-Amendment candidate ever to run for office," Trump said. "And as I said before she wants to abolish the Second Amendment. She wants to take your guns away."
The billionaire also reaffirmed statements he has made in the past that the terrorist attacks in Paris, during which 130 people were killed, wouldn't have been as deadly if people had guns.
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is set to speak Friday at the National Rifle Association convention in Louisville, Kentucky. Trump, who expressed support for a ban on assault weapons in 2000, is expected to attempt to reassure pro-gun conservatives about his position on the issue.
Trump has reversed his stance on guns since 2000, now saying bans don’t work while opposing background checks. He’s also vowed to remove gun-free zones in schools and on military bases.
Trump has even gone as far as saying high-profile mass shootings in both Paris and a small Oregon college town late last year would have been prevented by people carrying concealed weapons. In voicing his support of the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment in March, he mentioned the gun laws in Paris after the shooters, who were affiliated with the Islamic State group, killed 130 people. It “would have played out differently with the bullets flying in the other direction,” Trump said at the time.
“Paris has some of the toughest gun laws in the world, folks,” the White House hopeful said. “We have a mental health problem, and we have to solve the mental health problem, but we need to protect the Second Amendment.”
While Trump courts the NRA Friday, Hillary Clinton, the front-runner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, has made a point of attacking the association. She’s vowed to “take on” the NRA and trumpeted successes against the organization. Gun control is one of the key policy differences between the former U.S. secretary of state and the billionaire businessman. Clinton is set to be the keynote speaker Saturday at an event sponsored by a foundation named after Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teen in Florida who was shot and killed by a neighborhood watchman in 2012.
The NRA has argued that Clinton, who has said she supports the Second Amendment but wants to add common-sense safety measures, represents a threat to gun owners. “This will be an opportunity for Donald Trump to galvanize anti-Hillary Clinton NRA members from both parties,” NBC News quoted association representative Jennifer Baker as saying.