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Trump gets NRA endorsement as he vows to protect gun rights – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Former President Donald Trump urged gun owners to vote in the 2024 election while addressing thousands of members of the National Rifle Association, which officially endorsed him just before Trump took the stage at his annual meeting in Texas on Saturday.

“We have to get gun owners to vote,” Trump said. “I think they’re a rebellious group. But let’s be rebellious and vote this time.”

Trump, in his speech, said that the Second Amendment “is very much on the ballot” in November, claiming that if Democratic President Joe Biden “gets four more years, they will come for your guns, 100% for sure. “Crooked Joe has a 40-year history of attempts to take firearms out of the hands of law-abiding citizens.”

The Biden administration has taken a number of steps to try to combat gun violence, including a new rule that aims to close a loophole that has allowed tens of thousands of guns to be sold each year by unlicensed dealers who do not conduct background checks. .

Trump has pledged to continue defending the Second Amendment, which he says is “under siege,” and has called himself “the best friend gun owners have ever had in the White House,” as the U.S. faces record numbers. of deaths due to mass attacks. Shootings last year resulted in 42 mass killings and 217 deaths, making it one of the deadliest years on record.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee has been criticized by Biden, specifically for comments Trump made this year after a school shooting in Iowa. Trump called the incident “very terrible” and then said “we have to get over it.” We have to move forward.”

Supporters applaud former President Donald Trump before his speech at the National Rifle Association Convention, Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Trump, during his speech, also attacked independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., calling him “radical left” and “a disaster,” and noted that Kennedy had once called the NRA a “terrorist group.”

“Do not think it. Don’t waste your vote,” she said. “He calls them a terrorist group and I call them the backbone of the United States.” (Kennedy later said in an interview with Fox News that he did not remember his 2018 tweet. “I don’t consider them a terrorist group and I support the Second Amendment,” he said.)

Trump noted that he will speak next week at the Libertarian Party convention and said he will urge its members to vote for him.

“We have to join them,” he said. “We have to get that 3% because we can’t risk Joe Biden winning.”

Earlier on Saturday, the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee announced the creation of a new “Gun Owners for Trump” coalition that includes gun rights activists and those who work in the firearms industry.

Biden has made reducing gun violence an important part of his administration and re-election campaign, creating the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention overseen by Vice President Kamala Harris. Biden has also urged Congress to ban so-called assault weapons, something Democrats shied away from even a few years ago.

“Tonight, Donald Trump confirmed that he will do exactly what the NRA tells him to do, even if it means more deaths, more shootings and more suffering,” said Biden spokesman Ammar Moussa.

When Trump was president, there were times when he promised to strengthen gun laws. After a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people and injured 17 others, Trump told survivors and family members that he would be “very strict on background checks.” He claimed that he would take on the NRA, but then backtracked and said “there wasn’t a lot of political support.”

On Saturday, Trump also brought up the criminal cases against him as his hush money trial nears the home stretch next week and accused Democrats of being behind these cases because he is Biden’s opponent.

“Never forget that our enemies want to take away my freedom because I will never let them take away yours,” he said.

Trump criticized Biden’s border policies and reiterated his promise that he will order the largest national deportation operation. He spoke out about abortion and warned Republicans not to be so extreme on abortion to remain electable.

“In my opinion, Republicans have not been talking about this intelligently. You have not been speaking about it knowingly,” he said. “Remember, speak from the heart. But they also have to be elected again.”