Trump to address NRA, raise money for key Congress race
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will become the first sitting president to address a National Rifle Association convention in more than 30 years when he speaks today at the group's annual meeting.
The president's trip to Atlanta also will serve as his first foray into a congressional race since taking office. Trump is expected to attend a private fundraiser for Republican congressional candidate Karen Handel, a local election that has become a national referendum on his presidency.
Trump has been a champion of gun rights and supportive of NRA efforts to loosen restrictions on gun ownership. During the campaign, he promised to do away with President Barack Obama's efforts to strengthen background checks and to eliminate gun-free zones at schools and military bases.
The last president to address an NRA convention was Ronald Reagan, who spoke to the 1983 gathering, according to the powerful gun rights lobby. Trump's appearance in Atlanta is expected to spark significant protests.
The NRA is pushing for federal legislation to make any state's concealed-carry permits valid nationwide. Opponents say the move would effectively turn the weakest gun standards in the nation into the law of the land.
The GOP-led Congress already passed a resolution to block a rule that would have kept guns out of the hands of certain people with mental disorders, and Trump quickly signed it.