Trump salutes NRA, says elect Republicans to save gun rights


Associated Press

DALLAS

Months after the horror of the Parkland school shootings in Florida, President Donald Trump stood before cheering members of the National Rifle Association on Friday and implored them to elect more Republicans to Congress to defend gun rights.

Trump claimed that Democrats want to “outlaw guns” and said if the nation takes that drastic step, it might as well ban all vans and trucks because they are the new weapons for “maniac terrorists.”

“We will never give up our freedom. We will live free and we will die free,” Trump said, as he sought to rally pro-gun voters for the 2018 congressional elections.”

In the aftermath of the February school shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which left 17 dead and many more wounded, Trump had temporarily strayed from gun-rights dogma.

In a televised gun meeting with lawmakers in February, he wagged his finger at a Republican senator and scolded him for being “afraid of the NRA,” declaring that he would stand up to the group and get results in quelling gun violence. He later backpedaled on that tough talk.

He was back in the fold at the NRA’s annual convention, pledging that Americans’ Second Amendment right to bear arms will “never ever be under siege as long as I am your president.”

Trump’s speech in Dallas was his fourth-consecutive appearance at the NRA’s annual convention. His gun comments were woven into a campaign-style speech that touched on the Russia probe, the 2016 campaign, his efforts in North Korea and Iran and his fight against illegal immigration.

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