Trump Embraces the NRA, Abandoning Flirtation With Gun Control

Tim Hartman says he's dissatisfied with the NRA's recent compromises but he still plans to attend the annual convention

"We also support the Second Amendment, and strongly support it, and don't see there to be a problem with speaking at the National Rifle Association's meeting", she said.

Using a familiar conservative argument to defend gun ownership, Trump asked sarcastically whether vans, trucks and cars, which have been used by terrorists, should be banned.

Mr Trump has long enjoyed strong backing from the NRA, which spent about 30 million United States dollars (£22 million) supporting his presidential campaign.

"Our gun rights are in danger, but I do think that Trump is on our side", a Texas resident clad in an NRA hat, said.

Taking a break from the escalating pressures of the Russian Federation probe and the Stormy Daniels case, Trump returned to the NRA's annual convention, his fourth consecutive appearance.

When addressing the crowd the US President said: "You know what gets you nuclear war? Like it or not, we don't care if you are a Democrat or a Republican, if you are supported by the NRA, you don't stand with kids, you stand with the gun manufacturers and people making money off this fear and tragedy that's perpetrating itself". "You came through for me, and I am going to come through for you", he said at the time.

"We will never fail and we will always protect your Second Amendment".

But this year's speech comes as the issue of gun violence takes on new urgency after one of the deadliest school shootings in USA history.

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As rank-and-file members gather, board member Tom King says the NRA will once again make the case that firearms aren't the real public safety issue.

It is the second year running that Trump has addressed the gun-toting, hat-waving jamboree, but the first time since the school massacre in Parkland, Florida.

President Donald Trump is telling the National Rifle Association convention that his administration is fighting to protect their constitutional right to bear arms.

Trump's appearance comes after he temporarily strayed from NRA dogma opposing stronger gun control after the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, earlier this year - only to return to the fold.

Instead he has proposed a ban on "bump stocks", devices used to convert semi-automatic weapons into automatic-like weapons by accelerating their rate of fire.

That fact and the decision by Trump and Pence to attend this week's convention is a sign that the NRA remains a powerful force. But Trump later retreated on those words, expressing support for modest changes to the background check system, as well as arming teachers.

But Trump has otherwise ignored students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the site of the Parkland shooting, who initiated a nationwide protest movement demanding tougher gun laws and accountability from lawmakers. Hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets of Washington and other cities for the March for Our Lives on March 24, organized by the Parkland students and allied gun-control groups.

Trump also attacked the UK's National Health Service in February, claiming it is "going broke and not working". After a closed-door meeting with the group's leaders, Trump backed off and the Republican-controlled Congress hasn't approved new gun control bills.

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