In a rally organized by the National Rifle Association (NRA), former President Donald Trump, the leading candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential race, asserted his commitment to gun rights and vowed to overturn all restrictions imposed by President Joe Biden if re-elected.
Speaking at the Great American Outdoor show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Trump promised to undo regulations on gun accessories like pistol braces imposed by the Biden administration.
Addressing thousands of supporters, Trump assured that every restriction enacted by Biden against gun owners and manufacturers would be terminated in his first week back in office, possibly on his first day.
The NRA, a key supporter of Trump during his 2016 campaign and throughout his presidency, applauded his appointments of three conservative Supreme Court justices and his alignment with the gun lobby’s agenda, including designating firearm shops as essential businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Seeing conservative gun owners as crucial to his re-election prospects, Trump continued to court them vigorously. He emphasized that if re-elected, “no one will lay a finger on your firearms” and boasted about resisting pressure to implement gun restrictions during his previous term.
Despite a steady stream of mass shootings and the U.S. having the highest rate of gun deaths among developed countries, Republicans, supported by the NRA, remain staunchly opposed to stricter gun laws, citing the Second Amendment.
Trump urged his supporters to “swamp” the polls in November, acknowledging the significance of winning battleground states like Pennsylvania.
Ahead of Trump’s speech, the Democratic National Committee erected a billboard in Harrisburg referencing his comments after a school shooting in Iowa, where he told supporters to “get over it” and “move forward.”
The Biden campaign held a call with reporters, featuring a congressman who criticized Trump for being influenced by the NRA and ignoring the need for stronger gun laws.
Trump’s speech came after winning Republican presidential nominating caucuses in Nevada and the U.S. Virgin Islands, bringing him closer to securing the nomination and a potential rematch with Biden.
He also raised questions about Biden’s mental acuity, referencing a Department of Justice special counsel report that highlighted memory lapses but concluded that Biden should not be charged in a probe into handling classified documents.
The White House dismissed the report as “clearly politically motivated.” Trump, 77, himself faced scrutiny for gaffes, including recent instances of confusion and misinformation.