Donald Trump, the Republican presumptive nominee for president, will try to convince thousands of gun owners and enthusiasts on Friday at the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual meeting in Louisville that he is a firm supporter of gun rights despite his support in the past for a ban on so-called “assault weapons.”
In his 2000 book, The America We Deserve, Trump wrote that while he generally opposes gun control, “I support the ban on assault weapons and I also support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun.”
Fast forward to today where his website declares, “The Second Amendment to our Constitution is clear. The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period. The Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right that belongs to all law-abiding Americans.”
Trump also criticizes the Obama administration for its record on prosecuting violent criminals, citing Baltimore and Chicago as examples. He advocates for a program like Virginia’s Project Exile, which reduced gun murders in Richmond by nearly 60% during it’s implementation, according to the Trump website.
The NRA is also preparing for the possibility of an anti-Trump protest during his speech. But given the fact that Louisville is not exactly a hotbed of left-wing activity, plus the lack of mass transportation to the Kentucky Exposition Center where the meeting is taking place, efforts to protest Trump are likely to fall flat.
In addition to Trump, other speakers include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Gov. Matt Bevin of Kentucky, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee, co-author of 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, Mark “Oz” Geist, and conservative journalist Katie Pavlich.