What Donald Trump said about gun control as he heads to the NRA conference

Former President Donald Trump is scheduled to speak at the annual National Rifle Association (NRA) convention in Houston, which comes just days after a mass shooting at a school in Uvalde, Texas.

Trump confirmed he would be appearing at the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) Leadership Forum, even though the event came just days after the shooting of 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

Trump, who had early support from the NRA before his nomination as Republican presidential nominee in 2016, gave mixed signals in the White House about his views on gun reform in the US

During Trump’s tenure as president, the US saw a series of high-profile mass shootings, including a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., attacks in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, and in Las Vegas, where a gunman killed 60 People after he opened fire at a country music festival, making it the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Under, news week has compiled some of Trump’s gun reform pronouncements during his tenure as president, ranging from increasing background checks and banning supplies to arming teachers.

Trump No Texas
Just days after a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, former President Donald Trump is set to address the annual National Rifle Association convention in Houston. Pictured is Trump arriving to speak during the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting on April 26, 2019 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Increased background checks

Trump has frequently called for improved background checks on individuals to prevent mass shootings.

Speaking after the August 2019 shootings in El Paso and Dayton that killed 23 and nine people, respectively, Trump said there was “no political appetite” for an assault weapons ban, but that there were stricter background checks.

“There is a big appetite, and I mean a very strong appetite, for background checks. And I think we can do background checks like we’ve never had before,” Trump said. “I think both Republicans and Democrats are getting closer to a bill — to do something about background checks.

“I think background checks are important. I don’t want to put guns in the hands of mentally unstable people or people with anger or hatred, sick people,” Trump added. “I am in favor.”

Trump also suggested that Republicans and Democrats “need to come together and get rigorous background checks,” along with vague promises to tie them into immigration reform.

A year after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that killed 17 people, Trump threatened to veto two Democratic bills that would have expanded federal background checks to include gun purchases.

The White House said at the time the bills violated people’s Second Amendment rights and would result in “burdensome delays” for those wanting to legally buy a firearm.

The bills ultimately never passed after being approved by the House of Representatives.

Laws with red flags

After the Dayton assassination, Trump also called for “red flag” legislation to prevent further tragedy.

The laws would allow weapons to be removed from people who could pose a danger to themselves and others.

“We must ensure that those identified as a serious threat to public safety do not have access to firearms and that if they do, those firearms can be taken away through expeditious due process,” Trump said in August 2019 “That’s why I called for red flag laws, aka extreme risk orders.”

Florida introduced such laws after the Parkland shooting. So far, 18 other states and the District of Columbia have also enacted warning flag laws to combat gun violence.

Bump stick ban

Trump was successful during his tenure in banning bump stocks, the controversial accessory that effectively turns semi-automatic rifles into rapid-fire machine guns.

Trump brought up action to ban bump stocks after Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock used one to modify his AR-15 assault rifle, killing 58 people with the death toll eventually rising to 60 and more 500 were injured at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in October 2017.

“Bump Stocks, we’re writing this out. I’m writing this out,” Trump said in February 2018. “I don’t care if Congress does it or not, I’m writing it out myself.

“The bullets come out fast, but you don’t know where the hell they’re going. So no one really came too much to her defense. He [Paddock] used it in Las Vegas. As you know, he used bump stocks in Las Vegas. So I’ll get rid of her.”

nra school shooting
An NRA sticker on display as people gathered for the 12th Annual Second Amendment March sponsored by Michigan Open Carry, Inc. and Second Amendment March outside the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan on September 23 2021
JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images

arm teachers

Trump also said he would consider a proposal to allow teachers to have guns on campus to prevent mass shootings after the Parkland attack, a proposal still being mentioned after the Uvalde shooting.

“An attack lasted about three minutes on average,” Trump said at a White House meeting attended by parents of Parkland victims. “It takes five to eight minutes for the police to arrive. So the attack is over. If you had an instructor who was knowledgeable about firearms, they could stop the attack very quickly.”

Trump later denied that his remarks called for teachers to be given guns to prevent school shootings.

“I never said ‘Give teachers guns’ like Fake News CNN & @NBC said,” Trump tweeted in February 2018.

“What I said was to explore the possibility of giving concealed weapons to accomplished weapons instructors with military or special training experience – only the best. 20 percent of teachers, a lot, would be able to do that now.”

https://www.newsweek.com/trump-gun-control-nra-texas-school-shooting-1710794 What Donald Trump said about gun control as he heads to the NRA conference

Rick Schindler

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