Trump tells NRA: Gun owners' rights 'will never be under siege'

Shawn Thew  EPA via Shutterstock FILE

Shawn Thew EPA via Shutterstock FILE

While speaking at the National Rifle Association (NRA) convention on Friday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott made a bold statement about the source of gun violence.

Trauma surgeons in London said US President Donald Trump had missed the point after he linked a wave of knife crime in the British capital to a ban on handguns.

"Manafort was there for a short while but he's a good person, I really believe he's a good person", Trump said. But he brushed those cautions aside. "History says that when you win the presidency, you get complacent. 'Bye bye, I gotta get on the plane'".

It's the fourth year in a row Trump has addressed the gun rights organization, which was a strong backer of his 2016 campaign.

Last year, he became the first sitting president to appear in more than 30 years, declaring that the "assault" on the Second Amendment had ended.

"We will never give up our freedom". Trump did not elaborate on how the Second Amendment was under siege.

The friendly audience was a balm for the president, who has been frustrated in recent days by fresh revelations about the money paid on his behalf to porn star Stormy Daniels.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders later said "the door isn't closed" for a White House push for raising the age of gun purchases, but added that Trump's focus is "pushing through things we know have broad support" in the Republican-controlled Congress.

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Kasky said the Trump Administration's view on guns was nonsensical and hypocritical, especially given NRA members were ordered not to bring their weapons to the Trump speech.

"Don't be complacent. Don't be complacent", Trump said. Researchers have noted that gun deaths in other developed countries are a tiny fraction of those in the U.S.

Trump initially expressed enthusiasm for measures to close loopholes for gun buyers seeking to avoid the background check system, raise the age limit for buying rifles, and find ways to seize guns temporarily from people reported to be risky.

Trump stopped short of calling for universal background checks, though he endorsed a bill making improvements to the federal database used to screen would-be gun buyers.

Students participate in a walkout demonstration as part of the National School Walkout for Gun Violence Prevention campaign. While the GOP-controlled House passed the measure, Trump argued it's a non-starter in the closely divided Senate.

Trump also touched on the current immigration laws, remarking that these laws were "written by people that truly could not love our country". And every auto must be registered in a system that allows law enforcement to strictly track who owns a vehicle, where it is kept, and when it is sold.

The NRA has opposed such laws in the past.

"We mourn with those who mourn and grieve with those who grieve", the vice president said.

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