After stoking fears that the current president wants to “confiscate your guns and annihilate your God-given right to self-defense,” Trump recapped how he handled calls for stricter gun legislation.
“During my four years, nothing happened!” he bellowed. “And there was great pressure on me having to do with guns. We did nothing. We didn’t yield. And once you yield a little bit, that’s just the beginning. That’s [when] the avalanche begins.”
During Trump’s presidency, notable mass shootings occurred in Las Vegas in 2017, Sutherland Springs, Texas the following month, and at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February 2018, after which Trump couldn’t help but send out a tweet mashing together his comments on the shooting and unrelated, political complaints about the FBI.
Subsequent shootings occurred at a Santa Fe, Texas high school, a Pittsburgh synagogue, a Thousand Oaks, California bar, an El Paso, Texas Walmart in 2019, and outside a Dayton, Ohio bar that same month.
Despite Trump’s assertion to a receptive audience that his administration “did nothing” to restrict gun laws, the record shows otherwise. He did, for instance, ban bump stocks after the devices were used by the Las Vegas shooter to fire multiple rounds at once.
Yet the majority of Trump’s actions as chief executive indeed went the other route, like reversing an Obama-era policy of background checks for those with mental illnesses. In late 2019, after pressure from the NRA and with a former gun lobbyist as his deputy assistant, he reneged on prior plans to combat gun violence.
On stage Friday, Trump all but demanded the NRA endorse his presidential bid.
“They better endorse me,” he said, promising that “no one will ever lay a finger on your firearms” if he’s re-elected.