US President Donald Trump says that he will protect National Rifle Association (NRA) members, saying their Second Amendment rights are safe under his presidency.
Speaking at the annual convention of the NRA in Dallas on Friday, Trump said, “Thanks to your activism and dedication, you have an administration fighting to protect your Second Amendment and we will protect your Second Amendment.”
He urged gun-rights advocates to support Republican candidates in the November congressional elections, saying that Democrats would attempt to tighten firearms laws.
“The one thing that stands between Americans and the elimination of our Second Amendment rights has been conservatives in Congress.”
“We’ve got to get Republicans elected,” he told tens of thousands of attendees.
He said their right to bear arms is “under siege,” but those rights “will never, ever be under siege as long as I’m your president.”
Gun control activists want the US Congress, many of whose members are up for re-election this year, to ban the sale of assault weapons like the one used in the Florida rampage and to tighten background checks for gun buyers.
On Feb. 14, seventeen people were killed and several others injured in a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, sparking a youth-led movement for tighter gun controls.
Following the shooting, Trump addressed a gathering of state officials, saying of the NRA: “We have to fight them every once in a while.”
He promised to take action on gun regulation, but since then, no major new federal gun controls have been imposed.
The majority of Americans support stricter gun control laws but have little hope that Congress will pass such measures, according to a poll.
The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll released in April showed 66 percent of Americans preferred US gun laws to be tightened.
Just 8 percent said there was an excellent chance of stricter gun laws passing Congress in the next year or so, it added.
According to a study released in the same month, from 2000-2018, 66 deaths occurred across 22 mass shootings at US schools.
That’s higher than the death toll of 55 in 22 mass school shootings spanning the six decades from 1940-1999, showed the study published at the Journal of Child and Family Studies.