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Trump to NRA: '8-Year Assault' on Gun Rights Is Over

Todd Beamon

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President Donald Trump promised the National Rifle Association on Friday that "the eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end."

"You have a true friend and champion in the White House," Trump told 9,000 NRA members at its annual convention at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. "No longer will federal agencies be coming after law-abiding gun owners.

"No longer will the government be trying to undermine your rights and freedoms as Americans.

"Instead, we will work with you by your side," Trump continued. "We will work with the NRA to protect our wonderful hunters and their access to the very beautiful outdoors.


"We want to ensure you of the sacred right of self-defense for all of our citizens."

Trump, who nears his 100-day mark on Saturday, was the first sitting president to address the NRA since Ronald Reagan in 1983.

The association endorsed Trump early in the campaign, spending millions on his effort, and he was the only general-election candidate to speak to the group.

Trump predicted that, in light of the support, more Democrats will seek out the NRA in 2020, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

"You'll have plenty of those Democrats coming over.

"It may be Pocahontas," Trump said, taking a swipe at Warren's Native American heritage. "She is not big for the NRA, that I can tell you."

The crowd roared.

"But you came through for me and I am going to come through for you."

In his rousing speech, Trump said that he was making good on many of his campaign promises.


He noted that many of his appointees – Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly – were committed to law and order and the rule of law.

Trump cited Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's decision to rescind the Obama administration's last-minute executive order banning lead ammunition and fish tackle used on national wildlife refuges and pledged to support law enforcement to help make communities safer.

"Our administration will always stand with the incredible men and women of law enforcement," Trump said. "Our police know that responsible gun ownership saves lives.

"That right of self-defense is essential to public safety. Our police and sheriffs also know that when you ban guns, only the criminals will be armed.

"We are protecting the freedoms of law-abiding citizens and we're going after the criminals and cartels that prey on our innocent citizens – and we are really going after them," he said.

President Trump reiterated his longstanding vow to build a wall on the southern U.S. border with Mexico to stop illegal immigration.

"We'll build the wall," he said. "Don't even think about it. That's an easy one.

"The world is getting the message," he added, referring to reports that illegal arrests have dropped as much as 73 percent since his term began.

"They know that our borders are no longer open to illegal immigration – and that if they try to break in, you'll be caught and you'll be returned to your home.


"You're not staying any longer.

"If you keep coming back illegally after deportation, you will be arrested, prosecuted and put behind bars.

"Let's also remember that immigration security is national security," Trump said.

But the president repeatedly returned to his core theme: to uphold the Second Amendment rights of all Americans.

"Let me make a simple promise to every one of the freedom-loving Americans in the audience today: As your president, I will never, ever infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

"Never, ever.

"Freedom is not a gift from the government," Trump said. "Freedom is a gift from God."