President Donald Trump will speak to the National Rifle Association (NRA) at their national convention Friday in Atlanta, marking the first time a sitting U.S. President since Ronald Reagan has made such an address.
Trump is set to be the guest of honor and keynote speaker at the weekend-long event, which will reportedly draw tens of thousands of NRA members, supporters, and protesters. The NRA was a major donor to the Trump campaign for President, spending over $30 million; President Trump is making good on his repeated promises to thank his supporters who helped him get elected.
The NRA has long been a lightning-rod for political controversy. A favorite enemy of liberals and gun-control advocates, the NRA has made a name for itself in modern American politics by transforming from an organization centered on teaching shooting fundamentals and safety into arguably the most organized and effective political lobbying apparatus in American history, championing the defense of the Second Amendment as critical to American freedom and liberty.
Trump has made good on his overtures to gun-owners so far; he has already signed legislation that rolled back Obama-era regulations with regard to certain background checks on gun buyers. For the moment, the NRA and its supporters can breathe a sigh of relief. Trump’s first Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch received a resoundingly positive recommendation from Chris Cox, director of the NRA’s political action arm.
“On behalf of our five million members, the NRA strongly supports Judge Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court. We will be activating our members and tens of millions of supporters throughout the country in support of Judge Gorsuch. He will protect our right to keep and bear arms and is an outstanding choice to fill Justice Scalia’s seat,” said Cox.
A recent opinion produced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) regarding the use of arm braces for pistols designed for rifle caliber ammunition also gave cause for some level of celebration among gun-rights advocates. The paper lends to an overall feeling of rolling back Obama-era efforts to restrict guns and access to them. Gun-rights advocates hope the President will support efforts to pass the Hearing Protection Act, a bill designed to soften regulations on suppressors, or ‘silencers’ on guns.
Other prominent guests and speakers at the NRA event include former Navy SEAL and current United States Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, Senator Ted Cruz, and NRA CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.
Image courtesy of ABC News