President Donald Trump on Thursday told an audience packed with NRA members that he will stand by gun owners just like they stood by him in the 2016 presidential election.
“Let me make a simple promise to every one of the freedom-loving Americans in the audience today,” Trump said at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum, part of the 146th NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Atlanta, Ga. “As your president, I will never, ever infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
“Freedom is not a gift from government. Freedom is a gift from God.”
Trump, the first sitting president to address the NRA convention since Ronald Reagan in 1983, recalled the tough fight for the presidency, in which NRA was one of the first major organizations to endorse him. Yet it was still an uphill battle against most in the so-called “mainstream” media. “Freedom is not a gift from government. Freedom is a gift from God.” — President Donald Trump
“Remember they said, ‘There is no path to 270.’ For months I was hearing that,” he said, referring to the number of electoral votes needed to win the election. “We ended up with 306, so they were right!
“You came through for me, and I am going to come through for you,” he said.
To cheers from the crowd, Trump described how the long years of having an anti-gun president in the White House are thankfully over.
“The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end,” he said. “No longer will federal agencies be going after law-abiding gun owners. No longer will government be trying to undermine your rights and your freedoms as Americans.”
Instead, Trump said, he would work together with the NRA to promote responsible gun ownership and ensure “the sacred right of self-defense for all of our citizens.”
“Public officials must serve under the Constitution, not above it,” he said. “We all took an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and that means defending the Second Amendment.”
Trump pointed to the recent confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court as one of the many campaign promises he has already kept since becoming president.
“I promised that if elected I would nominate a justice who would be faithful and loyal to the Constitution,” he said. “I even went one step further and publicly presented a list of 20 justices from which I would make my selection. And that’s exactly what we did. “Public officials must serve under the Constitution, not above it.” — President Donald Trump
“I kept my promise. And now, with your help, our brand-new justice … Neil Gorsuch sits on the bench of the United States Supreme Court. For the first time in the modern political era, we have confirmed a new justice in the first 100 days.”
Yet despite November’s stunning victory and all his accomplishments during the first 100 days of his administration, Trump warned that now is no time to let up in the fight for freedom and our right to keep and bear arms.
“We can’t be complacent,” he said. “These are dangerous times ... for certain obvious reasons. Every day we are up against those who would take away our freedoms, restrict our liberties, and even those who want to abolish the Second Amendment. We must be vigilant, and I know you all are up to the task.”
Trump wrapped up the address by thanking NRA members for their efforts during last fall’s presidential election, where they and other gun owners were so instrumental in helping him defeat Clinton.
“I greatly appreciated your support in what will hopefully be one of the most important and positive elections for the United States of all time,” he said. “To the NRA, I can proudly say, I will never, ever let you down.”
Mark Chesnut has been the editor of America’s 1st Freedom magazine for nearly 17 years and is an avid hunter, shooter and political observer.