GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump is a lifetime member of the NRA and a concealed carry permit holder who believes the advantages an armed citizenry provides to America are so evident as to be beyond “debate.”
In a recent interview with Ammoland, Trump said:
I am a Life Member of the NRA and am proud of their service in protecting our right to keep and bear arms. The NRA’s efforts to stop dangerous, gun-banning legislation and regulation is invaluable. The media focus on those efforts overshadows the great work the NRA does on behalf of safety and conservation.
He went on to talk about this “permit to carry” in New York and said, “I know firsthand the challenges law-abiding citizens have in exercising their Second Amendment rights.”
Trump cited figures showing how concealed carry impacts crime and focused on how states with less restrictions on carry—”right to carry states”—enjoy a lower “violent crime” and a “lower murder rate” than other parts of the country. He contrasted this with the fact that gun control “has consistently failed to stop violence” and said there really isn’t anything remaining to “debate” on these things.
Ammoland asked Trump about a statement he made 15 years ago regarding “assault weapons,” trying to ascertain where Trump stands on the ongoing opposition to AR-15s from people like Senator Dianna Feinstein (D-CA). Trump responded by saying he believes the left’s targeted assault on AR-15s is really just an extension of the left’s usual habit of going after whatever it is that Americans love at a given moment.
Because of this, he said they focus on things that are non-essential—like grips, magazines, etc.
Here are Trump’s exact words:
You mention that the media describes the AR-15 as an “assault rifle,” which is one example of the many distortions they use to sell their agenda. However, the AR-15 does not fall under this category. Gun-banners are unfortunately preoccupied with the AR-15, magazine capacity, grips, and other aesthetics, precisely because of its popularity.
Trump then spoke of the importance of the Second Amendment, describing the right to keep and bear arms as “a bedrock natural right of the individual to defend self, family, and property.”
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