President Donald Trump called the leaders of the National Rifle Association “Great People and Great American Patriots” on Thursday as the gun lobbyist faces a wave of backlash after last week’s deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
The president, who vowed to “come through” for the NRA at their annual conference last year, said he believed the organization would “do the right thing” in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where a gunmen killed 17 and injured more than a dozen others.
“What many people don’t understand, or don’t want to understand, is that Wayne, Chris and the folks who work so hard at the @NRA are Great People and Great American Patriots,” Trump tweeted in reference to Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox, the NRA’s executive vice president and its executive director for legislative action, respectively.
The president added: “They love our Country and will do the right thing.”
Trump expressed support for measures at odds with the NRA’s legislative agenda during a listening session with Stoneman Douglas students, gun control advocates, D.C.-area education officials and others at the White House on Wednesday. He vowed that his administration would be “very strong” on age requirements for gun sales of assault weapons, a measure the NRA said they opposed in a statement.
In a Thursday morning Twitter spree Trump pledged to push “Comprehensive Background Checks,” along with ending the sale of the bump stocks gun accessory used in the deadly Las Vegas shooting and emphasizing the need to improve mental health.
But at Wednesday’s listening session, Trump also voiced support for measures previously promoted by the major gun lobbyist, including backing “carry concealment” by some teachers and trained officials on school campuses.
The president received the endorsement of the NRA during the 2016 presidential campaign.
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