The Latest: Trump assures NRA he'll support gun rights | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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The Latest: Trump assures NRA he'll support gun rights

President Donald Trump stands with National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, right, and Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action as he arrives for the National Rifle Association Leadership Forum, Friday, April 28, 2017, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
April 28, 2017 - 1:14 PM

ATLANTA - The Latest on the NRA's annual convention (all times local):

3 p.m.

President Donald Trump has reaffirmed his support for gun rights, telling attendees of a National Rifle Association convention that "the eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end."

Trump is the first sitting president to address the group's annual convention in more than 30 years. He assured the audience he would defend their right to bear arms in a campaign-like speech reminiscent of his election rallies.

He says, "You have a true friend and champion in the White House."

Trump's appearance in Atlanta sparked protests from people advocating for stricter gun control measures.


2:50 p.m.

Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords says the nation needs a president who is serious about preserving the rights of gun owners while also finding solutions to gun violence. And she contends Donald Trump is not that president.

Giffords says the majority of Americans want commonsense solutions to prevent gun violence. Her comments on Trump followed his afternoon address to the annual meeting of the NRA.

Giffords, a Democrat, was shot in the head in a 2011 shooting in Tucson that left six people dead. She has since co-founded a gun violence prevention organization.

Trump was the first president to speak at the meeting since Ronald Reagan in 1983.


2:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump is railing against members of the MS-13 gang as he delivers remarks at the National Rifle Association's annual convention.

Trump says life is becoming "not pleasant" for the notoriously brutal Central American street gang blamed for a recent series of killings in suburban New York.

He says, "Get them the hell out of here, right? Get 'em out."

The Trump administration has vowed to crack down on the gang and has accused Obama-era border policies for allowing its ranks to flourish.

Trump says that, "For too long, Washington has gone after law-abiding gun owners, while making life easier for criminals, drug dealers, traffickers and gang members."


2:40 p.m.

On the eve of his 100-day mark in office, President Donald Trump delivered a campaign-like speech to the annual convention of the National Rifle Association.

Trump rattled off a recap of his election night victory, vowed to protect the Second Amendment and drew loud cheers for vowing to build a southern border wall.

He said "we'll build a wall" because it's needed to stop human trafficking and drugs. But the president made no mention Friday as to how he would pay for the wall or when construction would start.

A number of Republicans have distanced themselves from Trump's signature campaign promise.


2:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump is reviving what has been called a racist insult against Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. He's calling her "Pocahontas."

That's a reference to claims she made about being part Native American.

Trump is speaking at the National Rifle Association's annual meeting in Atlanta on his 99th day in office.

He'd been talking about having the group's support if he decides to run for a second term.

He says he has "a feeling that in the next election you're going to be swamped with candidates," adding: "It may be Pocahontas, remember that."

He's also reassuring members that he's fight for them, saying: "you came through for me, and I am going to come through for you."


2:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump is urging Republicans to turn out for a special congressional race that is being viewed as a referendum on his presidency.

Trump, speaking at the annual National Rifle Convention Friday in Atlanta, called for Karen Handel to take the seat vacated by Tom Price, who resigned to join Trump's Cabinet as health secretary.

Handel emerged from a crowded Republican primary field to be the nominee. Trump called such battles "too nerve shattering."

Trump will appear at a fundraiser for her later Friday.

On June 20, she will face Democratic nominee Jon Ossoff, who used an anti-Trump wave and nearly won the seat outright, finishing almost 30 points ahead of Handel, the top Republican vote-getter.


2:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump has taken the stage at the NRA annual meeting — a return to the most powerful gun lobby where he garnered significant support during last year's election.

Trump declared to the crowd: "The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end."

Trump is the first sitting president since 1983 to address the NRA annual meeting. It's being held in Atlanta through the weekend.


1:45 p.m.

The chief lobbyist for the National Rifle Administration told the group's convention that on Election Day, "our candidate became our president."

Chris Cox received repeated ovations as he addressed the NRA's 146th annual meeting. Cox named some of the key appointees in the Trump administration, including newly installed Supreme Court justice Neil Gorsuch, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis.

The applause was interspersed with boos as he mentioned Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama.

Cox said, "The men and women of the (NRA) haven't backed down from a fight in 146 years, and we sure as hell weren't scared of Hillary Clinton."


1:35 p.m.

The NRA's leadership forum is under way, about an hour later than planned. It has kicked off with an address by retired Marine Lt. Gen. Oliver North.

He's kicking it off with an invocation.

It ended with the crowd yelling "Amen!" The group then segued into the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem.

President Donald Trump was expected to speak at the event later Friday.


12:35 p.m.

People advocating for stricter gun control measures are gathering in downtown Atlanta ahead of President Donald Trump's appearance at the National Rifle Association's annual convention.

Protesters are carrying signs supporting background checks for gun sales and criticizing NRA political donations as blood money.

Several speakers at an initial gathering at a park near the convention centre where Trump is to speak encouraged a crowd of about 70 people to get involved in state and federal politics.

Protesters also held a "die-in," lying down on the park's lawn to symbolize victims of gun violence before marching toward the convention centre.


12 p.m.

Boos erupted inside the NRA convention hall as a clip of a TV ad appeared on giant screens showing images of Hillary Clinton.

The ad portrayed Clinton as a habitual liar. It ended with the NRA symbol beside the words "No more lies. Defeat Hillary." At that, the gun-friendly crowded erupted into cheers.

During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump falsely suggested Clinton wanted to abolish the Second Amendment. Clinton backed tougher restrictions on gun ownership.

Since last year's defeat, Clinton has said she does not intend to run for public office again.


10:55 a.m.

No guns at a gun convention? That seems contradictory but at least for the forum where President Donald Trump will speak at the National Rifle Association, attendees aren't allowed to bring in firearms.

Guns are allowed in most public places in Georgia, including the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta where the NRA is holding its annual meeting through the weekend. But as with most presidential appearances, firearms aren't allowed.

The NRA was providing lockers for free so people could stow their firearms while inside the room where Trump was to speak Friday afternoon.

Also, each person entering the hall at the centre had to go through metal detectors and have bags inspected.


President Donald Trump will become the first sitting president to address a National Rifle Association convention in more than 30 years when he speaks Friday at the group's annual meeting.

The president's trip to Atlanta also serves as his first foray into a congressional race since taking office. Trump will attend a private fundraiser for Republican congressional candidate Karen Handel.

Trump has been a champion of gun rights and supportive of NRA efforts to loosen restrictions on gun ownership. During the campaign, he promised to do away with President Barack Obama's efforts to strengthen background checks.

According to the NRA, the last president to address an NRA convention was Ronald Reagan, who spoke in 1983.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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