LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Donald Trump, the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee, is expected to receive a warm welcome when he gives remarks at the National Rifle Association Convention here Friday.
The annual convention, which draws tens of thousands of Second Amendment activists, includes numerous firearms training seminars, appearances by industry leaders, luncheons and banquets.
Trump’s GOP primary opponents hammered him for views he espoused on firearms in 2000, when he supported an assault-weapons ban and longer waiting periods for gun purchases.
However, Trump appeared to abandon these stances during his present campaign for the White House and supports a national right to carry, the right of military personnel to carry firearms on military bases and at recruiting centers, and enforcement of gun laws already in the books.
Trump’s likely general election opponent Hillary Clinton announced during her campaign this year she wants a repeal of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. This 2005 legislation protected gun manufacturers and licensed dealers from lawsuits when a firearm was used in any criminal or negligent way.
Clinton wants all private transfers and sales of firearms to include a background check by a federal firearms licensed individual, and favors another assault-weapons ban law.
Regardless of Trump’s past views on guns, the NRA is confident he will be well-received by its membership.
“We’re looking at what people would do as president, and Donald Trump has laid out positions that show a strong commitment to Second Amendment rights,” NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker told The Wall Street Journal. “This should be a very friendly audience for him.”
“When it comes to motivating our members and turning them out and getting them to vote against Hillary, it will be easy,” she said.
Others who are expected to give remarks at the convention include: NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre, NRA-ILA executive director Chris W. Cox, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy.