President Donald trump card speaks throughout a campaign rally Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald trump speaks throughout a campaign rally Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — after ~ the Parkland institution shooting in Florida 2 years ago, chairman Donald trump chided Republican lawmakers for being too “scared” that the national Rifle association to tighten gun regulations — then backed far from the idea.

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After back-to-back mass shootings in Ohio and also Texas in 2019, Trump embraced calls because that “strong lift checks” — only to backpedal once again.

Now, as he primes the pump on his 2020 reelection effort, trump card is going all-in top top embracing the mantle the gun rights champion, a stark revolve from earlier moments in his presidency when he toyed through the idea of advertise Congress come enact stricter gun laws.


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There to be no public discussion of tighter gun regulations when Trump welcomed Parkland families to the White house for a personal meeting on Monday, four days before the two-year anniversary that the rampage that left 17 dead. Instead, management officials unveiled a website to plan to assist educators, parents and law enforcement address threats to school safety.

In current weeks, Trump has actually repeatedly warned pendant at his rallies the Democrats “will take your guns away.” critical month, he labeled Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam a “whack job” together gun rights advocates protested the democratic governor’s move to tighten gun laws in the results of a mass shoot in Virginia Beach.


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Drawing a right line from gun legal rights to presidential politics, trump card tweeted that Democrats in the state “will take it your weapons away. Republicans will win Virginia in 2020. Give thanks to you Dems!”

And ~ above Monday night, together he pertained to the apex of one hourlong campaign speech in brand-new Hampshire, trumped framed his supporters’ second Amendment right to be afflicted with arms together being as precious as the rights to privacy, cost-free speech and religious freedom.

Campaign officials think the initiative could help put states favor Minnesota, brand-new Mexico and brand-new Hampshire in play. For the to happen, trumped will require to draw even more rural and also white males to the polls -- key groups that assisted drive his 2016 surprise victory.

Trump’s advisers think his constant efforts come spotlight his credentials together a second Amendment warrior can help him attract a contrast with the eventual democratic presidential nominee. The height tier of democratic candidates have made bolstering gun restrictions a crucial part of their platforms.

Mike Bloomberg, a former new York City mayor, has poured numerous dollars native his very own fortune into supporting a series of gun manage advocacy groups. Former Vice chairman Joe Biden served as the Obama administration’s suggest man ~ above the president’s failed push for scan gun reform laws adhering to the Sandy Hook college shooting in Connecticut. Vermouth Sen. Bernie Sanders, who got a D- grade from the NRA, has actually been knocked by fellow Democrats for no being difficult enough on gun restrictions.


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“Democrats have displayed they don’t respect the second Amendment, which will certainly be one of numerous contrasts drawn during the campaign,” Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said.

After spending much more than $50 million in assistance of Trump’s 2016 choice victory, the NRA is most likely to have actually less influence on this election cycle, claimed Robert Spitzer, a professor of political scientific research at the State university of brand-new York-Cortland who research concentrates on American gun laws.

The powerful gun rights group has been mired in financial difficulties, internal strife within the organization’s leadership, and also probes by the brand-new York lawyer general’s office that threaten the group’s tax-exempt status.

Trump’s joint project committees and also the Republican nationwide party committee had actually $195 million in cash on hand at the close of 2019, do the NRA’s money less far-ranging this election cycle.

But v a hard gun-rights pitch, Trump shows up to be strategizing the he can persuade some voters who have become disenchanted with politics to come back to the ballot crate to vote for him.

“He yes, really is copy down not on the expanding of his base however for pushing for greater turnout among his people,” Spitzer said. “One the the keys in 2016, but not the only one, was the turnout amongst rural white voter was a little greater than predicted. This pitch, that figures, will assist him get there.”

Trump and also fellow republicans are most likely to face a deluge the spending native gun manage advocates, who think their message will resonate through on-the-fence suburban voters.

Everytown for Gun Safety, an umbrella team of gun regulate advocacy institutions funded by Bloomberg, newly announced the it would invest $60 million come beat pistol rights proponents on the state and federal level in 2020.

The team has not said exactly how much that would spend on the presidential race, but thus much has budgeted $1.25 million to aid reelect phibìc Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and also Pennsylvania Attorney general Josh Shapiro, both Democrats. It also plans come spend several of that an initial tranche the money towards beating two Republican senators, Cory Gardner the Colorado and Martha McSally of Arizona.

Gun control advocates feel emboldened after ~ the 2018 midterm elections in which much more than 30 NRA-backed Republican candidates lost their races.

“His tactic has been come say incendiary things about guns to whip up the base, but he and also the NRA haven’t been able come pass any type of of the pistol lobby’s priority legislation — also with a Republican congress for 2 years,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Mom’s demand Action, component of the Everytown because that Gun safety coalition.

When trump card met with members the the team Stand with Parkland on Monday, management officials highlighted the school safety website. Stand with Parkland backed the production of the website — however it likewise has urged congress to need universal background check on pistol purchases.

Asked if there to be disappointment in the chairman backing far from acquisition on lift checks, one Parkland parent who met v Trump, Max Schachter, claimed the president’s initiatives should no be minimized.

“Of course over there is always an ext that deserve to be done,” stated Schachter, who 14-year-old son, Alex, was amongst the victims at Parkland. “But let’s no let perfection it is in the opponent of good.”

On the project trail, Trump’s dire warnings around what can happen to American gun owner if a Democrat wins the White residence have end up being a consistent line in his speeches, reliably drawing boos and hisses because that his to-be-determined opponent.

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At a recent project rally in Iowa, trump card again turn his attention earlier to Virginia, where Democrats in November asserted majorities in both houses of the legislature and secured the first unified autonomous government in the republic in 26 years.

“In the state that Virginia they desire to take it your weapons away, deserve to you think it?” trumped said. “I love Virginia. Of every states, they want to take your guns away. The Democrats. Not going come happen.”

He offered similar dark predictions to a familiar crowd last month in new Jersey, saying the gun manage effort in Virginia was “just the beginning.”

And top top Monday night, that reassured new Hampshire supporters that his management is “going to safeguard your 2nd Amendment, by the way.”