Donald Trump speaks at Harrisburg Outdoor Show: Live updates

Gun Rights

Former president and current presidential candidate Donald Trump will be a featured speaker at the National Rifle Association’s Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg today.

The event at which he will appear will take place from 5-7 p.m. on Friday at the Pa. Farm Show Complex’s Large Arena.

Trump has been very openly supportive of the NRA, the Second Amendment, and self-defense rights and has spoken at several NRA events in the past.

“President Trump’s unwavering support for the Second Amendment, and his track record of protecting the rights of gun owners make him an exemplary speaker for this momentous event. His fellow NRA members can’t wait to hear from him for the eighth time,” said NRA President Charles Cotton.

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We will be updating his speech and everything leading up to it into the evening, as well as gathering reactions and links from PennLive reporters. Stick with us tonight as we cover the event. (Note: Be sure to refresh the page to get the latest updates.)

We’ll also be going live from the Farm Show Complex once things get underway, and you can follow along via the video embedded above.

UPDATE 7:41 p.m.

Trump’s final words: “Together we will make America powerful again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America strong again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And we will make America great again.”

UPDATE 7:39 p.m.

“Pennsylvania is one of the most important battleground states in the nation,” Trump says and predicts he will win the state in 2024. Suggests the government might change the name of Pennsylvania if he loses.

UPDATE 7:36 p.m.

“We will restore free speech in America,” Trump says. He also promises to “unleash natural oil and gas in Pennsylvania at a level never seen before.”

UPDATE 7:33 p.m.

“Until you have the death penalty for drug dealers, you’re never going to solve the [drug] problem” — Donald Trump. He also promises to protect police officers who are taking “strong action against crime.”

UPDATE 7:30 p.m.

Some audience members have started to leave early, before Trump has finished talking. Photo by Megan Lavey-Heaton.

Donald Trump at the Outdoor Show

A few audience members start to leave while Donald Trump speaks at the Great American Outdoors Show in Harrisburg on Feb. 9.Megan Lavey-Heaton

UPDATE 7:20 p.m.

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Another audience photo from Megan Lavey-Heaton:

Donald Trump at the Outdoor Show

The audience applauds as Donald Trump speaks during the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg on Feb. 9.Megan Lavey-Heaton

UPDATE 7:03 p.m.

Some audience photos, courtesy of Megan Lavey-Heaton

Trump speaks at Great Outdoor Show

An audience member stands while Donald Trump speaks Feb. 9 at the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg.Megan Lavey-Heaton

Donald Trump at the Great American Outdoor Show

Audience members listen while Donald Trump speaks at the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg on Feb. 9.Megan Lavey-Heaton

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“I don’t think he knows he’s alive” — Trump on Biden.

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Trump said he won Pennsylvania twice, but he only won the state in 2016. Joe Biden won Pennsylvania in 2020.

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As the loudspeaker plays by “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want”  The Smiths I will note that Smiths guitarist has not been happy to have one of the band’s songs played during Trump’s events.

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UPDATE 4:56 p.m.

A number of conservative activists with Turning Point Action are using today’s event as a way to get people to register to vote.

“You have to put your money where your mouth is,” the organizer said. “I mean, if you want to protect your gun rights the surest way of doing so isn’t through a Hail Mary of fire. It’s by voting.”

Before the doors opened for the main event, Noah Formica said his crew had registered 233 new Pennsylvania voters, and 12 in various other states, all Republican.

UPDATE 4:52 p.m.

This is, of course, not the first time Donald Trump has been to the midstate. It’s not even the first time he’s spoken at the Farm Show Complex. We put together a chronological list detailing all his various visits to central Pa. since he first started campaigning for president way back in 2016, which you can see by clicking the link below.

UPDATE 4:47 p.m.

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Here’s another photo of Perry at the show, courtesy of Megan Lavey-Heaton:

Scott Perry at the Outdoor Show

Rep. Scott Perry (R-10th district) arrives with his chief of staff at the Great American Outdoor Show at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg on Feb. 9, 2024, to hear Donald Trump speak.Megan Lavey-Heaton

UPDATE 4:30 p.m.

UPDATE 4:27 p.m.

Midstate political activist Gene Stilp protested Trump’s arrival earlier today by staging one of his semi-regular Trump flag burnings at a remote corner of the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex property. Read Charlie Thompson’s story to get all the details.

UPDATE 4:17 p.m

So what will Donald Trump say at tonight’s event? It’s anybody’s guess, reporter John Luciew notes. The famously outspoken and unconventional candidate will have plenty of current events to riff on, however, from the recent special counsel report regarding President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents to the fact that Trump is facing dozens of criminal counts in his own classified documents scandal. Not to mention the other various legal problems the candidate is currently facing, including an argument before the U.S. Supreme Court over Colorado’s move to remove Trump’s name from the GOP primary ballot.

UPDATE 4:12 p.m.

UPDATE 4:07 p.m.

Hours before Trump was scheduled to appear at the Great Outdoor Show, a long line of people waiting to see him had already formed, as this video from Megan Lavey-Heaton shows:

UPDATE 4:02 p.m.

We’ll start by noting that Trump’s appearance is very likely going to impact traffic in and around the Harrisburg Farm Show Complex today.

Harrisburg officials said no extended road or highway closures are planned for former President Donald Trump’s visit, but intersection of Elmerton and Cameron will be closed temporarily to give the motorcade easy access into the complex.

Basically, if you’re not planning on attending the event, you should steer clear of the area if you can help it.

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