Donald Trump, Who Is Banned From Buying Firearms, To Address NRA

Gun Rights

Former President Donald Trump will address the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association in Dallas this weekend despite the fact that he is barred from buying firearms.

Trump currently faces a total of 88 felony counts in four separate indictments — including the trial now underway in a Manhattan court for allegedly falsifying business records to buy the silence of porn star Stormy Daniels just 12 days before the 2016 presidential election. Federal law bars those facing felony indictments from buying, transporting or receiving firearms or ammunition, but that law has faced legal challenges.

But Trump has long cultivated close ties with the NRA, whose membership is largely conservative. His appearance on Saturday at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Centre will mark the ninth time that he has addressed NRA members at a major public gathering.

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Former President Donald Trump emphasized his support for gun rights on Feb. 9 at the National Rifle Association's presidential forum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Trump is considered the presumptive Republican nominee for president.
Former President Donald Trump emphasized his support for gun rights on Feb. 9 at the National Rifle Association’s presidential forum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Trump is considered the presumptive Republican nominee for president.

Spencer Platt via Getty Images

Trump spoke at the NRA’s Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in February, telling the group’s members he would roll back reforms created under President Joe Biden, including revoking licenses from gun dealers who break federal gun laws and placing new restrictions on pistol braces, which have been used in mass killings.

“Your Second Amendment will always be safe with me as your president,” Trump said in Pennsylvania, according to The Associated Press.

But Trump’s problems with the law make him an awkward spokesperson for gun rights. He mused about the possibility of buying a Glock pistol during a campaign stop in South Carolina last year, apparently unaware that federal law barred him from doing so.

The NRA did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the decision to have a keynote speaker who is prohibited from buying guns. But a statement from Andrew Arulanandam, the NRA’s interim executive vice president and CEO, cast Trump as a target of politically motivated attacks.

“President Trump is under relentless attacks because he is not afraid to fight for those who share his American values,” Arulanandam wrote. “He is uniquely qualified to address our members who know what it’s like to stand for something, even when it’s hard. The NRA and our millions of members around the country have President Trump’s back, and we know he has ours.”

Trump is scheduled to speak at the NRA Leadership Forum at 2 p.m. Saturday. Guns will not be permitted at the event, which is not unusual at the NRA’s annual gatherings. The long list of other banned items includes gun parts, holsters, magazines, toy guns, knives, drones, Mace and “weapons of any kind.”

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