Trump’s radical promise to the NRA raises the stakes in 2024

Gun Rights

To no one’s surprise, the National Rifle Association has formally endorsed Donald Trump’s 2024 candidacy, and the former president delivered the keynote address at the right-wing group’s annual meeting over the weekend. Most of the Republican’s remarks were forgettable, but he did make an important campaign promise.

“In my second term, we will roll back every Biden attack on the Second Amendment,” Trump said while reading from his trusted teleprompter.

The comments came three months after the presumptive GOP nominee appeared at an NRA forum at which he said, “Every single Biden attack on gun owners and manufacturers will be terminated on my very first week back in office, perhaps my first day.”

The radicalism of such a position might not be immediately obvious, but Trump is clearly raising the stakes in the 2024 presidential race.

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The Bulwark’s Tim Miller, an MSNBC political analyst, noted in response to the former president’s remarks over the weekend, “So the explicit position of Trump now is that he wants to repeal background checks, reopen the gun show loophole, roll back federal laws against gun trafficking, and make it easier for kids under 21 to get guns. This is an insane policy position that has like 12% support.”

Quite right. When it comes to the broader political debate, it’s easy to think of the dispute as a fight between those who want to take additional steps to address gun violence and those who do not. But that binary framework is incomplete, as Trump’s position makes clear:

If he returns to the White House, the Republican doesn’t simply intend to do nothing; he intends to do less than nothing by undoing safeguards that are currently in place.

Given public-opinion polling showing support for new policies to address gun violence, it’s a safe bet that the electorate hasn’t heard the last of Trump’s latest campaign promise.

This post updates our related earlier coverage.

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