Trump: Some lawmakers are 'so scared' of the NRA

President TrumpDonald John TrumpLieu: There will be 'widespread civil unrest' if Trump fires Mueller Attorneys for Trump, Mueller hold face-to-face meeting to discuss potential interview topics: report Trump tariffs not helpful for nuclear talks, South Korea says MORE on Monday accused some governors of being “scared” of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and argued that “sometimes” government officials would have to fight the gun lobby to achieve necessary reforms.

The president’s comments — made during a bipartisan meeting at the White House of more than three dozen state governors — are his most aggressive to date in taking on the NRA, which spent big in 2016 to help elect him.

Trump said he had lunch over the weekend with NRA officials Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox and again signaled that the NRA could be open to some of the proposals he has made on new gun restrictions.


“Don’t worry about the NRA,” Trump said. “They’re on our side.”

Still, the president said that some people in the room of governors — most of those on hand were Republicans — are “so scared” of the NRA and that “sometimes” you have to fight them.

The president has proposed raising the age of purchase for all guns from 18 to 21 — a proposal that the NRA opposes. That proposal has picked up steam in recent days among Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Trump has also called for expanding background checks, although it’s unclear if he hopes to go further than an NRA-backed bill that aims to incentivize agencies to utilize the current background checks system.

The president is also looking to ban bump stocks, which can be affixed to semi-automatic weapons to make them fire more rapidly.

“I don’t care if Congress doesn’t [act on bump stocks],” Trump said Monday. “We’re getting rid of it.”

The president has directed Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsAttorneys for Trump, Mueller hold face-to-face meeting to discuss potential interview topics: report Holder: Sessions needs to 'have the guts' to say no to Trump Trump adds to legal team after attacks on Mueller MORE to review whether bump stocks can be banned through the regulatory process. The NRA says it supports the review of potential new federal regulations on bump stocks but does not support banning them outright.

Congress is under pressure to act on new gun laws following a mass shooting earlier this month at a Florida high school that left 17 dead.

The student survivors from that shooting have flooded state capitols, cable news and social media to demand federal action.

The outrage has shone a harsh spotlight on the NRA, with several corporations cutting their ties with the gun lobby over fears it could hurt their brand.

Trump was once highly critical of the NRA, writing in his book “The America We Deserve” that Republicans were too beholden to the gun lobby and blaming the murder rate on gun use. In that book, Trump also called for banning “assault weapons.”

But Trump campaigned in 2016 as a Second Amendment absolutist, warning his base of supporters that, if elected, Democrats would come for their guns while calling expanded background checks a “slippery slope.”