NRA's LaPierre warns conservatives of 'socialist state'

National Rifle Association (NRA) CEO Wayne LaPierre on Thursday warned conservatives that socialists are smearing gun rights advocates and seeking to eliminate their rights.

“Socialism is a movement that loves a smear. Racists, misogynists, sexists, xenophobe and more. These are the weapons and vitriol these character assassinations permanently hang on their targets because socialism feeds off manipulated victims,” LaPierre told the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

LaPierre claimed "European socialists” are taking over the Democratic Party. He also named the “Occupy” movement, Black Lives Matter and antifa as examples of social groups that he claimed promote “uncivil discourse” and aim to "eliminate due process."

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“The elimination of due process is the very gold standard of the socialist state,” he said.

LaPierre’s remarks come as gun control advocates, Democratic lawmakers and some Republicans have called for legislation to curb gun violence in the wake of a shooting last week at a Florida high school that left 17 dead and several others wounded. Some Republicans have cautioned against moving too quickly on legislation as a reaction to the incident.

Earlier in his speech at CPAC, LaPierre called proposals to limit the amount of weapons available to Americans “completely ridiculous,” and said more security would help prevent future school shootings.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: Dems playing destructive 'con game' with Kavanaugh Several Yale Law classmates who backed Kavanaugh call for misconduct investigation Freedom Caucus calls on Rosenstein to testify or resign MORE on Thursday morning tweeted that he will push for comprehensive background checks “with an emphasis on mental health,” and has said he supports raising the age requirement to purchase a weapon. Those positions put him at odds with the NRA.