Business & Lobbying

NRA ‘welcomes’ Trump’s response to El Paso, Dayton shootings

The National Rifle Association (NRA) on Monday expressed approval for President Trump’s address in the wake of back-to-back mass shootings, during which he condemned white supremacy and violent video games but did not lay out any new gun laws.

The NRA, the nation’s pre-eminent lobbying and advocacy group for gun owners, endorsed Trump’s focus on “the root causes” of violence, referring to his comments blaming mental illness for recent massacres.

“The NRA welcomes the President’s call to address the root causes of the horrific acts of violence that have occurred in our country,” the organization said in a statement. “It has been the NRA’s long-standing position that those who have been adjudicated as a danger to themselves or others should not have access to firearms and should be admitted for treatment.”

{mosads}Trump on Monday morning gave his most extensive response yet to weekend shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, which occurred within hours of each other and left more than 30 people dead and dozens more wounded.

In his prepared remarks, Trump called on the nation to condemn white supremacy and bigotry but did not lay out any proposals for stricter gun laws other than to reiterate support for “red flag” laws that would allow law enforcement to confiscate guns from potentially dangerous individuals with a court order.

Instead, he focused his remarks on the need to better address mental illness and blamed video games and the darker corners of the internet for fostering violence.

The remarks are unlikely to ruffle feathers within the gun lobby, which staunchly opposes legislation that might limit access to firearms.

The president voiced support last year for expanded background checks and raising the age requirement to purchase certain types of guns in the aftermath of a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. But the White House later backed away from those ideas in favor of “hardening” schools with added security.

The White House later disputed the idea that Trump had “chickened out” in the face of pressure from the NRA.

Trump has addressed the NRA’s annual conference for five consecutive years.

Tags Dayton Donald Trump El Paso gun violence Guns Mass shootings NRA

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