Trump praises NRA leaders: 'They love our country'

Trump praises NRA leaders: 'They love our country'
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates ambassador to Turkey Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown CNN, MSNBC to air ad turned down by Fox over Nazi imagery MORE took to Twitter on Thursday to praise the National Rifle Association and its leadership, calling them “Great People and Great American Patriots” who “will do the right thing.”

“What many people don’t understand, or don’t want to understand, is that Wayne, Chris and the folks who work so hard at the @NRA are Great People and Great American Patriots. They love our Country and will do the right thing. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Trump tweeted, referring to NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre and NRA-Institute for Legislative Action executive director Chris Cox.

Trump’s tweet comes amid a heightened debate over gun control measures in the wake of last week’s deadly mass shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 people dead and more than dozen others injured.

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During a listening session with survivors of the shooting on Wednesday, Trump said he would consider age restrictions on gun purchases, a proposal the NRA opposes.

He also announced Tuesday he had directed the Department of Justice to propose regulations to ban bump stocks, devices that allow semi-automatic guns to be modified to shoot more rapidly. The NRA has opposed legislation that would ban bump stocks, which were found on some of the rifles used by the gunman in the Las Vegas mass shooting last year. 

Trump reiterated his support for raising the age limit on gun purchases to 21 and vowed to push “comprehensive background checks” in a tweet Thursday morning.

In a statement released before Trump’s tweets Thursday morning, the NRA praised Trump as the “most pro-Second Amendment president in recent history.”

“We believe he is serious about finding meaningful solutions to our nation’s serious problems, so that sociopaths and the dangerously mentally ill are prevented from committing these horrific crimes,” Cox said in a statement to The Hill.

The NRA has faced new pressure since the Florida shooting, with survivors of the attack calling on lawmakers to refuse future donations from the organization.

The NRA has spent more than $1 million on elections in the 2018 midterm cycle, according to Open Secrets.

The organization also spent $30 million during the 2016 presidential race in support of Trump.