NRA causes Trump to reverse his gun stances

Trump has now backpedaled on the gun control ideas he seemed to advocate earlier in the week — because of the NRA

By Matthew Rozsa
March 2, 2018 3:36PM (UTC)
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President Donald Trump speaks during the National Rifle Association-ILA Leadership Forum, Friday, April 28, 2017, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

For the second time in a week, President Donald Trump has backed away from gun control measures he initially supported after meeting with influential members of the NRA.

In the aftermath of a White House meeting with members of Congress on Wednesday — one in which Trump came out in favor of strengthening background checks and seizing guns without due process, both positions strongly opposed by the NRA — the president remained mostly silent on the issue of gun control on Thursday. On Thursday night, however, Trump met with the NRA's top lobbyist Chris Cox and Vice President Mike Pence. While it's unclear what was said during that meeting, Cox's gloating tweet and Trump's subsequent tweet praising the NRA suggests that they convinced to back off of his hardcore pro-gun control positions.


Despite Trump's vote of confidence from the NRA, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Friday morning that the president arranged the meeting with the NRA and that the views he expressed on Wednesday have not changed, according to CNN. Nevertheless Trump seems to have pivoted from supporting gun control to finding a scapegoat, as reflected by a report that he is inviting video game executives to meet with him in the White House, according to NBC News.

This is the second time in less than a week that Trump has backpedaled on gun control suggestions due to the influence of the NRA. On Monday he omitted any reference to raising the minimum gun age during a meeting with America's governors after he had been urged to retract that position by NRA leaders during a lunch on Sunday.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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