Former President Donald Trump was one of the guest speakers at Friday’s National Rifle Association Leadership Forum and used the opportunity to denounce the current administration’s attacks on the Second Amendment.
He warned that President Joe Biden is seeking to restrict access to firearms among Americans, describing the move as a ploy to further empower the government.
“The Biden gun control agenda is part and parcel of the left-wing crusade to weaponize government against law-abiding citizens,” he advised.
At the same time, Trump amplified the claim that leftist prosecutors are “letting criminals roam free,” noting that those who disregard the law are not dissuaded by Biden’s crackdown on gun ownership.
“They’re all over the place,” he added. “I’ve never seen anything like it. You’re afraid to walk through one of these Democrat cities. You go out for a loaf of bread and you end up getting shot.”
Trump, the early favorite among 2024 GOP presidential contenders, vowed to “end the weaponization of our government” and introduced a proposed tax credit that would benefit educators who completed firearms training to carry a concealed weapon on campus.
He referred to his own term in the White House as the “most pro-gun, most pro-Second Amendment” in American history and pledged to be a “loyal friend and fearless champion once again as the 47th president of the United States.”
The former president also used the opportunity to land a few jabs at a pair of his likely rivals. Although neither former Vice President Mike Pence nor Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has officially entered the race, both are expected to compete against Trump in the primary race.
Trump cited polls that show him with a comfortable lead over DeSantis — or “DeSanctus,” as he calls him — and referenced the boos that Pence received upon taking the stage for his NRA speech the previous day.
BREAKING: Mike Pence BOOED by NRA crowd in his home state pic.twitter.com/dB5fPn5jSj
— Jack Poso 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) April 14, 2023
“I hope you gave Pence a good warm approval,” Trump joked. “It’s a big news story. You’ve made news today. I don’t know what you did, but you made news today with the introduction you gave.”
A recent Iowa poll showed Trump with a 30-point lead over DeSantis in a hypothetical six-way race.