The National Rifle Association (NRA) endorsed then-candidate Donald Trump in May of 2016. But on Wednesday night, the massive organization boasting over 5 million members issued a blistering statement in response to President Trump's televised, bipartisan meeting on gun control with members of Congress, wherein the president offered some troubling gun comments that run counter to the NRA's ethos.
During the meeting, Trump shot down the idea of an NRA-backed concealed carry measure, saying "it will never happen." He also said suggested the "mentally ill" should have their guns taken away first, "go through due process second." Moreover, the president seemingly aligned himself with Democrats regarding a potential "assault weapons" ban.
“While today’s meeting made for great TV, the gun control proposals discussed would make for bad policy that would not keep our children safe,” Jennifer Baker, an NRA spokeswoman, said in a statement to The Hill. “Instead of punishing law-abiding gun owners for the acts of a deranged lunatic our leaders should pass meaningful reforms that would actually prevent future tragedies.”
"Baker said they can start by fixing the broken mental health system, strengthening background checks to ensure the records of people who are prohibited from possessing firearms are in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, securing our schools and preventing mentally ill individuals deemed dangerous from accessing firearms," according to The Hill.
In a separate statement, Baker argued that regulations and safety measures could be taken without "shifting the focus, blame or burden onto safe, law-abiding gun owners."
“Doing everything we can as a nation to address the problem of dangerous people committing heinous acts is not inconsistent with the Second Amendment – the systemic failures of government to keep us safe reinforces the need for the Second Amendment,” she said. “We will continue to support legislative efforts to make our schools and communities safe and oppose gun control schemes that cannot keep us safe and only punish law-abiding Americans," the statement said.