President Donald Trump is set to address the National Rifle Association at their annual convention this Friday in Dallas. The four-day event, which starts on Thursday, will also include speeches from vice president Mike Pence.
Trump campaigned as a fierce defender of gun rights, but recently has been making shocking reversals in his position.
“We have to pursue common-sense measures that protect the rights of law-abiding Americans while keeping guns out of the hands of those that pose a threat.”
He further defied the NRA by voicing support for expanded background checks for gun purchases, and support for raising the minimum age to purchase some types of firearms.
“I can say the NRA is opposed to it. And I am a fan of the NRA. These are great people and great patriots. They love our country. But that doesn’t mean we always have to agree on everything.”
Ironically, the U.S. Secret Service will prohibit attendees from possessing a firearm during the Trump and Pence speeches, drawing criticism from gun control advocates.
The organization expects 80,000 to attend the event.
“I will be going to the Dallas Convention Centre to see and hear our president and vice president speech, and it is always good to know that our leaders support our second amendment rights,” said member Eddie de Leon.
“My husband and I are pro-gun parents, and we hope that Trump will discuss the issues and not try to ban firearms,” said Shelly Nguyen. “Because this is Texas and we raise our children right.”
Despite Texas’ gun-friendly reputation, a recent Quinnipiac University poll shows that 94% of Texans support enhanced background checks. But Texans still oppose bans.
“Guns do not kill people, people kill people,” said Trish Roasa. “A person makes the decision to harm or kill other people. I believe I have the right to defend myself and my family.
It’s the NRA’s first trip back to Texas since the 2013 convention in Houston.
Trump will return to Dallas next week to headline a fundraiser there for his re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee.