In the wake of this weekend’s mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Donald Trump says he will meet with the National Rifle Association to discuss how individuals on the nation’s terrorist watch list get access to guns.
The NRA later responded on Twitter, saying it would “be happy to meet” with Trump and that its position is “no guns for terrorists – period.”
Happy to meet @realdonaldtrump. Our position is no guns for terrorists—period. Due process & right to self-defense for law-abiding Americans
— NRA (@NRA) June 15, 2016
While speaking at a rally in Atlanta today, Trump said he was “going to save [the] Second Amendment” and argued that the death toll at the Pulse nightclub would have been smaller if clubgoers had guns with them. (A uniformed off-duty police officer, who was working security that night at the club, was armed and engaged in gun fire with the shooter.)
“If some of those great people that were in that club that night had guns strapped to their waist or strapped to their ankle, and if the bullets were going in the other direction aimed at this guy, who was just open target practice, you would have had a situation, folks, which would have been always horrible,” Trump said. “But nothing like the carnage that we all, as a people, suffered this weekend. Nothing.”
Trump first mentioned the meeting with the NRA Monday during a speech in New Hampshire. “I will be meeting with the NRA, which has given me the earliest endorsement in a presidential race to discuss how to ensure Americans have the means to protect themselves in this age of terror. I will be always defending the Second Amendment,” Trump said.
This is not the first time Trump has suggested that individuals on the terrorist watch list should be barred from purchasing guns.
“If somebody is on a watch list and an enemy of state and we know it’s an enemy of state, I would keep them away, absolutely,” the presumptive Republican nominee said during an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos last November.
A month later in an interview with CBS News, Trump said he would “certainly look at that very hard.”
However, in a GOP primary debate hosted by Fox News, Trump responded “no” when asked by moderator Maria Bartiromo if there are “any circumstances that you think we should be limiting gun sales of any kind in America.”
Trump was endorsed by the NRA in May.