Donald Trump vows to shoot down Joe Biden's gun restrictions if re-elected

Web Desk
Donald Trump gestures while speaking at a political gathering. — AFP/File
Donald Trump gestures while speaking at a political gathering. — AFP/File

Former US President Donald Trump, the front-runner for the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential election, declared on Friday that he had upheld gun rights during his time in office and that, should he be reelected, he would reverse all of President Joe Biden's policies.

At a National Rifle Association (NRA) event, where he addressed thousands of supporters, Trump pledged to roll back regulations imposed by the Biden administration, including one that restricted sales of handgun modifications known as pistol braces, according to Reuters.

"Every single Biden attack on gun owners and manufacturers will be terminated my very first week back in office, perhaps my first day," Trump said in a speech at the Great American Outdoor show in Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania.

Throughout the 2016 election and his presidency, the NRA fervently supported Trump, applauding him when he nominated three conservative justices to the Supreme Court and took several actions that the powerful gun lobby had requested. One of these was allowing gun stores to remain open by classifying them as necessary businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Trump has persisted in actively courting conservative gun owners because he believes they are essential to his chances of winning reelection. He boasted about defying calls to enact gun control laws while in the White House from 2017 to 2021, telling the assembly on Friday that "no one will lay a finger on your firearms" if he is re-elected.

"During my four years nothing happened, and there was great pressure on me having to do with guns. We did nothing, we didn't yield," Trump said.

Republicans, backed by the NRA and other gun rights organisations, are generally against tougher legislation, pointing to the Second Amendment's guarantee of the freedom to bear arms. This position hasn't changed despite a constant barrage of mass shootings and the fact that wealthy nations have the greatest prevalence of gun violence in the US.

During his ninth speech to an NRA audience on Friday, Trump asked his followers to "swamp" the polls in November, acknowledging that he will need to reclaim the battleground state that he lost in 2020.