UPDATE: The White House is livestreaming President Donald Trump’s speech at the NRA Convention. Watch live in the video below:
ATLANTA — President Donald Trump today will be the first sitting U.S. president since Ronald Reagan to address the National Rifle Association — cementing his pro-gun credentials after long ago advocating a ban on “assault weapons” and longer waiting periods to purchase firearms.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott and former U.S. Rep. Allen West, who represented a portion of Palm Beach County from 2011 to 2013, are also scheduled to speak at the NRA gathering. Trump will speak at 1:30 p.m., followed by Scott at 2:20. West will go on later in the afternoon, at 3:50 p.m.
The NRA was a key backer of Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, endorsing him in May, before he had officially become the Republican nominee.
Check out MyPalmBeachPost.com and PostOnPolitics.com throughout the day for coverage of Trump, Scott and others at the NRA convention.
When Trump considered a 2000 run for president as a Reform Party candidate, he favored some gun restrictions opposed by the NRA.
“I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I also support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun. With today’s Internet technology we should be able to tell within seventy-two hours if a potential gun buyer has a record,” said Trump’s 2000 book called “The America We Deserve.”
Trump faulted Democrats in the 2000 book for wanting “to confiscate all guns,” while saying Republicans “walk the NRA line and refuse even limited restrictions.”
Seventeen years later, Second Amendment advocates have no doubt that Trump is in their corner, NRA Executive Director Chris Cox said in a recent Fox News interview.
“This president ran as the most pro-Second Amendment, pro-individual freedom candidate in the history of the country, and if you look at how he’s governed over the first 100 days, he’s arguably been the most effective and most successful in the first 100 days of any presidency,” Cox said.
“So we’re really excited not only about him speaking, but Donald Trump being president of the United States and having a president who supports this basic individual and fundamental freedom.”