The presumptive GOP nominee took aim at Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton almost immediately in his speech, saying “crooked Hillary … wants to take your guns away.”
“The Second Amendment is under a threat like never before,” Trump said. “Crooked Hillary Clinton is the most anti-gun … candidate ever to run for office. And, as I said before, she wants to abolish the Second Amendment. She wants to take your guns away. She wants to abolish it.”
Trump also said mass shootings like the recent one in San Bernardino, California, could be avoided if more people were armed, and doubled down on his promise to get rid of gun-free zones at schools and military bases.
“We’re getting rid of gun-free zones, I can tell you,” he said.
Trump’s words come one day before Clinton is set to appear in Florida alongside the mother of Trayvon Martin and other parents whose children were victims of gun violence at the third annual Circle of Mothers Weekend and Conference.
Trump and Clinton’s opposing policies on gun control represent one of the sharpest contrasts between the two presidential candidates. As the rivals readied for their dueling appearances, Trump lashed out at Clinton on Twitter Friday for failing to protect the Second Amendment.
“Crooked Hillary Clinton- discussing the #SecondAmendment at a private event. #2A cc: @NRA,” he tweeted, along with an audio recording of Clinton saying, “Here again, the Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment, and I am going to make that case every chance I get.”
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump: Flashback Moments, 1979 – 1992
Politco notes that Clinton appeared to be referencing the 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller, in which the Supreme Court ruled a ban on handguns was unconstitutional.
The safety of our kids is more important than the interests of the NRA. Our leaders should act like it. pic.twitter.com/Rg3OcMf1Mc
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 19, 2016
Clinton has not responded to Trump’s criticism but on Thursday the former secretary of state tweeted a statistic supporting universal background checks for gun buyers, writing, “The safety of our kids is more important than the interests of the NRA. Our leaders should act like it.”
The pro-Clinton super PAC Correct the Record released a video Friday criticizing Trump for suggesting that arming teachers could prevent mass shootings, and praising Clinton, who has become an outspoken advocate for gun safety reforms, for her efforts to end gun violence.