Washington D.C., May 4, 2018 — Co-Presidents Kris Brown & Co-President Avery Gardiner respond.
Co-President Avery Gardiner
"Despite warnings from political advisors that speaking to the ‘very controversial' organization would be unpopular, the President had to show up at the NRA's convention today. The NRA invested more resources in electing Trump than any other candidate in its history, and Trump clearly owes them.
"But the President talked about every other issue under the sun -- from North Korea and healthcare to the Russia investigation, immigration and taxes -- and his remarks were shockingly sparse on the actual issues of gun policy.
"Maybe the President has noticed that there are now 208 cosponsors, including many Republicans, -- with Conor Lamb serving as the 208th -- for the House bill to expand Brady background checks.
"Even spending $31 million on his campaign couldn't entice President Trump to fully embrace the NRA's extreme agenda. That's because even he knows how out of the mainstream the NRA's positions are.
"Trump's vigorous plea for NRA attendees to vote in the midterm elections shows he is rightfully concerned that the extraordinary energy of the gun reform movement is weakening the NRA's influence in state houses and will bring a surge of voters to elect a more responsive and responsible Congress in 2018."
Co-President Kris Brown
"After Parkland, Trump bragged to survivors, governors and members of Congress that he could bring the NRA around on common sense solutions. But after dining twice with NRA leaders, he backed off.
"While President Trump did rail today about opposing efforts to ban guns, that red herring idea has, of course, never been in play nor is it now.
It was noteworthy that he stayed silent about the real policy issues on the table, only alluding to the need to "improve early warning signs" without saying anything contradicting long-standing NRA doctrine opposing policies to do just that--like the extreme risk laws that Trump embraced in his meeting with U.S. Senators just after Parkland.
In fact, the President said nothing about any of the issues he forcefully argued for in February like the strongest possible background checks, extreme risk laws and potential for greater regulation of assault weapons.
While he talked about arming teachers and security officers, he said nothing about the NRA's other extreme issue priorities like forcing states to recognize the concealed carry permits of other states even when issued without any safety training or proficiency requirements. He said nothing about their efforts to roll back restrictions on silencers that have been in place since 1934.
It appears that Donald Trump is staying away from the NRA extreme positions, just as many gun owners, businesses and politicians are distancing themselves from the NRA's radioactive brand. Even big tobacco - afraid of association with the NRA - decided not to show up this year."
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.