President Trump to Address NRA Annual Meeting

First president to address the gun group since Reagan

Donald Trump addressing the NRA in 2016 / Getty Images

BY:

President Donald Trump will address the National Rifle Association at their Annual Meeting on April 28, the group announced Friday night.

Trump will be the first sitting president to speak at the gun-rights group's event since Ronald Reagan. He is scheduled to headline the Leadership Forum hosted by the group's Institute for Legislative Action. The NRA describes the forum as "one of the most politically significant and popular events in the country, featuring our nation's top Second Amendment leaders in government, the media, and the entertainment industry."

Trump spoke at the Leadership Forum last year in the midst of a presidential campaign that saw the NRA put its support and tens of millions of dollars behind the Republican nominee. The group was one of Trump's most vocal supporters throughout the general election. Since then, President Trump has invited NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre to the White House during one of his listening sessions.

Since taking office President Trump has achieved several goals that the NRA has publicly praised. He signed rollbacks of Obama-era gun regulations that banned certain Social Security recipients from owning guns and banned traditional lead-based ammunition from some public lands. He also successfully appointed Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Gorsuch's appointment had been the top priority for the NRA in the wake of the election.

There has yet to be significant movement on major gun bills that the NRA and other gun-rights activists have pushed since the beginning of the year, however. The Hearing Protection Act, which would reform silencer regulations, and the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which would institute national reciprocity for concealed carry permits, have been introduced to both houses of Congress but are still sitting in committee awaiting hearings. Activists have expressed excitement about the prospects of the bills, but industry insiders have also said they are likely to take time and face formidable opposition.

The NRA's latest ad shows it may be shifting its focus to national reciprocity now that Gorsuch has been confirmed, but it is unclear how or if President Trump will help advance the legislation. The topic and content of President Trump's planned speech at the forum have not yet been released.

Speeches from a number of politicians like Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and media personalities like Sheriff David Clarke, Jr., will also be featured at the forum in addition to a large exhibit hall featuring the latest offerings from across the gun industry.

Stephen Gutowski   Email Stephen | Full Bio | RSS
Stephen Gutowski is a staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon. He founded his own site as a junior in college and has been writing about news and politics since that time. He spent 4 years with the Media Research Center and was most recently with the Capitol City Project. His email address is Gutowski@FreeBeacon.com. His twitter handle is @StephenGutowski.