WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is expected to speak at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting later this week in Dallas, two sources familiar with the matter told CNN.
The trip would be Trump’s third consecutive address to the NRA’s annual meeting. But this year, Trump is set to speak to the gun lobby just two months after he drew concerns from conservatives after urging lawmakers to not fear the NRA and suggesting law enforcement officials should take guns away from dangerous individuals without due process.
A White House spokesperson said the the White House is “finalizing exact details,” but declined to comment on plans for the President to address the gun rights group.
Plans for the NRA speech come just more than two months after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, reignited a national debate about gun laws in the US and spawned a student-led push to reform gun laws around the country.
The President engaged, and at times encouraged, that debate in the wake of the mass shooting, which claimed 17 lives, bringing together survivors and victims’ families as well as lawmakers to discuss potential reforms.
The President at one point floated raising the age of purchase for certain guns to 21 and proposed expanding background checks, including proposals opposed by the NRA. But after meeting with the NRA’s leaders, including its top lobbyist, he ultimately backed only modest proposals that the gun lobby supports.
The NRA spent more than $30 million to help elect Trump in the 2016 presidential election and provided a boon of conservative bona fides at a time when Trump’s candidacy was met with skepticism by many who doubted his conservative credentials.
Vice President Mike Pence is also set to address the NRA’s annual meeting on Friday.