Donald Trump warned supporters that Democrats will “take away your Second Amendment” if Republicans lose big in the 2018 mid-term elections, the Hill is reporting.
Trump is speaking this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), an annual gathering of grassroots conservatives. And he took the occasion to warn conservatives that the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right to keep and bear arms, hangs in the balance.
“Don’t be complacent. If [Democrats] get in, they will repeal your tax cuts, they will put judges in that you wouldn’t believe, they’ll take away your Second Amendment, which we will never allow to happen.”
Trump then went off-script, asking the crowd which they would rather keep, their tax cuts or the Second Amendment. The crowd then cheered loudly and strongly, saying they’d prefer to keep their gun rights.
“They’ll take away your Second Amendment. Remember that.”
Trump’s words about protecting the Second Amendment come just days after he put his support behind a handful of comparatively-minor gun-control measures. As Vox reports, in the wake of the Florida school shooting, Trump has publicly supported three measures.
- He’s put his support behind the Fix NICS Act, which would strengthen the federal background check system.
- He’s signed a memo directing the Justice Department to propose regulations that “ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns,” such as so-called “bump stocks,” which were famously used in the Las Vegas shooting.
- He’s supported raising the minimum age to buy an assault weapon from 18 to 21.
WATCH NOW: Florida Gov. Rick Scott announces plan to improve school safety in wake of Parkland school shooting. “We will require all individuals purchasing firearms to be 21 or older,” Scott says in press conference. https://t.co/aHkauw6QJ0 pic.twitter.com/2isvVmaNaR
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 23, 2018
However, as Hill writer Johnathan Easley notes, Trump is “walking a fine line” when it comes to supporting any gun-control measures and remaining within the good graces of the National Rifle Association (NRA). The gun-rights organization almost always can be expected to vehemently oppose any forms of gun control, as they have done in the wake of the Florida shooting. What’s more, NRA money and support — or lack thereof — can make or break a Republican’s political career.
Nevertheless, Trump claims to have been in contact with the NRA and that the group will come around to supporting some of his proposed gun-control measures.
As for repealing the Second Amendment: that’s unlikely to happen anytime soon. It is one of the 10 original amendments in the Bill of Rights, and none of them have been repealed since their ratification in 1791. Further, the Constitution deliberately makes it difficult to repeal an amendment, requiring two-thirds of the states to sign off on any repeal proposed by Congress. In other words, the state legislatures of 34 states would have to ratify a repeal of the Second Amendment, something that is unlikely to happen.