Former US President and current presidential candidate Donald Trump used the annual meeting of the powerful gun lobby NRA to make a campaign appearance and to canvass for votes from gun owners. He will stand up for their rights and freedoms, turn the country around and make America great again, Trump promised in front of a cheering crowd on Saturday (local time) in Dallas, Texas.

With him in the White House, Trump said, those who tried to take away Americans’ guns would run into a massive wall. “Their dreams of taking away your God-given rights will die when the polls close on November 5th.”

Lobbyists with influence

The NRA is one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the United States. The number of members is in the millions. Lobbyists have enormous influence on politics. The NRA pumps large sums of money into election campaigns and grades members of parliament based on their stance on gun issues – as a kind of handout to its members about who they should vote for and who they shouldn’t. Trump said to cheers from those in attendance that it was a “true honor to be here today to receive the support of the proud American patriots of the NRA.”

Trump also used his appearance to launch sharp verbal attacks against his democratic opponent, US President Joe Biden – and was cheered for this by the people in the hall. He said he was looking forward to the debates with Biden and, given Biden’s age (81), called for a drug test before the duel. Biden was in the state of Georgia on Saturday to seek support, particularly among black voters.

Process and presidential election

Trump, 77, wants to return to the White House after the Republican presidential election. He is currently facing charges in a New York court in connection with hush money payments to a porn actress and has been spending many hours in the courtroom for days. If he weren’t in the race, none of this would happen, Trump said.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said at the meeting that Trump’s re-election depends on the NRA’s efforts. If its members organized and participated in the election, no organization in America could prevail against it. “With your help, we will re-elect Donald Trump as president, a freedom fighter who will put America first.”

Gun ownership and gun laws

The right to bear arms is enshrined in the US Constitution. Nobody dares to touch this Second Amendment from the 18th century. It was made for a time when the USA consisted largely of undeveloped wilderness and its citizens lived far away from urban areas. There were no submachine guns or assault rifles back then. But the right for every citizen to have a weapon remains. It is sacred to many Americans.

Efforts to introduce stricter gun laws have been unsuccessful for years – mainly because Republicans are against them. And because the gun lobby, especially the NRA, vehemently fights any attempt to regulate gun ownership more closely.