The NRA’s endorsement of Donald Trump and his vow to be the sheriff of the Second Amendment could secure him coveted votes with a group he’s struggling to win over — women.
“There’s quite a few women who own guns … and they will take a hard look at who is supporting their right to protect themselves and their families,” said Jim Wallace of the Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts.
He said Trump’s promise yesterday at the National Rifle Association convention in Louisville, Ky., to protect gun owners’ rights hits home.
“Hillary Clinton has come out aggressively against gun owners,” Wallace said. “Gun owners look for somebody who protects their rights and Donald Trump is heading in that direction.”
Trump targeted Clinton as he accepted the NRA’s backing.
“Hillary Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment,” Trump said in his televised speech. “We’re not going to let that happen.”
He went on to call her “Heartless Hillary” for backing gun restrictions.
“She’s putting the most vulnerable Americans in jeopardy,” he added.
Gwendolyn Patton of the pro-gun Pink Pistols group said Trump may have won over a few women yesterday, but not her yet.
“I think he’ll make inroads with gun owners and it is a wedge issue with some women,” said Patton. “He has flip-flopped, so we’ll have to wait and see.”
Patton added Trump’s NRA address was a key “point in his favor” and will also play well to the conservative arm of the party — especially after he hailed deceased NRA hero Charlton Heston.
GOP strategist Patrick Griffin said Trump’s NRA star turn was more about further solidifying his status as the party’s nominee.
“This is bigger than the gender gap. He’s sending a signal he’s the nominee,” Griffin told the Herald, adding Clinton is still struggling to show she’s left Bernie Sanders behind.
Clinton is set to appear today in Florida with the mother of Trayvon Martin and other parents who have lost children to gun violence as part of her call to cut down on the 33,000 gun deaths in the U.S. each year.
Her appearance on the heels of Trump’s NRA backing is a clear show of the two sides taking shape in the gun debate in the general election.
— Dan Scavino (@DanScavino) May 19, 2016
Gun sales have boomed during President Obama’s tenure as mass shootings and urban violence continue to dominate the news. But he has failed to pass major reforms.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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