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President Trump Tweets about the NRA 17 Times, Fawning over the Gun Lobby and Echoing Their Fearmongering the Day Before he Announces a Supreme Court Nominee

September 25, 2020

This morning, one day before President Donald Trump is slated to announce a Supreme Court nominee, he tweeted about the NRA and its affiliates 17 times, reminding us that he is more concerned with their approval than keeping Americans safe. This tweetstorm strongly suggests that his choice will be a Second Amendment extremist, which –– as outlined by this Everytown memo –– could put nearly every gun safety law at risk. Notably, the NRA was the single largest outside spender in President Trump’s 2016 election. 

A small sampling of President Trump’s tweets –– all of which are obviously lies –– includes: 

  • NRA retweet: “Biden, Harris, Pelosi, and Schumer… want to rip up our Constitution and destroy our 2nd Amendment.” 
  • NRA retweet: “If elected, Biden will destroy the Second Amendment.”
  • NRA retweet: “So let’s get this straight…@JoeBiden wants to take our guns, “redistribute” police funding, and his VP pick and staffers work actively to bail out dangerous criminals? This Biden Trifecta will leave Americans completely defenseless.”
  • NRA retweet:“Leftists & the media claim Biden & Beto are not a threat to our guns. Biden has promised gun bans and to put Beto in charge of the 2nd Amendment. Beto has pledged to take our AR-15s and said if we don’t comply, they will be confiscated. Biden & Beto will DESTROY our freedoms.”

Like President Trump’s prior nominees to the Supreme Court, we expect this nominee to harbor extreme views on the Second Amendment and be a staunch opponent of gun safety. The reported frontrunner for the nomination is Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who has a history of extreme positions on the Second Amendment. Specifically, in a 2019 dissent, Judge Barrett wrote that people convicted of serious felonies should be allowed to possess guns, and she endorsed a dangerous and largely historical Second Amendment analysis –– similar to one used by Justice Brett Kavanaugh and other opponents of strong gun safety laws –– that could put many important gun laws at risk. These beliefs are a clear warning sign that if confirmed, she will likely side with gun lobby extremists and reject reasonable gun safety measures. 

The life-saving gun laws that could be at risk if Judge Barrett is confirmed include background checks on all gun sales, which is supported by 94% of American voters and 90% of gun owners, and red flag laws, which are supported by similar majorities of Americans. 

We saw what’s at stake when it comes to gun safety at the Supreme Court earlier this year, when the NRA and its New York affiliate unsuccessfully tried to bait the Court into issuing a wide-reaching ruling in a case that would have endangered common-sense gun safety laws across America. Fortunately, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was there to tear through these weak arguments. But in that same case, Justice Neil Gorsuch joined a 31-page dissent against the Court’s decision, and Justice Kavanaugh indicated that he was eager to constrain gun safety laws in a future case. 

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