With his poll numbers in free fall, it looks like Donald Trump is attempting to make a “pivot” to the center of sorts on the issue of gun control.
In a Twitter post on Wednesday, Trump said that he planned to meet with the National Rifle Association to talk “about not allowing people on the terrorist watch list, or the no fly list, to buy guns.”
I will be meeting with the NRA, who has endorsed me, about not allowing people on the terrorist watch list, or the no fly list, to buy guns.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2016
Pro-gun conservatives immediately sensed betrayal from Trump and rushed to condemn his apostasy by ripping the presumptive nominee for caving on gun control.
“This year [Trump] got the NRA endorsement and he just threw them under the bus,” thundered Erick Erickson at The Resurgent. “Banning people on the terror watch list and no fly list are terrible ideas because the second amendment is a fundamental right.”
Other conservatives were similarly angry, albeit not very surprised given Trump’s wildly erratic shifts in policy positions:
Surprised that an authoritarian strongman is eager to take guns away without due process
— Allahpundit (@allahpundit) June 15, 2016
Prepare for a lot of, "even Donald Trump accepts the need to ban gun sales to ppl on terror watch list" stories.#WellPlayed
— Drew McCoy (@_Drew_McCoy_) June 15, 2016
Trump sides with Harry Reid vs gun rights. Raise your hand if this surprises you. https://t.co/tBCYhzSIYD
— Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank) June 15, 2016
You get the idea.
Earlier this year, Trump said that there were no circumstances where he would limit guns sales of any kind in the United States:
But back in November, Trump said that “if somebody is on a watch list and an enemy of state and we know it’s an enemy of state, I would keep them away, absolutely.”
So who knows where he stands? If the NRA tells him it’s not going to bend on this issue, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Trump deny that he ever suggested barring people on no-fly lists from buying guns.