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The Latest: Pence assures NRA ‘no one is taking your guns’

April 26, 2019

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association (all times local):

11:50 a.m.

Vice President Mike Pence says that under the Trump administration, “no one is taking your guns.”

The line got a rousing applause from the National Rifle Association in Indianapolis, where Pence was introducing President Donald Trump at the gun lobby’s annual convention.

Pence, a former Indiana governor, told the crowd, “Under this president and this vice president no one is taking your guns.”

Trump is speaking to the convention for the third year in a row.

The NRA’s convention comes as longtime observers say the group is at its weakest moment in memory, due to serious infighting, financial issues and shifting public sentiment after a series of mass shootings.

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11:25 a.m.

President Donald Trump has landed in Indianapolis, where he’ll be headlining the National Rifle Association’s annual convention for the third year in a row.

Trump is addressing members of the gun rights group the same day he is expected to welcome Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (shin-zoh AH’-bay) to the White House in Washington.

The NRA’s convention comes as longtime observers say the group is at its weakest moment in memory, due to serious infighting, financial issues and shifting public sentiment after a series of mass shootings.

Greeting the 45th president at Lucas Oil Stadium on Friday were people in red “Make American Great Again” hats and a round of country music. The clocks in the stadium were set to 45:00.

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9 a.m.

President Donald Trump says the National Rifle Association is getting stronger, not weaker, and is doing important work vital to making his “Make America Great Again” slogan a reality.

Trump is heading to Indianapolis on Friday to address the nation’s largest gun rights organization, which played a pivotal role in his victory in 2016.

The NRA spent millions of dollars to help elect Trump in 2016 but had a much lower profile during the 2018 midterms. It’s unclear how visible the NRA will be in 2020 after a series of mass shootings that has hardened public sentiment against gun violence.

Trump disagrees with those who say the NRA is getting weaker. He tweets that the NRA is “getting stronger & stronger and doing some really great and important work.”

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12:35 a.m.

The nation’s largest gun rights organization played a pivotal role in President Donald Trump’s victory in 2016.

Three years later, the National Rifle Association is limping toward the next election divided and diminished. Many observers say the organization is at its weakest moment in recent history, beset by infighting, losing public support and bleeding money.

It’s a reversal that has stunned longtime observers and that is raising questions about the group’s potential firepower heading into 2020 as Trump and Vice President Mike Pence prepare to headline the group’s annual convention in Indianapolis on Friday.