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At NRA, Pence Will Try Moving To The Right Of Trump On Guns

Mike Pence hopes to get to the right of Donald Trump on guns, bringing debates the two had in the White House into the public eye. The former vice president is slated to come on his home turf for the National Rifle Association’s annual leadership summit Friday in Indianapolis. He is expected to draw implicit contrasts with his former boss, Politico reports. His speech is likely to address both the Nashville and Louisville mass shootings, talk about the importance of mental health, supplying armed officers at schools and expediting the death penalty for perpetrators. Pence won’t talk about red flag laws that give law enforcement officials the opportunity to intervene when a person is deemed as high-risk, as well as banning bump stocks. Those two issues were ones Trump was open to or acted upon as president. .


Pence advocated for red flag laws as vice president, but has since disavowed the idea, with his Advancing American Freedom group coming out against it in March 2022. “It will make for interesting political theater,” said a Republican who has met with both Trump and Pence on the issue of firearms. The Pence reversal is part of an effort to paint Trump as unreliable on Second Amendment rights. A Pence adviser cited a 2018 Daily Mail item referencing Sen. Diane Feinstein’s (D-Cal.) positive reaction to Trump’s willingness to consider firearm restrictions: “Feinstein can’t contain her glee in gun control meeting with Trump.” It is part of a political tightrope Pence is walking ahead of his own campaign launch later this summer: How to articulate the rationale for his candidacy and distinguish himself from the man he served for four years. The NRA meeting is the first time that both Pence and Trump have shared a stage since they left office.

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