Trump to headline ‘momentous’ NRA event ahead of key primary showdown

by Tommy Grant

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FIRST ON FOX: Former President Trump will deliver the keynote speech for the NRA’s Presidential Forum at its massive annual outdoor show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, next month, Fox News Digital has learned. 

“President Trump’s unwavering support for the Second Amendment, and his track record of protecting the rights of gun owners make him an exemplary speaker for this momentous event. His fellow NRA members can’t wait to hear from him for the eighth time,” NRA President Charles Cotton said in the press release provided to Fox News Digital on Monday. 

The NRA’s Great American Outdoor Show will run between Feb. 3-11, including Trump’s speech on Feb. 9 during the event’s Presidential Forum. The NRA noted that this is Trump’s eighth address to NRA members, with his speeches stretching back to 2015, showing he is a “steadfast advocate for the NRA, the Second Amendment, and self-defense rights.”

Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, promised in 2016 that we “will never let” NRA members down, which NRA leadership lauded in their press release, explaining that Trump carried through on this commitment when he was the commander in chief. 

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“As President, Trump upheld this commitment by appointing a record-setting number of judges who respect the Second Amendment, designating firearm retailers as critical infrastructure during COVID-19, and unsigning from the ATT arms trade treaty on stage at the 2019 NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis,” the press release said, also noting Trump is a lifetime NRA member. 

The Great American Outdoor Show is billed as the world’s largest outdoor show that features more than 1,000 exhibitors across 650,000 square feet of exhibit space over the course of nine days of events. Events stretch from Trump’s speech, a concert, dog and lumberjack competitions, and hunting and gun ownership forums. 

NRA concertgoers enjoy music as one wears NRA ballcap

“President Trump’s presence at the Great American Outdoor Show is a testament to his ongoing commitment to our constitutional freedoms. His leadership has been crucial in safeguarding the rights of hunters, sportsmen, and all Americans who cherish our outdoor heritage,” executive director of NRA-ILA Randy Kozuch said in the press release.

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The NRA’s announcement comes on the heels of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis dropping out of the 2024 presidential race on Sunday, ahead of the New Hampshire primary. The primary, the first in the nation, will now be a showdown between Trump and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. 

Trump will join the NRA event ahead of the South Carolina primary, Haley’s home state, on Feb. 24. 

handgun with Trump's face on grip on display

Trump handily dominated the Iowa caucuses last week, winning 98 of the 99 counties. Polls in New Hampshire show Trump in the lead over Haley, with an average of polls on FiveThirtyEight showing Trump with nearly 49.8% support compared to Haley’s 36.1% support. 

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Pennsylvania, where the NRA event will be held, is a swing state where Trump took 48.84% of the votes in 2020 compared to Scranton native President Biden’s 50.01%. The former president managed to take the state in 2016 when he faced off against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, earning more than 40,000 additional votes than Clinton. 

After DeSantis’ Sunday afternoon dropout, Trump told Fox News Digital that he was “very honored” DeSantis endorsed his run for the White House, adding that he looks forward “to working together with him to beat Joe Biden.”

Donald Trump in NRA bomber jacket

“Very honored to have his endorsement,” Trump told Fox News Digital. “I look forward to working together with him to beat Joe Biden, who is the worst and most corrupt president in the history of our country.”

The Great American Outdoor Show is held each year in Harrisburg and saw “200,000 NRA members and patriots, celebrating hunting, fishing, and outdoor traditions” at last year’s event, according to the press release.  

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