President Trump most commonly describes himself as a “Big big big Second Amendment guy.” This is a speech during the 2016 campaign in which he said a mass shooting in Paris would have been prevented if the French did not have such restrictive gun laws.
New York Magazine summarized Donald Trump’s gun policies this way:
In his book The America We Deserve, which he released when he was running for president on the Reform ticket in 2000, Trump took a somewhat contradictory stance on guns, writing: “I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun.”
In 2015, when he launched his presidential campaign as a Republican, he quickly adopted the rhetoric of the right on gun violence, emphasizing that after mass shootings the focus should be on mental health, not guns. He also embraced an idea put forth by the National Rifle Association following the Newtown massacre: that we need more armed people in schools, and society in general, since “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
On the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly promised to eliminate gun-free zones around schools and military bases. At a rally in New Hampshire on January 7, 2016, he vowed to abolish them on his first day in office, saying, “You know what a gun-free zone is to a sicko? That’s bait.”
Trump has suggested more guns on othger occasions as well. After the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, CNN reported that Trump “suggested that the Orlando nightclub massacre victims could have stopped the attack or lessened its toll if they had been armed.”
CNN’s story included this passage:
“If some of those wonderful people had guns strapped right here, right to their waist or right to their ankle,” Trump said, patting his hip, “and this son of a b—- comes out and starts shooting and one of the people in that room happened to have (a gun) and goes ‘boom, boom.’ You know what, that would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight, folks.”But by early Monday, after some very public criticism from the NRA, Trump had reversed course.“When I said that if, within the Orlando club, you had some people with guns, I was obviously talking about additional guards or employees,” he tweeted.