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NRA endorses Trump, who says Clinton will abolish 2nd Amendment

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LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 20: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the National Rifle Association's NRA-ILA Leadership Forum during the NRA Convention at the Kentucky Exposition Center on May 20, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. The NRA endorsed Trump at the convention. The convention runs May 22. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (CNN) — Donald Trump on Friday told the National Rifle Association that Hillary Clinton would take away the right to bear arms, moments after the gun group endorsed the presumptive GOP nominee at its annual meeting here.

Calling the endorsement a “fantastic honor,” Trump dove right into attacking Clinton, saying the Democratic presidential front-runner “wants to abolish the Second Amendment.”

“We’re not going to let that happen,” Trump said. “We’re going to preserve it, we’re going to cherish it.”

Trump’s claim reiterated a statement he made earlier in the month, though on Friday, he suggested that Clinton would take away gun rights via the Supreme Court.

“If she gets to appoint her judges, she will abolish the Second Amendment,” Trump told an enthusiastic crowd. “In my opinion, that’s what she’s going to go for.”

Clinton has never argued for abolishing the Second Amendment but has called for universal background checks and stricter controls on firearms.

The presumptive GOP nominee, who days earlier released a list of his potential Supreme Court nominees, called on Clinton to do the same, saying the Democrat’s list would be “night and day” from his.

Trump hammered home his argument that gun rights are critical to fighting terrorism — raising the specter of recent terrorist attacks — but spent most of his speech sharpening his attacks on Clinton.

He even referenced Clinton’s advantage with women voters, arguing that Clinton is telling “every woman that she doesn’t have the right to defend herself” with a firearm.

“That is so unfair and that is so egregious and I’ll tell you what, my poll numbers with women are starting to go up,” he said.

Trump also accused Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, of being hypocritical for having armed Secret Service agents around them while calling for stricter gun control measures, and called on the Clintons to “let their bodyguards immediately disarm.”

Trump on Friday was addressing thousands of NRA members gathered here after the group’s CEO, Wayne LaPierre, and the group’s chief lobbyist, Chris Cox, energized the crowd by bashing Clinton and urging Republicans to “get over” their sore feelings about the primary process and unite around the presumptive Republican nominee.

LaPierre and Cox both argued that the “Second Amendment is on the ballot in November,” a position that Trump also took in his speech.

In a statement shortly after the group announced its endorsement of Trump, Cox said “the stakes in this year’s presidential election could not be higher for gun owners.”

“If Hillary Clinton gets the opportunity to replace Antonin Scalia with an anti-gun Supreme Court justice, we will lose the individual right to keep a gun in the home for self-defense,” Cox said. “Mrs. Clinton has said that the Supreme Court got it wrong on the Second Amendment. So the choice for gun owners in this election is clear. And that choice is Donald Trump.”

While Trump has consistently argued throughout his presidential campaign that he is “very strong” on the Second Amendment, Trump supported some gun control measures years before his decision to run for president.

Trump supported a ban on assault weapons in the 1990s and argued in favor of longer waiting periods for consumers seeking to purchase guns.