“This is not a gun issue, it is a mental health issue, it is a social issue, it is a cultural issue, and it is a spiritual issue,” Trump said, while also veering away from blaming immigration issues. He proposed a new tax credit to cover the cost of concealed firearms training for teachers. “If even 15 percent of teachers, people who are skilled with guns, we want 15 percent to be willingly armed and trained to stop active shooters, we would achieve effective deterrence and the problem would cease to exist and that would be Many people. .” he said.

Meanwhile, Pence called for the swift execution of mass shooters as a solution to gun violence.

“I am tired of the senseless violence and loss of life that could be prevented if our leaders supported law enforcement, protected our schools, institutionalized the obviously mentally ill, and enacted laws ensuring that anyone who engages in these heinous acts of mass violence meets its fate in months, not years,” Pence said.

Pence, speaking in his home state, received boos from the crowd once he appeared on stage. Pence said Democrats must address the «very real issues of violent crime and mental health that are costing thousands of American lives each year.»

“Ignoring the motivations of the trans activist who killed three children and three adults at that Christian school in Nashville, and the ‘mental health challenges’ of the man who killed five people and injured eight others in Louisville, President Biden and the Democrats have returned to the same tired arguments about gun control and forfeiture,» Pence said.

Pence seemed to win the crowd over at the end, earning a standing ovation.

Trump appeared to berate the crowd for their negative reaction to their former vice president. “I hope you gave Pence a good, warm thumbs up,” he said. “I heard that it was very hard, today you have been in the news.”

The event marks the first time Pence and former President Donald Trump have shared a stage since leaving office. Pence has increased criticism of his former boss recently, including over the January 6 riots.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy received warm applause and standing ovations.

Noem signed an executive order onstage with NRA CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre ending recent efforts by some banks to stop lending to gun retailers and manufacturers in their state.

“I will sign it on behalf of protecting industries related to the firearms and firearms industry from being discriminated against by banking, credit card or other financial institutions,” said Noem, who is weighing up his next political move.

Other presidential contenders, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former UN ambassador Nikki Haley and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, sent video messages. Guy Relford, a prominent Indiana radio host and front-row Second Amendment attorney, said he’s leaning toward DeSantis in the primary but called his decision to send a video message «disappointing.» .

“Trump has always said all the right things. He has a bit of a patchy record as president,” Relford said. He mentioned that many in the gun rights movement didn’t like Trump’s quick action on fire accelerators despite the fact that «not a lot of people necessarily care a lot about fire accelerators.»

Ramaswamy criticized candidates who did not appear in person. “I didn’t want to be one of those NRA check-box career politicians,” he said, adding that he came here to tell people he has an AR-15.

The NRA convention was once a must-see for presidential contenders, but the group’s influence has been on the decline in recent years. In 2019, the NRA held its annual convention in the belly of Lucas Oil Stadium, adjacent to where the actual convention takes place at the Indiana Convention Center. This year, the speeches were delivered in a small ballroom in the convention center.

In the aftermath of the recent mass shootings, some Republicans have changed their minds. Republican Gov. Bill Lee has publicly urged the Tennessee state Legislature to pass a version of a red flag law in the state. That’s a policy Pence once adopted when he was governor of Indiana. But as a potential presidential contender today, Pence said the United States doesn’t need gun control, it needs crime control.

“We don’t need sermons about the liberties of law-abiding citizens. We need solutions to protect our children,» Pence said. “So to Joe Biden and the gun control extremists, I say: Give up your impossible dreams of gun confiscation, stop endangering our lives with gun bans, and stop trampling on our God-given rights guaranteed by the law! Constitution of the United States!»