ATLANTA -- President Donald Trump sounded off on Georgia politics and second amendment politics at the World Congress Center Friday. Trump spoke to the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association, where he gave gun owners credit for helping him win election last November.
The ovation was thunderous when Trump entered the room. A year ago, he’d spoken to the same convention in Louisville KY, seemingly as a longshot to win the presidency.
This year’s convention is the same celebration of gun rights But this year, the NRA is all but taking credit for putting Trump over the top.
"We didn’t just swing an election," NRA executive legislative director Chris Cox told the crowd. "We altered the course of history."
Photos | Donald Trump in Atlanta for the National Rifle Association conference
Trump was the first sitting president to address the NRA's national convention since Ronald Reagan did it in 1983.
"You came through for me and I am going to come through for you," Trump promised the gathering.
Trump told the NRA audience that the second amendment protects a sacred right.
For its members, Trump’s presence represents a long overdue moment of renewal. "I think for a lot of members, this weekend is about celebrating that renewed sense of freedom and hope that we’re feeling," said Catherine Mortenson, an NRA spokeswoman.
Trump started his speech by issuing an endorsement of Karen Handel, the Republican competing for a seat in Georgia's sixth congressional district. Handel faces Democrat Jon Ossoff in the June runoff. Handel did not appear onstage with Trump, but was expecting him at a downtown fundraiser for her campaign once Trump's NRA appearance concluded.
Trump also sounded familiar campaign themes about immigration – including one that’s still looking for funding in Congress.
"And by the way, we will build the wall. No matter how low this number gets or how high," Trump said, referring to declining numbers of people illegally crossing the southern border of the US. "Don’t even think about it. Don’t even think about it."