The French government on Saturday hit back at a suggestion from U.S. President Donald Trump that looser gun laws might have led to a different outcome to deadly attacks in Paris in 2015, in a speech in which he mimicked how the victims were shot.
In the aftermath of the February school shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which left 17 dead and many more wounded, Trump had temporarily strayed from gun rights dogma.
At a White House meeting with lawmakers, Trump even criticized his fellow Republicans for their timid approach to gun control legislation, suggesting they were "afraid of the NRA". But he later backpedaled on that tough talk.
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He pledged to the cheering crowd that those rights "will never, ever be under siege as long as I'm your president".
The NRA's 147th annual convention is happening about a mile from here. His gun comments were woven into a campaign-style speech that touched on the Russian Federation probe, the 2016 campaign, his efforts in North Korea and Iran and his fight against illegal immigration.
Trump's NRA speech also drew anger in France on Saturday, after the USA president, using his hand in a gun gesture, acted out how a gunman had killed hostages one by one during an attack in Paris in November 2015. "So I don't necessarily think Trump is scared of the NRA, I think Trump is very enamored with the financial support that the NRA gives him". "'Bye, bye, gotta get on the plane'".
The NRA spent more than $30 million to help elect Trump in the 2016 presidential election, according to the Center of Responsive Politics, and provided a boon of conservative bona fides at a time when Trump's candidacy was met with skepticism by many who doubted his conservative credentials.
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Trump spoke about gun laws in France during a free-wheeling address to the National Rifle Association in Texas on Friday, suggesting the atrocity might have been prevented if citizens were allowed to buy arms.
David Hogg, another Parkland shooting survivor and student activist, responded on Twitter. The NRA has fiercely defended America's gun ownership rights for many years, citing the Second Amendment.
"I have nothing against the NRA members that are law-abiding gun owners".
"France expresses its firm disapproval of President Trump's comments about the Paris attacks on November 13, 2015 and demands that the memory of the victims be respected", the foreign office said in a statement. "This is all a spectacle; Trump trying to appeal to a crowd of people who really, really like weapons that shoot bullets fast".
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