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There’s No Debating Trump’s Failures on Gun Crime

Reviewing Trump’s record on guns ahead of the first presidential debate.

No one knows what convicted felon Donald Trump will say about gun violence, now officially a public health crisis, during the first debate on Thursday night. 

On the campaign trail, Trump has taken every opportunity to double down on his loyalty to the gun lobby’s extreme agenda and insisted Iowans “get over it” when parents were still grieving the loss of a child. But as president, Trump teased mass shooting survivors with false promises of reforms before getting on the phone and taking orders from his gun lobby donors.

Trump’s Record

What we do know is Trump’s record. Trump refused to close loopholes that would keep guns away from those intent on carrying out unfathomable acts of violence in our schools and on our streets. Earlier this year, he proudly claimed that he “did nothing” to combat gun violence while he was in office. 

When Donald Trump was president, he made the deliberate choice to protect gun industry profits over this country’s children. That alone is disqualifying, but with Trump it’s the tip of the iceberg. Gun homicides increased by 34% and he had the nerve to brag about doing “nothing” to fight gun violence. With guns as the top killer of children and adolescents in this country, young people cannot afford another term of Donald Trump putting the gun lobby in charge.

Polls show gun violence remains a top concern of voters. Americans need to know the facts.

The Facts

  • Trump bragged to the gun lobby about his refusal to take any action to fight gun violence. He told the NRA, “During my four years, nothing happened! … And there was great pressure on me having to do with guns. We did nothing. We didn’t yield.”
  • Trump said he would “terminate” everything Biden has done to save lives from gun violence. Voters need to know that means Trump is promising to:
  • Trump blames shootings on mental health, but repeatedly sought to slash mental health services and insurance coverage.
    • Tried to cut $1.5 trillion from Medicaid, which “covered 22% of nonelderly adults with mental illness and 26% of nonelderly adults with serious mental illness.”
    • Proposed reducing funding for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Programs by ~$600 million.
    • Fought to allow insurers to refuse coverage for people struggling with mental illness by repealing the Affordable Care Act.
      • Trump would allow mental illness to once again be considered a preexisting condition.
      • Insurers could once again refuse to cover mental health services.


Our experts can speak to the full spectrum of gun violence prevention issues. Have a question? Email us at




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