President Donald Trump suggested, during his speech at the annual National Rifle Association convention in Dallas, Texas, on Friday, that gun rights are given to Americans by God.
Trump made the eyebrow-raising theological claim while praising NRA members, many of whom voted him into office.
"The people in this hall have never taken our freedom for granted, never, and you have never stopped fighting for our beloved Constitution. Incredible people, thank you," Trump said. "You give your time, your energy, your vote and your voice to stand strong for those sacred rights given to us by God, including the right to self-defense."
Trump then doubled down on his promise to protect "the right to self-defense" via defending the right to bear arms—guns—granted by the Second Amendment.
"And now, thanks to your activism and dedication, you have an administration fighting to protect your Second Amendment and we will protect your Second Amendment," Trump said. "Your Second Amendment rights are under siege, but they will never ever be under siege as long as I'm your president."
Before Trump, Vice President Mike Pence said he and the president joined the meeting "mostly just to say thanks—thank you for all you do to defend liberty and thank you for electing a president and Congress that are making America great again."
"President Trump and I both stand without apology for the Second Amendment and in this administration, the right of the people to keep and bear arms will not be infringed," Pence said.
It was Trump's first time speaking to NRA members since a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, in February left 17 people dead. The organization's convention was its first since that massacre.
The president has also addressed the NRA in its last two annual meetings. In April 2017, he thanked thousands of his "friends" from the organization in the audience for voting for him in the presidential election.
"You came through for me," Trump said at the time, "And I am going to come through for you."