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Top US Gun Lobby Group Endorses Trump

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses members of the National Rifle Association's during their annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.

The leading U.S. gun lobby group, the National Rifle Association, has endorsed Republican Donald Trump for president and he responded by saying he would not let NRA members down.

Trump told the group's convention in Louisville, Kentucky, Friday that the endorsement is a "fantastic honor."

The NRA opposes measures aimed at restricting gun ownership and is considered one of the most influential such lobbying groups in the United States.

Takes aim at Clinton

Trump centered much of his remarks on Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, claiming that she wants to abolish the Constitution's Second Amendment, which gives citizens the right to bear arms. Trump said Clinton's proposals for greater restrictions on guns would leave law-abiding citizens at risk from criminals.

Clinton has said she supports the Second Amendment, but says more safety measures are needed to keep guns out of the wrong hands, including expanded background checks and a ban on assault weapons.

Trump often mentions in his speeches that he has a concealed weapon carry permit, and has called for policies that make it easier for law-abiding citizens to carry guns.

Clinton will appear Saturday in Florida with parents who have lost children to gun violence, including the mother of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager whose death in 2012 led to one of the highest-profile U.S. criminal cases in years.

The campaign appearances by both Trump and Clinton on gun-related issues this week highlight the prominent role the topic could play in the elections.

On Friday, Trump also touted the list of potential Supreme Court nominees he released this week, saying they show his support for the Second Amendment and he called on Clinton to release her own list.

Supporters of U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential Donald Trump
Supporters of U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential Donald Trump

Polls Show Race Narrowing

The latest national poll shows Clinton's lead over Trump has narrowed since he became the apparent Republican nominee earlier this month when the last of the his rivals dropped out of the race. The CBS News/New York Times survey released Friday found Clinton with a slight national edge over Trump, 47 to 41 percent, down from a ten-point margin a month ago.

The same survey showed Clinton's rival, Bernie Sanders, doing better in a potential match-up against Trump, leading the billionaire businessman 51 percent to 38 percent.

Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, has acknowledged that he has only a narrow path to overtake Clinton, who is leading in the Democratic delegate count, but he has vowed to stay in the race through the remaining state contests.

Sanders' supporters so far have resisted any move toward backing Clinton. They engaged in scuffles at a party convention in Nevada earlier this week when they felt they were short-changed in the number of national convention delegates that had been awarded to Sanders to represent the western state.