People who gathered to see Donald Trump speak at a Lincoln Day dinner at a conference center in Novi, Michigan, on Sunday, were not allowed to bring their firearms.
The event, hosted by Oakland County Republican Party, listed guns and "weapons of any kind" among items prohibited from the sold-out event, despite the local party espousing the belief that keeping and bearing arms was "a natural inalienable right."
Camera footage of the entrance to the event, posted on Twitter on Monday, showed a queue for metal detector machines and bags being checked by what appear to be homeland security agents. The video has been viewed 2.2 million times as of 5:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday.
The former president has continued to tout his support for the Second Amendment, writing on his 2024 campaign website that he would "always defend" the right to bear arms.
Former President Donald Trump speaks to guests at the Oakland County Republican Party's Lincoln Day dinner on June 25, 2023, in Novi, Michigan. During the event, where firearms were banned, Trump said he would "fully uphold the Second Amendment." Getty Images/Scott Olson
"I will fully uphold the Second Amendment," Trump said during his speech at the event. "I have had support from every gun group."
While some social media users argued that the ban on guns was hypocritical, others said that the rule had likely been enforced by Trump's Secret Service detail or due to federal laws prohibiting guns from certain public spaces, such as schools and airports.
"Isn't that ironic? Don't you think?" Lance Bratt tweeted. Meanwhile, the Dear Christian Podcast cited a claim often made by gun rights advocates, writing: "I thought more guns made us safer... no?"
"Hypocrites," another wrote. "Trump even said on Jan 6th they aren't here to hurt me," referencing the testimony of senior White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson on what the former president said during the 2021 U.S. Capitol riots.
However, user Rob Spear said: "It's a federal law. He is a president protected by Secret Service. Even if Trump wanted his people to carry at one of his rallies, the Secret Service would not allow it."
"Duh. Still under Secret Service protection," Toshiro Grendel wrote. "Talk to the feds."
The Secret Service has previously said it had the authority to bar firearms from sites visited by protectees. When Trump spoke at the National Rifle Association conferences in 2022 and 2017, attendees were prohibited from carrying guns during his address.
Newsweek approached the Trump campaign, Oakland County Republican Party, and the Secret Service via email for comment on Tuesday.
During his speech, Trump spoke on a range of topics including free trade, President Joe Biden's green agenda, and boasted about his commanding lead in the Republican primary polls.
The latest Emerson College poll of 362 registered voters, conducted between June 19-20, gave Trump 59 percent support among GOP presidential candidates, ahead of his main rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at 21 percent.
The former president reiterated his unfounded claims that the 2020 election was "rigged," telling the audience that the U.S. had "fake" elections.
He also said that he wore his recent indictments—one over allegations of hush money payments ahead of the 2016 election, and another regarding classified documents from his presidency found at his Mar-a-Lago, Florida, residence after he had left office—as "a great badge of honor and a badge of courage."
The two cases have made Trump the first former commander-in-chief to not only face state-level criminal charges but also a federal indictment.
He has come out guns blazing over the charges, writing in various posts on his Truth social media platform that they were "fake" and the product of a politically motivated "witch hunt." In both cases, he has denied any wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty.