WASHINGTON, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) — U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump got embroiled in a political firestorm on Tuesday after suggesting that supporters of gun rights could take action against his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton if she wins the election.
During a campaign rally in Wilmington, North Carolina, Trump repeated his claim that Clinton intends to abolish the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects Americans' right to keep guns, before appearing to make a joke about using violence to stop Clinton from picking a liberal Supreme Court justice.
"Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment," said Trump. "By the way, if she gets to pick her (Supreme Court) judges, nothing you can do, folks."
"Though the Second Amendment people, maybe there is," he added.
The Clinton campaign immediately seized on Trump's remarks, criticizing the New Yorker for instigating violence.
"This is simple — what Trump is saying is dangerous. A person seeking to be the president of the United States should not suggest violence in any way," said the Clinton campaign in a statement.
Other Democrats piled on, with one Democratic senator equating Trump's remarks with "assassination threat" against Clinton.
The Trump campaign defended the nominee by arguing that Trump was talking about nothing other than encouraging gun rights supporters to vote against Clinton in November.
"It's called the power of unification — Second Amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified, which gives them great political power," said the Trump campaign in a statement.
"And this year, they will be voting in record numbers, and it won't be for Hillary Clinton, it will be for Donald Trump," it added.