In this April 28, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump speaks during the National Rifle Association-ILA Leadership Forum, in Atlanta. As NRA prepares to gather for its 147th annual meeting in Dallas, the political landscape has changed considerably in the past year. Even with a GOP-led Congress and a gun-friendly president in the White House, its agenda has stalled. And a new generation seems to have the upper hand in pushing for gun-control after several deadly mass shootings. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart File)

WASHINGTON (AP) - Back for a return engagement, President Donald Trump[1]’s address to the National Rifle Association[2] on Friday comes after he temporarily strayed from the group’s strong opposition to tougher gun controls following the school shooting in Parkland[3], Florida - only to rapidly return to the fold.

For the fourth year in a row, Trump[4] will speak to the group, which meets this year in Dallas. Last year, he became the first sitting president to appear in more than 30 years, declaring that the “assault” on the Second Amendment had ended. But this year’s speech comes as the issue of gun violence takes on new urgency after one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history.

Student survivors of the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead are now leading a massive national gun control movement. While the shooting has not led to major changes from the White House[5] or the Republican-led Congress, it did - at least briefly - prompt Trump[6] to declare that he would stand up to the powerful gun lobby. He later backpedaled on that tough talk.

Trump[7]’s attendance at this year’s NRA[8] convention was announced just days ago and came after Vice President Mike Pence already was scheduled to appear. Asked why Trump[9] was attending, given the current political tensions around gun violence, White House[10] press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said this week that safety was a “big priority.” But, she added, “We also support the Second Amendment, and strongly support it, and don’t see there to be a problem with speaking at the National Rifle Association[11]’s meeting.”

Trump[12] has long enjoyed strong backing from the NRA[13], which spent about $30 million in support of his presidential campaign. The NRA[14] showcased its high-profile guests for the event, with NRA[15] Executive Director Chris Cox saying on Twitter: “We are honored to celebrate American Freedom with @realDonaldTrump, @VP Mike Pence and others. #2A #watchtheleftmeltdown”

But one of the Parkland[16] student survivors, David Hogg, was critical of Trump[17]’s planned attendance.

“It’s kind of hypocritical of him to go there after saying so many politicians bow to the NRA[18] and are owned by them,” Hogg said. “It proves that his heart and his wallet are in the same place.”

During a televised gun meeting with lawmakers in late February, Trump[19] wagged his finger at a Republican senator and scolded him for being “afraid of the NRA[20],” declaring that he would stand up to the group and finally get results in quelling gun violence.

He praised members of the gun lobby as “great patriots”...

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