Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, shooting from the hip in a Tuesday speech, appeared to suggest that only pro-gun enthusiasts could keep a potential president Hillary Clinton from abolishing gun rights through her selection of Supreme Court judges.
"Hillary wants to ... essentially abolish the Second Amendment," Trump said in Wilmington, North Carolina, referring to the US Constitution's protection for citizens to bear arms.
Trump added: "By the way, and if she gets to pick ... to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is. I don't know ..."
Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook condemned the comment: "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."
The Trump campaign fired back quickly at allegations that he was suggesting pro-gun citizens take literal aim at Clinton through assassination or insurrection. His campaign said it was nod to the power and organization prowess of pro-gun Americans.
"It's called the power of unification - Second Amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified, which gives them great political power. And this year, they will be voting in record numbers, and it won't be for Hillary Clinton, it will be for Donald Trump," Trump spokesman Jason Miller said in statement.
The National Rifle Association, the leading US pro-gun rights organization, agreed with Trump via Twitter, saying if Clinton gets to choose anti-gun judges "there's nothing we can do." It quickly added, however, that "there IS something we will do" on election day: "Show up and vote for the" second amendment.