While President Obama made his case for expanded gun control Thursday evening, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump offered a starkly different opinion in a state with some of the fewest gun-restriction laws in the nation.
"You know what a gun free zone is to a sicko? That's bait!" Trump told just under 1,500 at his rally in Burlington, Vt.
The rally, scheduled for 7 p.m. ET, aired simultaneously with CNN's gun-centric town hall featuring Obama.
Trump, a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, considers himself a steadfast ally in the fight to protect gun ownership in the U.S. In mid-September, the celebrity candidate published a Second Amendment position paper that deemed gun and magazine bans "a total failure" and pushed for nationalizing concealed carry permits.
But on Thursday, while Obama pitted himself against critics who've said his recent executive actions on guns are driven by political expediency, Trump took his defense of the Second Amendment even further.
"I would get rid of gun-free zones on schools … and on military bases. My first day it gets signed," Trump said, pledging to take immediate action should he succeed in his bid for the White House.
"There's no more gun-free zones," he repeated, drawing a deafening applause from the audience.
Trump continued, ending his remarks with a haunting reminder of the Chattanooga, Tenn. shooting in July that left four marines and one Navy sailor dead.
"I mean think of it," he said. "A gun-free zone on a military base with some of the best soldiers we have sitting there, relaxing, watching television. A guy walks in, kills them immediately."