Donald Trump accused of suggesting gun supporters could assassinate Hillary Clinton

Republican candidate has repeatedly accused rival of wanting to abolish the Second Amendment

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Image: Nam Y. Huh/AP/Press Association Images

US presidential hopeful Donald Trump has appeared to hint at gun supporters taking up arms against his rival Hillary Clinton.

The Republican Party's nominee was speaking about the next president's power to appoint Supreme Court justices, a key election issue since the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia earlier this year, who has not yet been replaced.

He told the crowd at the rally in Wilmington, North Carolina: "If (Mrs Clinton) gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks.

Then he added: "Although the Second Amendment people - maybe there is, I don't know."

The Second Amendment protects the right of Americans to bear arms.

Mr Trump has repeatedly accused his Democratic rival of wanting to abolish it.

She has not, but she has called for tougher gun regulations - including expanded background checks and allowing families of victims of gun violence to sue gun manufacturers or dealers.

Mrs Clinton's campaign manager Robby Mook, swiftly responded to Mr Trump's remarks, stating: "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."

But reading out a statement entitled "Trump Statement on Dishonest Media", Jason Miller, a communications adviser for the Trump campaign, was quick to respond to the criticism:

"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."

Earlier in his speech, Mr Trump spoke to "the NRA folks, who are great", saying: "If you don't do what's the right thing, you're not going to have - either you're not going to have a Second Amendment or you're not going to have much of it left.

"And you're not going to be able to protect yourselves, which you need - which you need.

"When the bad guys burst into your house, they're not looking about Second Amendments and 'do I have the right to do this?'

"The bad guys aren't going to be giving up their weapons.

"But the good people will say, 'oh, well, that's the law'."