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Ryan: Don't roll Florida school shooting conversation into 'taking away citizens' rights'

Ryan: Don't roll Florida school shooting conversation into 'taking away citizens' rights'
© Greg Nash

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanA warning to Ryan’s successor: The Speakership is no cakewalk Republicans divided over legislation protecting Mueller The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Wis.) early Thursday warned against rolling the conversation around Wednesday's deadly shooting at a Florida high school into “taking away citizens’ rights” to own guns.

“There’s more questions than answers at this stage,” Ryan told Indiana radio host Tony Katz.

“I don’t think that means you then roll the conversation into taking away citizens’ rights — taking away a law-abiding citizen’s rights. Obviously this conversation typically goes there," he added.

"Right now, I think we need to take a breath and collect the facts.”

Ryan made the comments in a radio interview less than 24 hours after a gunman killed at least 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. The suspected shooter, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, was taken into custody Wednesday.

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Ryan called the shooting “horrific,” and said that he thinks Congress needs to wait for more facts about the shooter’s motivation and past criminal record.

“I think we need to pray, and our hearts go out to these victims,” Ryan said. “And I think, as public policymakers, we don’t just knee-jerk before we even have all the facts and the data.”

President TrumpDonald John TrumpIG investigating Comey memos over classified information: report Overnight Defense: Congress poised for busy week on nominations, defense bill | Trump to deliver Naval Academy commencement speech | Trump administration appeals decision to block suspected combatant's transfer Top Pruitt aid requested backdate to resignation letter: report MORE and other lawmakers have expressed their condolences and offered “thoughts and prayers” in response to the shooting. Trump is expected to address the nation on Thursday about the shooting.

Students who survived the shooting appeared on CNN Thursday morning pleading with Congress to take action to prevent another shooting.

“Please, this is the 18th one this year,” one student said. “That's unacceptable. We are children. You guys are the adults. You need to take some action and play a role. Work together, come over your politics and get something done.”