Trump says he discussed gun control reform with GOP leaders

Trump says he discussed gun control reform with GOP leaders
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden on Trump's refusal to commit to peaceful transfer of power: 'What country are we in?' Romney: 'Unthinkable and unacceptable' to not commit to peaceful transition of power Two Louisville police officers shot amid Breonna Taylor grand jury protests MORE said Friday that he spoke with Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanKenosha will be a good bellwether in 2020 At indoor rally, Pence says election runs through Wisconsin Juan Williams: Breaking down the debates MORE (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFEC flags McConnell campaign over suspected accounting errors Poll: 59 percent think president elected in November should name next Supreme Court justice Mark Kelly: Arizona Senate race winner should be sworn in 'promptly' MORE (R-Ky.) about his gun control proposals, an indication that he’s ramping up pressure on Congress to pass legislation to address mass shootings.

“People are looking really energized,” Trump said at a joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. “I know this has been going on for a long time, many, many years. And you've had people in my position and they would mention things but not a lot of things got done, obviously. We take it very seriously. We want to put an end to it.”

The president did not get into specifics when pressed on which measures he hopes to achieve through legislation.


Trump said Friday he wants to be “very powerful” on background checks and ensure that “we are dealing with the mentally ill.”

The president also said that that he wants to ban bump stocks — a device that can be attached to a semi-automatic gun to make it fire more rapidly. And he has advocated raising the age restriction on purchasing guns to 21 years old. Federal law currently allows some gun purchases at 18 years old.

Still, Trump has not said whether he supports expanding the background checks system or potentially passing a bill that would provide incentives to enforce the current law on the books.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) supports a House-passed bill that would incentivize agencies to utilize the current national guns database but opposes further expanding background checks.

The NRA also opposes raising the age of purchase or banning bump stocks.

Raising the age of purchase has gained steam as a legislative reform idea among lawmakers on Capitol Hill in recent days.

Experts say banning bump stocks would similarly require legislation, although Trump has instructed Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsGOP set to release controversial Biden report Trump's policies on refugees are as simple as ABCs Ocasio-Cortez, Velázquez call for convention to decide Puerto Rico status MORE to investigate whether they can be banned through the regulatory process.

Trump’s most controversial proposal would arm school officials who have been trained to handle guns so that they can fight back when there is an attack on school grounds.

Gun control advocates oppose putting more guns on schools grounds, but Trump has argued strenuously in recent days for arming school officials.

“Very, very important that we have offensive capability as well as defensive capability within the schools,” Trump said. “When you have a gun-free zone, you're really inviting people to come in and do whatever you have to do and often times get out.”

Trump has said he was moved to action on gun control after meeting with the survivors and families of victims from a high school shooting in Florida that left 17 people dead last week.