Trump says he discussed gun control reform with GOP leaders

President Trump said Friday that he spoke with Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (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 Sessions 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.

Tags Donald Trump Jeff Sessions Mass shooting; Donald Trump; gun control; listening session; Florida shooting; Mitch McConnell National Rifle Association Paul Ryan

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