Trump vows to 'always uphold the Second Amendment' amid ongoing talks on gun laws

Trump vows to 'always uphold the Second Amendment' amid ongoing talks on gun laws
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' MORE on Thursday told supporters in New Hampshire that he would "always uphold the Second Amendment" and suggested that the construction of new mental health facilities would help curb gun violence.

The president lamented the lack of mental health institutions as he spoke about the need to keep guns away from people with mental illnesses. The comments come as the White House and Congress examine new gun laws after recent mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas.

"It's not the gun that pulls the trigger. It's the person that pulls the trigger," Trump said, earning a roar of approval from the crowd in Manchester.

He suggested that the closure of mental institutions led to an influx of sick individuals on the streets. Trump proposed building new facilities to get those individuals help, and implied that the move would assist in the fight against gun violence.

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But the president, wary of upsetting his base supporters, assured the crowd that he would not allow new laws to infringe on their access to guns. 

"We can’t make it harder for good, solid, law-abiding citizens to protect themselves," he said. "We will always uphold the right to self-defense, and we will always uphold the Second Amendment."

Trump's comments on Thursday night underscore the complicated nature of ongoing talks on background checks, so-called "red flag" laws and other measures to reduce gun violence after the latest spate of mass shootings.

The president has in recent days insisted that he favors stronger background checks. But he has voiced support for similar measures in the past only to back off amid pressure from the National Rifle Association (NRA).

The NRA has opposed the gun measures being floated by lawmakers in recent weeks, and it's unclear whether a background check bill co-sponsored by Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOvernight Energy: Green groups sue Trump over Endangered Species Act changes | Bureau of Land Management retirees fight plan to relocate agency | Wildfires in Amazon rainforest burn at record rate Bureau of Land Management retirees fight plan to relocate agency out west GOP senator: Gun control debate 'hasn't changed much at all' back home MORE (D-W.Va.) and Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyNSA improperly collected US phone records in October, new documents show Overnight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general WH backpedals on Trump's 'due process' remark on guns MORE (R-Pa.) has enough GOP support to pass the Senate.