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 TrumpTrump suggests some states may 'pay nothing' as part of unemployment plan Trump denies White House asked about adding him to Mount Rushmore Trump, US face pivotal UN vote on Iran 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) ManchinHillicon Valley: Facebook removes Trump post | TikTok gets competitor | Lawmakers raise grid safety concerns OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court cancels shutdown of Dakota Access Pipeline | US could avoid 4.5M early deaths by fighting climate change, study finds | Officials warn of increasing cyber threats to critical infrastructure during pandemic Officials warn of increasing cyber threats to critical infrastructure during pandemic MORE (D-W.Va.) and Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyDunford withdraws from consideration to chair coronavirus oversight panel GOP senators push for quick, partial reopening of economy NSA improperly collected US phone records in October, new documents show MORE (R-Pa.) has enough GOP support to pass the Senate.