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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 TrumpChinese apps could face subpoenas, bans under Biden executive order: report Kim says North Korea needs to be 'prepared' for 'confrontation' with US Ex-Colorado GOP chair accused of stealing more than 0K from pro-Trump PAC 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 ManchinJoe ManchinDelaware set to raise minimum wage to by 2025 Overnight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 Manchin calls on Biden to nominate permanent FDA commissioner MORE (D-W.Va.) and Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyBlack women look to build upon gains in coming elections Watch live: GOP senators present new infrastructure proposal Sasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote MORE (R-Pa.) has enough GOP support to pass the Senate.