NRA on Trump meeting: Great TV, but 'bad policy'

NRA on Trump meeting: Great TV, but 'bad policy'
© Getty Images

The National Rifle Association (NRA) on Wednesday issued a blistering statement criticizing a meeting held by President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE and lawmakers to discuss gun proposals in the wake of a mass shooting at a Florida high school.

During the bipartisan meeting, Trump said guns should be taken from dangerous individuals even if it violates due process rights and suggested lawmakers remove a concealed carry measure from a bipartisan background checks bill.

The measure, which would allow concealed weapons to be carried over state lines, is a top NRA priority.

ADVERTISEMENT

“While today’s meeting made for great TV, the gun control proposals discussed would make for bad policy that would not keep our children safe,” NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said in a statement to The Hill. “Instead of punishing law-abiding gun owners for the acts of a deranged lunatic our leaders should pass meaningful reforms that would actually prevent future tragedies.”

Baker said they can start by fixing the broken mental health system, strengthening background checks to ensure the records of people who are prohibited from possessing firearms are in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, securing our schools and preventing mentally ill individuals deemed dangerous from accessing firearms.

In a separate longer statement, Baker said the NRA has always supported efforts to keep schools safe and firearms out of the hands of people who are dangerous to themselves and others.

“Whether you love or hate firearms, we all want to send our children to safe schools and to live in safe communities," she said.

But Baker argues it can be accomplished without "shifting the focus, blame or burden onto safe, law-abiding gun owners."

“Doing everything we can as a nation to address the problem of dangerous people committing heinous acts is not inconsistent with the Second Amendment — the systemic failures of government to keep us safe reinforces the need for the Second Amendment,” she said. “We will continue to support legislative efforts to make our schools and communities safe and oppose gun control schemes that cannot keep us safe and only punish law-abiding Americans.”

A gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 in Parkland, Fla. The shooting has reignited a long-running debate over gun control in the U.S. and led to calls from students, activists and lawmakers, among others, for new legislation.