Politics: Trump sends mixed messages on background checks - PressFrom - US

PoliticsTrump sends mixed messages on background checks

21:15  21 august  2019
21:15  21 august  2019 Source:   thehill.com

Trump insists he and McConnell want stronger gun background checks

Trump insists he and McConnell want stronger gun background checks President Donald Trump is insisting that he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell want to "do something" to strengthen the nation's firearm background check system.

Video by The Washington Post

President Trump sent mixed signals Wednesday about enhanced background checks for gun purchasers, telling reporters he has an "appetite" for screening measures while also insisting that the U.S. already has strong rules in place.

"I have an appetite for background checks," Trump said. "We have a lot of background checks right now."

Trump added it was important for lawmakers to fix the "weak" areas in the current system. He also repeated his assertion that gun violence is a mental health issue.

Trump phoned Democratic senator to talk gun control

Trump phoned Democratic senator to talk gun control President Trump said Tuesday he spoke with Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) about pressing forward on background checks in the wake of recent mass shootings. © Greg Nash Trump phoned Democratic senator to talk gun control "We had a very good conversation. We'll see what happens," Trump told reporters while en route to a speech in Pennsylvania. Murphy has been a leading advocate for more gun control laws since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in his state in 2012. He tweeted Tuesday that he'd spoken with Trump and Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) about support for background checks legislation.

The president's remarks came a day after he appeared to back off a previous push for enhanced background checks, just hours after speaking with Wayne LaPierre, head of the National Rifle Association.

Trump confirmed Wednesday that he spoke with LaPierre the previous day but denied reports that he told the CEO that universal background checks were off the table.

"No, I didn't say anything about that. We had a great talk with Wayne yesterday. We just talked about concepts," Trump told reporters at the White House before departing for a speech at the AMVETs convention in Kentucky.

"We have background checks, but there are loopholes in the background checks, and that's what I spoke to the NRA about yesterday," Trump said. "They want to get rid of the loopholes as well as I do. At the same time, I don't want to take away people's Second Amendment rights."

Trump zeros in on mental health, supports background checks to fight gun violence

Trump zeros in on mental health, supports background checks to fight gun violence “These people are mentally ill,” Trump said of mass shooters, “and nobody talks about that.” Mental illness is a frequent talking point among Republican lawmakers when dealing with gun violence, to the consternation of their Democratic counterparts, who argue that the United States’ unique, widespread access to guns is to blame. Critics of the idea that mental illness leads to gun violence also argue that it stigmatizes mental illness and reinforces the unproven idea that mental health correlates with violence.

Trump went on to say that he wants people who are mentally stable to be able to "easily" obtain guns, but indicated that people who are mentally ill should be prevented from doing so.

"There are things we can do, but we already have very serious background checks," Trump said. "We also have to remember, the gun doesn't pull the trigger."

Democrats renewed a push for universal background checks following a pair of mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, earlier this month. Trump indicated shortly after the shootings that he was supportive of enhanced background check legislation. He has since backtracked following conversations with GOP lawmakers and the NRA.

The NRA is publicly opposed to background checks and other legislative proposals that have been floated in the wake of the shootings.

Trump also doubled down on his Tuesday remarks by repeating an oft-used NRA argument that warns of a "slippery slope" when it comes to gun control legislation.

"All of a sudden, nobody has any legal protections," Trump told reporters when asked about the remark Wednesday. "We have a second amendment and our second amendment will remain strong."

Read More

'Talks are ongoing': Trump says he attended meeting to discuss prevention of mass shootings.
President Trump said that his administration has been talking with both Republicans and Democrats about ways to prevent mass shootings. © Provided by MediaDC: Washington Newspaper Publishing Company, Inc.Trump said in a tweet that he held a meeting Thursday about how to prevent the tragedies and listed a number of entities that he plans to engage during ongoing discussions about gun violence. “Just concluded a very good meeting on preventing Mass Shootings. Talks are ongoing w/ both Republicans & Democrats.

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