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WASHINGTON - 7 a.m. EST Thursday: President Donald Trump commented on Wednesday’s meeting in an early morning tweet Thursday.
“Many ideas, some good & some not so good, emerged from our bipartisan meeting on school safety yesterday at the White House,” he wrote. “Background Checks a big part of conversation. Gun free zones are proven targets of killers. After many years, a Bill should emerge. Respect 2nd Amendment!”
Many ideas, some good & some not so good, emerged from our bipartisan meeting on school safety yesterday at the White House. Background Checks a big part of conversation. Gun free zones are proven targets of killers. After many years, a Bill should emerge. Respect 2nd Amendment!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 1, 2018
ORIGINAL STORY: During a Wednesday meeting with lawmakers about gun laws and gun reform, President Donald Trump joked with a pair of senators that they're "afraid of the NRA.” But he also showed interest in re-examining the gun laws and making changes.
Trump was speaking with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) about their gun control bill, which was first introduced in 2013. The bill is aimed at enforcing criminal background checks on gun sales, including private sales, PolitiFact reported. Trump said he didn’t know much about the the bill and speculated that it “didn’t have a lot of presidential backing.” He then asked if the Manchin-Toomey bill included a measure to raise the age limit for individuals hoping to purchase an assault weapon. When he learned that it did not, he joked to Toomey, “You’re afraid of the NRA.” Those remarks echoed his statements on Monday when he urged governors “not to be afraid of the NRA,” and said, "We have to fight them every once in a while," according to Reuters.
"You're afraid of the NRA," President Trump slams senators in a stunning exchange over whether they would introduce legislation raising the age to buy firearms from 18 to 21 https://t.co/6Env0DFfYH pic.twitter.com/LBvj4xi8ic— CNN (@CNN) February 28, 2018
Trump went on to say, "A lot of people are afraid of that issue — raising the age for [the AR-15] to 21.” Trump has said multiple times that he wants to raise the age requirement for purchasing assault weapons to 21. The NRA came out against raising the age requirement, and over the weekend, two top NRA officials met with the president to make their case, CNN reported.
Democrats are working to push through a number of bills, including the Fix NICS bill, which would encourage state and federal authorities to report criminal history records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, according to CNN. Some Democrats aren’t getting behind the bill, saying that it does not do enough; Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) criticized the bill as too weak because it doesn’t include a universal background check. The Fix NICS bill has already passed the House. Some Republicans have come out against it, saying it’s unnecessary. When asked about the bill on Tuesday, Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said: “I don’t think we need more gun control laws; I think we need more idiot control.”
Trump showed some interest in the Fix NICS bill but was more interested in the topic of bump stocks. When Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) mentioned bump stocks, Trump said, “I’m going to write that out because we can do that with an executive order. I’m going to write the bump stock — essentially write it out. So you won’t have to worry about bump stock. Shortly that will be gone.” Bump stocks became a hot-button issue after the Las Vegas shooter used the devices.
Trump also raised a few eyebrows when he pushed back on the need for courts to get involved in gun confiscation, saying, “Take the guns first, go through due process second. … I like taking the guns early.”
"I like taking the guns early,” President Trump says. "Take the guns first. Go through due process second” https://t.co/FwJkCrUH0C— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) February 28, 2018
Trump expressed interest in a number of other bills, including one that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Sen. Chris Murphy (R-Conn.) proposed. Their bill would ban assault weapons and was introduced after the Sandy Hook massacre. Trump told Feinstein multiple times that he will look at her bill.