Democrats push Trump on gun background checks

Democrats push Trump on gun background checks”

Republicans reacted cautiously Thursday to President Donald Trump's call for quick and substantial changes to the nation's gun laws, while elated Democrats said they will try to hold Trump to his promises.

"It's up to us in NY", said Sen.

Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, said Thursday that he will introduce a version of the gun violence restraining order and that he wants to increase federal funding for school safety initiatives and crack down on people who purchase weapons illegally. Democrats were in attendance with and openly spoke about their ideas for gun control and school safety in front of television cameras.

One plan, to prohibit sales of bump stocks -- the devices that turn rifles into automatic-style weapons and were used in the Las Vegas mass shooting last fall -- was under consideration at the Justice Department.

The "Fix NICS" bill, similar to one approved a year ago in the House, would reward federal agencies and states that utilize the background check system, and penalize those that don't properly report required records used to determine whether someone can legally buy a gun. "One hour of television won't get assault weapons off our streets". John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., to strengthen the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, though votes were not yet scheduled amid resistance from within the GOP ranks.

Cornyn and other Republicans have resisted a comprehensive approach to gun legislation, even as Trump and Democrats say more must be done.

Democrats sense they may have gained the upper hand in the debate after a stunning meeting Wednesday between members of Congress and President Trump at the White House, where Mr. Trump shot down several Republican priorities and accused lawmakers of being "petrified" of the National Rifle Association.

Giving hope to Democrats, he said he favored a "comprehensive" approach to addressing gun violence. A more modest background check measure that encourages record-sharing, which has wide bipartisan support, isn't enough, he said.

The holding pattern comes as Trump has floated a number of potential actions, including a higher age limit on rifle purchases, arming teachers and volunteer school guards, and beefing up background checks.

Trump raised eyebrows by suggesting that law enforcement officials should be able to confiscate people's firearms without a court order to prevent potential tragedies.

"We're waiting to see what the Senate can do", Ryan said, adding, "We obviously think the Senate should take our whole bill, but if the Senate cannot do that, then we'll discuss and cross that bridge when we get to it".

At the White House, the discussion was billed as a session focused on "school and community safety", and one of those attending, Sen.

Trump declared Monday he's willing to take on the NRA over gun legislation, and chided lawmakers not to fear the gun lobby.

"Is anyone ok with this, because I'm sure as hell not", Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., tweeted on Thursday.

"To the extent we can strengthen the SAFE Act, I would support those provisions", he said.

"It is going to have to be you", Murphy said.

Trump's call for stronger background checks, which are popular among Americans, has been resisted by Republicans and the NRA.

The House passed legislation in December that included changes to the background-check system.

Mr. Trump has ordered Attorney General Jeff Sessions to craft a ban, but lawmakers have pointed to multiple rulings during President Obama's administration that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives lacks the capacity to regulate many of them.

Democrats said they were concerned Trump's interest may fade quickly. It was part of a broader package that stalled in the Senate because it included expanded gun rights by requiring states to recognize conceal-carry permits issued by other states.

House Republican leaders Tuesday ruled out acting swiftly to respond to the shooting that killed 17 people at a Florida high school earlier this month.

Among those at the meeting were Sens. It had failed after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012.

"You know why?" Trump asked.

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