Trump supports more background checks on guns, says White House

Trump supports more background checks on guns, says White House
President Donald Trump "is supportive of efforts to improve the federal background check system" for gun purchases. He was criticized for a pro-guns stance following the Florida high school shooting that left 17 people dead.

Trump spoke with Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, on Friday about a bill he introduced with Senator Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, that aims to strengthen how state and federal governments report offenses that could prohibit people from buying a gun, according to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

While discussions are ongoing and revisions are being considered, the president is supportive of efforts to improve the federal background check system,”  Sanders said in a statement on Monday.

The bill, which was initially suggested in November 2017 following the shooting in Las Vegas,  would bolster the FBI database of prohibited gun buyers and would penalize federal agencies that fail to provide the necessary records. It would also reward states with federal grant preferences if they adhere to the rules.

The issue of background checks on gun purchases has erupted with fervor in the wake of last week’s deadly shooting in Florida. Suspected shooter Nikolas Cruz was “troubled” and reportedly suffers from mental ill-health, yet was still able to acquire an AR-15 rifle. He opened fire at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Wednesday.  

Trump has faced renewed calls for tighter gun laws from students and families of the Florida shooting victims.  A ‘March For Our Lives’ is planned for March 2018 in Washington DC to demand politicians take tougher action on gun violence and an end to school shootings.  

The president was also widely criticized for revoking Obama-era legislation that required the Social Security Administration to disclose information about individuals who are receiving disability benefits due to mental illness and are desirous of owning a firearm. The National Rifle Association (NRA) and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) argued that the rule violated the Second Amendment rights of individuals with mental illness without due process. Trump campaigned in 2016 on a commitment to protecting the Second Amendment. 

On Twitter, Trump hit out at Democrats over their alleged failure to pass gun control legislation.

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