President Donald Trump on Wednesday, Aug. 21, once again backed tighter background checks for gun purchases, but said he wants to be careful that closing what he calls “loopholes” doesn’t clear the way for more gun control, according to AP.
Speaking to reporters as he departed the White House for Kentucky, the president said he considers gun violence a public health issue and is considering ways to make background checks stricter. But he also said, “You’re on that slope and all of a sudden nobody has any legal protection,” adding, “Our Second Amendment will remain strong.”
After two mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, President Trump said he was eager to implement “very meaningful background checks”
The president has repeatedly claimed that he is a strong supporter of Second Amendment.
On Tuesday, the president said that the United States has strong background checks, but there are some missing areas that need to be filled.
“We have very, very strong background checks right now. But we have, sort of, missing areas and areas that don’t complete the whole circle. And we’re looking at different things,” President Trump said.
The president also wanted to restore mental health institutions “I think we have to start building institutions again because, you know, if you look at the ’60s and ’70s, so many of these institutions were closed. And the people were just allowed to go onto the streets. And that was a terrible thing for our country,” the president said last week.
According to Politico, on Wednesday, President Trump and many White House advisers blamed several media outlets for inaccurately reporting that the president had told gun rights advocates he would not push to expand background checks.
President Trump’s senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said, “If somebody is disturbed, if someone needs treatment, if someone should not have a firearm because of a criminal background, a felony, mental health issues, we have to make sure those folks do not procure firearms. But we cannot confiscate weapons from Americans who are procuring them and using them legally without due process. The president is not beholden to the [National Rifle Association] or other gun groups. The president is beholden to the Constitution.”
President Trump said that loopholes in the background checks should be taken out.
“We have background checks, but there are loopholes in the background checks. That’s what I spoke to the NRA about yesterday,” he 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.”
President denied that he had taken the background checks off the table after talking with NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre.
“I didn’t say anything about that,” the president said. “We had a great talk with Wayne yesterday. Didn’t say anything about that. We just talked about concepts. Wayne agrees things have to be done also.”
Meanwhile, Democrats really want president Trump to take actions on gun control. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), one of the leading gun control advocates in the chamber, who spoke with Trump last week over the issue, said the president expressed support then for working across the aisle “to come up with a background checks bill that can pass the Senate and save lives.”
“It’s time for Republicans and President Trump to decide whose side they’re on,” Murphy said in a statement. “Are they going to stand with the 90% of Americans who want universal background checks, or are they going to once again kowtow to the desires of the gun lobby?”
Include reporting from The Associated Press