President Trump on Thursday told reporters that he supports restoring mental health institutions in response to gun violence. 

“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.  

The president blamed people with “mental illness” owning guns that causes gun violence, saying, “The gun doesn’t pull the trigger. They pull the trigger.”

“And we don’t want to see crazy people owning guns. But I also want to remember that mental illness is something nobody wants to talk about. These people are mentally ill and we have to study that also. Because, you know, it’s them; they pull the trigger. The gun doesn’t pull the trigger. They pull the trigger,” President Trump said.

He asserted that his administration is looking at this option at “at a level that hasn’t been done before.”

At a rally in New Hampshire, the president reaffirmed his point for building mental health institutions “We will be taking mentally deranged and dangerous people off of the streets so we won’t have to worry so much about them. A big problem.” Trump added, “There are seriously ill people and they’re on the streets.” 

But the president also assured his supporters in New Hampshire that he totally supports gun rights. 

“We can’t make it harder for good, solid, law-abiding citizens to protect themselves,” the president said. “We will always uphold the right to self-defense, and we will always uphold the Second Amendment.” 

The president’s comments come after two mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, left more than 30 people killed and many others wounded. 

The president also mentioned the shooting in Philadelphia that wounded six police officers on Wednesday, saying the gunman “should be locked up.”

“I support strong, meaningful background checks, where people that should not have guns, people that are insane, people that are mentally ill, people that are bad, bad people—like this guy in Philadelphia, who has been arrested numerous times; he’s a bad guy—where people like that would not have guns. And, frankly, people like that should be locked up. He shouldn’t have even been on the streets,” the president said.