Photo: Mandel Ngan / AFP via Getty Images
President Trump met with a bipartisan group of lawmakers at the White House on Wednesday to discuss school safety and gun control after the Parkland shooting.
We have to act, we can't wait and play games.— President Trump
Why it matters: Lawmakers have been under pressure to act after 17 people were killed in Parkland. Trump has suggested strengthening background checks and arming teachers, while Democrats are pulling for a ban on assault weapons and semi-automatic rifles. Trump told the room today said he's told NRA leaders that it's time to "stop this nonsense."
The key takeaways:
- Trump shut down the idea of expanding concealed carry, something House Republicans have been strongly pushing for. This is arguably the biggest issue for the NRA and gun rights advocates right now.
- He called for a "merger" of the Murphy-Cornyn and Manchin-Toomey gun bills: "I like a merger, because I think the merger works out better."
- Trump encouraged taking the guns of people who pose a threat to themselves and others: "I like taking the guns early...take the guns first, go through due process second."
- He told Sen. Feinstein to discuss an assault weapons ban with Manchin and Toomey, and that he wants their final bill to be "very strong, I'd rather have you come down on the strong side instead of the weak side."
- On bump stocks: He said Congress doesn't need to worry about prohibiting them, because he is going to "write that out ... by executive order."
A few more highlights:
- Trump said he still strongly believes that having armed personnel in schools is the right solution, but that he's "certainly open to suggestions."
- On age changing age restrictions, Trump said: "I’m a fan of the NRA, there’s no bigger fan...but that doesn’t mean we have to agree on everything. It doesn’t make sense that I have to wait until I’m 21 to get a handgun but I can get this weapon at 18.”
- On domestic violence: "If you can add domestic violence paragraphs — pages — into [the Manchin-Toomey bill], I'm all for it. I think it's terrific."
- On graphic video games and movies: "“The video games, the movies, the internet stuff, is so violent...I have a very young son, I look at some of the things he’s watching and I say, ‘How is that possible?’”
Sen. Chris Murphy said there is "no other issue out there...like background checks," and yet Congress can't get legislation around that passed.
- Trump responded: "But you have a different president now. You went through a lot of presidents and you didn't get it done, but you have a different president."
Republican Sen. Pat Toomey told Trump his bill didn't deal with raising the age limit from 18 to 21 to purchase certain weapons.
- Trump responded: "You know why, because you're afraid of the NRA."