Donald Trump backs away from stricter gun background check laws
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump appeared to back away from supporting enhanced background checks for firearm purchases, telling reporters he believes the laws are already “very strong.”
Trump also emphasized his staunch support for the Second Amendment and said he wouldn’t want to go down the “slippery slope” of eroding the right to bear arms.
“We have very strong background checks right now,” he said in the Oval Office alongside Romanian President Klaus Iohannis . “But we have missing areas, and areas that don’t complete the whole circle. And we’re looking at different things. And I have to tell you that it is a mental problem. And I’ve said it a hundred times it’s not the gun that pulls the trigger, it’s the people.”
Trump added that “A lot of the people who put me where I am are strong believers in the Second Amendment. And I am also.”
“You know they call it the slippery slope. And all of a sudden everything gets taken away,” he noted.
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Trump had previously voiced some support for background checks after mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas left 31 people dead.
On Aug. 9, before leaving the White House, Trump said, “frankly, we need intelligent background checks,” adding that “this isn’t a question of NRA, Republican, or Democrat.” Trump also told reporters that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was “totally onboard.”
On August 18, arriving at Morristown Airport in New Jersey, Trump said “Congress is meeting. Bipartisan. A lot of people want to see something happen. But just remember this: Big mental problem, and we do have a lot of background checks now.”
The Democratic-led House has passed stricter gun measures but it’s unclear if there is support in the Republican-controlled Senate to enact such laws.