In a meeting with lawmakers from both parties to discuss gun control and school safety Wednesday, President Trump supported suggestions from Democrats, while disagreeing with Republicans and boasting about his willingness to buck the NRA.
Among the gun-control measures Trump supported were strengthening background checks, raising the minimum gun-purchasing age to 21, and taking guns away from people deemed a threat before getting a court order.
“A lot of times, by the time you go to court, it takes so long to go to court to get the due process procedures,” Trump said. “Take the guns first, go through due process second.”
Trump also shot down one of the biggest priorities for the GOP and National Rifle Association as it relates to guns: conceal-carry reciprocity, which would allow those with a license to carry a concealed weapon in one state to carry in any state. When House Majority Whip Steve Scalise brought up the policy, Trump said he supported it but that it should come later as a stand-alone bill.
Trump also mocked GOP senator Pat Toomey for not raising the the gun-buying age to 21 in a bill with Democratic senator Joe Manchin. “You’re afraid of the NRA,” Trump said.
Trump, on the other hand, said he’s willing to go against the gun group. “I’m a fan of the NRA,” he said. “There’s no bigger fan. I’m a big fan of the NRA. These are great people, these great patriots. They love our country. But that doesn’t mean we have to agree on everything.”
Trump also returned to some of the ideas he’s suggested in the wake of the Florida school shooting earlier this month, bemoaning violent media and endorsing “hardened” schools.
The odds are that the mercurial Trump, who is famous for shifting positions on issues he isn’t passionate about (which is most of them), will find himself taking a different stance soon. But despite the jumbled mess of ideas, Trump urged lawmakers to figure out a way to put all of the measures together in one bill. Of course, such a bill would be difficult to pass, but Trump said he was eager to try.
“I like that responsibility,” he said. “I really do. It’s time that a president step up.”