WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBSMiami/CNN) — President Donald Trump “is supportive of efforts to improve the federal background check system” for those buying guns, a White House spokesperson said Monday. This less than a week after the deadly Parkland school shooting.
Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said in a statement that Trump spoke with Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, on Friday about a bill he introduced with Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, that aims to strengthen how state and federal governments report offenses that could prohibit people from buying a gun.
“While discussions are ongoing and revisions are being considered, the President is supportive of efforts to improve the federal background check system,” Shah said.
But that might not be enough to meet the demands of a growing call for larger-scale reform.
Students from the Washington, D.C. area staged a “lie-in” outside the White House, calling for stricter gun laws:
Friends Whitney Bowen and Eleanor Nuechterlein organized the protest.
“Neither of us believes that this comes down to politics,” said 16-year-old Bowen. “It comes down to children in classrooms being shot.”
Their protest joins a growing movement in the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting that killed 17 people.
Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school say they want to be the face of change – and are planning a march on Washington next month.
“We want assault rifles off the market,” said Stoneman Douglas student Cameron Kasky.
“Automatic, semi-automatic have no place in civilian society,” added fellow Stoneman student Emma Gonzalez.
The White House says President Trump will hold a “listening session” with unspecified students on Wednesday and meet with Florida security officials on Thursday.
White House officials say the president supports a narrow, bi-partisan bill to improve the federal background check system.
“Unstable, dangerous people whom law enforcement and their own families have flagged should never have access to a deadly weapon of that sort,” said Shah.
But some, like 83-year-old republican donor, Al Hoffman Jr. are turning up the heat on lawmakers.
“I will not write a check for anyone who does not propose a ban on assault-style weapons,” Hoffman said.
In recent years, several attempts to revive an expired ban or pass a new one stalled in congress.
Florida’s state legislature is preparing a sweeping packing of legislation that includes new age restrictions on gun purchases, a ban on bump stocks, and gun violence restraining order.
Trump ran for president as a pro-gun candidate and tied himself to the National Rifle Association throughout the campaign.
“The Second Amendment is on the ballot in November,” he said at an NRA gathering during the 2016 campaign. “The only way to save our Second Amendment is to vote for a person that you all know named Donald Trump.”
Trump’s only action on guns as president undid restrictions aimed at mental illness by signing a measure that nixed a regulation that required the Social Security Administration to disclose information quarterly to the national gun background check system about certain people with mental illness. It’s unclear whether that measure would have helped prevent last week’s massacre.
Students, teachers and lawmakers have urged Trump and other Republican lawmakers to take action on guns in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, shooting.
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