White House Walks Back Donald Trump’s Gun Control Rhetoric

US President Donald Trump arrives to address the National Rifle Association (NRA) Leadership Forum in Atlanta, Georgia on April 28, 2017
AFP

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders clarified some of President Donald Trump’s recent rhetoric on Second Amendment rights.

Sanders stated that Trump will “continue to support the Second Amendment,” despite fears from gun-rights activists that he is interested in compromising with anti-gun Democrats in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Sanders spoke with reporters on Friday after Trump met with NRA executives in the Oval Office on Thursday night.

Privately, the NRA expressed concerns with Trump’s rhetoric on Wednesday, although the organization publicly dismissed it as “great TV” without policy teeth.

Sanders stated that Trump was not “necessarily” interested in requiring universal background checks for all private sales of firearms, only that he was interested in improving the existing background check system.

She reiterated the president’s support for the Cornyn-Murphy bill that had the NRA’s approval.

Sanders also indicated that Trump might not be interested in federal legislation to raise the legal age to purchase a rifle to 21, despite his vocal support for the idea.

“Conceptually, he still supports raising the age to 21. But he also knows there’s not a lot of broad support for that,” she said, adding that Trump believed the proposal would “probably have more potential in the states than it would at the federal level.”

Trump traveled to Rev. Billy Graham’s funeral in North Carolina on Friday and will then spend the weekend at his resort at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida.

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