Donald Trump Supports Expanding Background Checks; No ‘Political Appetite’ for Assault Weapons Ban

US President Donald Trump speaks to the press at the White House as he departs for Cincinnati to hold a campaign rally in Washington, DC, on August 1, 2019. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty

President Donald Trump spoke about gun control proposals on Wednesday, as he left the White House to visit Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas where two mass shootings occurred over the weekend.

He said that although there appeared to be political momentum for expanding background checks, there was little political effort to move forward on proposals to ban assault weapons.

“I’m looking to do background checks. I think background checks are important,” Trump said. “I don’t want to put guns into the hands of mentally unstable people or people with rage or hate … I’m all in favor of it.”

Democrats currently have a universal background check bill passed in the House, demanding that Senate Majority Mitch McConnell bring the bill to the floor for a vote. White House advisers confirmed Tuesday the president had also spoken to Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. Pat Toomey about their proposed background check legislation.

Trump said he had been speaking with members of both parties on the issues, noting that there was significant disagreement about what was needed legislatively to prevent mass shootings.

The president said he had a lot of influence in the Republican party and indicated that he would press them to follow through on new legislation.

“I will be convincing people to do things that they don’t want to do … I will convince them to do the right thing,” he said.

Trump said there was no “political appetite” for an assault weapons ban.

“So far I have not seen that I can only do what I can do,” he said.

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