US President Donald Trump meets with bi-partisan members of Congress to discuss school and community safety in the wake of the Florida school shootings at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 28, 2018.
"The National Rifle Association has always supported efforts to secure our schools and keep firearms out of the hands of those who are a danger to themselves or others, whether they are criminals or mentally ill", Jennifer Baker, of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, the organization's lobbying arm, said Wednesday in a statement provided to CNN.
It's President Donald Trump who will dictate the next steps in the gun debate. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) told him. Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein, a fierce gun-control advocate, clapped in joy, while some gun-rights Republicans wondered whose side the president was on.
Trump said that Sens. I agree with that.
"You rate movies for different things, maybe you have to rate them for terror", he said. "Some of the things that they've been through are very similar to some of the things that I've been through". "Because you're afraid of the NRA".
Trump's call to raise the legal age for purchase of some guns from 18 to 21 has drawn opposition from the NRA, which spent about $30 million on his behalf during the 2016 election.
Trump says the concealed carry provision is a "whole new ballgame" and should be in a separate bill.
"Hey, I'm the biggest fan of the Second Amendment", he said, adding that he told NRA officials it is time to act.
Toomey said the age issue was not addressed in his bill with Manchin. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who are pushing their bill to broaden background checks to include pre-purchase reviews at online and gun show sales.More news: Why Dwyane Wade's Heat Game-Winner Was Extra Special After Florida Shooting
It was unclear whether his fellow Republicans would go along with his newfound enthusiasm, wary of angering voters who fiercely oppose curbs on gun ownership, particularly ahead of the November elections in which the party's control of Congress will be at stake.
The confessed gunman, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, legally obtained the AR-15 rifle allegedly used in the attack that left 17 students and faculty dead and more than a dozen others wounded.
The White House will announce more details on his proposal later this week.
Wednesday's meeting (Thursday NZ time) was actually the second time in 2018 that Trump has allowed the press to film a meeting with lawmakers - the first was on immigration - but the result was quite familiar: a president who seems to not know exactly what he wants to do tends to insert unusual comments into the very serious business of legislating.
NRA leaders shudder at the idea of restricting any type of gun sales, and banning an entire category of weapons would likely infuriate them.
The NRA argues that the freedom to protect oneself with military-grade weapons lies at the core of American values.
"The sense of urgency on the gun bill is one that either it's yes or no", Pelsosi said. And Senator Chris Murphy of CT told the president frankly, I think you underestimate the power of the gun lobby.
"It can be ended and it will be ended", Trump said.
"I will sign it", Trump said in a freewheeling hour-long discussion at the White House with a group of lawmakers. The reason I carry a concealed firearm everywhere I go is because I don't know where those gun-free zones are, that I may be walking through at the mall.