White House pours cold water on Trump's support for gun control

Students rally in solidarity with victims of the Florida high school shooting in Washington DC last month

Students rally in solidarity with victims of the Florida high school shooting in Washington DC last month

On Thursday, Trump tweeted, "many ideas, some good and some not so good, emerged from our bipartisan meeting on school safety yesterday at the White House".

US President Donald Trump stunned Republicans on live television by embracing gun control and urging a group of lawmakers to resurrect gun safety legislation that has been opposed for years by the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA) and the vast majority of his party.

If Ralph Waldo Emerson is right and a foolish consistency truly is the hobgoblin of little minds, then President Trump is, as he says of himself, "a real stable genius".

The NRA has called the bulk of those proposals "bad policy" that would not keep people safe.

Republicans still reeling from the fallout of Trump's conflicting comments during Wednesday's gun meeting were again taken by surprise Thursday with the White House announcement of impending tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum. As for gun ownership in US, hopefully something changes but Trump seems to want to keep the rules as they are.

The tweet by the NRA's Cox suggests his meeting with Trump and Pence included the gun lobby's strong opposition to confiscating guns without a court order and due process.

Sanders said Trump had spoken to Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan Thursday. John Cornyn's feeble "Fix NICS" bill and that's about it.

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On the flip side, the NRA has already issued statements condemning certain policy proposals the president has supported, like raising the age to buy a long gun. Chris Murphy. D-Conn., said in a tweet.

The exhortation to Trump, who this week stunned fellow Republicans by backing several gun control measures his party has long opposed, reflected a fierce tug-of-war for the president's support on gun measures in the wake of a deadly February 14 high school shooting in Florida. Lawmakers and the Trump administration have so far been unable to strike a deal on an immigration package.

Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., echoed those concerns at the White House meeting, telling Trump there are "great differences of opinion" about whether "having teachers armed with guns firing at a mass shooter is the answer". Pat Toomey, R-Penn., of being "afraid of the NRA" because his previously proposed legislation calling for expanding background checks on almost all gun purchases, and co-sponsored by Sen. The measure, from Sens. Pat Toomey and three other senators to craft a "comprehensive" bill tackling the thorny issue. "He wants to be helpful", Toomey told The Associated Press. Even many Republicans responded to the White House meeting with confusion and frustration over the lack of clear guidance from the president.

It would have expanded background checks to firearm sales at gun shows and over the internet, as well as make changes now being considered to improve record reporting to the national database used for background checks.

He also argued that Congress should raise the age of firearms purchases to 21 from 18, in defiance of the gun lobby, and said he was going to write an order banning bump stock devices that accelerate semiautomatic rifles' rate of fire. Cornyn insisted his bill with Murphy, a Connecticut Democrats, was "our best and only option" for passage. "We're not ditching any constitutional protections simply because the last person the President talked to today doesn't like them", said Nebraska Republican Senator Ben Sasse.

"Can you do that?" said Mr. Trump.

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