News ID: 210256
Published: 0537 GMT February 19, 2018

Trump supports improved gun background checks: White House

Trump supports improved gun background checks: White House

US President Donald Trump says he supports efforts to improve the federal background check system for gun purchases, less than a week after a mass shooting at a Florida school left 17 people dead, according to the White House.

Trump spoke on Friday to Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, about gun legislation that the lawmaker and Democratic Senator Chris Murphy introduced to improve federal compliance with criminal background checks, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement on Monday.

“While discussions are ongoing and revisions are being considered, the President is supportive of efforts to improve the Federal background check system,” Sanders said.

Trump’s 2016 presidential election campaign was heavily funded by the National Rifle Association (NRA), a powerful lobby group that advocates for gun rights.

Last year, Trump told an NRA convention that he would "never, ever infringe" on the constitutional right to keep and bear arms, assuring the NRA that they now have a “true friend” in the White House.

Though Trump ran as an anti-gun control candidate in 2016, before he was a political figure he backed a ban on assault weapons and a longer waiting period for people to buy a weapon.

The Republican-controlled Congress last year revoked Obama-era regulations meant to make it harder for those with severe mental illness to pass FBI background checks for guns, saying the rule deprived the mentally ill of their gun rights.

Nikolas Cruz, 19, opened fire on Wednesday at his former high school in Parkland, Florida, with an AR-15-style assault rifle, killing 17 people in his former school.

It was the second-deadliest shooting at a public school in US history. It was also the 18th school shooting since January 1 in the United States, which loses around 33,000 people to gun violence every year.

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