Trump has different views on Guns than most Republicans

Written by on March 1, 2018

In an extraordinary televised meeting with lawmakers of both parties at the White House, Trump called for quick action on expanding background checks, increasing the gun-buying age and empowering law enforcement to confiscate firearms from potentially unstable people – even without a court’s approval.

Trump hosted a similar bipartisan meeting on immigration in January, where he vowed quick action to protect “Dreamers” and appeared similarly sympathetic to the Democrats’ arguments. Although he went with the support of a much harder line.

Trump broke with his own party on guns.
Trump wants to go big on the issue
Trump says he wants to go big when it comes to gun reforms.
Trump wants aggressive action on universal background checks
“You have to be very powerful on background checks,” Trump said. “Don’t be shy.””I’d rather have you come down on the strong side, instead of the weak side,” Trump said. “The weak side would be much easier. I’d rather have you come up with a strong, strong bill, and really strong on background checks.”The president praised legislation authored by Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) that would expand background checks for gun purchases, but then pressed the bipartisan duo to add to it.Specifically, Trump suggested merging the Toomey-Manchin bill with the legislation known as the Fix NICS Act, which would penalize states for failing to submit criminal records to the federal background check system for firearms.

He also said Toomey and Manchin should add a provision raising to 21 the age restriction for those purchasing rifles. And he said he was “all for” a proposal by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) that would expand firearm background checks to include domestic violence cases.

Most House Republicans, however, believe that more gun laws aren’t the answer.

Trump says due process is secondary to public safety

Trump said Wednesday that public safety should take precedence over those civil liberties.

Interrupting Vice President Pence – who was making the case that due process must be protected before law enforcers intervene to take guns – Trump championed the opposite approach.

“Or, Mike, take the firearms first, and then go to court,” Trump said. “Because a lot of times … it takes so long to go to court, to get the due process procedures – I like taking the guns early.

“So you could do exactly what you’re saying, but take the guns first, go through due process second.”

Trump argued that the suspect in the recent Parkland, Fla., high school shooting – a former student with a long history of disciplinary problems – clearly exhibited behavior that should have guided local law enforcement to take his guns.

“You can take the guns away immediately from people that you can adjudge easily are mentally ill, like this guy,” he said. The police saw that he was a problem, they didn’t take any guns away,” he said. “Now that could have been policing, [but] I think they should have taken them away anyway, whether they had the right or not.”

He’s open to hiking age limits for gun purchases

The 19-year-old suspect in the Parkland shooting – who is said to have purchased a military-style rifle lawfully – has prompted new scrutiny of the legal age to purchase an assault weapon.

Trump said  “A lot of people don’t even want to bring it up because they’re afraid to bring it up, but you can’t buy a handgun at 18, 19 or 20 – you have to wait until your 21 – but you can buy the gun, the weapon used in this horrible shooting at 18,” “It doesn’t make sense that I have to wait until I’m 21 to get a handgun, but I can get this weapon at 18,” Trump said.

Most Republicans, backed by the NRA, oppose that change. Toomey on Wednesday explained the reason to the president.

“My reservation about it, frankly, is that the vast majority of 18-, 19-, and 20-year-olds in Pennsylvania who have a rifle or a shotgun, they’re not a threat to anyone. They’re law-abiding citizens,” Toomey said. “They have that because they want to use it for hunting or target shooting, and to deny them their Second Amendment right is not going to make anyone safer.” “You have to look at the age of 21 for certain types of weapons,” he said. “I mean, some people aren’t going to like that, but you’re going to have to look at that very seriously,” said Trump

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