Trump Promises 'Very Strong' Background Checks for Gun Buyers in Listening Session

Bill Clark  CQ Roll Call
Students and supporters protest against gun violence with a lie-in outside of the White House on Feb. 19 2018

Bill Clark CQ Roll Call Students and supporters protest against gun violence with a lie-in outside of the White House on Feb. 19 2018

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday met with survivors of the Florida school shooting at the White House, and suggested to arm teachers to tackle the issue of school shootings. Trump said the idea of arming teachers will be discussed along with stricter background checks on gun buyers with emphasis on their mental health and age.

"It's called concealed carry, where a teacher would have a concealed gun on them.

And like Mr. President said, if you could find 20%b of maybe retired law enforcement officers, or a teacher who could go through discreet training to carry a firearm around his waist, it could've been a very different situation", Hunter Pollack, one of Meadow Pollack's brothers, said.

On Tuesday, students at a Florida high school marched toward Parkland.

Calls to ban bump stocks have been mounting since Stephen Paddock, a retired accountant, used them on several of his weapons to kill 58 concertgoers in Las Vegas in October 2017 in the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history.

The comment came during a White House listening session marked by poignant testimony from students and parents affected by school shootings.

Samuel Zeif, who lost his best friend when Cruz opened fire at the Florida high school, said he was there to use his voice because his friend couldn't.

The unprecedented lobbying effort by groups of teenagers and parents at the White House and at the Florida statehouse in Tallahassee played out as fellow students staged classroom walkouts and rallies in cities across the country.

He said that if he believed an assault weapons ban "would have prevented this from happening, I would have supported it".

"We're going to do something about this terrible situation that's going on", Trump said to open the session.

"Just a few moments ago I signed a memo directing the attorney general to propose regulations that ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns", he said on February 20, via CNN.

"And now I don't know how I'm ever going to step foot in that place again", he said.

Elsewhere, teens in at least a dozen South Florida schools walked out of class to protest gun violence and commemorate the shooting victims.

Cruz is charged with killing 17 students and teachers.

"Words are one thing, Mr. President, but we need meaningful action". And Mr. President, we'll fix it.

Apart from endorsing this idea during the one-hour-long event, Trump also said that it is important to have more mental institutions and hospitals to house worrisome teenagers.

As he floated the idea to students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Trump claimed that an attack could end "very quickly" if teachers are armed.

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein and Republican Senator Jeff Flake said they will introduce a bill to raise the minimum age required to purchase rifles from gun dealers, including assault weapons such as the AR-15. And I think a lot of people are going to be opposed to it. "Nobody wants to see a shootout in a school and a deranged sociopath on his way to commit an act of murder in a school, knowing the outcome is going to be suicide, is not going to care if there's somebody there with a gun", he said.

He did not fully endorse any specific policy solution, but pledged to take action and expressed interest in widely differing approaches.

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