U.S. President Donald Trump again called on lawmakers to approve some type of gun control legislation to prevent more school shootings, two weeks after 17 people were killed at a Florida high school.
Trump revisited the issue in a Thursday tweet, one day after hosting a White House meeting with legislators on the hot-button issue.
“Many ideas, some good & some not so good, emerged from our bipartisan meeting on school safety yesterday at the White House. Background Checks a big part of conversation. Gun free zones are proven targets of killers. After many years, a Bill should emerge. Respect 2nd Amendment!,” he wrote.
At the meeting, Trump accused the lawmakers of being “afraid” of the National Rifle Association, the powerful gun lobby.
Trump said he would give “very serious thought” to a proposal that would raise the legal age to purchase rifles such as the AR-15, the gun used in the Parkland, Fla., school shooting, to 21 from age 18.
“I can say that the NRA is opposed to it, and I’m a fan of the NRA. There’s no bigger fan,” Trump said. But, he added, he and the NRA don’t have to agree on ‘everything.”
The provision is included in a bill that would mandate background checks on people making purchases online sales and at gun shows. Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, one of the bill’s authors, told Trump that legislators didn’t address the age question in recent discussions in the Senate.
Trump replied, “You know why? Because you’re afraid of the NRA.”
The bill, named for Toomey and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, failed to get the 60-vote minimum in the Senate in 2013 and again in 2015.
On Sunday, Toomey told NBC News that he is “skeptical” about the proposed change in the age limit “because the vast majority of 18-, 19-, and 20-year-olds are law-abiding citizens who aren’t a threat to anyone.”
In 2013, the NRA said the Toomey-Manchin bill would “not prevent the next shooting” and would not “solve violent crime.”
During Wednesday’s meeting, Trump called for “one great piece of legislation” to address the gun problem and asked if various suggestions from senators could be added to the basic background check bill.