President Trump Shifts Away from Background Check Push

President Donald Trump speaks with reporters before boarding Air Force One at Morristown Municipal Airport in Morristown N.J. Aug. 18 2019

President Donald Trump speaks with reporters before boarding Air Force One at Morristown Municipal Airport in Morristown N.J. Aug. 18 2019

Without providing details, US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that his administration was in discussions with Democrats to produce some sort of meaningful gun legislation following mass shootings in the United States in recent weeks. A reporter asked him about the gun control push and Trump said, "I'm not saying anything". One source told The Atlantic that Trump cemented "his stance that we already have background checks and that he's not waffling on this anymore" during his chat with the NRA chief.

"He doesn't want to pursue it", the unnamed person familiar with the conversation added, adding that instead of universal background checks Trump is considering "increasing funding" for mental health programs and using the Justice Department to federally prosecute "gun crime". And we're looking at different things. "These are sick people", Trump said. "It's a mental health problem". Studies show that only about three to five percent of violent acts in the USA are committed by individuals diagnosed with mental illnesses.

While Trump previously said he was "looking to do background checks" following the two back-to-back mass shootings in Texas and OH earlier this month, he told reporters Sunday "we have very strong background checks right now".

Congressional Democrats did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the president's remarks on guns.

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But Politico reports that over the weekend Trump appeared to back off his background checks push.

President Trump insisted Tuesday the USA already has "very, very strong background checks" for gun purchases, noting many of his supporters "are strong believers in the Second Amendment", marking another sign he is backing away from supporting expanded checks.

"People don't realize, we have very strong background checks right now".

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