Trump Has Real Opportunity to Change Gun Laws

President Donald Trump called Tuesday night for reforming background checks for firearms purchases and said he was moving toward putting in place regulations to ban bump fire stocks, CNN reports.

“Whether we are Republican or Democrat, we must now focus on strengthening Background Checks!” he tweeted.

He has a chance to do so at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday. The annual conservative conference will offer Trump access to activists on the right, who he must win over to get anything significant done.

The president took the opportunity to put the blame on former President Barack Obama for a lack of action claiming he would be different, even though gun control activists were skeptical about his sincerity and capacity to make the case for change.

“We’re going to come up with solutions. It’s been many, many years, and there have been no solutions. We’re going to come up with solutions,” Trump said at the White House.

The president also urged in a tweet both Democrats and Republicans to work to “strengthen” background checks, giving no specifics, so it was unclear how far he was planning to go. So far, Trump has been more keen to point to the failure of the FBI to prevent the Florida high school shooting and the need to fill loopholes in mental health care than to accept the case for changing firearms laws.

The issue was put back in the spotlight following last week’s shooting in which 17 teenagers were killed in a Parkland school by a former student. Since then, President Trump has come under pressure to take action that would safeguard the nation’s schools.

Political pressure on the White House is increasing more and more as the activism of Florida students is transforming into a nationwide “never again” movement.
“President Trump, I think that it is really important that you listen to us because we are your constituents, you are working for us and kids are dead,” Sofie Whitney, a survivor of last week’s shooting, said. “You are avoiding us. I’d like to talk to you.”

Trump has recently signaled openness to gun restrictions and has also staged meetings with students, parents and public officials, aimed at improving school safety. According to the White House, people from Parkland, Sandy Hook Elementary School, and Columbine High School will attend the meetings.

However, after the Tuesday briefing in which Sanders claimed that the president is working toward banning assault-style weapons, a White House official said Trump’s stance on the matter remains unchanged and he does not support such a ban.

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