President Donald Trump “is supportive of efforts to improve the federal background check system” for gun purchases, a White House spokesman said Monday, less than a week after the Florida school shooting that killed 17 people.
Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said in a statement that Trump spoke with Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, on Friday about a bill he introduced with Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, that aims to strengthen how state and federal governments report offenses that could prohibit people from buying a gun.
“While discussions are ongoing and revisions are being considered, the President is supportive of efforts to improve the federal background check system,” Shah said.
Trump ran for president as a pro-gun candidate and tied himself to the National Rifle Association throughout the campaign.
“The Second Amendment is on the ballot in November,” he said at an NRA gathering during the 2016 campaign. “The only way to save our Second Amendment is to vote for a person that you all know named Donald Trump.”
Trump’s only action on guns as president undid restrictions aimed at mental illness by signing a measure that nixed a regulation that required the Social Security Administration to disclose information quarterly to the national gun background check system about certain people with mental illness. It’s unclear whether that measure would have helped prevent last week’s massacre.
Students, teachers and lawmakers have urged Trump and other Republican lawmakers to take action on guns in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, shooting.