Trump stuns lawmakers with gun control embrace

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Washington, March 1 (IANS) US President Donald Trump stunned Republicans on live television by embracing gun control and urging a group of lawmakers at the White House to resurrect gun safety legislation that has been opposed by the National Rifle Association (NRA).

In a meeting on Wednesday, the President called for comprehensive gun control legislation that would expand background checks to weapons purchased at gun shows and on the internet; keep guns from mentally ill people; secure schools and restrict gun sales for some young adults, reports The New York Times.

Trump also suggested that law enforcement authorities should have the power to seize guns from mentally ill people or others who could present a danger without first going to court.

“I like taking the guns early,” he said, adding, “Take the guns first, go through due process second.”

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The declarations prompted a frantic series of calls from NRA lobbyists to their allies on Capitol Hill and a statement from the group calling the ideas that Trump expressed “bad policy”.

However, Republican lawmakers suggested that they remained opposed to gun control measures, The New York Times reported.

“We’re not ditching any constitutional protections simply because the last person the president talked to today doesn’t like them,” Republican Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, Republican, said in a statement.

Democrats also said they were sceptical that Trump would follow through.

“The White House can now launch a lobbying campaign to get universal background checks passed, as the president promised in this meeting, or they can sit and do nothing,” said Democrat Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy.

–IANS

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