Trump defers to Congress on background checks, ‘red flag’ laws as calls for gun control continue


WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — President Trump seemed to be backing away from leading the charge for expanded federal background checks and “red flag” laws for gun purchases.

Over the weekend, the president said he’ll leave it to Congress to act, and said he wants to focus on mental health. From Florida to Ohio and other parts of the country, protesters continued calling for gun control.

As concerns over mass shootings grow, so have the pushes for legislative changes. Kris Brown with the Brady Campaign said an assault weapons ban is desperately needed.

“What’s the common denominator that we see in mass shooting after mass shooting in this country? Assault style rifles and high capacity magazines” Brown said.

Members of the House Judiciary Committee plan to end their recess about a week early to start working on ways to address gun violence like strengthening background checks.

President Trump supported expanded background checks immediately following two recent mass shootings, but his tone has shifted.

“People don’t realize we have very strong background checks right now. You go in to buy a gun, you have to sign up,” Trump said. 

President Trump told reporters that the focus should be on preventing mass shootings before they start.

“I don’t want people to forget that this is a mental health problem. I don’t want people to forget that.”

But Brown said gun reform needs to be part of the solution.

“It is about policy, it is about enforcement and it’s about reaffirming what it is to be a responsible gun owner” said Brown.

Members of Congress said they’ll examine various ways to prevent gun violence and are committed to taking action when the rest of the lawmakers return in September.

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