Trump on 'Crazy' Owners: 'Take the Guns First, Go Through Due Process Second'
WASHINGTON -- President Trump proposed confiscating guns from those thought to be potentially dangerous first and adjudicating later at a White House roundtable with congressional Democrats and Republicans to discuss what gun legislation could pass both chambers.
Attendees included Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.), staunch gun-control advocates since the Sandy Hook school massacre, and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), whose district includes Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Trump was flanked by Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), who introduced a bill to fix parts of the background check system after the Sutherland Springs church mass shooting in his state, and Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who has long tried to revive the assault weapons ban.
Trump assured lawmakers that they didn't need to worry about banning bump stocks because he'd sign an executive order and "shortly that'll be gone."
He told Cornyn that the Texas senator's bill "has some really good things in it, but it would be nice if we could add everything on to it."
"And maybe you change the title, all right? The U.S. Background Check Bill, or whatever. But your bill is really good, and really important, having to do with a certain aspect. But maybe we could make it much more comprehensive, and have one bill, instead of 15 different bills that nobody knows what's happening," he said.
"If we can get 60 votes for it, Mr. President, I'm all for it," Cornyn replied.
Feinstein said she would be "most honored" if Trump took a lot at her latest assault weapons ban legislation; Trump thanked her and vowed to review the bill. Later in the meeting, after Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) pitched language on keeping domestic abusers from getting guns, Trump said, "If you can add that to this bill, that would be great. Dianne, if you could add what you have also."
Murphy lobbied Trump on universal background checks. "But Mr. President, it's going to have to be you that brings the Republicans to the table on this," the Connecticut Dem said. "Because right now, the gun lobby would stop it in its tracks."
"I like that responsibility, Chris. I really do," Trump replied. "I think it's time. It's time that a president stepped up, and we haven't had them -- and I'm talking Democrat and Republican presidents. They have not stepped up."
Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) pitched the president on their background check bill that failed in 2013. "There's not a person in West Virginia that believes that you're not going to defend their Second Amendment rights -- not a person. With you taking a lead on something like this, it gives them the comfort that something reasonable" will be enacted, Manchin said.