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Trump 'Writing Out' Bump Stocks: 'I Don't Care if Congress Does It or Not'

WASHINGTON -- President Trump told a few dozen governors at the White House today that he'd draft restrictions on bump stocks himself if Congress didn't ban the conversion devices that make guns automatic.

The heads of states were in town for the National Governors Association winter meeting this past weekend. Among them was Florida Gov. Rick Scott; Trump praised his "leadership in the aftermath of the terrible tragedy in Parkland, Florida, horrible."

"But we'll turn our grief into action. We have to have action. We don't have any action. It happens. A week goes by. Let's keep talking. Another week goes by. We keep talking. Two months go by, all of a sudden everybody is off to the next subject. And when it happens again, everybody is angry and let's start talking again. We've got to stop," he said. "By the way, bump stocks, we're writing that out. I'm writing that out myself. I don't care if Congress does it or not. I'm writing it out myself, OK."

The governors in attendance applauded.

"You put it into the machine-gun category which is what it is; it becomes essentially a machine gun, and nobody's going to be able -- it's going to be very hard to get them. So we're writing out bump stocks," Trump added. "But we have to take steps to harden our schools so that they're less vulnerable to attack."

He once again pitched the idea of more armed staff on school grounds, and criticized armed officers who responded to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on Valentine's Day but stayed on the perimeter. "You know, I really believe -- you don't know until you test it, but I think -- I'd really believe I'd run into -- even if I didn't have a weapon, and I think most of the people in this room would have done that too, because I know most of you. But the way they performed was really a disgrace," he said.

The president also talked about more institutionalization of the mentally ill. "You can't put him in jail, I guess, because he hasn't done anything. But in the old days you'd put him into a mental institutions, and we had them in New York, and our government started closing them because of costs," he said. "And we're going to have start talking about mental institutions, because a lot of the folks in this room closed their mental institutions also. So we have no halfway. We have nothing between a prison and leaving him at his house, which we can't do anymore. So I think you folks have to start thinking about that."

Trump said he had lunch with National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre, chief lobbyist Chris Cox and general counsel David Lehman over the weekend, "and I said, 'Fellows, we've got to do something. It's too long now, where we've got to do something.'"