President Donald Trump on Friday urged “common sense” solutions to address gun violence after recent mass shootings but added that the views of the powerful National Rifle Association, which has long opposed gun control, should be considered.
Following attacks last weekend that killed 31 people in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, and reignited the national debate on gun policy, Trump said the United States needs meaningful background checks “so that sick people don’t get guns.”
“Frankly, we need intelligent background checks. This isn’t a question of NRA, Republican or Democrat,” he told reporters at the White House.
The NRA – one of the most powerful lobbies in the United States and a frequent contributor to Republican politicians – has for decades opposed gun control efforts.
Trump said on Friday that many attempts to restrict gun ownership have stalled in Congress in the past “but there’s never been a president like President Trump.”
“I have a great relationship with the NRA,” he said.
“I am the biggest Second Amendment person there is, but we all must work together for the good and safety of our Country,” he wrote on Twitter. “Common sense things can be done that are good for everyone.”
Trump said he had “been speaking to the NRA, and others, so that their very strong views can be fully represented and respected.” The NRA, in a statement on Thursday, indicated it opposed further gun restrictions.