Trump says he’s working with Congress on gun issues; Democrats disagree

During Miami Valley visit, president said goal is to protect 2nd Amendment and take guns away from ‘crazy people.’

In an exclusive interview with News Center 7, President Donald Trump said he plans to protect the 2nd Amendment and blamed Democrats for not moving on solutions to gun violence.

Democrats countered the president’s statements criticizing him and Republican for doing work for the National Rifle Association.

The president made the comments to News Center 7’s Molly Koweek during an interview in Wapakoneta Sunday night. Koweek asked the president what he was doing to deal with mass shootings such as the one in Dayton’s Oregon District on Aug. 4 that killed nine people and injured 24.

“Well, we’re dealing now with Democrats who frankly are, I wish they’d be a little bit more dedicated to getting something done instead of wasting a lot of time but we’re dealing very strongly and we’re trying to come up with a solution. At the same time we have to protect our 2nd Amendment. We can’t let guns be taken away from good people but we want to have them taken away from crazy people or bad people,” Trump said. “And so we’re really working very hard to come up with a solution but we wish the Democrats would really get to work.”

Democrats have pushed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to call a vote on H.R.8, which would expand background checks by requiring them for sales and transfers at gun shows, online transactions and other private sales. Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley was in Washington last week urging the Senate to act on the House bill.

McConnell told reporters he is waiting for the president to take the lead on gun reforms.

The House Judiciary Committee, under Democrat control, sent three bills to the House floor: a measure to allow for a court order to remove guns from people deemed to be a danger to themselves or others; a ban on high-capacity magazines; a prohibition of gun ownership for those convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, is backing expanded background checks as well as an assault weapons ban. “People don’t have to keep dying, and we have the power to stop it. But nothing can happen until President Trump, Leader McConnell and Republicans in Congress stop working for the NRA and start working to keep our communities safe,” Brown said in a written statement.

Congressman Steve Chabot, a Republican who represents Warren County and part of Hamilton County, said he offered an amendment on background checks recently.

“Unfortunately, I think President Trump is correct that the Democrats in Congress are more concerned about playing politics than solving the mass shooting problem facing our nation. For example, two weeks ago, I offered an amendment that would make sure that red flags laws properly address the due process rights guaranteed to American citizens under the Constitution,” Chabot said. “If my proposal had passed, I think President Trump may very well have considered signing the legislation. Instead, not a single Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee supported it, and it failed.”

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican, is working toward gun reforms in the Senate, according to his spokeswoman Emily Benavides. “As Rob has said consistently, there is more we can do to try and keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and both parties should work together towards this goal. He will continue to work with his colleagues on common-sense reforms to our gun laws that don’t infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens.”

U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Troy, said in a statement that he wants to get to the root causes of mass shootings and he is confident President Trump will lead the GOP in rejecting legislation that makes it “harder for law abiding citizens to purchase firearms,” including the pending bill to expand background checks.

He added that he wants to see enforcement against those who lie on their background checks and those who knowingly sell guns to felons.

“Personally, I hope Congress can also support enhanced penalties for mass shooters who break federal laws, and support changes to existing law to force municipalities to involve ICE in any relevant gun crime allegedly committed by illegal aliens,” Davidson said.

Gun rights groups generally oppose expanded background checks, assault weapons bans and extreme protection order laws, also known as red flag laws. They view such controls as ineffective and an infringement on constitutional rights.

Jim Irvine of the Buckeye Firearms Association has said research has shown that “universal” background checks have no impact on gun violence and gun deaths. He said only law abiding citizens will follow the rules, while criminals will continue to steal firearms or buy them illegally.

When asked Sunday night to give specifics on gun solutions, the president said “I’d rather not because I don’t want to throw a wrench into the ointment. We are doing pretty well. We have a lot of good ideas. We want to look at, it’s a very simple thing, we have to protect the 2nd Amendment but at the same time, bad people, sick people, we don’t want them to have guns.”

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