President Trump praised the National Rifle Association’s defense of the Second Amendment but warned of a possible kerfuffle with them in the future.
“Don’t worry about the NRA. They’re on our side,” he told governors from around the country at the White House on Monday. “And you know what, if they’re not with you we have to fight them every once in a while. That’s okay. They’re doing what they think is right.”
Trump stated he is no longer is depending on Congress to ban bump stocks, which increase the rate at which the shooter can pull the trigger.
“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,”
“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 has asked the Justice Department to approve a regulation banning bump stocks and any other tool that increases the rate at which the trigger is pulled. The push for a crackdown comes after the Parkland, Florida school shooting on Valentine’s Day that killed 17 and injured 14.
However, the president’s authority to do this is questionable, and critics say such a ban must be legislated through Congress. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms decided it couldn’t ban bump stocks under President Obama.
The president also declared it a “bad time” for law enforcement after it became clear that FBI and other officials ignored many red flags indicating the 19-year-old gunman was mentally ill. The local sheriff’s department also failed the Parkland students when four deputies hid behind their vehicles outside as bullets sprayed inside the school.
“You know I really believe, you don’t know until you’re tested, but I really believe I’d run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon and I think most of the people in this room would’ve done that too,” he said.
He proposed that any mentally ill person who is “a boiler, ready to explode” should be institutionalized and get help before they commit a crime. Many institutions have been closed for financial reasons, he pointed out.
“We have no halfway,” Trump said. “We have nothing between a prison and leaving him in his house, which we can’t do anymore.”
Trump also reiterated his call for armed security officers on school campuses but said he did not know how many guards schools would be able to afford.