White House

Trump Warns of Background-Check ‘Slippery Slope’

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before boarding Air Force One in Morristown, N.J., August 15, 2019. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

President Trump appeared to back away from stronger background checks for gun buyers Tuesday, saying “we have to be very careful” about what may be a “slippery slope.”

“A lot of the people that put me where I am are strong believers in the Second Amendment, and I am also,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “They call it the slippery slope. All of a sudden everything gets taken away. We’re not going to let that happen.”

“We have very very strong background checks right now,” the president said. “We’re looking at different [gun-control policies] and I have to tell you it’s a mental problem. I said it 100 times: It’s not the gun that pulls the trigger, it’s the person that pulls the trigger.”

After two back-to-back mass shootings earlier this month that killed 32 people, Trump expressed support for stronger background checks. He has since backed away from that position after reportedly conferring with the National Rifle Association, which opposes expanded background checks.

“We are in very meaningful discussion with the Democrats and I think the Republicans are very unified. We are very strong on our Second Amendment,” Trump said.

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