The Latest: Trump meets with NRA in Oval Office

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump, Congress and the gun debate (all times local):

10:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump has met again with top National Rifle Association officials as he weighs ideas for preventing the next school shooting.

Trump tweeted Thursday evening that he’d had a “Good (Great) meeting in the Oval Office tonight with the NRA!”

The group’s executive director, Chris Cox, is also tweeting about the meeting, saying Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and the NRA “want safe schools, mental health reform and to keep guns away from dangerous people.”

Cox adds that Trump and Pence “support the Second Amendment, support strong due process and don’t want gun control.”

Trump has voiced support for several measures the NRA opposes, including raising the minimum age for purchasing assault rifles to 21.

Trump has challenged members of Congress to defy the NRA, while repeatedly praising the group.


3:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump will be meeting with members of the video game industry next week as he continues to discuss ways to prevent school shootings.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says discussions are “ongoing” about the best way to move forward and progress is “something that we don’t expect to happen overnight.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said earlier Thursday that he doesn’t expect gun legislation to move forward next week.

Trump has repeatedly referenced violence in movies and video games during conversations about guns and school safety since the Florida shooting.

Trump said yesterday that he looks at some of the things his son Barron watches and thinks, “How is that possible?'”


2:30 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says a bipartisan gun bill to boost compliance with federal background checks won’t be the next order of business in the Senate.

McConnell told reporters Thursday that while he’d like the Senate to consider the legislation from Republican John Cornyn of Texas and Democrat Chris Murphy of Connecticut, he would instead be moving next week to a banking bill unrelated to the gun debate.

He says of gun legislation, “We’d love to do that at some point,” and he’s “hoping there’s a way forward.”

The Cornyn-Murphy bill is seen as a modest effort to provide incentives to agencies that comply with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System and to penalize those that fail to submit records properly on those ineligible for gun purchase.

It is stalled in the Senate.


1:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump has phoned Sen. Pat Toomey to express support for his proposal on background checks for gun purchases. Toomey and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia wrote bipartisan legislation on the subject and Trump appears to consider it the main bill Congress should build on.

Toomey told The Associated Press on Thursday that Trump “continues to be very interested in supporting and working with us,” with the Manchin-Toomey bill as “the core legislative vehicle.”

Trump scolded Toomey on Wednesday, singling out one of the leading Republicans willing to consider stricter gun policy as being “afraid” of the National Rifle Association.

Toomey said Thursday his message to Trump was that “we will need the president’s help to grow the vote in both the House and Senate.”

The bill would broaden background checks to include pre-purchase reviews for online and gun show sales. It failed in the Senate after the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut.


1:30 p.m.

Senate Democrats have outlined a three-point plan to tighten restrictions on gun ownership.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Democrats want to extend background checks for gun purchases to include sales at gun shows and on the Internet. Democrats also want to allow family members or law enforcement to apply for protective orders to take guns away from people who show “credible signs” of harming themselves or others.

Finally, Schumer said Democrats will push for a politically controversial ban on assault weapons such as the AR-15 rifle used in the Florida high school shooting.

Schumer said he was pleasantly surprised President Donald Trump appeared to back expanded background checks and other ideas Democrats support at a White House meeting Wednesday. He said Trump now must follow through.


12:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump is holding another school safety meeting following last month’s shooting at a South Florida high school.

The White House says participants in Thursday’s session include the family of Meadow Pollack, an 18-year-old senior who was among 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. Meadow’s relatives attended a previous White House session with Trump.

Other participants include a Colorado state lawmaker who survived the deadly shooting at Columbine High School, and two founders of a gun-control organization founded after 26 first-graders and teachers will killed in a shooting at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School. Founders of Sandy Hook Promise attended the earlier meeting.

A man who confronted a suspect in a shooting at a Texas church is also on the participant list released by the White House.


12:00 p.m.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says Democrats are encouraged Congress will pass stricter gun legislation after a meeting at the White House with President Donald Trump.

Pelosi said Thursday that there is sense of urgency on a gun bill that differs from when lawmakers worked on legislation to benefit young immigrants known as “Dreamers.”

She says that “on this, it’s life and death right away.”

Pelosi says the public wants action to stem gun violence and “the president reads that very clearly.”

Pelosi says 200 lawmakers signed onto legislation expanding background checks for gun buyers. She says she can’t recall that level of support before.

Pelosi is doubtful, though, about prospects for banning certain semi-automatic weapons she described as assault weapons, saying “practically anything short of that is what we would expect” to pass.


8 a.m.

A Republican senator is calling on President Donald Trump to back his proposed legislation on gun restrictions and says it would an important step in standing up to the National Rifle Association.

Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania acknowledges the bill he’s sponsoring with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia lacks the needed votes for Senate passage. The bill would broaden background checks and Toomey says “the president really could make the difference.”

Trump — at a White House meeting with lawmakers on Wednesday — accused Toomey of being afraid of the NRA because his bill doesn’t seek to raise the minimum age for young people to buy an assault weapon.

Toomey is telling “Fox and Friends” that he stood up to the NRA after sponsoring a similar bill in 2012. He says he remains skeptical about raising the minimum age to 21 because most young people who buy guns are hunters and target shooters who “are not a threat to anyone.”


7:10 a.m.

President Donald Trump says many ideas, “some good & some not so good” have come out of a bipartisan meeting on school safety that he led at the White House.

Trump is tweeting that “Background Checks a big part of conversation.” He says gun-free zones around schools are “proven targets of killers.”

The president says “after many years, a Bill should emerge. Respect 2nd Amendment!” on the constitutional right to bear arms.

Trump led Wednesday’s meeting and allowed it to be televised. He expressed support for expanded background checks, increased school security and more mental health resources, as well as raising the age to 21 for purchasing some firearms.

Trump also suggested letting law enforcement confiscate a person’s guns without a court order.

Trump plans another school safety meeting on Thursday.


12:25 a.m.

President Donald Trump is accusing some lawmakers of being too fearful of the National Rifle Association to pass new gun measures.

He’s calling for substantial changes in the nation’s gun laws — a position he pushed during a White House meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

In the wake of the Florida school shooting, the president says he favors a “comprehensive” approach to addressing gun violence, but he’s offering no details.

He appears to support expanded background checks, increased school security and more mental health resources. And he’s reaffirming support for raising the age to 21 for purchasing some firearms.

Trump has mentioned arming teachers, and says his administration, not Congress, would ban bump-stock devices that enable guns to fire like automatic weapons.

He says he’s told NRA officials it’s time to act.

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