Major gun-control groups on Thursday heaped praise on President Donald Trump for his advocacy for new gun-control laws during a televised meeting with top lawmakers.
Representatives of the three leading gun-control groups all applauded Trump's statements during the meeting. Trump advocated for adding proposals like extending FBI background checks to used gun sales between private parties, a ban on so-called assault weapons, new gun ownership restrictions for domestic violence offenses, and a ban on gun ownership for those under 21—especially ownership of assault weapons—to a bipartisan proposal to improve the current gun background check system.
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The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said they were happy with Trump's performance at the meeting.
"We were pleased to hear President Trump’s full-throated support of gun violence prevention laws today, coinciding with the 24th anniversary of the Brady Law going into effect," Brady copresidents Kris Brown and Avery Gardiner said in a statement. "In addition to directly rejecting the influence of the NRA and the gun lobby, the president made it perfectly clear that he is in agreement with our major policy goals, including strong universal background checks, extreme risk protection laws, federal funding for the CDC to study gun violence, and even a possible assault weapon ban—positions that are overwhelmingly supported by the American people."
Everytown for Gun Safety said it took the president's words as a call for sweeping new gun control at the federal level.
"The president today called for sweeping gun violence reform that would meet the moment of public sentiment after the tragedy in Parkland," John Feinblatt, the group's president, said. "He called for changes that a majority of Americans support. But words alone are not enough. Now is the time for the president to bring together all Americans—including congressional Republicans, who have too often sided with the NRA over public safety—to get this done. American lives are on the line."
Giffords said Trump's embrace of new gun-control initiatives puts pressure on congressional Republicans to act.
"Today we saw the president give his support to many of the policies that we have long advocated for, including background checks on every gun sale and extreme risk protection orders," Peter Ambler, Giffords executive director, said. "Congressional Republicans have everything they need to pass these bipartisan proposals and send them to President Trump's desk. If there is no movement, the only possible excuse will be that these elected officials are more interested in protecting the interests of the corporate gun lobby than in saving the lives of children."
The National Rifle Association, the nation's largest gun-rights group, told the Washington Free Beacon that the gun-control policies discussed in the meeting were not good ideas.
"While today's meeting made for great TV, the gun-control proposals discussed would make for bad policy that would not keep our children safe," Jennifer Baker, a spokesperson for the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, said. "Instead of punishing law-abiding gun owners for the acts of a deranged lunatic, our leaders should pass meaningful reforms that would actually prevent future tragedies."
The gun-rights group said it would continue to work with President Trump to enact policies they think would work better. However, gun-control groups also said they look forward to working with the president to enact the policies they favor.
"We look forward to working with President Trump in the immediate future on making these life-saving reforms a reality," Brown and Gardiner, Brady copresidents, said.