Trump: We'll improve background checks for gun buyers

U.S. President vows to take steps to improve background checks for gun buyers in the wake of Florida shooting.

Ben Ariel ,

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday vowed to take steps to improve background checks for gun buyers in the wake of last week’s deadly shooting at a Florida high school, Reuters reported.

“It’s not going to be talk like it has been in the past,” Trump said in a meeting about school safety that included six students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 students and educators were slain by gunman Nikolas Cruz, who was armed with an AR-15 semiautomatic assault rifle.

Survivors of that shooting poured into the Florida state capital, Tallahassee, to demand that lawmakers restrict sales of assault rifles. Some wore T-shirts and carried signs reading “We call B.S.,” one of the slogans of the movement started by the survivors.

“Nikolas Cruz was able to purchase an assault rifle before he was able to buy a beer,” said Laurenzo Prado, a Stoneman junior, referring to a Florida law that allows people as young as 18 to buy assault weapons. “The laws of the country have failed.”

Lawmakers in Tallahassee said they would consider raising the age limit to 21, the same standard for handguns and alcohol, though the state Senate on Wednesday opted not to take up a gun control measure, noted Reuters.

Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos sat in a semicircle on Wednesday, listening to stories and pleas from about 40 students, teachers and families.

The meeting came a day after Trump said his administration would take steps to ban bump stocks, an accessory that enables a rifle to shoot hundreds of rounds a minute.

Under pressure after Parkland, Trump on Tuesday directed the Justice Department to quickly complete a proposed rule that would treat “bump stocks” as machine guns, which could effectively outlaw them in the United States.

A bump stock was not used in the Florida shooting, but was allegedly used by Stephen Paddock, who carried out the deadly shooting in Las Vegas last October.

On Saturday, Trump blasted Democrats for failing to act to strengthen gun restrictions under the Obama administration.

"Just like they don’t want to solve the DACA problem, why didn’t the Democrats pass gun control legislation when they had both the House & Senate during the Obama Administration. Because they didn’t want to, and now they just talk!" Trump tweeted.