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Trump on 'meaningful' background checks: 'I really want to see it happen'

By
Nicholas Sakelaris
President Donald Trump departs the White House for a trip to his property in Bedminster, N.J., on Friday. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
President Donald Trump departs the White House for a trip to his property in Bedminster, N.J., on Friday. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Before heading to his resort in New Jersey Friday, President Donald Trump called for meaningful background checks for gun purchases -- following what he said was a "great talk" with the top two Democrats in Congress.

Trump has floated the idea of strengthening background checks since more than 30 people were killed last weekend in Texas and Ohio.

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"I think we can get something really good done. I really want to see it happen," Trump told reporters at the White House Friday morning. The president made the remarks after what he said was a positive meeting Thursday with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer.

"I have also been speaking to the NRA, and others, so that their very strong views can be fully represented and respected," he tweeted earlier.

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"Guns should not be placed in the hands of mentally ill or deranged people. I am the biggest Second Amendment person there is, but we all must work together for the good and safety of our country. Common sense things can be done that are good for everyone!"

Trump said he's confident he can work with the NRA on the issue, citing a "great relationship" with the organization.

The issue of stronger checks for gun buyers is universally favored by Democrats, but only sporadically welcomed among Republicans. Democrats and advocates have been calling on Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell to cut short the Senate recess so lawmakers can take up a pair of House reform bills. Democratic presidential candidate Tim Ryan led an activist caravan from Ohio to Kentucky Thursday to demand expediency.

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So far, the Kentucky Republican has hesitated to make such a move.

McConnell said this week Senate Republicans are "prepared to do our part," but he also said previously there's no rush to start weighing the legislation. Trump agreed Friday there's no need to call Congress back, but said McConnell is "totally on board" with change.

Trump left the White House for a fundraiser in the Hamptons, on Long Island, N.Y. He will spend the weekend at his resort in Bedminster, N.J., about 35 miles west of New York City.

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