Trump's position on guns has not changed, White House says

Trump, Pence met with NRA officials

By VERONICA STRACQUALURSI, CNN
Alex Wong/2018 Getty Images

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with bipartisan members of the Congress at the Cabinet Room of the White House February 28, 2018 in Washington, DC. President Trump held a meeting with lawmakers to discuss school and…

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Donald Trump's stance on guns has not wavered a day after he set up a meeting with National Rifle Association officials, the White House said Friday.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence met with Chris Cox, the executive director of the NRA's lobbying arm Thursday evening, who quickly tweeted that Trump and Pence "don't want gun control."

That's an apparent shift from Trump's comments during a meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers Wednesday, when he signaled his support for policies -- such as strengthening background checks to raising the minimum age to buy certain guns and taking guns away from the mentally ill -- that are vehemently opposed by the gun lobby.

Asked if Trump's thinking has changed since Wednesday's meeting, Sanders said, "not that I'm aware of." She said the only specific promise Trump made to the NRA was that "he'll support the Second Amendment. That's not something that he's backed away from. The background check system is something that he's still very much interested in improving."

Trump, who told lawmakers Wednesday to be "very, very powerful on background checks," is still interested in Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn's "Fix NICS" bill, which aims to improve reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System through financial incentives, Sanders said. The "Fix NICS" proposal is considered a more limited option compared to other background check proposals in Congress.

"As of right now, he supports the Cornyn legislation. But we haven't made a final determination," Sanders said.

According to Sanders, Trump also still backs raising the age limit from 18 to 21 to purchase certain firearms, despite the NRA and some conservatives' objections.

"Conceptually, he still supports raising the age to 21, but he also knows there's not a lot of broad support for that, but that's something that he would support," Sanders said.

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