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Checks vs. 'red flags': Trump, GOP weigh gun moves

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on August 7, 2019 - Duration: 02:00s

Checks vs. 'red flags': Trump, GOP weigh gun moves

President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he wanted to strengthen background checks for gun purchases, reasserting his support for the policy response in the wake of the two recent mass shootings.

Roger Fortuna has more.

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Checks vs. 'red flags': Trump, GOP weigh gun moves

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "I think background checks are important.

I don't want to put guns into the hands of mentally unstable people or people with rage or hate." In the wake of the two gun massacres that shocked the nation, President Trump is doubling down on his call for national background checks on gun buyers, even as he deals with outraged critics blaming him for much of that hate and rage.

But as Trump visits devastated Dayton and El Paso Wednesday, he's throwing cold water on a push by Democrats to ban high-powered assault weapons like the ones used to kill 31 people over the weekend.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "You have to have a political appetite within Congress and so far I haven't seen that.

I have not seen it with regards to certain types of weapons." Under intense pressure to respond to the slayings, Republican lawmakers are now coalescing around safety protection orders called 'red flag laws' that would allow courts to take guns away from potentially dangerous people, like those with mental illness.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN SAYING: "What we need is strength and some resolve that we haven't seen yet." At the same time, a chorus of 2020 Democratic contenders is saying it's Trump who's ramping up mental health concerns with rhetoric they say demonizes minority groups and might inspire violence.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE SEN.

CORY BOOKER SAYING: "A delusion that divides." Senator Cory Booker blamed Trump Wednesday for encouraging hatred against vulnerable groups in the U.S. at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, the site of another racist inspired gun massacre carried out by a white supremacist.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE SEN.

CORY BOOKER SAYING: "From the highest office in our land, where we see in tweets and rhetoric hateful words that ultimately endanger the lives of people in our country." And that refrain is hounding Trump as he receives a mixed welcome in the stunned and grieving cities of Dayton and El Paso.

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