Yesterday, President Donald Trump held a meeting with state and local officials on the topic of school safety and gun control. The 55-minute meeting was broadcast and streamed live online and included a number of surprising statements from the president, which have caused reverberations across the gun world.
You can view the meeting in its entirely above and you can read a full transcript of all that was said here.
The president seemed to side with a number of sentiments expressed by notoriously anti-gun Democrat lawmakers present at the roundtable meeting, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Trump, at one point, told Feinstein to add her expansive, recently introduced “assault weapons” ban to an overarching school safety bill.
The bill bans over 200 different firearms by name and includes a number of other restrictions, like a federally mandated 10-round magazine capacity limit. The legislation includes more than 200 Democrat co-sponsors.
During the meeting, Feinstein stated that the AR-15 rifle platform is one of “the latest and newest weapons” to “hit the streets.” The AR-15 pattern rifle has been around since the 1950s and has been for sale to civilians since 1963.
She also said anyone can walk into a gun store and “buy a TEC-9,” apparently drifting into her anti-gun rhetoric from the 1990s, as the TEC-9 hasn’t been on the market for nearly 20 years.
Trump mostly caused a stir by saying that the government should be able to seize civilian firearms before any kind of due process, apparently in open conflict with his Vice President, Mike Pence, while talking about keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.
“I don’t want mentally ill people to be having guns,” Trump said. “You have to do something very decisive. Number one, you can take the guns away immediately from people that you can adjudge easily are mentally ill, like [the Parkland shooter]. You know, the police saw that he was a problem, they didn’t take any guns away. Now, that could have been policing. I think they should have taken them away anyway, whether they had the right or not. But I’ll tell you this, you have to have very strong provisions for the mentally ill.”
“I like taking the guns early, like in this crazy man’s case that just took place in Florida…to go to court would have taken a long time,” Trump said in the meeting. “Take the guns first, go through due process second.”
Trump was also in favor of raising the minimum age for all gun purchases to 21, adding broader domestic violence restrictions to gun ownership, and expanding background checks.
Trump also said the controversial bump stock accessories will be outlawed “quickly,” and assured those present that he would personally take care of it.
“I’m going to write that out, because we can do that with an executive order . . . we’ll have that done pretty quickly, they’re working on it right now, the lawyers,” Trump said in the meeting.
According to this story from dailywire.com, Republican Sen. Ben Sasse (NE) issued a sharp rebuke of Trump in response to his comments during the meeting.
“Strong leaders don’t automatically agree with the last thing that was said to them,” Sasse said in a statement. “We have the Second Amendment and due process of law for a reason. We’re not ditching any Constitutional protections simply because the last person the president talked to today doesn’t like them.”