After deadly shooting, Trump signals openness to stricter background checks

After last week’s Florida school shooting, US President Donald Trump has expressed his support of strengthening the background checks carried out before gun purchases. The president also indicated that he has ordered his administration to work towards a ban on “bump stocks,” devices that enable semi-automatic weapons to function as fully-automatic ones.
Donald Trump Photo Credit: EPA-EFE

US President Donald Trump has voiced his support of increasing efforts towards stricter gun-control legislation in the country, which has been increasingly ravaged by fatal gun violence in recent years.  The move comes following the deadly shooting at Florida Parkland high school last week, which the president has called an "evil massacre."

“We can do more to protect our children,” Trump said at the White House on Tuesday. “We must do more to protect our children."

As part of these efforts, Trump said that he has instructed the US Justice Department to work towards a ban on “bump stocks” and similar devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function as fully-automatic ones.  Such devices were used during the deadly Las Vegas shooting in October last year.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Monday that “while discussions are ongoing and revisions are being considered,” Trump remains supportive of efforts to improve the federal background check system for firearms purchases. The sentiment was echoed by the president on Tuesday in a post on his Twitter account.  “Whether we are Republican or Democrat, we must now focus on strengthening Background Checks!” said Trump.

Meanwhile, survivors of the Parkland high school shooting launched a campaign under the tag #NeverAgain, urging the US government to ensure the saftey of the nation's schools. On Tuesday, hundreds of students at a school near the site of the deadly shooting staged a protest and marched out of classrooms towards Parkland high school until educators instructed them to return to class.

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