President Trump tells senators 'You're afraid of the NRA'

President Donald Trump spoke with lawmakers at the White House on Wednesday

President Donald Trump spoke with lawmakers at the White House on Wednesday

Chris Murphy, D-Conn., told Trump.

Momentum on gun legislation has stalled in Congress as Republican leaders showed little interest in pursuing stricter gun control laws and Democrats pushed new restrictions following the Florida shooting.

But GOP leaders did not promise votes on the matter and stopped short of offering solutions, beyond a pending bill aimed at increasing participation in the existing federal background check system.

But Trump's fixation and Toomey's optimism may not translate into success in the legislature.

Background checks - Trump suggested to lawmakers that they merge competing measures into a single bill instead of multiple ones.

Hope Hicks, the most influential White House aide you may not know about, will leave Trump's administration in the upcoming weeks or months.

The "Fix NICS" bill, similar to one approved past year in the House, would reward federal agencies and states that utilize the background check system, and penalize those that don't properly report required records used to determine whether someone can legally buy a gun. He called for tighter background checks, asked the GOP to shelve a hide and carry measure, and advocated for raising the age to buy weapons like the one used in Parkland. The measure, from Sens.

Trump distanced himself from The National Rifle Association on a few specific policies. "I'm talking Democrat and Republican presidents, they've not stepped up".

President Donald Trump meeting with members of Congress to discuss school and community safety after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

The House package also included a measure to study bump stocks, the devices that turn rifles into automatic-style weapons and were used in the Las Vegas assault last fall, the deadliest mass shooting in US history.

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In response, Republican and Democratic lawmakers said they'd need his backing for political cover against the president's allies in the powerful gun rights lobby to pass any legislation.

Lawmakers were frustrated by Trump's comments.

About 85 per cent of Democrats say Trump is a racist, while 21 per cent of Republicans say the same, according to the poll, which surveyed 1337 adults from February 15 to 19. "They have great power over you people".

Experts say the findings should not come as a surprise considering America's polarised views on race, as well as Trump's divisive remarks in crucial moments past year as racial tensions came to a boil. "But it's our job to write the legislation and he either vetoes it or he signs it".

Cornyn, who sat beside Trump during his free-flowing, televised meeting on Wednesday, told reporters he believes his modest proposal to improve the background check system for gun buyers was more pragmatic than the more ambitious approach Trump appeared to back. "I think there are better ways to address it than just an arbitrary age increase", he told The Washington Times. "But we can't do it alone". Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle question whether the president will follow through.

Even though he argued more guns carriers could prevent future mass shootings, he doubted that the bill would receive enough support to pass in the Senate. However, Trump agreed that media - violent movies and video games - may play a part in influencing people who have a mental illness.

The Senate could vote this week on the legislation from Sens.

"There are some pretty strong views", Portman said. "They have that [rifle] because they want to use it for hunting or target shooting, and to deny them their Second Amendment right is not going to make anyone safer".

"Take the guns first, go through due process second", Mr Trump said, suggesting police officers be given the power to seize guns from anyone who could pose a threat, including the mentally ill, without a court order.

"Is anyone ok with this, because I'm sure as hell not", Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., tweeted Thursday.

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