Guns

President Trump is greeted on the tarmac by El Paso Mayor Dee Margo and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in El Paso Wednesday.

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Friday said he was committed to passing new laws for background checks on gun purchases and said the time was now for lawmakers to come together and do something.

“We don’t want guns in the hands of the wrong people,” Trump said in brief remarks to reporters, less than a week after mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, left 31 people dead.

The president spoke as he was departing the White House for a political fundraiser in Southampton, New York, followed by a vacation at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Trump said there was “tremendous” support for “really common-sense sensible, important background checks.” He added that he was confident that the gun lobby, which in the past has been effective in resisting such measures, would ultimately agree or “be more neutral.”

On Thursday, Sen. Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, signaled he would at least be open to considering such legislation, although he did not call the Senate back from its August recess to address the issue.

There were no new major signals Friday from the National Rifle Association, the White House or Capitol Hill that action on the politically fraught issue of gun rights was closer to compromise or resolution.

In the past, both Trump and McConnell have opposed legislation to expand background checks.

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