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Trump calling for stronger background checks

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – The debate over gun control continued Friday with President Donald Trump again calling for stronger background checks.

President Trump says it’s time for Congress to act and adds that he hopes the NRA will get on board.

“We have tremendous support for really common sense, sensible, important background checks,” he said. “I think we can get something really good done.”

The president has pushed for expanded background checks repeatedly this week but has stayed away from calls for an assault weapons ban.

“The gun doesn’t pull the trigger. A mind – a sick mind – pulls the trigger,” he said.

But the NRA is digging in its heels. In a statement released Thursday, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre said, in part, “The NRA opposes any legislation that unfairly infringes on the rights of law-abiding citizens.”

“I think in the end, Wayne and the NRA will either be there or maybe will be a little bit more neutral,” Trump said.

Regardless of whether the president gets the NRA on board, some gun control advocates say his push is a good first step.

“If we are talking about universal background checks, we need that to be a true universal background check so that any gun purchased in this country is bought with a background check,” Christian Heyne said. “In the past, there have been proposals on the table that have allowed for a lot of gun lobby carveouts.”

So far, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell won’t call Congress back from August recess to vote on gun reform measures. He says the issue will wait until they return in September.

The president says the issue is beyond politics.

“This isn’t a question of NRA, Republican or Democrat,” Trump said.