President Trump says he has spoken with lawmakers including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell about gun background check legislation, and McConnell is “totally on board.” He also said he had a “great talk” with Democratic congressional leaders Sen. Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

But the president said he doesn’t think Congress needs to be called back into session, since a package will be ready by the time they’re slated to return.

Mr. Trump spoke with reporters as he departed the White House for fundraising events in New York before heading for a working vacation from his New Jersey club. The president has been pushing for stronger background checks after last weekend’s back-to-back mass shootings. He has been speaking with the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre to get his input, and he said he does not anticipate a disagreement on background checks with the gun rights group. 

He has also spoken with a number of senators, some of whom he characterized as hardliners on the issue of guns. These senators, too, “understand we don’t want insane people, mentally ill people, bad people, dangerous people — we don’t want guns in the hands of wrong people,” Mr. Trump said, and he expressed optimism about getting bipartisan gun legislation passed. “I think that the Republicans are going to be great and lead the charge along with the Democrats.”

Mr. Trump believes there is “tremendous” support for common-sense background checks. 

“I think we can have some really meaningful background checks,” he said. 

However, Mr. Trump said he doesn’t see the same support for banning assault weapons.

McConnell has declined the calls of Democratic lawmakers to call the Senate back into session to act on gun measures, but he said Thursday that gun reforms would be “front and center” when Congress returns in September. 


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