- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 20, 2018

White House spokesman Raj Shah said Tuesday that President Trump plans to reform the background check system for guns and have a conversation on how to address this violent behavior in young people.

“The president is looking to strengthen the background system overall. He spoke with Sen. Cornyn on it on Friday,” Mr. Shah, White House principal deputy press secretary, said on Fox News.

Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, offered a gun reform bill in wake of the church shooting in his home state last November. The bill addresses both the background checks and the “bump stocks” feature on firearms that turns semi-automatic weapons into fully automatic guns.

Sen. Chris Murphy, Connecticut Democrat, is a co-sponsor of the bill. His state also suffered a school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 that left 20 children dead.

“There’s also going to be a meeting on Thursday, in which the president is going to hear from local law enforcement, school officials and others more on the policy side at the local level,” Mr. Shah said.

Gun violence has once again taken the national spotlight in wake of a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last week. Police said 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fire with an AR-15 at his former school, killing 17 people and wounding 15 others. Mr. Cruz was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and is being held without bond.

The suspect reportedly had mental illness and was thought to be suffering from depression after losing his adoptive mother to pneumonia last year.

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